Interludes from the Scriptures:

Al the Apostle's letters to Sweden

by Brother Joseph, Brother Magnus and, reluctantly, Mattias the Non-believer

(Note: This began innocently enough. It was an MSN chat between Joseph and Mattias about the new survey software on the website. They were wondering who had voted for what. Mattias then revealed himself to be "Mattias the Non-Believer", Heretic at Large and at this point, Magnus joined the chat. This is the actual transcript of the chat. Seriously.)

Book the First: the Heretic and the Threat of Smiting


Mattias the Non-believer says:
What differs fish from spam?
Brother Joseph says:
Spam is spam.
Fish is the Gospel.
It is a religious movement.
If you ever paid attention you'd know that.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
But it originates in the spam forum.
Thus, it is religious spam.
Brother Joseph says:
Humble beginnings oft beget greatness.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
But it's still spam.
Brother Joseph says:
Blasphemer!!!
Mattias the Non-believer says:
So you're denying it's spam?
Brother Joseph says:
It is the way of the Almighty Fish!
Don't let Brother Magnus catch you calling it spam.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I'm not afraid.
Brother Joseph says:
When you are faced with plagues of two month dead herrings and cod you will be.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Sounds like Sweden in August.
Brother Joseph says:
Remind me not to visit in August.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Yeah.
There is this Swedish delicacy called "surströmming". The translation would be "sour herring".

BROTHER MAGNUS HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE CONVERSATION

Mattias the Non-believer says:
Fish = spam.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish is NOT spam!
Brother Joseph says:
I say he is a blasphemer!
Brother Magnus says:
That is sacrilege!
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Bah!
Brother Magnus says:
Smite him! Smite him good!
Mattias the Non-believer says:
It comes from the spam forum, it grows in the spam forum, thus it is spam.
Brother Joseph says:
Let us both smite the BLASPHEMER!!!
Brother Magnus says:
My Smiting Hammer is ready!
REPENT FOUL BEAST!
Brother Joseph says:
Else we flush you down the toilet like a dead goldfish!
Brother Magnus says:
And we will laugh with malevolent glee!
Brother Joseph says:
He fears to reply for he knows the Smiting at the Fins of the Almighty Fish is nigh.
Brother Magnus says:
Perhaps he is hiding in one of his boltholes... but it will help him not!
FISH SEES ALL!
Brother Joseph says:
All hail the might of Our Lord Fish.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
You do realize you both sound rather stupid, right?
Brother Joseph says:
You do realise you are a HERETIC!!!
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Let me know when you stop being so cliché.
Brother Magnus says:
You must repent your sins to FISH! Only then may you be enlightened!

Book the Second: the Holy Hymn and Sacred Prayers


Brother Joseph says:
For Fish is the Way, the Truth and the Light.
And only by Fish will you find the way to the Octopus's Garden.
Brother Magnus says:
And on Saturdays, you only have to tithe half!
Brother Joseph says:
*sings* "I'd like to be... under the sea...in an Octopus's Garden..."
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Going by how the two of you are acting, being enlightened is the last thing on my mind.
Brother Joseph says:
Obviously.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
But hey, to each their own.
Brother Magnus says:
"O Fish, let me caress Thine silky scales..."
"Let me gaze into Your bulbous eyes..."
Brother Joseph says:
"O Fish, let me purse my lips and make glub-glub faces..."
Brother Magnus says:
"Tickle the Heretics into submission with Your Blessed Fin".
Brother Joseph says:
Are you ready to repent Mattias the Non-believer?
Brother Magnus says:
Or are you to be yet another feast for Fish?
Brother Joseph says:
No-one expects the Fishy Inquisition!!!
I really think Mattias the Non-believer needs to accept Fish into his heart. He's too uptight.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I don't know about uptight.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish will clean away your sins, and life seen through His eyes is always shown in a mellow sepia tone.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Reserved.
Maybe.
I am Swedish after all.
Brother Joseph says:
Fish loves Al.
And Al says it's all about love.
Brother Magnus says:
Al is truly the Blessed One, the greatest of Fish's prophets.
Brother Joseph says:
I thought it was Ralph.
Brother Magnus says:
Ralph came later. It was he who revised the Holy Scriptures.
Brother Joseph says:
Oh yeah.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Now, Fish can't steal my catchphrase.
I'll sue.
Brother Joseph says:
Fish has always been here and always will be.
Brother Joseph says:
Fish is eternal.
Fish is the Giver of All Things.
Brother Magnus says:
How can you know that it wasn't Fish who gave you your catchphrase?
Brother Joseph says:
Indeed.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
How do I know? It's my job to know.
(kudos if you can spot the reference)
Brother Joseph says:
And who are you and what, pray tell, is your job?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
To know.
Said so right there.
Brother Joseph says:
Yeah, yeah.
That is no test for a Follower of Fish.
Brother Magnus says:
For did Saint Al not say: "Lo, for first there was the Caviar, Blessed by Fish the All-Father.
And Lo, didst Fish not give Life unto the Caviar?".
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Try to pay attention.
Brother Joseph says:
YOU pay attention infidel!
Brother Magnus says:
I pay attention. To the Scriptures.
Do YOU?
Brother Joseph says:
We are trying to save your eternal soul from an eternity of eternal torment.
Brother Magnus says:
From the Skillet you may yet come to the Aquarium.
But only if you let Fish into your heart.
Brother Joseph says:
And listen to the Beatles' Octopus's Garden three times daily.
Brother Magnus says:
At the very least.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I need proof that the two of you actually do that first though.
Brother Magnus says:
Is our faith not proof enough for you, oh Doubting Mattias the Non-believer?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Nope.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Hard evidence is required.
Brother Joseph says:
Well, unfortunately, my MSN "What I'm Listening to Now" thingy doesn't work.
But I am listening.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Uh huh.
Brother Joseph says:
Listen to it and yea, you shall know such tranquility.
Brother Magnus says:
Unfortunately, MSN doesn't plug in to my record player. But rest assured, I am soothed by the Holy of Holies.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Hey, I'm trying to stay awake here. Tranquility is kinda counterproductive.
Words != proof
Brother Joseph says:
*sings* "... and swim about the coral that lies beneath the waves..."
Brother Magnus says:
Fish = Life!
Brother Joseph says:
Fish loves you.
Fish forgives your doubting.
Fish understands your questions.
Fish welcomes you into His Hallowed Fishy Fin embrace.
Brother Magnus says:
There, Doubting Mattias the Non-believer, is this not proof enough?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
What proof was that exactly?
Brother Joseph says:
That Fish accepts you. It's all about love.

