The Fun Police

“Why do dolphins leap joyful from the sea? Why do the morning birds sing? Why does the earth dance in trees and reach forests to the sun? Why do children play? The purpose of these realms is enjoyment. This is a recreational universe. When you remember the play that lifted your heart as a child, you will know the heart of God.” — Ken Carey, The Third Millennium

by Scott Kalechstein — 

I have come to believe that how much joy I experience in any given moment pretty much boils down to how much permission I give myself to have that joy. Sounds simple enough, but for many of us, after a lifetime of withholding permission from ourselves, we might notice some subtle resistance to increasing our joy allowance.

This year, I’ve been pushing the fun envelope in many ways. In the last few months, I’ve taken up jazz guitar, tennis lessons and a comedy improv class. The one thing these activities have in common is I’m enjoying the hell (heaven?) out of them. I’m not doing them for a future reward, profit motive or esteem-boosting accolades: I’m simply in them for the fun.

Sometimes I worry that I’m having too much fun. A few times lately, when people have asked me how I’m doing, I’ve heard myself answer, “I’m having so much fun, the Fun Police are after me.”

Now I don’t know where I picked up the idea of the Fun Police, but I seem to have some affection for them. The term came out of my mouth, so I figure they must exist, even if just in my psyche. One morning I went into meditation and asked to speak to the Chief of the Fun Police and, sure enough, was connected to his secretary, who set up an interview.

Worried that I might not be able to maintain the objectivity needed for the dialogue, I called Phil Donahue, who recently came out of retirement to host a nighttime talk show. Phil graciously agreed to conduct a private interview, and here it is:

Phil: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me.

Fun Police Chief: No problem, Phil, but I’ve only got five minutes — then it’s back to my job.

Phil: And what exactly is that, your job?

Chief: I’m on the lookout for Scott having too much fun, spontaneity, gaiety, laughter, joy … you know, that sort of thing.

Phil: There’s a danger? Someone could have too much?

Chief: Well, if Scott has too much fun, he stops thinking about all the things that are wrong with him and his life. He could get real lazy about trying to fix himself, which in my opinion, he already is — lazy, that is, not already fixed. Fun, if it isn’t balanced with a generous helping of unpleasantness, is downright irresponsible.

And, if he’s not suffering and struggling, even just a little bit every day, how deserving could he be of any joy that comes his way? We Fun Police have to make sure there’s a limit to Scott’s good feelings and good times. It’s a public service we are proud to perform.

Phil: How do you get him to stop having fun? He seems to really like it.

Chief: Well, it used to be easy enough. A little guilt, properly applied, has always gone a long way. Whispering the “s” word in his ear (as in, “Scott, you’re being selfish”) used to shut him down real fast.

What’s making my job difficult lately is that he’s entertaining some notions so dangerous that, if he really pursued them with abandon, we wouldn’t be able to control him anymore. He’d be off just having a good time, while we’d be dealing with lay-offs here at the station.

Phil: Oh, I see. And what, in a nutshell, are these new ideas?

Chief: If I tell you, you have to promise not to print them or air them on your show. No one who reads Scott’s newsletter or his articles should see them. Part of my job is to prevent chaos from breaking out, and these are pretty revolutionary ideas, especially if they fall into the hands of the wrong people. You would not want the masses quitting their jobs and letting their inner children run wild in the streets, now would you? It would wreak pandemonium.

Phil: Oh, yes, I can see what you mean. All right, I promise not to disclose what you say — scout’s honor. (Phil crosses his fingers behind his back, nullifying his promise.)

Chief: OK, then I’ll tell you. Scott is starting to consider that unconditional, across-the-board self-acceptance might be more valuable to his soul than waging war against his faults and inadequacies. He’s getting more and more gentle and patient with himself, even imagining there is some kind of “Divine Purpose” to his weaknesses and stumblings, that he’s evolving and growing at a perfect pace. How can we do our job against ideas like that?

Also, whenever he was having too much fun, we would remind him to remember all of the suffering in the world. Against that tactic he was defenseless, and it usually would spoil his party fast. Nowadays he just shoots back, “All the more reason to have fun. Somebody’s got to maintain the joy vibration so people in pain are inspired to see there’s another way.”

Oh, and another thing, Scott’s really into meditation lately, and that’s even more bad news for us. When he meditates, he goes into a witness state, and just watches his thoughts and feelings pass by without judging them or trying to make them go away. Sometimes he even witnesses the Fun Police at work. When he’s doing that, we can’t get to him at all, cause he’s under the Witness Protection Program.

Phil: I can see why you’re worried about your job.

Chief: And I’ve got to get right back to it. Scott’s starting to smile and laugh while he’s typing this article.

Phil: Well, Chief, thank you for your time, and for your commitment to serve and protect Scott from too much fun.

Chief: No problem.

 

Scott Kalechstein is a modern-day troubadour and inspirational speaker. He travels through the United States, Canada and Europe giving concerts, talks and workshops, as well as presenting at conferences. www.scottsongs.com, scott@scottsongs.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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