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Dancing is usually lively, rawk-out-crazee, soft-n'-slow, romantic...or at least involves movement.
Not so limbo dancing.
When a soul departs its body -- usually at death but sometimes after a good sneeze -- it finds itself on The Dance Floor in Limbo. There it must float, unmoving, while waiting for Judgement.
Environs of Limbo
Survivors of near-sneeze experiences describe the Dance Floor as a great round hall filled with blue smoke and dark mirrors. The floor seems to be made of polished obsidian. Or maybe nephrolite, accounts vary. The ceiling, if it exists, is invisible in the towering shadows. No sound greets the soul's incorporeal ear, except at widely spaced intervals the distant echo of a toilet flushing. A smell that is neither incense nor musty grave-shrouds but rather more like popcorn is described by most.
The soul must wait, and if it begins tapping its ghostly toes or shimmying its aetherial hips a rude chill forces itself up the soul's spine and shackles of ice seem to immobilise its limbs. No limbo dancing allowed in Limbo.
Of course everything scientists know about Limbo comes from the few souls who have experienced near-terminal sneezes and returned to their bodies after only a short time in Limbo. These people describe a sensation like being grabbed, swung about, and thrown down a flight of stairs in the dark. Then they come to their senses and find they've covered the tablecloth with mucus and everyone is staring at them.
But two or three have witnessed...something else. An eerie scene which we will now attempt to recreate for you through the magic of the Computator Industry®™.
The Judgement of Souls?
A bent and hunched little man comes trudging slowly through the smoke and darkling mirrors. He wears a bellhop's red vest, too tight and quite shabby, and a bowler hat. He walks as if his shoes pinch his feet. On his vest is an adhesive paper nametag with several smudged thumb marks and the name Petrus Sanctus in green ink. He comes up to a soul floating invisibly in the blue vapors.
St. Peter: "I'm sorry, He's running late. You'll have to hang about a bit."
Newly arrived soul: "Er, what?"
St. Peter, sniffing: "Late. He. Is running. Late."
Soul: "Late for what?"
St. Peter, after a pause: "Your appointment. You do have an appointment."
Soul: "Well, I..."
St. Peter: "Yes, you do. It's in the Book. Well, you'll just have to wait."
Soul: "But what am I supposed to be waiting for?
St. Peter: "Your Judgement, you dicklemuffin."
St. Peter, coloring a bit: "Well not really you know! No, it's not 'out' at all. Not if He would get a move on, at least."
Soul: "Well, what's He doing?"
St. Peter: "Bloody cheek you've got. If you must know, He's in the loo."
Soul: "The loo?"
St. Peter: "Eating popcorn."
St. Peter: "Because He likes it. Why do you think, dicklemuffin?"
Soul: "Likes eating in the loo?"
St. Peter: "Likes popcorn. He's in the loo because popcorn gives Him the blowing shits."
Soul: "If it gives Him diarrhea, why does He eat it?"
St. Peter: "I told you already. He likes it. And He's omnipotent -- " (St. Peter rolls eyes) "-- so He can do whatever He wants to do."
Soul: "Well, He oughtn't eat it if it makes Him ill. How long has He been doing it?"
St. Peter: "1200 years."
St. Peter: "He's gotten way behind. We've got souls here that knew Charlemagne, hanging about, still waiting for their Judgement."
Soul: "Good Lord."
St. Peter: "Yes, they say He is. But I tell you frankly, He's not easy to work with."
And St. Peter goes trudging off into the mists of Limbo, which must be hung with several billion invisible, waiting souls.
Not a single one of them limbo-dancing.
- When the concept of limbo is brought up (which it seldom is in polite company) it will usually evoke one of two possible lines of thought. One is the uniquely Catholic concept of Limbo being a sort of lay over on the way to heaven. This is a place not unlike the Atlanta airport in which disappointed souls await transport to their final destination. In both cases this transport may or may not ever arrive. The Catholic concept of Limbo has an advantage over the Atlanta airport in that lost luggage is not part of the ordeal.
- The second concept is the bazaar dance/contest from Trinidad that forces participants to repeatedly bend in painful contortions in order to pass under an ever-lowering bar. Ultimately the bar gets so low it is impossible to pass under. This activity is thought to have one of two unlikely origins. Some believe that it is modeled after a funeral dance. The happy music and festive atmosphere of this dance would hardly cheer up a recently made widow and is decidedly un-funeral like. Participants, unless drunk are often heard to say “Whose idea was this anyway?”
