Just recently, as I emptied my email spam box, I came across an invitation to be admitted to the Illuminati. No, I had not sent in an application, as odd as that might sound, coming from the former director of the Jed Clampett College Center of Esoteric B.S. the sign for which was once posted on my office door. Our motto was, “If its useless information, we know it!” Sadly, as of my retirement, that center closed, which was met by thunderous silence.
Now, the J.C.C.C. B. S., the companion organization to the J.C.C. Center of Bigfoot Studies [Report Sightings Here!], languishes in oblivion, yet I fancied for a time that the Illuminati decided to look kindly upon my long, neglected status as a mild-mannered crack-pot and offered to take me in as one of their august number. I know. I know. My drawbacks are many and varied, chief of which is that I do not own a hooded robe. Besides, I am terrible at secret hand signs (Arthritis in my thumb joints make even normal handshakes difficult). Also, I have no political ambitions beyond not wanting insane people in office and only rejoice in esoteric knowledge for the benefit of storytelling. Who doesn’t want to read stories involving the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and the Comte St. Germain?
No, don’t answer that. Those tiny numbers only break my heart.
In any case, the email said all I need do is click its link and…
Ah, there’s the rub! Just click here and…there goes the twelve dollars in my checking account, right? Who knows? I might start getting other interesting spam, too. I might be the last heir of some ancient dynasty who possessed the lost treasure of the Templars! Just send some money for processing your paperwork and…
Disasters await, so, no clicking on links for me.
But hold on. What if the real Illuminati realized that I, having withstood the years of no interest in my other esoteric pursuits, would NEVER click that link! Why, of course they would! They would know that I am too cautious, too patient to give in so easily. After all, esoteric knowledge is stashed in ancient books on dusty shelves. It’s on the Internet, you say? Ha! As if true arcana can be found anywhere other than in some dim archive amidst ponderous tomes!
Could it be that Not responding, then, was the response they were looking for?
Wait, wait, wait. Let me overthink this! … By not taking the click bait, I must be—could it be true—a member of the Illuminati already! That simply must be it!
My difficulty now, aside from my poor thumbs and the lack of a hooded robe, is where to find the meetings. Hereafter, must I skulk around the location of the former Boaz Temple on Preston Highway, where my paternal grandparents attended Freemason and Eastern Star meetings? That, or wander into the depths of Evergreen Cemetery and haunt the tomb of Wilson Pickett, waiting for my new compatriots to welcome me?
No, I will not. I hereby declare and decree that I am bringing back the Center for Esoteric B.S., which, given the state of the books and papers that clutter my home office, works well with the Downingverse quartered there. It is so named, and this marks its initial entry!
Hereafter, no one will know the difference—except the Illuminati, those secret, stalwart hold outs of antiquity, who will doubtless reward me further at some point with an engraved invitation to attend a meeting, though, of course, I will not be able to reveal this to the public or to my twelve readers. However, I might nudge or wink when asked about it, and I will certainly look for a good, hooded robe, something in heavy terry cloth, in dark green or russet brown, perhaps.
And of course, I mean no disrespect to the good folks who have formed an on-line group called the Illuminati, where they can wear their gold leaf triangle and all-seeing eye pins. Me? I’m holding out for the robe!