Other diners, oddly, paid no note
To the discourse my meal tried to conduct.
And waiters always train their gaze away
In case a patron tries to send requests
To get more quickly drinks, food or bill,
Which leaves only this account of events.
Trust without question a testimony
Unchallenged by other eyewitness reports.
Parrots observe a strict ethical code;
Parrots, like scribes of history and news,
May only bring forth objective truth
Else risk appearing before colleagues
On charges of professional misconduct.
My own point of view is quite different,
In fact, than that presented by my dinner.
Not only does my still-vigorous mind
Strongly reject the angel's arguments,
My body is its living refutation.
My plastic wings and plastic legs, you see,
Are but representation of wings and legs;
They lack all ambulatory function.
None of my subvocal commands and threats
Can elicit the least response from my limbs.
They exhibit to all exertions of will
Only an appalling lack of interest.
Inside I'm nimble, outside inert.
This condition, believe me, leaves me
Unoverjoyed, a bit dissatisfied,
For what is life without motion of limbs?
I myself satisfy all the criteria
The fish set forth to reach lasting bliss
And can therefore proclaim its odd premise
Without a doubt absolutely false.
Perhaps then we should take the angel's speech
To be a premature consolation.
The typological interpretations
Have not, of course, escaped my intellect.
However, we should take to heart that point
The good fish was most eager to impart.
Let us not too soon anticipate
The conclusions my narrative might reach
And now suspend further speculation.
The fish, in fact, had not finished his speech.
He had not finished with the bad news,
Nor had he finished with evading blame.
Perhaps he saw I was thinking lawsuit.
Misfortune is sure to follow the man
Who shirks the duty heaven has assigned him,
For negligence, Jonah, invites accident.
Spot-lit by the Godhead's displeasure,
You're exposed to attack from all quarters.
When you no longer bask in the Lord's grace,
Pestilences that prey on weakened luck
Will swerve to strike such an easy target.
A moment's inattention, and whammo!
Minor bad timing, major bad luck.
It's a syndrome familiar to the wise.
Stress, too, is a contributing factor.
When attempting to diagnose the patient,
Our research division does now inform,
It's best to adapt an holistic approach.
This is not to say we ever endorse,
For treatment of any serious ailment,
The use of homemade herbal remedies,
Homeopathy, vegetable juice,
Acupuncture needles or foot massage.
It's well known that God strongly favours
Marketshare for major pharmaceuticals.
He delights too in invasive surgery.
And although your state is irreversible,
We urge purchase of non-prescription drugs.
These over-the-counter packaged products
Are readily available in drug stores,
Supermarkets, even in gas stations.
Fruit-flavoured pills with nonsense names
Provide minor symptomatic relief
For most colds and fevers and stomach aches.
The placebo effect alone is worth
The manufacturer's suggested pricing.
I mention this for your reference only,
In the event of any future problem.
It will be little or no use at present:
Your current condition is incurable
And won't respond to any known treatment.
Liber Jonae Contents