Most of you know that for the last seven years I have imbibed only tap water, bottled mineral water and too much coffee.  I’d love a Scotch right now – as I do most of the time – because this post I am writing, Number 601, is not easy to write; but I’ll stick with the Arabica rather than down a Johnny Walker or three.   Even if you have read only a handful of my previous posts, you will know that when it comes to miracles I am inclined not only to be skeptical but downright appalled by believers’ credulity.  You’ll find it hard to believe what I am going to tell you; I can hardly believe it myself.

I was sitting looking at my blank page (I write my posts longhand).  I’ve never – you may have noticed – been troubled by Writers’ Cramp or difficulty in finding a subject to write about.  But as I was debating with myself whether I should attack Intelligent Design, Pentecostalism or Radical Islam, the keys on my computer started to type out a text, all by themselves, the way pianolas used to punch out tunes – all by themselves – from a perforated roll of paper.  The invisible typist, or whatever remote-controlled device was behind it, was typing faster than an old ticker-tape.  Surprised, shocked and somewhat scared at first, I moved closer to read what was appearing on the screen.  I made a print-out, and feel I must share it with you, even if it amounts to shooting myself in the foot or the temple.  This may very well be my second-last post :

“Now hear this, heathen !  I’ve had just about as much of your Blog as I can take.  It was a pleasant enough distraction at first, seeing one of My “sacerdotes in aeternum”, having abandoned the priesthood and become a militant atheist, ridicule faith in Me and try to attract people you call Believers on the Brink to share the blind folly of your atheism.  I thought you’d run out of steam long before this.  Now that after 600 posts I see there is no end in sight, I thought I’d give you a choice : either cease and desist or get zapped and die.  I need not have been so indulgent, but as I am supposed to be a God of Mercy, I thought I’d give you one last chance.  Print one more post and it will be your last.  Amen, amen I say to you, I ain’t kiddin’ !  Don’t mess with Yahweh !”

You can imagine my consternation.  For a moment I actually thought that the God whose existence I have been denying for years was behind this.  Then I said to myself that Trump or Putin or some damn fanatical hacker had to be trying to stifle my Voice in the Wilderness.  That’s why I have decided to print my possible final post, “Toxic Waste”.  It is more than usually provocative, to the point that the reader will be warned that its content is “shocking”.

I grew up playing “Two-Up”, the Australian pub gambling game, played with two pennies in a kip to prevent any sleight of hand on the part of the “spinner”.  The object of the game is to place bets on whether the coins will fall heads or tails.  The pennies are placed with both tails facing upwards.  The spinner tosses the coins and respins them until either two heads or two tails appear.  (“Two-Up”.  Get it ?).  So I’m a betting man.  Pretty soon we’ll all have proof that I’ve been telling the truth or not.  What’s that you say ?  Yes, indeed, I am a bit worried, but only about readers’ reactions should I accidentally, coincidentally, have a fatal heart-attack in no way connected with my “miraculous” keyboard.  The credulous would conclude cause and effect, proof that they were right all along.  I believe it’s worth the risk.  I’ll let all this sink in for a day or so and then publish – and maybe perish.

                                                     RIDENDA      RELIGIO

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