When I was young and I lived in London I got interested in all sorts of esoteric things and theories; like: are we the only ones in the universe? At what time do trees arrive in the forest? Why some tomato ketchup always gets stuck at the bottom of the bottle? The last one always foxed me. Adding water to the bottle does not solve the problem but only washes the bottle out.
I used to visit libraries and spend a lot of time searching for the answers to all those questions that were whizzing round in my mind, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning, on an ever spinning reel, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.
I hate plagiarism, don't you? I long for a world without plagiarism. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will have no plagiarism whatsoever.
Anyway, as I was saying. I was young and got interested in all sorts of world problems, like the meaning of life. Then I read in the papers that a hermit type character was visiting London to talk about such things like the brotherhood of man, living peacefully and simply with few possessions, minimalism, happiness through simplicity rather than wealth, the meaning of life, and the composition of tomato ketchup in relation to its speed of travel out of a bottle.
I was suddenly attracted to this man and the wisdom and knowledge he had to impart to society. Here was a man living life the way he preached it. In poverty and simplicity sharing what little he had in wisdom with his fellow beings.
So I visited him at his posh hotel in the luxurious part of London where all the wealthy tourists go. Unfortunately, as I got in I caught my ear in the revolving door. The door kept going round and I found myself in the street again with a bleeding ear. I tried again, but this time going backwards through the door. Sadly, I caught my other ear and got thrown out again.
There's a lesson to be learnt here, I thought. Although I could not work out what it was.
Eventually, I was led to the penthouse suite of the hotel where the hermit man lived in isolation and utter poverty. He was eating a humble meal of shell-fish rather than sumptuous food you would expect to find in such a hotel. He had a plate of oysters, and another of moules marinières, whatever they are. Also lobster thermidor with real thermidors in them.
He spoke quietly in short little sayings rather than in conversation.
I asked him, "What is the meaning of life?"
He replied, "Life is a bowl of cherries. Some ripe, some still to ripe, whilst others are rotten and mouldy!"
"I don't like cherries," I replied.
"All right," he continued softly sipping some liquid with bubbles from a crystal glass, "Life is a basket of bananas. Some are yellow and ready to eat, others are green and would give you tummy ache, but they are all bent."
"What advice would you give a young man like me?" I asked.
He smiled and said, "If you walk in someone else's shoes for a mile or two you will be accused of stealing them!"
"A man who has been swimming will be wet when he gets out of the water."
I did not understand the meaning of that. So I asked him. He continued.
"It is not good having such an open mind that your brains fall out of it!"
"That's deep!" I smiled.
"Depth is comparative to one's perception," he responded.
It seemed that every time I asked him something he answered in these riddle type replies, leaving you to find any hidden meaning you wish from what he said.
So I attempted another question. "The world is in turmoil right now, " I said, "what advice would you give today's generation from someone as learned and wise as yourself?"
"Too many oysters give you the runs," he answered as he rushed to the bathroom.
The interview was stopped abruptly. His helpers and minders saw me out. I never got to find out why tomato ketchup gets stuck at the bottom of the bottle when it is nearly empty.