- Another possible origin is that going under the bar is like going into the hold of a slave ship. This would be an equally unlikely event to memorialize with a celebration of this kind. The Japanese do not do the “Neutron” dance to commemorate Hiroshima. Nor do the Irish do the “Spud” dance to commemorate the time when “potatoes grew no more” causing them to migrate in mass to a place of a “better minimum wage”. The Republicans never do a “deficit” dance in remembrance of the repeal of the real estate tax loophole. Great tragedies like these are seldom cause for celebratory dance. The proceeding two contemporary understandings of the concept of Limbo have nothing whatsoever to do with subject of this explanation. They were included merely as a distraction.
- This article will reveal the general background of the little known place called Limbo. It gets its name from Dr. Sigmund Limbo the obscure physicist who discovered this unremarkable world/dimension/slum hereinafter known simply as Limbo. The technical particulars of his discovery are as arcane as they are boring, so one would think we would discus them in great detail. We will not. Nor will we discuss his other related discovery the sigmoid scope that allows doctors (in technical terms) “to see where the sun don’t shine”. Instead we will look at the equally boring and irrelevant details of the Limbo culture and inhabitants. All of this for no apparent reason.
- The Limbo world’s discovery can be likened to a frozen pizza placed into an oven and not turned on for days. In the fullness of time it’s mellow miasma gradually became overpowering and refused to be ignored. That forgotten pizza became home for a remarkable abundance of nauseating and colorful mold. So to Limbo is inhabited by an equally appealing variety of clueless yet lovable gumbas. It is the spirit of annoyed ambivalence that this examination of all things Limbo is undertaken.
- Earths history is a grand sweep of noble and advanced civilizations rising and falling in their own time. Limbo civilizations escape the danger of falling by never raising. Instead of striving for excellence Limbos think striving even to be adequate is uppity. Or as a popular Limbo saying goes, “try to be adequate and you may get poked in the evil eye”. Striving even to be mediocre is seen as ambitious. In this way Limbos are much like socialists. This may give the impression that they produce so little that they must live in abject poverty. This is not so. They do not even know the meaning of the word abject. So few people do these days. However this is caused more by the dismal state of their public education than by their appalling lack of intelligence. In this they also resemble socialists.
- Limbo has no commerce with the world as we know it. Any reference to earth’s culture in Limbo thought is caused by a phenomenon known as pinhole inclusions. This happens when microscopic inter dimensional wormholes appear in the auditory canals or directly into the brains of the Limbos. These otherworldly messages are believed to occur in both directions. This is the only reasonable explanation for the popularity of communism, the Electoral College and chia pets. Many religious revelations, if not just fevered delusion are probably also caused by this phenomenon.
- The bedrock Limbo philosophies were fueled by the inexplicable propensity of wormhole inclusions to occur during communal singing by large numbers of immature voices. Thus was born a bazaar unexplained epistemology based on the notion that somehow everyone’s ultimate purpose is to row, row, row his or her boat gently down some unknown stream. Doing this merrily, merrily, merrily, they believe will cause one to come to the realization that “life is but a dream”. The mechanics of this method of receiving enlightenment are taken as a tenet of faith and hence free from the constraints of sound logic.
- Like all sentient creatures Limbos desire to know the true meaning of life. Some teach that illumination can only be achieved by putting various appendages in a circle and then taking them out again and repeatedly shaking them all around. Doing this, the true believers steadfastly assure others will cause one to receive the revelation of “what it’s all about”. For some reason this belief system is known by the improbable name of “the hokey pokey”.
- Limbo society is arranged in a bewilderingly complex matrix of variable relationships. This includes nations, tribes, clans, societies, cadres, cohorts, casts, political parties, denominations, and multi-level marketing groups. It is unlikely in the extreme that any two people would belong to all of the same factions in all of the afore listed groups. This allows everyone to feel superior to everyone else. This is one of the few things that give Limbos any sense of self worth. This sense is of course an illusion, just like the concept of making money from multi-level marketing.
- Guemo is painfully aware that he is one of the most minor of the Limbos. This results not just from his smaller size but also from the deceptively primitive design of his features. His lack of ears is partially compensated for by his slightly simian appearing ocular folds. Further giving him an unfinished appearance is what looks to be an error in his design or construction. His bottom lip is tragically split. This appears to be an extension of his nasal rift but is in reality a form of ritual tribal scarification that has been long abandoned by all but most traditionist of the Limbos.
- Like many of the “Lesser Limbos” Guemo compensates for his inferior status and lack of regal bearing by steadfastly adhering to the strictest of traditions. This allows him to feel superior to those he thinks have turned their backs on their rich heritage. He is of course completely mistaken in this belief. Their traditions are as any clear thinking person would have to agree, pure rubbish.
- Flugal claims to be able to trace his genealogy all the way back to Easter Island. Although no real proof has ever been found to support this belief he has been heard to say “Don’t confuse me with the facts.” Flugal dreams of one day basking in the sun on Easter island even though the chances of that ever happening are very remote. As is the case with all Limbos Flugal is willfully self deluded.
