Mr. Hutchinson Needs a Plumber

29 Nov 2000

To: Farrell Till <jftill@midwest.net
From: David Rice <shydavid@ktb.net

The Skeptical Review
Skepticism, Inc.
P.O. Box 717
Canton, Illinois

[Please note: I will e-mail this letter to you, as well as print it out and send it to you.]

First off, please accept my emphatic apology for my forgetting to notify you that my address has temporarily changed. In my eagerness to spend a few months working as a boat Captain among the Hawaiian Islands, my mind, keen as it is, was elsewhere. I see that my neglect has caused Skepticism Inc. to squander nearly two dollars in postage: a slovenliness to duty which would have had me soundly flogged in Nelson's Navy, and is a crime on par with stealing Captain Bligh's cheese or pilfering Captain Queeg's strawberries. To ward off any hint of mutiny, inclosed is a check to cover the cost.

Also, to my horror, I noticed that my subscription ended with the V11N6 issue. Inclosed is a check for US$65 to cover my subscription for the next ten years: when that runs out, I'll renew for another ten. I hereby insist that you live forever--- the only excuses I'll accept is the advent of The Second Comming (of Jesus), or The Rapture: in which case, I'll see you in Hell, where you can use the excess cash to buy me a cold brew or two (I'm sure we'll both need it).

This morning, duty compelled me to take on a delightful task that only the most liberal of boat captain's would refrain from ordering another to do: unclogging the crew's toilet. During this process, I had a religious epiphany: my mind spontaneously drew a parallel between the task at hand (and arm--- I was up to my elbow), and trying to get Mr. Hutchinson to see reason. Both tasks involved a stubborn blockage: the former being a clog of waste matter, the latter being a clog of biblical inerrancy. Both refuse that final flush into ignoble perdition, though both be equally deserving. Forcing a four-inch chuck of crap through a three-inch pipe is much like forcing irrationality out of Mr. Hutchinson's brain: it's a very messy, unpleasant, smelly job, but when one finally succeeds, one gains heroic stature and all who benefit will praise one's name. The toilet clog eventually knew when to give up, and it went the way all toilet clogs should: down the crapper; Hutchinson, however, still clings tenaciously to his false belief--- which shows that a clog in the toilet has more sense than Mr. Hutchinson.

There was a time when I treated Biblical Inerrantists more politely--- Mr. Hutchinson has convinced me that it is a waste of time, and all that is left is the humor value of the issue. Ten years from now when my subscription runs out, I hope Mr. Hutchinson will still be submitting articles to TSR, undaunted by reason, sanity, critical thinking, and common sense--- it's been quite entertaining!

David Rice
Motor Vessel Continuum Pleasure
Maui, Hawaii


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