the forgotten punchline

while i realise you hunams are
fond of the power of prayer

(as a recent article crossing
my desk attests)

i feel it is only fair to
inform you that a large number

of what you term ‘miracles’

were in fact nocturnal pranks
conducted by ancient ants

who apparently forgot to
provide you with the punchline.

the fourth formicidic empire was
well known for its humor

right until it blew itself up
while trying to paint

the virgin mary’s face
on mount rushmore

with what later turned out to be
nitroglycerin-based paint.

while our historians note that written
records exist of 4th FE discussions

concerning the possibility
of a ‘killer joke’,

i personally do not think
they meant it so literally.


as a direct result of
these morbid events

the rulers of the fifth FE started
a land grant program

and created the academy
we now know as the institute

of ant technology
(or anttech for short).

its very first task was to try to
separate historical fact from fiction—

ever the jokers, you see,
the 4th FE had delighted in writing

books full of elaborate reports of
imaginary events

such as the fantastic claim that
an invisible ant named kumblas

had created the world in
twelve days.

fortunately, our scientists
quickly developed

the appropriate methods

and it was established
early on that while the

magic burning of the
maccabee menorah

belonged to the 4th FE,

the parting of the red sea
had some other explanation.

this lesson in ant affairs may
seem trivial to you now,

but please remember it
whenever you overhear claims

about the healing
power of prayer.

sure it is always possible that kumblas
is roaming the hospital halls

but the more scientific attitude
is to ask yourself:

did any ants hear my prayer
just now?

do i know where all their
cousins are?

could an ant crossing sick aunt
sophie’s pinky toe possibly

induce a pleasant tickling

between you and me, the
the answer is quite often

yes, yes, and yes

demonstrating that

even religion has
a Methods section

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