Book the Third: the Heretic, His Lawyer and His Money


Brother Joseph says:
Mattias the Non-believer, are you contemplating the Love of Fish?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
No, looking for the number of a good lawyer.
Brother Joseph says:
Whatever for?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
What did I say about stealing my catch phrase?
Brother Magnus says:
You do not need legal advice to partake in the glory of Fish.
Brother Joseph says:
Fish gave you life INFIDEL!
And Fish can take it away!
Brother Magnus says:
Fish requires only your Faith and Love.
Brother Joseph says:
And your money...
For how else shall we mere mortals to build the Almighty's Crystal Aquarium?
It is but a tribute to the Glory of Fish.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Yes, well Fish can have my money.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
If Fish takes on my debts as well...
Brother Joseph says:
Excellent.
Brother Joseph says:
Send it to Fish_is_Love@paypal.com
Brother Magnus says:
Excellent, you now owe Fish your money.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
So Fish will take on my debts then?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
That was the deal after all.
Brother Joseph says:
There are no debts before Fish.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish is a kind, if Scaly, God.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
But there ARE debts to my ISP and such.
Brother Joseph says:
If you give your money to Fish, there are no debts.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish cannot be concerned with such things.
And through Him, neither can you.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Yeah, but I can.
Brother Joseph says:
Only because you have not accepted the Sacred Love of Fish.
Brother Magnus says:
You must release yourself of such paltry fears. Devote your life to Fish.
Only He can bring true fulfilment.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
What gave me away?
Brother Joseph says:
Fish knows All.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish sees All.
Brother Joseph says:
And as Followers of Fish, His Knowing and Seeing is passed on to us.
Brother Magnus says:
We bring Balance to the Scales.
Embrace Fish, and He will try His best to embrace you.
For though He has no arms, He has much in the way of Love.
Brother Joseph says:
And it's all about love...
oh, and guppies.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Yeah, I think I'll pass.
Never was too fond of slimy scales.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish is not slimy. He is silky.
"Good Urban Professional Phish".
Mattias the Non-believer says:
That apparently can't even spell.
Brother Magnus says:
We mortals are not worthy to call ourselves fish. We must therefore use Phish instead.

Book the Fourth: the Heretic Demands Proof of the Holy Hymn


Brother Joseph says:
If you look at both of our "What's playing now" you will see we are listening to "Octopus's Garden".
Brother Joseph says:
There is your proof.
Brother Magnus says:
He will not listen to reason. Only Fish's love can save him now.
And we must show him that Fish loves him.
Fish Loves us all.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I've never disputed that you're listening to it right now.
It's the three times/day I want proof of.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
And I don't see the "now playing" stuff.
Brother Joseph says:
Then I shall call you three times a day. Collect.
And we shall listen together.
And share the Love that Fish provides us through His invention of the telephone and underwater cables.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Cool.
Brother Joseph says:
Then will you believe?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
It's a step in the right direction.
Brother Joseph says:
And then will you come to know the Ways of Fish?
Brother Magnus says:
It is a step from the Skillet to the Aquarium.

