The first man walked into the room and sat to answer the two men before him. What has meditation done for you?, they asked. The man said: After meditating everyday for the first three weeks I began to feel a bit calmer. My anxiety and work related stress had subsided and overall I felt more at peace with myself and my family. The fourth and final week of meditation, our air conditioner broke and our house was like a sauna. I had to meditate in just my underwear, exposing my embarrassing tan lines. When my family spotted me in my meditation corner, my kids started to vomit everywhere and my wife filed for divorce that day. They couldn’t bear to look at how disgusting my tan lines were. All of a sudden my life was turned upside down and my stress and anxiety began to return with a vengeance. But I kept meditating everyday as instructed. On the last day of meditation, the day my wife and kids were scheduled to move out, something happened. I went down into pure consciousness and when I came out, I had a perfectly even tan. My family, shocked, surrounded me in a tearful embrace, admiring my bronze color. We have never been happier and I plan on continuing my meditations.
The second man slinked into the room and plopped into the heavy metal chair, readying himself. What has meditation done for you?, the two men asked. The man said: I have this light green striped shirt. It was one of my nicest shirts, given to me from my mother on her last Christmas. She always wanted me to look nice. I did the meditations sporadically for the first couple weeks. Seemed like a bunch of malarkey that you had told me and to be honest I wasn’t too committed. Last Sunday was my girlfriends niece’s baptism, an event her whole family was excited about. They had been talking about it for weeks and as the day drew closer I could see the anticipation growing on their faces. I was already nervous around her family, as I had accidentally muttered a profanity at a Sunday brunch when I clumsily dropped a spoonful of scrambled eggs onto aforementioned niece’s head. Everyone acknowledged it was an accident, but the profanity that I’m sure they heard went unmentioned and presumably unforgiven. I tried meditating but every time I would get lost in nervous anger. The day before the baptism, my friend Walter came over to play the new Madden. We were having a great time, eating candy corn and sipping coke, when I scored a touchdown in overtime to win the game. Walter jumped off the couch, sending my coke flying across the room, spraying all over my light green striped shirt I had hanging up for the baptism the following day. I tried everything to get the stain out, but nothing worked. That night I was out of ideas and I remembered what you told me, ‘meditation is often the key’. So I meditated, albeit with my same skepticism and lack of focus. I was sitting on the floor thinking about sitting on the floor when suddenly I saw a grassy field. Similar to the field behind my house where my mother showed me how to fly my first kite. In the middle of this field was a patch of dead, brown grass and weeds. I had this rusty old push mower that sputtered along and I shoved it through the field, chopping the grass evenly. When I got to the brown patch, the mower died. I tried to yank it to a start but no go. I grabbed it by the front wheels and leaned it back to reveal a large rock lodged in the blade. I hesitantly reached in and pulled at it. When I finally yanked out the rock I fell back into the dead grass and stringy weeds, taking notice that the mower was running. It started moving towards me and I couldn’t escape. Horrified, it ran over me and the brown patch, leaving in its place the greenest grass in the field. I startled out of the meditation, sweaty and disoriented. I went to take a shower when I spotted my shirt hanging on the door. The stain was completely gone. I plan to continue my meditations.
The last man entered the windowless, dimly light room and looked at the two men for a few seconds before beginning. What has meditation done for you?, said the two men. The man itched at his mustache and said: My wife committed suicide 16 years ago. She drove off a cliff by the ocean. The car crashed into the rocky beach, breaking her body, but sparing her soul. From the mangled wreckage, she pulled herself out and dragged her splintered body 200 feet into the ocean where she drowned. Our one child, Victor, was 19 at the time, in his first semester of college. I tried to keep the details from him, but when he found out what happened, how determined his mother was to die, he drunkenly parked his car on the train tracks and got killed. Victor had a girlfriend, Linday, who was in her senior year of high school at the time. Linday was homecoming queen and valedictorian that year, on track for medical school. She wanted to be a heart surgeon. The day after Victor died, Linday locked herself in her room and slit her wrists, bleeding to death as her parents tried to knock down the door. Linday’s parents fell into a horrible depression in the weeks that followed. They stopped going to work and ignored everyone’s attempts to communicate with them. I showed up to their house 4 times and no one came to the door. Eventually, I contacted the police who found them both dead in the bathtub. They had dropped a toaster in. The police officer first on the scene, a rookie named Goodwin, took it pretty bad. The kid fell into a rough patch, pistol whipping drivers who were speeding, he raped a guy who double parked, and was drinking heavily on the clock. Finally, it caught up with him and he crashed his police car into a light pole, paralyzingly himself from the waist down. Goodwin spent several