OK, OK, I kept repeating to myself as we emerged from the jungle. I can’t help if I have lousy luck. It’s not my fault the plane crashed. What am I to do, sit around like some ordinary human and be thankful for being alive?
This is me, Johnny Oops, we’re talking about. I’m a philosopher genius. I’m a Guru. I’m the greatest of them all. These things aren’t supposed to happen to me.
Then my speculations started to take on dangerous proportions. I said to myself. Look at Jody; she’s happy we’re all alive. I want more out of life than that, but what? I’ve got it. I want to be deified. That’s the ticket, just like the ancient Egyptians only better. Those guys were a bunch of dummies who ended up as mummies. That’s not for Johnny boy. I want to go on forever.
I wonder how one achieves the status of a God? Do I just declare that I am one? No, that’s not a good idea; makes me sound like I’m a raving maniac. I have to get my flock to come up with the suggestion. I know, I’ll go on a major TV talk show and prearrange the questions from the host so he or she will ask me if I’m a God.
Then I’ll answer, “It’s up to my flock to decide something like that. I, Johnny Oops, do not presume to sit in judgment on so momentous a matter.”
That’s the ticket. That’s how I’ll handle it. I really am brilliant. No wonder my flock thinks I’m a God.
I told Jody of my brilliant new scheme, and asked her to get our PR people to work setting up a major TV interview. Jody didn’t approve.
She said, “Are you crazy? No one is going to buy that con job.”
Finally, after much coaxing, she got me to agree not to label myself a God. She should have learned by now I’m not easy to pin down. I’m not used to listening to anyone but myself.
Perhaps with the innocence of the truly bewildered, she arranged for me to be interviewed by Flora Barracuda on her TV show that rated number one and two on the charts. My PR people tried to prearrange all the questions, but Miss Barracuda was slippery and smelled something fishy.
Flora started off by saying, “Ladies and gentleman, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Johnny Oops, Guru extraordinaire. Hello Johnny. What do you like to be called?”
“Just plan Guru will be fine, Flora”
Then Miss Barracuda made her first departure from the script. She said, “Johnny my sources tell me that as a young man you wrote a white paper advocating that those that believed in Dialectic Spiritualism should touch each other’s private parts. Is that true?”
I managed to look pained and responded; “Yes it’s true, but totally misconstrued. What I meant is people should try and touch each other’s inner souls. It was a symbolic statement that has been totally misunderstood and misrepresented.”
“I see,” Flora retorted, “But what about your new stance of touching ‘private essentials’?”
“Flora, I’m surprised at you. What could be more essential than reaching out and touching someone’s inner self deep in their inner parts?”
“You’re the Guru, you tell me. By the way, don’t you consider it a little over the top to tell woman to reach out and touch someone’s you know what?”
“I never told them to touch someone’s pecker, I just said reach out and touch some man. Your dirty mind is putting a pornographic spin on an otherwise innocent statement.”
“It isn’t me who said you know what,” Flora responded in a huff.
“That’s the trouble with you talk show hosts, you’re so inhibited by the censors your afraid to grab your balls and hold on to your pecker. I guess in your case, Flora, you can’t do either.”
“We have a family audience, Johnny, I’ll thank you to keep your vulgarities to yourself.”
I leaned forward, staring directly into Flora’s eyes, grasped the handles of the armchair I was sitting in tightly until my hands turned red as I allowed my back to stiffen, and said, “Sorry I can’t do that Flora. I tell my flock everything. They are my extended family.”
Flora said, “I think that’s disgusting.”
“What’s the matter Flora? Why are you covering the microphone and muttering you know what. I have a family watching too, and they can read lips. ‘F--- Y--’ still looks like you know what.”
Flora’s face turned red and she crossed her legs as she responded, “Well Mr. Oops, I can see that you certainly think a lot of yourself. Is it true that you think you’re a God.”
“Oh no my dear, there is only one God. We all know that. I’m simply his Messenger.”
Flora thought she finally had him, “You mean you think you’re a Prophet chosen by God?”
“That’s up to my flock to determine. In my mind I simply deliver his word. What that makes me is up to the faithful to decide.”
At this point the television show audience, which was well stocked with loyal followers, erupted in cheers shouting, “He’s the Prophet, He’s the Messenger, He has the word.” My loyal followers knew what was expected of them. My assistants had handed out printed copies of proposed chants as they entered the TV studio.
They kept repeating it over and over. It took station security police four precious minutes of commercial time to calm them down. Flora, realizing she was fighting a losing battle and running out of time decided to risk all on one last question.
“My dear Prophet, if you are just the Messenger how can you explain your Second Coming? I thought that was reserved only for the Son of God?”
The newly ordained Prophet smiled and said, “Oh that was some group hallucination of the natives in the area of the plane crash who were stoned on the local weed. Everyone knows Second Comings originate in caves not on 747’s. Besides, I could never leave my flock; giving them the word is my life’s work. It’s what I was ordained to do. It’s my calling. My words of wisdom soothe many otherwise lost souls. How could I allow it to be otherwise? After all, according to my flock I’m the Prophet and these are my words.”
On that note of self-ordination, Flora was forced to allow the conversation to end. They were out of time and in desperate need to provide make-up ads to six advertisers whose scheduled commercials had been bumped by the demonstration of Johnny’s vocal flock.
Shortly thereafter Flora Barracuda retired to the peaceful shores of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Fire Island, New York where she could satisfy herself with smaller fish. I’d been too much for her.
Jody was furious with me. I had duped her again. I am pretty tricky when I want to be. Meetings of the faithful were held at all local and international chapters to celebrate the coming of the Prophet.
The Catholic Church issued a statement saying they thought I was a false Prophet, and unlikely to be canonized anytime in the next ten thousand centuries. They said it was more likely that I was in league with the devil and in need of an exorcism.
I was infuriated and responded, “There they go again with that parochial attitude of theirs. What can you expect from people for whom dogma is everything? Where is the reasoned judgment in that point of view?”
The Council of Churches issued a statement that said; “To set the record straight there is only one God.”
I responded, “ Now you’re talking. I can live with that.”
The head of Kabbalah sued to get his organization’s name removed from my Movement.
I responded, “God works in mystical ways.”
Johnny Junior was quoted saying, “My God, I’m the son of a Prophet.” He celebrated by throwing a bowl of oatmeal at his mother.
I withdrew to my sanctuary in Rancho Santa Fee to meditate on my new status. I was convinced that my own brilliance, not divine guidance, had helped me achieve this new reality as a Prophet. In my arrogance, I absolutely defied anyone to question my deity. I was now immortal in my own mind, and no longer subject to the whims of mere humans. That’s when my unflappable faith in my ability to walk on water ended up putting me in the frothy inlet of jagged rocks I had once so feared. When will I ever learn?