Book the Fifth: the Sacred Feces of Fish


Brother Magnus says:
Fish shall make Mattias the Non-believer see clearly.
He shall lift the haze from his eyes, and replace it with crystal clear water.
Brother Joseph says:
Free of fish feces.
Which Brita filters can not do by the way.
Brother Magnus says:
Though His feces is Blessed as well, and is the best of fertilizers.
Brother Joseph says:
And tastes fairly good on pancakes according to my flatmate.
Brother Magnus says:
She is blessed.
Brother Joseph says:
That's one word for her.
Brother Magnus says:
I think it is best between biscuits.
Brother Joseph says:
Or on toast with marmalade.
Brother Magnus says:
Served with a pot of tea it is exquisite.
Brother Joseph says:
A delicacy much sought after by the Turks.
Brother Magnus says:
It is said that it was this that brought down the Ottoman Empire.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I'm just going to let the two of you carry on for a while.
Wake me up if you actually say something interesting.
Brother Joseph says:
Mattias the Non-believer, do not reject Fish's Love.
Brother Magnus says:
Such was their love of Fish, that they went to war over His divine droppings.
We of course no longer condone war, but it shows the passion He can instil in His worshippers.
Brother Joseph says:
Zealotry at its finest.
Brother Magnus says:
Fish does not reject you Mattias the Non-believer. Why do you reject Him?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Because I'm not a fan of spam.
Brother Joseph says:
Neither am I. It tastes terrible.
Except when covered with the Almighty Fish's Sacred Feces.
Brother Magnus says:
Besides, Fish is not Spam. Spam is made of pig.
Brother Joseph says:
And pig bi-products.
Brother Magnus says:
His Feces makes everything go down smoother.
Brother Joseph says:
*sings* "A spoon full of Fish Feces helps the medicine go down..."
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Again, anything that originates from the spam forum = spam.
Brother Joseph says:
Mattias the Non-believer, we are trying to bring the Love from the Gospel of Fish to the world.
Brother Magnus says:
"A spoon of Fish Feces a day keeps the doctor away."

Book the Sixth: Fish is Love


Brother Joseph says:
Fish wants to end all war and suffering.
Do you not wish the same yourself?
Through Fish we may all live in Total Love.
And clean aquariums.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Good for you then.
Brother Magnus says:
Brother Joseph, let us hold hands and sing hymns to the Glory of Fish!
Brother Joseph says:
Yea Brother Magnus, let us hold hands and yea, we shall sing hymns.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
So what happens to the non-believers?
Brother Joseph says:
Bad things.
For they must live forever without love.
Brother Magnus says:
And is that not an empty life?
To go through the endless trudgery without feeling the Love of Fish in your soul?
Brother Joseph says:
"Yea thou I swim through the reefs of the sharks, I shall not be afraid for Fish swims with me."
Mattias the Non-believer says:
So believing is a requirement for Fish's love then?
Brother Joseph says:
Fish loves you.
Brother Magnus says:
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the coral reefs."
Brother Joseph says:
But if you don't accept Fish into your heart... well, you must swim in shadows.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
So if Fish loves me whether I believe or not, why is it necessary for you to make me believe?
Brother Joseph says:
Because Fish wants you to swim in the sun dappled waves.
Not the murky blood invested waters of Below.
Brother Magnus says:
"Love thy neighbour as thine Fish."
"Fish Love ye therefore, stranger: for ye were strangers in the reefs of Sweden."
Brother Magnus says:
"He who loveth Fish loveth knowledge."
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I like the dark.
The sun burns my skin.
Brother Magnus says:
Contemplate these passages from the Scriptures, young Mattias the Non-believer.
Mattias the Non-believer says:
Young?
Mattias the Non-believer says:
I'm quite sure I'm older than you.
Brother Joseph says:
We are all young in the eyes of Fish.
Brother Magnus says:
For He is older than Time.

MATTIAS THE NON-BELIEVER HAS LEFT THE CONVERSATION

Brother Joseph says:
Holy Sacred Fish Feces!
This chat is 10 pages in MS Word.
Brother Magnus says:
Truly a testament to the Glory of Fish!
Brother Joseph says:
Indeed.
Brother Magnus says:
Wait til we indoctrinate him with "Plato's Lost Dialogue - The Ichtycrates".

Discuss the Gospels of Fish on the forums