“What’s the problem, Mick?” I asked as the Archangel Michael and I were sitting in my office having a chat over espresso and biscotti.
“While you were away in Washington, DC watching all those politicians behaving like war-mongers, I was wondering about something important.”
“And was that, peaches?”
He took out Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, and turned to the rule that was vexing him, and showed it to me.”
1. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
“I always thought there was a typo,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“Ridicule is the poor man’s most potent weapon.” I said as Mick gasped.
I giggled at his adorable response. “That makes much more sense. When a rich man makes fun of a poor man, it is cruel and often provokes others to turn on the rich man, but why didn’t Alinsky spell it out?”
“It was the failsafe should someone who was once poor misuse the rule to keep others from breaking out of their own poverty.”
“Or to ensure if the rich thought they could use the rule, it would backfire on them. We ought to test the rule. I am due for a story from you, and what better way to get one.”
“Well, we can always find someone who gained from the rule and now is misusing it.”
“As a card-carrying member of the Fiat Lux Society, I am all on board for this assignment,” said Mick before his smartphone rang, and he answered it, talked for a few minutes, and then hung up.
“Who was that?”
“Oh, Elohai, what did He want?”
“He asked me for advice.”
“Over a war?”
“No, on whether He should call the Goditor.”
“Motherlight? Whatever for?”
“Well, some bloke named Art made it up to Heaven, but then it went all to his head, and he declared himself a god, because you know…”
“Our father who is Art in heaven, yes, I can figure it out. It was the same when some cat named Harold thought angels had to sing for him every time someone said, ‘Hark.’”
“They do oblige that one because he does tell them some good stories. Murphy thought He should let the Goditor handle this one. I said she’s very busy, and perhaps He should let this Art fellow try to exercise his power and see how far it gets him.”
“He probably thought he found a loophole for turning water into wine. It’ll work itself out. At least Murphy’s got a good story to tell later on.”
“And a few jokes.”
“As long as it’s not that whole thing about Adam’s Rib. That’s not funny. Yah made Adam first, and then thought I’d be that man’s dream woman. There was just one teensy weensy problem…”
Mick nodded knowingly. “He wasn’t your dream man.”
“Blech! I’ll say he wasn’t, Peaches.”
“I suppose you have to have some sympathy for the second Eve being saddled with the likes of him.”
“She wanted him. She can have him. As for me, let’s get a good story going by proving that humour is the poor man’s most potent weapon.”
“You know I can never resist a good story. Let’s find some rich person try that strategy, and see what we can do to set things right.”
We decided to go to New York City where many wealthy and deluded people who lived to make poor people suffer made their home. I wore my black clam-digger pants and white dress shirt, while Mick wore jeans and a t-shirt that showed how strappingly gorgeous he was. His long blonde dreads looked striking with his dark and handsome face, and we decided to walk down on Broadway to get inspired.
But just as we began to look around for deluded rich New Yorkers, we heard groaning, and turned around to see who wasn’t too thrilled to see us there.
It was Lu.
“Oh, Elohai, not him,” groused Mick, “The only thing that could be worse would be for Lilith to be here with him.”
And right on cue, there was Lilith being her snooty and detestable self.
“You were saying, Peaches?”
Lu walked over to looked me over in disapproval, “You may be beautiful, Evie, but still look like a hippie. Women don’t wear their hair to their ankles anymore.”
“It’s not fashionable.”
“Neither are jabots and you wear them…”
“Because they are dashing. And you, Mick, wear is your style?”
“If you are referring to my sword that I used to win a war against you…”
“Bah! Lucky aim, is all…”
“Lu! Stop indulging those two weirdos!” Lilith shouted as she stomped over.
“Eve, you look like a peasant girl.”
“And you look jealous, peaches.”
“What do you know about anything when you just couldn’t hack it as a wife?” sneered Lilith.
“No, playing second banana to a big ham wasn’t my style, but if you want to audition for it, I am sure the second Eve may let you do it.”
Mick smirked as Lilith frowned, especially when she noticed Lu smirking.
She turned to him angrily. “What has she got that I haven’t got?”
Lu sighed. “Raw animal magnetism to drive everyone wild. She’s the original woman, after all. When she’s around, everyone wants what she’s got…”
“But I want I want is answers, and we have to go solve another war mystery. Toodles, you two!” I said as I Mick and I walked away.
“It is bad when Lu shows up, but when Lilith’s hanging around, it is serious trouble.”
“We can follow their scent to see what trouble they made, and see if there isn’t something we can use to test Alinsky’s theory.”
“You can smell them?”
“Peaches, you heard Lu: I have raw animal instincts, and I know how to use them.”
“So where is the scent?”
I pointed to a large theatre. “We are on Broadway, Mick. If anyone is trying to use humour as a weapon, it would be someone who had a stage to do it.”
“So,” Mick said as we looked at the curtains in the empty theatre, “This does look like a place where someone could get some ideas on using humour to make someone look bad.”
“And not likely someone who is broke to begin with – that would be for some very off-Broadway venue. This is the place you get the spotlight when you arrive.”
“But what is being delivered?”
“That’s for us to find out…”
“Her! I want her!” a raspy male voice shouted as Mick and I turned around. It was a man in his thirties with thick black glasses and a black turtleneck as a young man ran behind him.
