The Dogma of Texts

Gang initiation today at Wal-mart…they have to kill 3 people…DON’T GO TO WAL-MART! An undercover cop just told us

This text message was sent to me a few weeks ago by a good friend. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who got it; such is the nature of these sort of textual alerts. I was almost led to simply ignore it and carry on about my business. But far be it for me to pass up a golden opportunity to be a smart-ass.

ME: Question… If an undercover police officer knows that there’s going to be a gang initiation at Walmart, why not just stop the initiation? What happened to “serve & protect”?

REPLY: Just passing along the message, man. That’s my job.

ME: So then an undercover cop didn’t actually tell you that, did he? Tsk, tsk… liar.

How like religion, isn’t it? A message following no logic, designed to scare people into not doing something to avoid a horribly grim fate. And why trust the message? Because it comes from an unseen, secondhand authority figure who, if he really existed, would have the power to stop the madness altogether.

Even if it’s so obviously bullshit, at least they care enough to pass you the message. That’s the part that saddens me. They really do believe it, and they really do care enough to let you know. Even if they’re skeptical about it, they still believe it’s a possibility. Really… is it worth the risk? Is it?

Worth making me give up the freedom of living my life over some obviously made-up story? Absolutely. I appreciate the gesture… but in the future, keep your text messages to yourself.

Unless the gang-members are raping people too. I didn’t want to go to Walmart that badly anyway.

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