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. . Every year here in Shmoeville In the first week of June, When the Snobbirds return, And the Smugberries bloom, Every God-fearing Shmoe from all denominations, Come from hither and yon and all other locations, To gather together in the valley of Schmoozya, For a big celebration called..... PompousPalooza!! Oh what a grand and momentous affair! Every Shmoe that you know would be sure to be there, For they'd waited all year, both the young and the old, And no Shmore would dare miss it, no not for his soul. There'd be Shmolier Than Thouists, and Holy-ware Hawkers, Piety-Peddlers and Talkbutno Walkers, Shmoehova Halers and Funny-Tongue Shmoes, (But no Latter Day Shmoes, they would not invite "those") And of course they expected the whole congregation, From the First Church of Creative Verse Mutilation. Yes there they would gather from far and from wide, With their smugberry ciders and piety pies, And confirm for each other, through feast and through fest, That they were the Shmoes that the Lord loved the best. And so the day came of the big Shmoe parade, With an openning volley of prosly-tirades, And some Biblio-babbles from Holy Joe Shmoe, (who was widely considerred the Shmoe in the know), And before the great feast was about to commence, (which was carefully layed and at no small expence) Reverend Holy Joe Shmoe with an air most impressing, Elected himself to deliver the blessing; "Lord"!, shouted Joe in a voice most sincere, "I've no doubt that I'm speaking for everyone here, When I say that we thank you for all that You've done, ---Oh, and please pass along our regards to your son, For You've made us much greater than all of the rest; More honest, more humble, more pure and more blessed, Yes we're clearly the Shmoes who have rose through the ranks We're the Shmoes that you choose, and for that we give thanks"!! The valley erupted in thunderous cheers, And a round of "Amen!"s that would deafen your ears, And when finally there came a lull in the din, The Shmoes all joined hands and took part in a hymn; " God is for us, God is for us, " No one else has his concern, " God is for us, God is for us, Let them go to hell and burn, " We're elected, God says, God says, You're rejected, God says, God says, " We're the Father's favorite kids, The rest of you can hit the skids"! This chorus continued for several refrains, Quicky Followed by hymns in a similar vein, Such as, "Amazing Us" and "Up Here in the Air", Then to "How Great We Art" and "The Overlord's Prayer", And through all the applause, and through all the commotion, Through all these displays of sincere self-devotion, No one seemed to notice a wizened old Shmoe, Who was all dressed in rags from his head to his toe, As he wound through the crowd with a slow steady stride, To the front of the table to pull Joe aside; "Excuse me," he said in a voice barely heard, "Pardon me sir, but might I have a word? For I'd like to address them, I've something to say, About everything that's gone on here today". Joe looked him over with quiet distaste, Then remembered the crowd and disguised it with haste, As he turned to them all and with eager inflection, Said, "Please everyone, may I have your attention? "This poor wretched creature, this sorry old sot, Has something to say, though I couldn't guess what, But I say we should listen! Allow him to speak "! Then he smiled to the crowd with his tongue in his cheek, "For we're all of us, each of us, even this man, Creations of God, and a part of His plan, The morally upright as well as the weakling, We're all of us His, --in a manner of speaking" Chuckles arose from a few of the Schmoes, (although many just thought it was part of the show) So they sneered and they leered at their unwelcome guest, But they did so in silence to see what came next, "I Thank you," the old fellow said with a nod, "And agree that we're each of us children of God, And we're all of us equal as sisters and brothers, Though apparently some are more equal than others". Now that the old fellow had their attention, He paused for a bit and addressed the convention; "I don't mean to disturb you, or disrupt your feast, But I've something to say, and I'll try to be breif, So please give me a moment, if no one objects, For a small spelling error I'd like to correct; "Now most Shmoes don't know this, but back in the day, Of our forefather Shmoes, there was no letter "J", And it's caused some confusion, and much discontent, In regards to Himself, and the one that He sent, The man He commisioned to issue His call And give up his life for the good of the All, "He called himself He'sUs, --for He's Us, you see, His real name was He's Us --He's you , And He's me". The crowd eyed the stranger with cold hard appraisal, Amid many grumblings and much eyebrow raisal, But despite the discomfort that swept through the throng, With a soft steady manner the stranger went on; "His real name was He's Us, He's me and He's you, And that's why He said that whatever you do, For the least of my brethren, You do it for me, So live and let live, And be and let be". " 'Live and let live' "!?, Joe exclaimed with