The Holy Goof by Garyji, an original contributor
He was known as the Holy Goof mainly because he mostly sat around doing nothing much and he had a lot of spiritual books scattered around the cabin he shared with his three sons, who were known by the locals as Little Goof, Medium Goof, and Big Goof, based on their age and physical appearance.
There wasn’t much to do at the Holy Goof’s place, so every once in a while the boys would complain that life was boring and that there really wasn’t anything going on.
The kids in town would often sing the same refrain and so the Holy Goof simply wrote it off as just another inherent part of the human condition.
Finally, though, the Holy Goof had enough of the boys’ complaining. The next time the boys started to bitch and moan about there being nothing to do, the Holy Goof sprung his little plan on them:
“OK, boys,” he announced, “I’ve got something for you to do. And the first one who succeeds in doing it, is going to have won a great prize!” The boys were all ears.
“When I say ‘Go!’ I want you boys to try to find the thing that can’t be found and the first one to finds it wins the game. The rules are that you keep strictly on your own, you can’t enlist anybody else’s help or advice, you must stay within the confines of the property, so you are not allowed to venture into town.”
After thinking it over a little bit, the boys looked perplexed so the Holy Goof attempted to alleviate their confusion. “OK,” he said, “I’ll give you two hints to help you on your way, but don’t expect any more since these should be sufficient for you to find what you’re looking for. It is not where you think it is, and it is where you think it’s not.”
Thinking that they had ample clues to find the thing that can’t be found, the boys headed off, each in a different direction, hoping that they would be the one to find the thing that can’t be found and win the great prize that awaited them.
Three hours passed when the youngest boy, Little Goof returned very dejectedly to the cabin, threw himself on the floor and cried, “This is bullshit! I looked all over the place and didn’t find it! I’m beginning to think that the thing that can’t be found doesn’t even exist, or at least it’s nowhere on our property.”
Another 3 hours passed when Medium Goof sauntered in, plopped down on the big couch in the cabin, and said simply, “I give up.” Looking over at Little Goof’s cheerless countenance and getting right away what that meant, he added, “I couldn’t find it either.”
“But I gave you two big hints! ” said the Holy Goof. “That should have been enough! ”
“Well,” said Little Goof, “I looked everywhere I thought it was and you were right about that, it wasn’t there.”
Middle Goof then chimed in. “I didn’t bother with looking where I thought it was, since I already knew it wasn’t there. But I didn’t find it in places I didn’t think it was either, so the whole thing was a bust, as far as I’m concerned.”
Finally, just as it was starting to get dark, Big Goof returned home with a wry smile on his face. The two younger boys immediately queried him. “So what happened?” the youngest boy said. “Yeah, did you find it?” the middle boy asked.
Big Goof, sat down on the couch next to Medium Goof and leaned back and put his feet on the coffee table. “Yeah, I found it.” he said with a slight chuckle. “It was right where I thought it wasn’t. Of course it took a while before I was finally able to get that it wasn’t where I thought it was and it was where I thought it wasn’t, but once I got it, I knew the prize was mine.”
The two younger boys didn’t have a clue. “Maybe if you had stayed out there longer, you might have discovered it yourself. Then again, you might have spent all night looking for it and still not have found it, so maybe it’s better that you gave up when you did, who knows?”
“In any event,” said Big Goof, “the game is over and I’ve won the prize.”
“So let’s see it!” the other boys said in virtual unison.
“I can’t show it to you. “ the older boy responded, “You have to see it for yourself.”
“Well, how can we see it?” asked the youngest boy.
“Yeah, where is it?” the middle boy asked eagerly.
“I’ll give you two hints.” the oldest boy replied.
“It’s not where you think it is, and it is where you think it’s not.”
The Holy Goof just looked on … more than faintly amused.
The entirety of this original post was contributed by my friend Garyji, many thanks to him !
Photo of boys from here.