The Book of Marvin
By Ed Rigdon
Those readers who have never been associated with Mallet may wonder about some of the references here, but if you take this as an allegory of the times (mid-to-late '70s), lots of it makes sense.
Chapter the First
Here bigynnith the Book of Marvin.
- 1. And there were set apart from the progeny of the David of Mathews a Compendium, who were Priests, and who worshiped faithfully according to the Law.
- 2.And lo, the Priests did as said the Law, praying and sacrificing accordingly; and yet, the Frat-boy vanisht not, neither did the cockroach cease to plagye the floors and walls of the Priests.
- 3. And the Priests raised their voices in a great wail, saying, "O Mallet, why hast Thou abandoned us? Where be the Strength of Mallet, which saveth the seat of Power, which dismayeth the Greek, which shunneth the way of conformity, which maketh us to be honored above all Men?"
- 4. Verily did Mallet know of the plight of the Priests, and heard their wail.
- 5. And Mallet said, "Yea, my Priests do suffer grievous pain, at the hand of the Greek and the cockroach, of the administrator and the Department of Health."
- 6."Lo, I shall send down a new Spirit, who shall have all Power over the enemies of the Priests of the Spirit Mallet; and he shall be called Marvin."
- 7. "And He shall have dominion over the fowl of the air and the beast of the field, and the Greek and the jock shall He lay low; then will the Priests of the Spirit Mallet be honored above all Men."
- 8. So Mallet sent forth the Spirit Marvin. But lo, the aim of Mallet was off, and the Spirit Marvin came to rest, lodged in an oak tree.
- 9. With the force of the impact did the Earth shake, and the very planet went hurtling around the Sun.
Chapter the Second
- 1. There was in that time, a certain Priest, called Cosmosan, who observed the disturbance, and saw the curious aspect of the tree.
- 2.Taking it to be a sign, Cosmosan queried the Spirit Mallet, concerning the thing and its meaning, saying "What is this thing, and what is its meaning?"
- 3. And the Spirit Mallet spoke to Cosmosan, saying, "This is the Spirit Marvin, who will raise up the Priests of the Spirit Mallet, and make them honored above all Men."
- 4. But Cosmosan replied, "How, O Mallet, can the Spirit Marvin raise up the Priests if He is lodged in an oak tree?"
- 5. And the Spirit Mallet looked down, and beheld that it was even so.
- 6.So, therefore, to free the entrapped Spirit, the Spirit Mallet bent Himself toward Earth.
- 7. But as He did so, He chanced to see the full aspect of the Priests, and He became wroth.
- 8. For lo, many of the Priests were short of hair and clean-shaven, wearing pastel cotton long-sleeve shirts, painters' pants, flip-flops, and all manner of strange garments.
- 9. Indeed, the Spirit Mallet perceived the corruption of the Priests, how they had gone astray, some one way and some another; and the Spirit Mallet gave a heavy sigh.
Chapter the Third
- 1. The Spirit Mallet spoke in a loud voice to all the Priests: "Lo, ye have twisted my Laws. Ye have become like unto the Frat-boy, and have trod the broad way of conformity."
- 2."Ye have sanctified the System; for that, a penalty is due. So therefore, I will leave the Spirit Marvin lodged in the Oak Tree, until ye are once again made pure."
- 3. At this were the Priests confounded, and they disputed the right path among themselves.
- 4. But lo, there were a small group, who looked up and said, "O Spirit Mallet, what may we do to purify ourselves, and to return to favor in Thy sight? How can we show that we do seek the truth, and the enlightenment of the world through Malletization?"
- 5. And the Spirit Mallet thought a while.
- 6.Then Mallet spoke thusly, "Behold, I will give you a new set of Laws, that ye may show yourselves true, and worthy to be honored above all Men."
- 7. "And these Laws shall be your guide in struggling through the wilderness in search of the ways of Mallet."
- 8. "And these Laws shall be written in non-removable pigments upon the walls of your bathrooms, to be remembered forever."
- 9. And the faithful Priests rushed into the halls, and into the bathrooms, and behold, it was even so.
Chapter the Fourth
- 1. And these came to be known as the Laws of Marvin, which were as by Magic marked upon the walls of the bathrooms of the Priests of the Spirit Mallet, and they were seven in number:
- 2.Be thyself, for if thou dost not, thou art not.
- 3. Do that which makes thee glad, for sadness is the great oracle of the death of the soul.
- 4. Measure your progress in life by the rustiness of the gates through which you pass.
- 5. Remember the Pueblo.
- 6.Avoid he who has no mind, for if he has none himself, he shall surely demand thine of thee.
- 7. Learn that which others can teach, and teach that which others can learn.
- 8. Consider that the only entity who entirely occupies his world is Marvin, and He is lodged in an oak tree.
- 9. And such are the Laws of Marvin.
Chapter the Fifth
- 1. Now in those days, there arose division among the Priests of the Spirit Mallet, concerning the meaning of the Laws of Marvin, and the application thereof.
- 2.Among the Priests were Fadists, who like dry leaves followed the wind, and who worshipped at the Altar of Neon and trod the Road of Madison.
- 3. Among the Priests were the Votives, who sought Power through the Election, and the Ballot.