“You have star quality!” the older man said as the younger man’s wide-eyes and gaping mouth revealed this was not typical behaviour, “I have to put you in my new play!”
“But I don’t have any acting experience,” I said.
“Who cares? You’re gorgeous! Bigger than big!”
“Bigger than big…?” spluttered the young man.
“Shut up, Barnaby, you’re just a moron – but you, young woman, you’ve got what it takes!”
“For what?” I asked.
“My brand-new play!” He turned to Barnaby. “Fire Mitzie Donner – she’s being replaced with an upgrade as of this second!”
“But...” stammered Barnaby.
“But nothing! This is the real star!”
“But the play goes on tomorrow night! We can’t replace the lead actress just like that!”
“I already have! Do you have a good memory, Miss…Miss…”
“My name is Belle Eve, and I have an impeccable memory.”
“See that, Barnaby? Her memory is perfect!” He threw a script at me which I caught. “Can you memorize this in an hour?”
“Piece of cake,” I replied.
“Get the others here! We have a dress rehearsal! I have found my new muse! Change the posters!”
“Change the posters?” squealed Barnaby.
“Yes! The press will eat this up! Quick! We have work to be done!”
The man walked away as Mick and I read the script.
The young man looked confused. “This is insane! That’s not how it usually goes around here. You have agents, auditions…”
“But Evie has raw animal magnetism and people find her irresistible,” Mick replied matter-of-factly.
“I hope it works for opening night.”
“Oh, don’t worry, Peaches, it will,” I said as a smirked and leaned on Mick who gave me a kiss on my temple.
“Boy, you weren’t kidding when you said you had an impeccable memory,” said Mick as we sat in my new dressing room, “You had the script memorized in no time, and pulled that dress rehearsal without a hitch.”
“Who could forget that dreadful play? It was nothing but insults about how stupid and crude poor people were.”
“It made a lot of fun of those living in poverty. It took everything in me not to object. I teach underprivileged children fencing in my spare time, and none of them remotely resemble anything in that pretentious play disguised as a political comedy.”
“That’s why I have invited all of your students and their parents to come here for opening night.”
Mick gasped. “How did you manage that?”
“I have my ways. They’ll all be flown down, spend a night at a nice hotel, have wonderful meals and a shopping trip free of charge.”
“I didn’t think you had money, Evie.”
“I don’t – but the investors of this play do, and I made a few phone calls.”
Mick raised an eyebrow. “Do they even know what they are spending lavishly on?”
“I told them the critics are coming from all over.”
“They will be big critics of a play that makes light of their hardships.”
“And as all of the press will be there as well as people recording everything on that thing they call social media…”
“We’ll see just how potent humour can be. It won’t be those wealthy snobs who watch tomorrow…”
“It will be those who the playwright and director know could never afford a seat here. Let’s see how well he can handle a misfired performance.”
Opening night would not be easily forgotten. I got ready backstage as Mick got the kids and their parents prepared form the other side of the curtain. When the curtain rose, I began to say my lines before I turned to the crowd. “Do we like the play so far?” I shouted.
“No!” the crowd yelled back.
“It makes fun of poor people!”
“Poor people aren’t stupid!”
“Why is it so cruel?”
“I shrugged my shoulders. “Because that is how people with money see people who do not have it.”
The crowd jeered as the director stormed on the stage.
“You cannot improvise!” he shouted.
I pointed to the crowd as I spoke loudly. “And you cannot fool them, either.”
“What are these fools doing here, anyway!”
“Boo!” hissed the crowd as they began to throws things at the director.
“You made fun of the poor with this play,” I said, “How powerful a weapon is it when it backfires?”
The crowd continued their booing and shouting as the actors looked shocked. I jumped off the stage as Mick joined me and shook his head. “You’re right, Evie, when a rich man uses humour to try to take down a poor one, the weapon turns on him.”
“Humour is supposed to show truths, not blow them away.”
“That’s what Alinsky meant. He thought humour would show the absurdity of what we accept without question.”
“The earth is a story machine, Mick. It is supposed to be comedy and Silliosity, but when people are corrupted by greed and have to have everything their own way, they become the punchline and not the poor soul they are targeting.”
“That suspiciously sound like a moral to a story that you haven’t even told yet.”
“There is more than one moral to this story; so, let’s get back and I’ll tell it to you.”
“That’s more like it. I always love a good story – it keeps the mind sharp and the heart strong.”
Money can’t buy you the weapon of humour!
They say that money is the root of all evil, but it isn’t the root of all blindness. When your mind and heart are closed to the world, money are not the glasses to help you see where you are, or what you have become.
Money cannot buy you happiness or the good sense to see that you cannot have everything no matter how much money you have.
They say that humour is a person’s most potent weapon, but it is not a weapon money can buy you.
When you are rich and using humour as a weapon against the poor, that weapon recoils in disgust and fires right back on you, showing who is the butt of the joke – and those you tried to hurt with humour end up getting the last laugh!
Because there once was a stage where those who had every blessing except a kind heart thought they would bury the poor with their comedy, never thinking those they meant to harm would come and see the weapon for themselves.
And when the rich fired the weapon on the poor, the tables turned because humour has a mind and heart of its own. It is not meant to be a weapon, but a medicine that heals wounds and lifts hearts.
And when money thinks it can bribe humour to harm the poor, humour rises up and shows money is no match for it!