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I've Heard Of Buddha Flies...

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Memo to Buddhists: NOT YOU TOO.

As a lefty, I'm supposed to have a bit more respect for Buddhists than I do for Christians. Mainly on the grounds that Buddhists mainly keep their invisible sky daddy to themselves without excessive attempts at conversion and theocracy. And there's also the fact that Buddhism is farther along on the philosophy - religion axis than most religions. A bit less god in their theological stew.

But they still believe in mystical bullshit, and apparently they're not immune to the same kind of crazy that makes Jesus-freaks pray to crosses in bathroom windows and Virgin Mary shapes in burnt toast. And it's right in my own backyard, too. Down in Rochester, MN, home of the Mayo Clinic, a bunch of Cambodian Buddhists are amazed and awed by the three-dimensional image of Buddha, manifested in earthly form in the eaves of their temple.The medium by which the Asian avatar of peace and tranquility was expressed? A giant motherfucking wasp's nest full of giant motherfucking wasps.

I'm afraid that this means I'm going to have to expand a bit on the usual argument that human beings are hard-wired for pattern recognition, and turn vaguely familiar shapes into very familiar shapes using mental faculties that were once very important to evolutionary survival, but now mainly exist just to piss me off. But a wasp's nest? Wasp nests are grey, round, and bulgy. The traditional stone Buddha statue is also grey, round, and bulgy.

Now, if it was a temple of Malaysian Rubikians who found a wasp's nest in their temple that was not only 27 small cubes in the shape of a larger cube, each side of each cube a different color? Then you might have something. Because you clearly have a wasp's nest doing something that does not come naturally to wasps, whose prowess at solving cheap plastic puzzles from the 80s is hampered by their constant desire to sting the living fuck out of it.*

But no, the elderly Cambodian Buddhists in Rochester see a miracle in a lump of biologically-extruded paper full of angry venomous ouch. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The Buddha is trying to tell everybody to seek peace in their lives." - Voeun Sor, age 70, eliminating what miniscule chance remained that I would ever consider taking up Buddhism. Because I can guarantee you that the parts of my life that have been the least peaceful are the parts that had WASPS IN THEM. In fact, my inner peace has been proven to be inversely proportional, on a logarithmic scale, to the number of wasps in my vicinity. I'm afraid I would meet Buddha's message of peace with two cans of Raid and some other motherfucker I could trick into going in and emptying them.

"Bees can do this kind of miracle, so humans can also do miracles. Everywhere in this world, we humans need to follow in the bees' path to make peace and serenity." - Sokunthea Thun, age 35. And you know, there's a part of me that could almost be sort of receptive to the whole "follow nature's example and take action" message inherent in Thun's statement. It's the same part of me that lingers longer than it should in certain aisles at Whole Foods, the part that gets patted on the head and fed a biscuit for appreciating the diversity of other cultures. But even that part of me knows one thing. Wasps are not bees.

I mean, I don't LIKE bees, but bees at least pollinate flowers and make honey, and as long as they keep doing that and do not develop the ability to open glass living room windows, bees and I can peacefully coexist. But wasps? Wasps are the bees shithead redneck cousins. They don't make anything, they don't do anything, they just spend a lot of time hanging around outside, getting pissed off, and getting into fights. They're the second least-Buddhist life form on the planet after Dick Cheney.

The only message a vaguely Buddha-shaped wasp's nest is sending you is a simple one: CALL AN EXTERMINATOR.

*Perfectly understandable, mind you. If I'd had a poisonous stinger coming out of my ass as a teen, I might have foregone peeling the stickers off entirely and just stabbed the ever-loving shit out of the thing instead.

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