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A Conundrum of Condoms

by Dr. Derek Lamar

Everyone Needs A Little Protection

Suicide, homicide and genocide are all about survival really and ultimately "protection". We want to be "safe". But so much is beyond our control even if everything is connected. There was Joan flying off the cliff in her Morris Minor in the mid 60's watching her life pass her by. Question: If things pass you by in your life that have not yet happened, does this foretell that you are actually going to survive? Hold that thought.

My wife, who I met in the Gurdjieff school I was attending, told me a story about a time back in 1960 a few short years before Joan's harrowing incident, when she was living in Pacific Grove, California. She met with some friends for what seemed like a nice afternoon together. Stories like this one just seemed to pop up while we were engaged in our study because often "constructs" are created within our subconscious that would create patterns and out-picture themselves here and there throughout our lives. The 70's was a perfect time to entertain psychological work. It was that or go to the disco. We made our choice.

Left: Beautiful Pacific Coast... try and stay on the highway.

Harry and his beautiful, voluptuous Hawaiian wife, Keliana

So my wife, Nancy, and her friend John got together with some of John's friends: Harry and his beautiful, voluptuous Hawaiian wife, Keliana. Harry was a jazz musician and his wife was a jazz singer. After a day of music, food and drink they left Big Sur to go back home. Harry and John had both been drinking so Harry insisted that Keliana drive. Nancy and John protested because though Harry had been teaching his wife to drive, she did not yet have her driver's license. Harry insisted Keliana drive and that was that, explaining that he would be right there next to her to help with anything she needed.

Off and running they headed up Pacific Coast Hwy. In the beginning Keliana did alright but pretty soon her confidence increased and she began driving faster and faster. By this time Harry was fast asleep with his crazed wife at the wheel. Nancy begged her to stop and exclaimed: "Let me out of the car! You're going too fast! Please STOP!"

Above right: similar car Keliana was driving.

"No, no, no," Keliana snapped back. "Everything is fine. I drive good now, not worry, everything A-OK!" Not long after this Keliana had the car up to 90 m.p.h. and Nancy's screaming for her to slow down began a duet with the screaming tires: yelling seemed pointless while holding on seemed critical. Suddenly Keliana wasn't able to negotiate a curve properly and the car slammed straight on into the mountain ahead. The car spun around 180 degrees, flew through the air and slid down the embankment plowing down the steep hillside through the brush for about 200 feet until it was stopped and held in place by a barbed wire fence. Crashing angrily was the ocean just a short 40 feet below.

"...he's dead! Harry's dead! I don't want to live!"

All of the seats were thrown from the car and everyone was piled on top of each other with Nancy halfway hanging out the passenger side. John didn't even have a scratch while Keliana and Nancy had cuts and gashes on their legs and chins that mirrored each other. Nancy attempted to crawl out of the car only to discover she was pushing up against barbed wire and it was digging into her scalp adding insult to her existing injuries. Harry wasn't moving and he had the stick shift imbedded in his chest and was unconscious. Meanwhile Keliana proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs: "He's dead! He's dead! Harry's dead! I don't want to live!" John agreed that Nancy should try to get help but also gets her to agree to say that Harry was driving since Keliana didn't have a driver's license AND that they were traveling at 60 m.p.h. and NOT 90. Nancy just wanted to put distance between herself and that screaming woman and was soon making her way up the hill. Blood was running down her face but much of it was coming from the encounter her head had with the barbed wire. As she made it near the top of the hill through what turned out to be a jungle of poison oak and ivy, there were two men standing at the top of the cliff looking down. One of them was on crutches. He had brought his friend to this location to show him where he had had his accident just a week earlier.

Left above: Poison Oak... lovely. Right above: Poison Ivy... delightful.

They drove Nancy to the nearby Naval station where they administered first aid and sent a rescue team to help the others. At some point Keliana was still screaming hysterically "he's dead he's dead" and Nancy couldn't take it any more and was given cotton to put in her ears. From here they went on to the hospital at Carmel. Nancy and Keliana both kept going in and out of consciousness. During one of Nancy's waking periods she over heard some of the young doctors examining Keliana. Apparently they were impressed with the breasts of this beautiful Hawaiian woman and in the pursuit of science convened their own little study group.

