August 1999: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 3

The “Champeen* Baloney Buster”

A grizzled and shabby man, his gnarled hands worn with work and his face creased by a life of hard times and tough breaks, allowed curiosity to draw him to the edge of a crowd. A soapbox orator was expounding on his view of “truth.” The old man listened with growing amazement as the soapbox orator led the crowd through idea after twisted idea:

“Good and evil, right and wrong, are relative”

“You are free to do what you want—God is a myth”

“The bottom line is does it feel good; does it help your self-fulfillment?”

“Swinging is ‘in’—faithfulness to a spouse is old-fashioned and no fun”

“You deserve the best—the measure of your success is your bank account, your sex appeal, your wardrobe, your popularity and power”

And on and on the orator went, spinning a web of sugar-coated trash.

The old man was stunned by the cold evil impact of these lies on his soul. Unable to bear it any longer, he drew back from the edge of the crowd, and then suddenly turned and ran. Down the street he sprinted, muttering unhappily to himself: “What a crock of lies! It’s baloney—yes sir, that’s what it is. Big Time Baloney!”

As he was running he noticed a book store, he slowed down and his gaze was drawn to a large book in its window. Without knowing quite why, he impulsively entered the store and bought the book.
When he found a quiet, secluded spot in which to explore its pages, he gently pried the pages apart and began to read. The book began “In the name of the One God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” The title was one he couldn’t pronounce, “QURAN.”

His eyebrows went up, and curious, he continued to read. Sometimes he thumbed his way through many pages, sometimes he stopped to read a particularly compelling part. And he read and read until the sun began to sink behind the hills, and the words were clear no longer.

With a peaceful smile adorning his face, and a feeling of great relief, he slowly got up and started toward his humble home.

“By golly, it’s a baloney-buster,” he muttered happily to himself, clutching his prized book tightly. “An honest-to-goodness champeen baloney buster!”

(There’s nothing like the truth to bring peace to the soul.)

Maria Abdin

* (Champeen = champion)