contempt, "We're the Shmoes that He chose, so you see, we're excempt"! For we've all been selected, hand picked from above, To be His elected, His only beloved, My sisters and my brothers are special, you see, So we'll leave it to others to 'be and let be'" The old fellow looked up at Joe with a sigh, Then turned back to the crowd as he made his reply, "No Shmoe is excempt, no Shmoe is above, For we all have His Eye, and we all have His Love, Every Shmoe that you know is your sister or brother, So live and forgive and be good to each other". "You're not listening"! said Joe, "For I've already said, And I so wish that you'd get this into your head, We're not like other Shmoes, we're the cream of the crop, We're the creme dela creme, aye, the tip of the top, And as everyone knows other Shmoes are beneath us, So what could a Shmoe like yourself have to teach us? With your wretched demeanor and raggedy clothes, Do you think you're on par with the rest of us Shmoes?! "Don't you see what we are? Can't you see what we do? Do you dare to compare us to Shmoes such as you!? "With your raggedy clothes and your wretched demeanor, Can't you see that we're better? ---to say nothing of cleaner". The crowd, in agreement, all shouted , "Amen"! As the old fellow waited, then spoke once again, "No Shmoe is above, no Shmoe is beneath, In spite of their station, or face, or belief, Every Shmoe that you know is your sister or brother, So live and forgive and be good to each other" Joe bit his lip in an ire of frustration, Then he paced up and down in red-faced indignation; As he stared and he glared at this ragged old man, And right then and there .... He came up with a plan... Joe turned around to the crowd of the Shmoes, With his hands in the air and his eyes tightly closed, Then he waited for silence, and bowed down his head, And when he was sure they could hear him, he said, "Yes Lord, I hear you... Oh yes Lord, I see... He's what Lord? You're kidding! Oh how could this be? You want us to smite him? Quite right Lord! Quite so!" And then, as the crowd stood there looking at Joe, He mumbled and grumbled in some unknown tongue, Then he raised up his head and said, "Look everyone! "I've just had a vision! A clear revelation! That this fellow here is a servant of Satan! Sent here by the darkone, the angel that fell! To greive us, deceive us, and lead us to hell! Abuse us! Confuse us! And lead us astray!! --And God says to smite him and drive him away"!! The crowd shook their fists at their impudent guest, As some shouted, "Satan"!!, some others, "Possesed"!! And since now, thanks to Joe, they'd been told what to feel, They vented their anger with passionate zeal, They all turned as one and ran back to the tables, Each grabbing as much of the food as was able, As cheering and jeering they sent through the air, Every last little bit of the festival's fare, 'Til the old man was covered in puritan-matoes, Southern fried snobbird and uppity-tatos, Interpre-taters with flam' bias varnish, Smugberry pudding with mint arrogarnish, (and when they'd expended these entrees they tossed, An entire roast prig with facada-Q-sauce) But the man never moved, and he made no reply, As he met their abuse without batting an eye, But his face had now changed to a sad, angry frown, As he stood there in silence and stared them all down. And the Shmoes couldn't help but to notice his eyes, Which displayed no resentment, no fear or surprise, But just looked out upon them with pity instead, And their anger gave way to an uncertain dread. And when the oldman saw their anger subsiding, He spoke yet again, in a voice somewhat chiding, "Will you look at yourselves?! Can you see what you do, With the blessings that Life has bestowed upon you? With this bounty of food, how you squander and waste it, When there's so many Shmoes who would die just to taste it? "Do you know what you're doing? Do you even suspect, Why you need to use phrases like "Saved" or "Elect"? Could it be that you see you have more than your share And you need to find some way to make it sound "fair"? In the light of this world where so many have less, Do you know why you're frightened? Might I take a guess? "You Shmoes drive around in your SUVrrroooooooms, Which you park in the back of your ticky-tack tombs, And you ride past the needy, the sick and the poor, And all the time certain your souls are secure, "But I'm telling you now, And you'd better pay heed, There's a price to be payed for indifference and greed, And it's not in some Kingdom up there in the clouds, It's the price that you're paying right here, And right now! "It's that sick empty feeling inside of yourselves, That makes you afraid to face anyone else, Including your Lord, oh yes most of all Him, So you hide behind phrases and praises and hymns, "But you never can hide from the way that you feel, You can never deny that that one thing is real, It's that hole in your soul that the world passes through, With that echo of something you already knew; That deep down it's really yourselves you despise, For you've given your souls to the father of lies"! Every Shmoe in his soul felt the cold breath of hell, As they turned to