Search for self called off
Search For Self Called Off After 38 Years
September 14, 2005 the onion
CHICAGO—The longtime search for self conducted by area man Andrew Speth was called off this week, the 38-year-old said Monday.
"I always thought that if I kept searching and exploring, I'd discover who I truly was ... I plumbed the depths of my subconscious, and you know what I found? An empty, windowless room ... From now on, if anybody needs me, I'll be sprawled out on this couch drinking black-cherry soda and watching Law & Order like everybody else."
Speth said he began his search for himself in the late '70s ... The search initially showed great promise, with Speth's early discovery of his uncle's old Doors records and a copy of Catcher in the Rye. Over the next two decades, however, the "leads just petered out."
"I can't believe how many creative-writing courses I've taken, how many expensive sessions with every conceivable type of therapist," Speth said.
Since calling off the search, Speth has canceled his yoga classes, turned in his organic co-op membership card, and ... loaded books by such diverse authors as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Meister Eckhart, and George Gurdjieff into a box ... and left it outside of his apartment beside a trash can.
"The only books I'll be reading from now on are ones that happen to catch my eye in the supermarket checkout line on the few occasions I leave my apartment to buy more Fig Newtons," Speth said.
Though hardened and haggard from his long search, Speth expressed relief that it was over. Asked if he had any advice for those who are continuing on their own searches, Speth had two words of advice: "Give up."
"Trust me—there's nothing out there for you to find," Speth said. "You're wasting your life. The sooner you realize you have no self to discover, the sooner you can get on with what's truly important: celebrity magazines, snack foods, and Internet porn."
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