weeks in the hospital, gradually falling in love with his nurse, DeeDee. His affection went unspoken until the day before he was meant to be released. DeeDee was surprised by his feelings and broke the news that she was recently engaged to her high school sweetheart. The conversation ended in thick tension and when DeeDee returned to Goodwin’s room, he had strangled himself with his catheter. That hospital was known for sturdy catheters. Well, right after that happened, there was a huge uproar about the dangerous sturdiness of these catheters and Goodwin’s family demanded answers. A local guy, Sherman, designed the catheters and was taken to court. It’s a small town and the judge was close personal friends with Goodwin’s family, so in a fairly corrupt sentence, Sherman was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. The poor guy got shipped out to a maximum security prison and just got sodomized like no other. Rumors started to go around that even the prisoners were feeling guilty about it, but Sherman was losing his mind and started to force himself on the convicts. He began to plan and organize events, all culminating in what was now an awkward “rape”. For one of these events, he reached his highest attendance, 16, and managed to synchronize all participants climax, resulting in Sherman’s drowning to death. It had been his plan all along, the only way to escape from a lifetime in prison. All 16 of those prisoners went on to commit suicide over the next 5 years. You might think it ends there, but that’s really just where it starts. Those 16 deaths branched out all over the country, exponentially increasing. By my count, since my wife killed herself, there have been 12.3 million suicides that were indirectly caused by it. Around that 12 millionth death, I fell into depression, feeling like this would never end and feeling responsibility. I’m responsible because of what I did to my wife. She was always really dumb. We had just seen Inception with Leonardo Dicaprio and she didn’t understand the ending. I explained that it was leaving it up to the audience to decide whether or not the whole thing was a dream or not. This confused her further and I had to several times explain the entirety of the film, frequently saying, “It’s not THAT confusing.” After weeks of repeating the major plot themes, I lost my patience. At the dinner table she asked me, “But how did the Asian guy get so old but didn’t have any brain damage when he woke up?” I threw my plate of food across the room and screamed. “it’s just a movie, if you don’t get it just move on! None of it matters!” We didn’t speak for a few days, and when we did something seemed off about her. She wouldn’t clean up the kitchen after a meal, she’d show up to work late, her behavior seemed carefree and disengaged. I realized that through my angry words I had planted an idea in her head. The idea that nothing matters. She started to deny the importance of everything, stating that Victor wasn’t even our real son and for some reason she started speaking in a French accent. It all led to her death. When you recruited me for this meditation study, I was on a lot of medication because of my depression. It wasn’t helping me at all, just felt like I was getting buried alive. The first time I meditated I went somewhere. I don’t know where, waves were crashing over me and I couldn’t open my eyes but I felt her there, like when she was in an adjacent room, I used to feel her around the corner, know she was there. But then she was slipping away and I knew I was alone. When I came out of the meditation I was lying in bed with her. I looked into her eyes and knew it was her and that this was real. She’s alive. When I bring anything up about what happened she gets very confused and I change the subject. But she’s back and I’ve never been happier. I need to rush home actually and get back to her. I plan to continue my meditations.
The third man left the room and the two men closed their notebooks. The door opened again and an overweight man in a custom made suit waddled with a briefcase that he slammed down on the heavy table. The fat man said: Good lord, you two are irresponsible. Leading these people to believe that your meditations have done these things is just plain immoral. But, I’m not the morality police, I’m just the fact checker. So here’s the facts. The first man who magically got that tan? Turns out his meditation corner was by a window. After a week of meditating without a shirt, he got tan. And why the hell would his family be so disgusted by a bad tan? I mean–forget it. The second guy with the shirt stain. He doused his shirt with a bunch of that tide bleach stuff and while he was meditating it started to work. He just had to wait a little bit for the chemicals to take hold. What an asshole. And finally, that last guy with the mustache. Nothing he said was true, he’s never even been married! He’s apparently been using bathtub salts for a few months, ate some little kids face last week. So this leads me to the conclusion that you two are pure evil. You are propagating a lie that your meditations will essentially make magical, reality defying things come true and I won’t let that happen. I’m publishing my findings and shutting down your program.
The two men stood from the table and faced each other, dropping their pants in unison. They made direct eye contact with each other and began humming together a very low note. They touched their tips together and a red energy began to form around it and grew more concentrated. From the two dickheads a laser beam shot into the fat man and vaporized him. The two men looked at each other with a smirk. “Guess he didn’t know about our magic dicks.”