each other to comfort themselves, And yet each pair of eyes turned aside to be met, By an equallily wide and discomforted set, And the old man continued to speak to them all, As his words held the terrified Shmoes in his thrall, "The father of lies is denial!, "he said, For you're all over-privilaged, and pampered, and fed, And you need these excuses to make it seem "right" So you point at the poor and blame them for their plight, While you wallow in excess, and revel in plenty, Through the blood, and the sweat, and the tears of the many, "Then you call yourselves "saved" and you say that you're "choosen" And that makes it OK for your hearts to stay frozen, But it isn't OK, and it never can be, For it's you who condemns you! Not Him. And not me, "For the true hell is there in the depth of your souls, Like an empty abiss in a heart full of holes, Full of lost, lonely longings that wont go away, Despite all your sermons or how much you pray, "Can you turn to your God when you turn from your brother? Can you ask for His love if you can't love each other? "Do you think that He honors your praise and your prayers When you walk through the world with your nose in the air At the Shmoes you could help, and the pain you could ease? God wants your hearts! ---not your mouth or your knees"! The Shmoes stared in silence, each jaw wide agape, As each mind sought in vain for some way of escape, For the words he had spoken had been like a mirror, And they met their reflections with angish, and fear. The stranger looked out over everyone there, At each eye full of longing, regret and despair, And in voice somewhat sofer, and not quite so loud, The old man continued to speak to the crowd, "I know my words hurt you, I see how they sting, But it's really a mercy, this message I bring, For the shame that you're feeling was already there, And to let you go on as you are is unfair, And I had to say something, I couldn't stand by And let you continue to worship a lie, For to live in a lie is to live in the dark, And the light you deny is the light in your heart, And you're blind to deny it, you wont find your way, Inspite of your prayers or the games that you play, For you know in your hearts that it's all a charade, All your Biblio-babbles and prosly-tirades, And in spite of your praises, despite all you've said, You can sense in your souls that you're already dead, For the true Life is Love, and there's no other way, And so thank you, That's all that I wanted to say." The valley stood frozen in quiet despair, As the words of the stranger stood still in the air, Like a cloud of contention for what shouldn't be, With a lining of silver few Shmoes choose to see, And as darkness descended on Shmoeville that day, Every Shmoe in his soul knew their whole world had changed, For each one could hear, in the fast fading light, A voice deep inside themselves saying, "He's right". The old man continued to stand where he'd been, And he watched as the message he'd brought them sank in, With the hope that his words had somehow gotten through, As he looked at them now to see what they would do. Some Shmoes stood there gaping, some others shed tears, A few ran away with their hands to their ears, A few beat their breasts, one or two rent their clothes, And as for the rest of these desolate Shmoes, On the whole they just stood there In wonder and shock, Until way in the back, ---someone picked up a rock. For you see, here in Shmoeville, And down through the ages, While the names come and go One old game never changes; Shmoes always honor, and follow and cheer, For anyone saying what they want to hear, But if one trys to tell them how things really are, You can bet that that person will never get far, For a person who knows is a person alone, And there'll always be Shmoes, And they'll always have stones. But forgive me a moment a fond, foolish thought, That may be optimistic beyond what's been taught, That if one single Schmoe, or perhaps even two, Heard the words of the stranger and something got through To their heart, to that deep secret part of themselves, That cherishes Truth above everything else, Then perhaps there's a glimmer of hope to be had, And perhaps in the long run things aren't quite so bad, For here, even here, in this world hard and cold, There are always a few who will walk their own road, With their hearts and minds open, both hands ready to give, Those who know that we all need each other to live, And if we take our que from these few precious souls, Those who follow their conscience wherever it goes, Bound to carry the words of that voice still and small, Well then maybe, just maybe, There's hope for us all. *A disclaimer from the author to any future generations of Shmoes*; Please don't take any of this literally, None of these events actually happened. Except for all those times when they did. Epilouge from a bunch of misunderstood dead guys; God is for us, God is For us, Why heed words from someone else? Prophets bore us, please ignore us, Let the Guy speak for Himself. Don't ask me what "God says, God says" We might be nuts, God says, God says, Those who speak on His behalf, Are only here to make us laugh.