BREA, California – In 1923 C. K. Ogden and I. A. Richards wrote a book called The Meaning of Meaning. In it was a story about a man who travels to a distant, unfamiliar place and repeatedly hears the inhabitants use the phrase “the gostak distims the doshes.” He could never figure out what it meant. He asked one of the local people, “What is a gostak?” The person replied that the gostak is what distims the doshes. “OK, what does distim mean?” It’s what the gostak does to the doshes. “One more time, then what are the doshes?” They’re what the gostak distims.
This type of circular statement was a somewhat interesting thought experiment until politicians discovered it. Then it became a regular part of their arsenal of obfuscation. The notion was especially embraced in Ottawa. As an example, the Liberal Party may claim “We’re going to lower taxes!” To which you might ask, which taxes? The reply would be “The taxes that we lower.” But what taxes are those? “The lowered taxes.”
Geologist Lionel Whistlestop, P. Geol., has stated in public that he now understands the logic in The Meaning of Meaning and can give the world a definitive answer. The answer is 42. He got this from adding up the number of letters in The Meaning of Meaning and “The gostak distims the doshes.” This is also the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In Mr. Whistlestop’s mind this is more than mere coincidence.
Mr. Whistlestop (who now goes by Reverend Whistlestop) intends to found a new religion with Douglas Adams as the saint nearest to God, similar to how Catholics revere Mary. Mr. Ogden and Mr. Richards are accorded the status of major prophets. All this is contingent upon a hearing in Provincial Court to determine Mr. Whistlestop’s sanity. He is unconcerned by this turn of events, stating for the record that all geologists are minor prophets. Or is that miner profits?