|The Parable of the Gong|
There was once a young Discordian called Golden Rod. Early in his illumination, he wondered what season his country was in.
Perhaps it was in the season of Discord, on the cusp of Bureaucracy. Surely, Order was rising to noxious levels.
Or perhaps it was already Bureaucracy, on the cusp of Aftermath. Surely, Disorder was rising to obnoxious levels.
So in his quest for An Answer, Golden Rod sought out the Discordian monk Nopants. Nopants dwelled in a basement because it would be obscene for him to go outside. Golden Rod freed himself from his leggings and descended the stairs. Below, Nopants sat on a cushion in a gross lotus position.
"My wise friend Nopants, I have come to ask you a question," said Golden Rod, "What is Bureaucracy?"
"In India," said Nopants, "they tie elephants to trees using thin cords. An elephant could easily snap the cord, yet they remain tethered in place. Why do you think this is?"
Golden Rod itched himself and shrugged.
"When the elephant is young," intoned Nopants, "she is too weak to break the cord. She tries, but eventually she gives up. When the elephant grows up, she does not try to escape her puny bonds because she believes she will fail."
"So the cord isn't the thing keeping the elephant in place," said Golden Rod. He squinted at Nopants, "That's very interesting, but what does that have to do with Bureaucracy?"
"Bureaucracy," said Nopants, "is waiting for a red traffic light in the middle of the night when no one is coming."
Across space and time, a gong sounded.