NYorkerCartoonGo Figure: Musings from the Mind of Rob Wilstein

Thank God. Goddess. Whatever. Could be a two-headed cross-dressing iguana for all any of us know. And that’s my point. We don’t know, and anyone who tells you different is a self-righteous, fabricating, delusional lunatic. Well, my opinion. The meaning of life itself is what I’m talking. So again, thank God, Iguana, that finally there is a definitive answer to the question that’s been a real head-scratcher all these eons. Not only is there an answer, but it’s been made so easy. As I listened to sports-talk radio the other day, yes, I admit it, an ad came on for a website called The place to go for all your meaning of life questions.

No more traveling thousands of miles to Kathmandu, trekking up the side of the world’s highest mountain to find a berobed guru in a white beard to give you the answer. The last time I tried it, hoisted by two sherpas, with two more in tow schlepping my writing desk and dinnerware, old whitebeard offered this terse response to my question.

“Fiber,” he said.

But now, not only have the answers been made as easy as a tweet, they are also undeniably true, factual, and absolute. I know because it is on the Internet. Thanks to we can now access the true meaning of life from the privacy and comfort of our living rooms. At you can learn how and why you need to ‘become Saved’, followed by a step-by-step process with answers to all your questions. As the site cheerfully says, ‘That’s why we are here!

And isn’t that really what we’re after in our novels, the true meaning of life? Some glimpse into the mysteries of our existence, some little revelation, however minor, about why life happens the way it does. Thankfully, answers once and for all the question novelists have been asking since Homer penned The Iliad. ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ There are six (6) reasons listed on the site, but reason number two may be most relevant to the novelist. Lifestyle Choices. ‘The character who drinks too much, smokes to excess, will suffer. Walk in front of a car and it will hurt you. Goodness will not prevent these consequences.’ Of course not. That’s exactly why we place those obstacles in our characters’ way. How else to create tragic circumstances?

Conversely, the great historian, Mel Brooks, said, “Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die. Tragedy is when I get a paper cut.”  For more wisdom from Professor Brooks Click Here.

Also helpful to the novelist is’s answer to the very complex question, ‘What is Sin?’ This is a big one. For without sin, where would we, as writers, be? Find me a novel without sin and I’ll find you an unpublished novel. Suffice it to say that has plenty to say on the matter, but here’s what you need to know.

‘The penalty for Sin is death.’

Okay. Extreme, but unambiguous. No waffling here. Keep that in mind, writers, and you’ll never have to worry again whether the Acme safe falling from the skyscraper window should fall on your sinner’s head. In literature, the penalty for sin is usually fifty more pages of sin, followed by a few pages of redemption, but death is an option.

And here’s a question we writers all want the answer to. Will my good works get me into Heaven? The site answers with all kinds of jibber-jabber about continuing ‘down the path of sin and the destruction it brings’. What I want to know is, will my good works get me into Heaven? Certainly not that 500-worder on the virtuosic genius magnitude of Breaking Bad; it couldn’t even get me into the Weekly Shopper. also sets out to dispel some common myths about the universe that have been clogging up high school science classrooms for some time, such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory. They also take issue with the commonly accepted fact that “very occasionally, monkeys hammering away at typewriters will type out one of Shakespeare’s sonnets.” After some hyperkinetic gymnastics of mathematical hypotheses involving exponential powers and something about ‘488 billion operations per second’, the site concludes that ‘the laws of probability confirm that the universe would have reached its heat death before getting one sonnet.’ I reached my heat death before I finished the article.

And now I have a roomful of monkeys on whom I can no longer count to finish my novel.

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