- He was created around the same time as Guemo but is still proud of being the first Limbo. They were in fact created in the same batch with Flugal proceeding Guemo by only one day. His features are more refined than Guemo’s and he is the only Limbo that exhibits even a hint of enjoying himself. He weighs slightly less than Guemo who he thinks is grossly over weight. Flugal dislikes the term “Lesser Limbo”. He has no clue that he was created in a simple latex mold.
- Bryan appears to be a deep thinker. His stoic brooding silence gives him the air of a profound philosopher. However the answer to the question “what is he thinking?” is usually “not much”. Just thinking about the triangular shape of his nose has consumed what to him seems like endless hours. It has in fact consumed many weeks. He is often looked upon as the most sober of all Limbos. This causes him endless hidden amusement. The odd way his metabolism deals with the prodigious amount of alcohol he consumes on a regular basis gives him the advantage of appearing stone cold sober when in fact he is sufficiently stoned to create monumental run on sentences with sufficient length to make even an overconfident maladjusted home schooled English enthusiast blush with embarrassment. Bryan never blushes.
- Shade spends most of his time dreaming that he is James Dean in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. This is an extraordinary activity for someone like Shade who has never seen the film. His backswept facial features are a result of the imputed excess forward speed he experiences during these daydreams. The sunglasses from which he takes his name protect him from more than the sun. He likes to distance himself from others for protection and feels well hidden behind the tinted glass. This has the unintended side effect of changing the way he sees the world. He complains about the past and fears the future so much that he misses the exceeding greatness of the present. The present for him is already a thing of the past.
He has cultivated a deep and abiding hatred for synthetic fabrics of all sorts. Just seeing Polyester or nylon will trigger in him a slow burning rage. It is an open secret that he is ignorant of the fact that all of his favorite Hawaiian shirts are made of Rayon. The Limbo’s penchant for petty bickering would suggest that he would be ridiculed for this inconsistency. The Limbo ethos however prevents them from destroying harmless self-delusions in others. This doesn’t prevent them from inwardly despising your self-delusions. In fact much of their time is spent thinking about this and your other shortcomings. Even as you sleep they think about you and your faults.
- Boolean thinks in algebra with what he believes is unassailable logic. For him life is a series of equations. If you do this then I will do that, but if you are who you are then I can be an ass to you. In doing this he misses essential essience of being a Limbo. It is not freedom of thought that makes their life meaningful but rather freedom from thought. There is a pseudo-intellectual air around all that he does. Unlike Brian, Boolean does have deep thoughts. These thoughts are unfortunately almost always spectacularly misdirected.
- It is well known that he wants to be called “MAN OF VISSION”. To humor him he is sometimes given that title when on public display in art shows. He is neither a man nor does he have even adequate vision. He does however have a noble bearing and a regal attitude. His “blocked vision” often causes people to question the nature of vision and self-deception giving them insight into their own mental landscape. This is an unintended; some would say beneficial effect of his physiognomy. But for him it’s all about the chin.
- He is the first Limbo created to be cast in a two part polyurethane mold.
- Vane’s place in the Limbo hierarchy is well established. He is the first and smallest of the “Greater Limbos”. Boolean who is obsessed with the size of his chin is the largest of the “Lesser Limbos”. Vane's pride for being a Greater Limbo is dulled by the realization that he is at the bottom of his group. Boolean is forever the high school senior while Vain remains the collage freshman. It is the knowledge that his status will never change that is the hardest pill for him to swallow.
- It is unclear how Vane got his name. Some have speculated that he is named after his central stabilizing fin that often acts as a wind vane. The fin’s attempts to stabilize him in the ‘wind tunnel” of life are futile. Unfortunately his fins are unstable. This makes it very difficult for him to hold his head still. His alien musculature strains and bulges as a result. This is the central paradox that defines Vane’s existence. The things that are supposed to make his life easier just increase his stress. This stress however makes him stronger. This causes his over developed neck to bulge in an embarrassing manner. Since he is widely known to be vain this causes him endless discomfort. Growing up Vane could not wait to get his fins. However he discovered that sometimes the things we think are jewelry turn out to be chains.
- Some see a warrior of grim countenance when gazing into his over sized sad eyes. Others see 5.5 pounds of hydrostone poorly crafted in a pretentious fashion. Vane is just one in a long line of Limbos that are not what they appear to be. He is in fact a blithering indictment of all forms of artifice. Without being aware of it he causes even the over serious and self obsessed among us to question our own affectations. If he knew that his form caused others disquiet he would be pleased. He is of course as unaware of this as a cold dead stone would be.