Nancy didn't see Harry and Keliana again for an entire year when she ran into them one day at the beach. Neither of them seemed pleased to see her even though she had lied for them. It turned out that Harry survived and his father, a wealthy real estate developer paid for his and Keliana's medical expenses, bought them a new house and car while Nancy's father had to pay for her medical expenses. Life was simpler then and getting screwed by strangers seemed to be almost a universal principle. A long time would pass before Nancy could ride in a car with someone else driving. And remember, if you're going to get screwed, you need some protection.

...all he wanted to talk about was S-E-X.

Another Fourth Way student, this time in New York in 1969, found herself alongside the Hudson River. This was a pile up of another sort. Jackie was visited by her cousin, who was 19 and in the army on his way to Viet Nam. He was from Bakersfield originally and something of a country boy in those days. But there he was in the Big City and all he wanted to talk about was S-E-X. He even thought about maybe engaging in a little with his cousin but she wasn't going for that. They were busy sightseeing and he was continuing his important discussion on the matters of SEX when suddenly condoms began floating by in the Hudson River. Not just cute little rings of rubber mind you but fully extended, seemingly used condoms one right after the other like some sort of cosmic assembly line out of hell.... over a hundred of them for sure. I don't know if there were any reports of a mass condom explosion or the sinking of a ship of prostitution in the Hudson River or simply someone with a sense of humor but there they were in all their glory: proud little prophylactics swimming out to sea and waving a fond farewell to one of our proud men in green. He came to one of my lectures years later but clearly there was no interest there. He ended up an alcoholic and died after falling down drunk and banging his head on a railroad track in 1995.

...now there's some protection for you.

Jackie continued her studies and moved to California where after several jobs she ended up working in the office of a factory that produced kitchen sinks and countertops. One day she went to work, opened the door with her key, and as she approached her desk realized there was a used condom hanging there on her chair. Startled she stepped back only to discover another on the floor. Also there was one draped across her typewriter and several on the counter nearby. One of her bosses walked in only to receive her resounding resignation: "I QUIT!" He quickly agreed and assured her that he would lay her off so that she could collect her employment insurance. He did not want this story getting back to his wife. Employment insurance... now there's some protection for you.

...a wild and crazy kinda guy.

During this time at the Fourth Way School we had what was called Improv Night and various students would perform. Often local talent would use the stage to test their wares and we would get to see some new faces. One evening this peculiar blonde young man showed up wearing a leather jacket with rawhide fringe, and proceeded to crack jokes and make animals out of balloons. Lots of balloons. Rubber balloons. He pulled them this way and that and turned them into a virtual zoo of blown up critters. Eventually he created something out of condoms. No one knew who the guy was at the time but it turned out to be Steve Martin: a wild and crazy kinda guy.
300 million condoms a year

Just the other day there was an amusing and disturbing news item on the Internet that told about a discovery in the middle of the South Pacific. Oceanographic scientists have, apparently, discovered an enormous floating "reef" composed entirely of this planet's disposed condoms. This was found halfway between Tahiti and Antarctica. This incredible mass is almost two miles long, an eighth of a mile wide, and up to 60 feet deep in places. An Australian biologist related that the bizarre accumulation is explained by a scientific term called "like aggregation," or "aggregate congregation." It is the massing of similar objects over short or longer periods of time due to wind or ocean currents, magnetic fields, buoyancy and other conditions. Apparently it is common in the world's oceans. Events like red tides follow this pattern of behavior. A similar occurrence would be the dog or cat hair that is often found clumped together in odd places around one's home.

Also they have found "reefs" of Styrofoam and detergent residues but they are usually broken up by storms before they become a danger. The condoms seem to have developed their mass over several decades. Biologist Mason Froule stated that parts of this "reef" are so densely matted that "you could almost land a plane on it." It poses a hazard, despite the humor, to both marine life and navigation. Froule said: "I pity any freighter, submarine, or dolphin, for that matter, that might run into it." At this point the "reef" is being mapped by satellite and will be monitored from now on to keep track of its changes: expansion, fragmentation, or drifting from its current location. It is estimated that the world's industrialized nations consume and dispose of nearly 300 million condoms a year and a third of these end up becoming waterborne. That's a lot of DNA unaccounted for --- so much for a manifestation of Oneness. Now we need protection from our protection. We're screwed. Saga continues: Don't Spook The Locals!

Saga continues... Don't Spook The Locals

© Copyright Derek Lamar 2005

 

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