The world's only extant atheist parable
A man had owned a seaside bar in a harbor town for many years. Most of those years had been prosperous; his bar's deck was the widest and his beer was the coldest and his waitresses the most nubile of any bar in the town. Tourists and locals alike flocked to his club to drink and dance.
But just as the man was getting older and contemplating selling the seaside bar for his retirement, a national chain opened another seaside bar in the harbor town. Its deck was wide and its beer was cold and its waitresses just as nubile, plus they wore skimpier outfits and sold calendars that featured themselves in even skimpier bikinis. Soon all the tourists and locals were going to the new place to drink and dance, and the man found his cash register barren and the value of his joint dropping precipitously.
Faced with ruin, the man, for the first time in many years, prayed. He felt diffident and self-conscious even as he did so, knowing that he had spent his life selling liquor and eyeballing his waitresses lustfully, and he was not sure any prayer he lofted heavenwards had any hope of being answered.
But moments after he had finished praying, as he sat contemplating the glow of his strobe lights on the ice cubes in his drink, a smooth young black man appeared. "I'm a disc jockey," he said. "I heard your prayer."
"What?" exclaimed the man, thinking that whomever he thought he had been praying to, it had not been a disc jockey.
"Disc jockeys have great ears," the disc jockey said. "I will answer your prayer, but there are four things you must know about me. The first is I must be praised."
"Praised?" the man said.
"Everything I do must be praised. When I walk in, I must be complemented. My stylishness must be noted by all, at all times, especially by the nubile waitresses. No request may be made of me without being accompanied by an admiration."
The man thought this extremely odd, but the disc jockey had been an answer to prayer and besides, he hadn't even mentioned money, so he agreed to give the disc jockey a job. "What are the other three things?" he asked.
"That you'll find out in time," the disc jockey answered.
So the man gathered the nubile waitresses for a meeting. They were a bit taken aback by the new requirement. Some of them complained that the men they were dating were not going to like them being exceptionally effusive towards the disc jockey, but they had little choice. They were stuck working at the seaside bar, since any of them who had men who would let them wear the skimpier outfit and put themselves in the bikini calendar had already left for work at the chain place.
That very night, two frigates from the Australian Navy paid a port call to the harbor. The seaside place became very busy, as Australian sailors require many drinks the minute they set foot on land. And then, miraculously, one of the ships broke down. Top secret spare parts had to be shipped in from Australia, and that took ten days. Both ships stayed in harbor and gave their sailors generous liberty. The man was astounded and very, very busy. He barely had time to pay attention to the new disc jockey. Just once he commented on the fortuitousness of the ships appearing to his new employee.
"That is the second thing you must know about me," the disc jockey replied. "There was nothing lucky about those ships coming here. All good things occur because of me, so when something good happens, I get all the credit."
The man was not at first inclined to argue, but after a few days, the sailors started to run out of money and the place became slightly less busy. He noticed that the disc jockey was not working very hard. He had trained a monkey to play tracks for him, and only occasionally went up to scratch vinyl himself. The monkey's music choices were very erratic, ranging from Dr. Dre to Celine Dion to Nickelback. The customers did not know whether to dance, cry or start a mosh pit.
"That monkey is lousy at mixing," the man complained to the disc jockey, careful to direct his criticism not at the dj, but at the monkey. "He might as well try to type Shakespeare."
The disc jockey stubbed out his menthol cigarette on the NO SMOKING sign in the dj booth and dropped the butt into a half-empty champagne glass. The man noticed the bitter end of a joint in the glass as well. On a piece of mirror that he had obviously pried loose from the club's entranceway (the man had noticed one of his mirrors was missing from there) the disc jockey had laid out some serious rails of cocaine next to a tight-rolled Franklin. He flicked a few grains of the illegal stimulant away from one nostril with scientific precision before he replied.
"That is the third thing you must know about me," he said. "I work in mysterious ways."
The man was about to make a sarcastic reply, but he bit his lip, since things had gone so well for him since the appearance of the disc jockey. He decided to take a vacation, since he was flush with money, and deal with the situation when he got back. He left the disc jockey in charge of the club. When he returned, he discovered that the disc jockey had canceled all of his club's supplier's contracts and given them to his friends. One friend had a lettuce farm and had sold the seaside bar lettuce contaminated with salmonella. Hundreds of the bar's customers had been sickened and a dozen still lingered in the hospital. His liability far outstripped his insurance coverage, according to his lawyer, and the man was facing certain bankruptcy. Furious, he called for the disc jockey.
When confronted, the disc jockey remained calm. "That is the fourth thing you must know about me," he said. "When bad things happen, I cannot be held responsible. It is your fault, for not praising me sufficiently, or more likely not directing the nubile waitresses to praise me sufficiently, for I have detected a certain superficiality and possibly even sarcasm in their admirations. You have only yourself to blame."
Beside himself with rage, the man threw the disc jockey out onto the street, where several of the waitresses' boyfriends, who were sick of their women being ordered to kiss his ass, were waiting for him. They beat him with their fists until he lay huddled on the pavement. When he recovered himself sufficiently he crawled away, never to be seen in the harbor town again.
The moral of the story is that there is only one individual who always gets praised, works in mysterious ways, gets credit for everything good that happens and never takes the blame for anything bad, and He's not about to give up His job to some damn disc jockey.
There's more where that came from!