'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
CALL FOR ‘DA VINCI’ BOYCOTT WILL BACKFIRE
A high-ranking Vatican official made a statement the other day strongly encouraging all faithful Catholics to boycott the soon-to-be-released movie, “The Da Vinci Code.”
Oh brother, author Dan Brown must be laughing all the way to the bank. And the bank in question is probably named the “First National Bank of Dan Brown,” because even before Hollywood decided to turn his novel into a movie, even before Tom Hanks rolled out the worst hairstyle in the history of Hollywood (not an easy achievement), Dan Brown had already sold approximately 800 gazillion copies of his book. Long before Hollywood was involved, Dan Brown had, as the saying goes, “more money than God.”
But now the Vatican is making sure that Dan Brown will become even more wealthy. This call for a boycott is giving the movie the kind of publicity that only Dan Brown or God could afford—and it’s all free. For every one obedient Catholic who will refuse to see the movie because of this Vatican statement, there surely will be 50 others who had no intention of seeing the movie, but now will say, “Well, if the Vatican says don’t see this movie, then I just GOTTA see it!”
The Hollywood studio will probably use this in their marketing campaign: “Ebert & Roper give ‘The Da Vinci Code’ two thumbs up. And better yet, the Pope gives it two thumbs down!”
Anyone who has ever raised children knows the minute you tell someone not to do something, they become fixated on doing just that. When I was a little kid my parents told me I had to stay in the backyard; I was forbidden to cross the street. Cross the street? It had never occurred to me to cross the street. Everything I wanted or needed, all my toys and my sandbox, were in the backyard.
But the moment I was told I HAD to stay in the backyard, I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what’s across the street? It must be pretty interesting.” As soon as my parents went back into the house I walked around to the front yard, paused for a moment at the curb—but only for a moment—and proceeded to walk across the street and into the neighbor’s yard. I wandered around for a bit and concluded, “This is pretty boring. There aren’t even any toys or a sandbox here.”
Luckily we lived on a dead-end suburban street with very little traffic, so there wasn’t a big risk of getting hit by a car. As it turns out, there was a big risk of getting hit on my backside, as soon as my parents looked out the picture window and saw me wandering around the neighbor’s yard.
After that my parents wised up. They told me I was forbidden to play in our backyard. I was forbidden to touch any of my toys. Well, that worked like a charm. I ended up not leaving my sandbox until I was 23 years old.
My parents understood reverse psychology. Too bad the Vatican doesn’t understand this concept. What they should’ve done, instead of guaranteeing that Dan Brown will soon be the richest man on the planet, is order all faithful Catholics to go see the movie—at least three times—and then write a report about it and have it on Sister Mary Margaret Knucklewacker’s desk first thing Monday morning. That would guarantee empty theaters.
Note: Additional information about this controversial topic—including Dan Brown’s gross distortion of Christian history masquerading as fact—can be found on my website: www.boomertrek.com. But I FORBID you to go there!
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