Q. Why are we here?
A. That depends on your we. Do you mean the ‘You and me we’ or the ‘We, the peeps’ we?
Q. Peeps? Those horrible yellow marshmallow chickens? What do they have to do with anything?
A. That depends on your anything. Do you mean any tangible thing or any intangible thing? Remember, sometimes anything can also mean everything. Tangible or not. Or, to be clear, intangible or not. As well. I do not kid.
Q. I’m very confused.
A. You’re probably just confused. Very is a cheap filler word. Like the sawdust they stuff into sawdust ice cream. If you really need to emphasize your confused state, try a word like Florida.
Q. You mean “I’m very Florida?”
A. Remember to drop the very. Because, technically, you’re simply Florida. And you’re beginning to make sense.
Q. But I still don’t know why we’re here.
A. Maybe if you defined your ‘here’? Do you mean here, here? Or possibly here there? Or even here, there, everywhere-so-beware here?
Q. I mean, right here. On Mars.
A. Ooooh, sorry. Wrong planet. May I help the next person?
Q. Wait a minute. I meant Saturn.
A. You’re oh-for-two. Next please.
Q. Wait. What planet is this?
A. Step aside please. You’re blocking the next questioner.
Q. Yes, thank you. I’m next, but I was going to ask the same question.
A. Are you with Florida?
Q. No. I mean, we met briefly on Jupiter. But…
A. Next please. Let’s try to keep the line moving.
Q. Good morning. I couldn’t help hearing the last questioner.
Q. I haven’t heard anyone say ditto since I was a little girl growing up in Syracuse.
A. Which is where we are now. I mean, not exactly Syracuse, but here. On the planet earth.
Q. Yeah, there aren’t many places exactly like Syracuse.
A. One of the indisputable proofs for the existence of God.
Q. So could you tell me, real quick: why are we here?
A. Hoo, boy. Here on this spot, or here on this planet?
Q. Neither. I mean here on this plane of existence.
A. Hoo boy, yoy yoy. Are we talking about a real plane with wings and bald dopes who lean back in their seats? Or an invisible plane with invisible wings and dopes with invisible hair who lean back in their seats?
Q. Look, I’m having trouble figuring out life. What’s it all about? Why are we here? Where’s the nearest Beef Bowl? Am I Merlot or am I pink Zinfandel? Heavy stuff like that.
A. We try to limit people to one heavy question a year. Most people either ask about — or turn out to be — dumb bells.
Q. Maybe if I narrowed my parameters. Why am I here?
A. The last time I narrowed my parameters I had to take cod liver oil for a week.
Q. My doctor says I have existential angst.
A. Maybe you should stop eating eggs.
Q. No, I mean the eternal debate between existence and essence.
A. I also use an inhaler during sawdust season.
Q. I wonder. When you come right down to it, does any of this really matter?
A. I’m guessing that’s a big, fat negatory burger.
Q. I’m such a mess. I sometimes wonder where I really am. Am I even here?
A. Well, one thing’s for certain. You’re not on Mars.
Q. No, that was last week. The big Klingon convention.
A. Good gosh, I’m in very Florida. Gotta go grab my inhaler.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.