- 4. Among the Priests were the Twiddle-Pates, who sought not life, but preferred rather the company of the cousins of Death.
- 5. And there were various and other sects and groups, who sought the way, but disputed as to the meaning of the guides.
- 6.But lo, there were among the Priests a number who were devout, and who truly obeyed the Laws of Marvin, and perpetuated the memory thereof.
- 7. But these were few, and their voice was not great in the conclaves; nor were they heard in the halls.
- 8. So it came to pass that the various groups together held sway over the Dormitory, leading it now this way, and now another.
- 9. Nevertheless, the Laws of Marvin brought fame to the Priests of the Spirit Mallet, and yea, recognition; so that there was some joy in the halls.
Chapter the Sixth
- 1. And it came to pass that the Greek were sore afraid, for they said unto themselves:
- 2."Thus are the ancient Prophecies fulfilled, as it is written, 'The Priests of the Spirit Mallet shall be honored above all Men'."
- 3. But the Greek yielded not to the Prophecies (O fateful Pride!), and they sought to retain that Power which they, in the time of the corruption of the Priests, had created for themselves.
- 4. And the purveyors of the way of conformity spoke with one voice, saying, "Verily, we must cause the Priests to return to their corruption, so that they may not be honored above all Men."
- 5. And the Greek were of one mind, thinking thusly, "Surely, if the Priests of the Spirit Mallet do consider rightly, they will follow the Laws of Marvin, and will continue in the good Grace of the people, and the approbation thereof."
- 6."Therefore, we must assault them when they think not; yea, when they are at leisure we must bring about their fall."
- 7. "Lo, we shall cause their parties to be fashionable and uniform ('As we are all fashionable and uniform', they agreed to themselves), with suits to contain their bodies, and with bottled spirit to replace the unfettered mind."
- 8. "Thus, by their leisure shall they not be recreated, and their life and vigor shall be wasted, and they shall become wan."
- 9. So the Greek all agreed, and they were of no mind.
Chapter the Seventh
- 1. And it came to pass that in those days there was a meeting, whereat was considered the annual celebration of the Descent of the Spirit Mallet unto the Earth.
- 2.(Which, as all knoweth, was in the time of the Blish and the Tar-Ash-Seymour.)
- 3. But lo, there was present thereat a messenger, who spoke thusly, "I am come from the Red Halls of Power, and I bring news of great import --"
- 4. "Ye Priests of Mallet, bow down and be afraid!"
- 5. "For ye know that His Greatness, the David of Mathews, shall be attendant at your celebration, to show his approbation of your good works."
- 6."Therefore it is becoming that ye be careful of your dress, showing in your demeanor the respect which is only due: in suits shall ye be clad; yea, in ties also."
- 7. The messenger, having spoke thusly, departed thence.
- 8. But lo, he returned not to the Red Halls of Power, and went rather unto the Chief of the Greek, and his council.
- 9. For verily he had been sent by them, to confound the Priests of the Spirit Mallet, and to destroy the felicity thereof.
Chapter the Eighth
- 1. When the messenger was begone, the Priests spoke, yea, one unto the other.
- 2.And they said, "Surely this is our opportunity to grow great in the eyes of the David, and to make of Him a friend."
- 3. "Therefore we must do even as spoke the messenger, and dress fittingly, in suits, and in ties also."
- 4. But lo, the Spirit Mallet looked down, and saw the plight and temptation of His servants; and He caused a great feeling to come upon one of the Priests.
- 5. And the Priest arose from his place, and spoke, saying thusly, "Priests of the Spirit Mallet, what is this that ye do?"
- 6."Hast the Spirit Mallet not bestowed great bounty upon you? Hast thou not received a guide unto the very way of Mallet?"
- 7. "But yea, even in the time of bounty and knowledge, ye do forget the very Laws of Marvin; yea, even in the face of the blessings thereof, ye do cast down the garments of the true Spirit."
- 8. "Abandon that evil path, lest the Spirit Mallet abandon ye!"
- 9. And when he had finished, behold, all the Priests were moved, and they resolved among themselves the way of their conduct at the celebration.
Chapter the Ninth
- 1. And it came about that upon the appointed day, the Priests prepared to celebrate the bounty of Mallet.
- 2.And the Priests laid out decorations and bright tinsel, and covered the tables with the works of the Spirit.
- 3. But lo, they dressed not in suits, nor in ties, but in the garments of the Spirit (which is to say, in the clothing which each Priest thought fit).
- 4. But when it was known among the Greek that the Priests of the Spirit Mallet dressed not in suits, nor in ties, there was great disturbance, and gnashing of teeth.
- 5. And all the Greek spoke together, saying, "Thus are we confounded, and our plans brought to nothing; and the Priests of the Spirit Mallet do prosper in our stead."
- 6."Lo, we shall destroy the Spirit Marvin, and thus wreak our wrath upon the Priests."
- 7. And so the Men of Frat went forth, with implements, and with fire; and they did burn up the Oak of Marvin, and the smoke rose up, yea, even unto the sky.
- 8. But lo, it came to pass that the Spirit Marvin was not consumed in the flames, but was liberated by them, and was made free.
- 9. And the Spirit Marvin went unto the halls of the Priests, and the rooms thereof, where He doth reside, even unto the present day.