The Youguru

Jenean McBrearty

In the Himalayas lived a Youguru who would answer any question for a thousand dollars. Many people asked about the afterlife, wanting to be properly attired for their promised deliverance. If heaven is in the clouds, for example, they wanted to wear something that went with gray and white because those are the colors of the clouds.

The Youguru knew that clouds appear white because their ice crystals are large enough to scatter the light of the seven wavelengths (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), which combine to produce white light. Break up the certainty of one color and combine its uncertain particles with the uncertain particles of every other color, and the result is purity. E pluribus unum of ideas produces purity of thought — an ideal. Ideals are never real, however, any more than clouds, so there is no such thing as perfection.

The Youguru underscored this truth by sitting naked on a purple pillow placed on a pedestal above the inquirer, and when the person (or persons) entered his yurt, he opened his legs and displayed his penis and his anus to the wisdom seeker. If the person wasn’t offended by the truth of the body, the Youguru asked, “What is your question?” And always would come a typical question: Is there a god? Will I go to heaven? Will I win the lottery if I play the dates of my children’s birthdays?

The Yuguru would then begin to stroke his penis, and if the person was not offended by the truth of the body, he would deliver a typical answer: There must be a god because to say there is not would lead you to despair and you would have no happiness in life. There must be a place called heaven because there is a place called Chicago and to say there is not would lead you to travel no more. If you have children, you have already won the lottery because you have beaten the odds that in any ejaculation most spermatozoa will not be strong enough to blast through the ovum if it can find one at all.

Everyone cursed the Youguru and complained that he was a cheat and fool because what he said was gibberish-double-talk. Said the Youguru, “I did not seek you out. If you would not be cheated, do not ask of others the unknowable or trust their answers.” Then the Youguru would lower his head, roll back his eyeballs, protruded his tongue, gasp a rale, and fart as one departed.

“You’re nothing but a nasty bastard,” the person usually said — or a variation thereof — on his way out.

The Youguru always smiled. “You were not offended by my body or my behavior, only by words that did not please you. You’ll tolerate anything in hopes of getting what you desire. And you call me a fool?”

Only one person ever returned to the yurt after meeting with the Youguru: a lawyer with a camera determined to recover his money.

JENEAN MCBREARTY is an overeducated, underpaid retired teacher who proves that those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who no longer teach, write. Which she does in a small town in Kentucky while pursuing more education online, drinking tea, and pretending she’s a princess. Or, on cloudy days, Norma Desmond. Her website is

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