Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Reptilion

A man was stopped on the side of a road in the desert. He stood before his radiator, which belched great white clouds of steam into the dessicated air. An overheated lizard lay on its belly beneath the man's car, pleased to find that its prayers for shade had been answered, although slightly perturbed at Reptilion, God of the Reptiles, for supplying a sweaty, swearing monkey along with the shade, but Reptilion must have his reasons.

The man kicked the car, accidentally casting dust over the lizard. The lizard smiled inwardly. Mmm, thanks Reptilion. That's what the cranky monkey was for. A shade-cooled dust bath is just what I needed.

The man mopped his brow with a handkerchief. It was an expensive handkerchief and perfectly matched the man's expensive woolen trousers, woolen suitcoat that was wisely left in the car, and finely woven dress shirt.

A speck of hazy darkness on the horizon resolved into a truck of some sort, and then into a truck of a specific sort. The man heard the warbling jingle cast across the stillness of the desert. The ice cream truck pulled over next to the man and his disabled car. The ice cream man, whose name tag read "Randy," climbed out and approached the man.

Car trouble? Randy asked.

Yes, said the man.

Do you want a ride in my ice cream truck?

The suited man stared at it. Decals of a big, friendly seal with flipperfuls of ice cream cones were pasted all over the outside.

Where are you headed?

San Fernando.

I was headed to Los Lupin.

If you go to San Fernando you can call a tow truck. I'll bet your cell phone don't get any reception aways out here.

You're right.

The man climbed into the cool truck, which was bliss after the beating sun. The ice cream truck trundled on through the desert, until the engine chugged and then died.

What's wrong?

You won't believe this. We've overheated. Something's wrong with the radiator.

Another lizard climbed into the coolness of the rolling rock that had just appeared. Two monkeys climbed out and began to converse in their bizarre language. The lizard didn't care, because Reptilion had intervened and that was enough. The hot pavement heated the lizard's belly while his back cooled off in the shade.

Several hours and enough ice cream to make them both sick, Randy and the man unloaded the boxes of ice cream before they became too soupy to move and Randy would have to add the cost of cleaning his freezer onto the cost of fixing the truck and the spoiled ice cream. A truck came along, and picked up Randy and the man.

A lizard approached the rivulets of ice cream, now mingling with the desert sands. He tasted the air, which was quickly rank with the aroma of rotten mammal milk. Blech, coming here and soiling the healthy desert. I wish Reptilion would do something about them.

The next day the lizard heard about some rolling shade that belched smoke into the air, thus providing more shade. Intrigued, he traveled to the site, where several dead monkeys were clustered around a piece of rolling shade. Several pieces of thin metal, tied together in boxes, were scattered around near the truck, but the lizard didn't pay them any thought as he scuttled beneath the rolling shade with several other lizards. Thank you, Reptilion!

The lizard's eyes snapped open. It heard a funny noise. A mammal leapt down from the back of the truck with a clatter. The lizard squinted. It wasn't quite sure what this creature was, but being safe was better than being sorry, and scrambled away. It was immediately caught in the jaws of another mammal that had been waiting on the other side! The mammals were all over, as if they'd erupted from the rolling shade! Oh, Reptilion, you've betrayed your devoted followers!

Moral: If you pray to Reptilion, you'll get eaten by coyotes in the wake of a truck crash.

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