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Worzels World - Confessions of a Sole Trader


If you are fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to take a bit of time off over the Christmas period here is a question worth pondering: For what doth it profit a man should he gain the whole world yet lose his own soul?

It is a pretty good question really and the obvious answer is: He gains the whole world. However I have had a pretty good look at the world, opened and closed some of it’s doors and kicked a few of it’s tires. I’m afraid to report that it is faulty and not worth the price. Of course it’s hardly to be expected that even this very faulty world could be bought with the average run-of-the-mill type soul. There are simply not enough whole worlds to go round.

There are however those who truly believe that gaining the whole world would indeed profit them greatly. They work very hard at gaining it by selling their time, their effort, their intellect, their labour and eventually their souls but somehow they seem to end up getting short changed. This is largely due to the fact that it is impossible to get enough of what you don’t need. There is no point losing your soul for that.

Sole traders have a difficult time in the global economy. Flying in the face of rampant inflation in such things as real estate and sheep, contemporary souls, like milk powder, seem to have lost their value in the market place. Souls these days can be bought and sold for little more than a song and a dance. Most sell at way below the price of the whole world. Indeed I’m told an average soul, a little tarnished and somewhat the worse for wear and tear, can be picked at bargain prices at mortgagee sales of the morally bankrupt.

However those keen on selling their souls should recall the legend of Robert Johnson who reputedly went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil; in return he did not receive the whole world but only obtained success in the field of blues music. It didn’t do him much good either, he ended up getting shot dead, in a sleazy bar in the Mississippi delta. This only shows that when doing deals with the devil it pays to read the fine print. The devil is, as they say, in the detail.

Souls like government bonds and debt are sold every day and I have heard Mr Key has plans to impose a 100 percent tax on the collective souls of New Zealanders with a view to privatisation and the transfer of our eternal reward to foreign shareholders.

Some people just throw their souls away. On any given night in the city there are more lost souls than can be reasonably coped with. Most are poor quality though and hardly worth the bother. I believe the Council has passed a bylaw to have them moved on.

So what is the worth of a soul? A friend found out after he paradoxically became impaled on the horns of a dilemma, mixed metaphorically of course. The fool rushed in where angels fear to tread and fell in love. Such things have scared the heart and burnt the soul of many. He did not promise her the whole world but instead pledged the moon and the stars.

But how to pay for and procure these distant cosmic entities? Failure to keep a promise diminishes the value of any soul. He could see no other way but to sell his soul while it was still worth something. He asked my advice and I gave him the number of D. Evil and Associates, Porn Brokers and Sole Traders.

“These guys hold the local franchise,” I told him. “They’ve been leaders in the industry for centuries.”

He arranged a meeting. However the news was not good.

“The quality of souls generally is not what is was,” said the agent, “and I don’t think yours is anything special – very shabby and unkempt, and do I detect a little rot in the foundations? I’m sorry, the moon and the stars are out of the question. Even if you grant us sole agency and we increase the advertising budget I doubt whether we could get the whole world for a soul like yours.”

An evil grin spread over his face as if to say he’d had too much experience in the business to be fooled.

“How about New Zealand then?” my mate pleaded. “I reckon I could run the shop better than that lot in Wellington.”

“Sorry,” was the reply, “it’s already been sold for the souls of others.”

He wasn’t too disappointed really and confessed to me later that he wouldn’t know what to do with the whole world anyway.

“Worzel,” he said, “if I can’t even have my own country seems like all I’ve got left is my soul so I might as well just keep it.”

“Yeah good on ya mate,” I replied. “Your soul mightn’t be much and it mightn’t be pretty but at least it’s the one thing they can’t take without your consent. Instead of the moon and the stars offer her your heart and soul instead and see if she is still keen.”

And as for the girl? She now lives in a small house with a large mortgage. Both her and my mate have kept their souls and on a clear night with calm minds they can look into the heavens and the moon and the stars are theirs.

n prof_worzel@hotmail.com

“Those keen on selling their souls should recall the legend of Robert Johnson who reputedly went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil; in return he did not receive the whole world but only obtained success in the field of blues music.”

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