Albert Ross is the most miserable, pathetic, and terrible thing in the entire universe. He is reviled by many, most of all God.
Albert Ross is an anomaly. Karma doesn't think anything he does is wrong. It's a glitch in the universe that God can't fix. Every trillion or so births in the universe, there is a karmic anomaly.
That's not to say karma doesn't have its retribution. For every horrible act Albert Ross commits, karma punishes Vikram Suresh. Poor, sweet Vikram.
He doesn't know why his life is so horrible. He doesn't know why the universe is unkind.
It's unkind because of Albert Ross.
That is the crux of the karmic anomaly. Karma thinks everything that Albert Ross does is actually carried out by Vikram Suresh.
What a horrible lot in life.
That's why Vikram kills himself. It usually doesn't matter when a poor, miserable schlub dies, but this death has instant ramifications.
With his death, Karma can instantly see Albert Ross again and realizes its mistake. Like a rubber band, all the horrible things that Albert's ever done slingshot back to him at once.
And God watches with glee as karma has its revenge.
Worst Thing in the Universe is narrated by God, as he pontificates on the horrible fate of Vikram Suresh, expounds on the nature of the universe, and explores the flaws in the whole system.
WHY I LOVE IT:
- This was my father's favorite book before he died. He never read any of my later work, but he loved this book.
- The first part of my career was a lot of wrestling with my own faith, and this book gave me the opportunity to do it on a wider scale than I ever had before.
- This is the first book I finished writing and said "that is a great book."
It had a slightly slower start to me, but as I got further the more I loved it. Very funny book that definitely makes you think. Following one awful person to end is interesting. I highly recommend it!
ALBERT ROSS IS, BY all accounts, a schmuck. Not even a little bit of a schmuck; a massive schmuck; a colossal schmuck; the schmuckiest schmuck that ever schmucked.
I should know, I created him.
They say an all knowing, all powerful, omniscient, omnibenevolent being can’t hate, but that’s crazy. I hated Albert Ross from the moment his mother shat him onto her hospital bed and onward into his adulthood. I molded him from the ooze and muck of nothingness. I willed him into existence. I gave him the gift of life. He repaid me by being the most dreadful thing in the universe.
It’s not like I never gave him a chance to be decent – and it’s not like decent is too much to ask.
I gave him several “Dare to be Great!” moments in his miserable life: the raging kitchen fire of his youth - he walked past without a second thought; the hover car accident of his burgeoning adolescence - he watched unfazed; even the choking infant in the booth next to him in his late 20s – at every single chance he scoffed and turned away, content with his worthless life in his worthless time.
WHAT WAS HIS TIME YOU might ask? It would be easier to tell you when his time wasn’t. Being an omniscient, omnipresent being I don’t get hung up very much on dates, times, eras, or epochs.
IT WAS A VERY, VERY, very long time after dinosaurs, and wooly mammoths, and the pyramids (which were created by really, really hard work and not at all by aliens. Long ago, aliens deemed Earth a worthless rock of a planet and quarantined it off from the galaxy).
It was long after a group of religious zealots claimed that my son walked the earth, healed the sick, yet strangely didn’t cure cancer – which didn’t make any sense. My son would be a rock star, if I had a son that is. I guess I technically have quadrillions of sons and daughters, but that’s beside the point.
It was a short time after the invention of something called the printing press – of course a short time could be thousands or millions of years or a couple of minutes. I just don’t care enough to figure that out.
It was some time after a man named Hitler slayed millions of my followers, and another man named Stalin slaughtered millions more, and a chairman named Mao slayed even more, yet the latter two went largely unreported in most history textbooks for some reason. It was after the invention of the hover car, and the hover board, and the hover house. Though, I never understood why hovering was so fantastic. I like my feet on solid ground, or solid cloud as the case may be.
It was probably around... seven? If I had to give it a time in the world, I would say seven. I would not say 42, because that is the answer to another much more important question; perhaps the most important question.
ALBERT ROSS WALKED the planet in days well past humanity’s idealistic phase and well into their destruction of the planet phase. They inhabited all the lands, mined every natural resource, and killed everything that stood in their way. Their cities stretched across the horizon, and their locust-like swarms infected every corner of my once perfect planet.
Their palaces kissed the sky—no, not kissed, more than that – they made out with the sky – no, they got all up in the sky’s junk. Buildings and the sky got freaky deeky for lack of a better term. I know all the slang, being the creator of the universe and everything, so you can believe that’s the best one.
Their numbers doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and eventually dodecatripled the world’s carrying capacity. Humanity raided the seas, the land, the skies, and finally each other for the small yields of crops and livestock that remained.
They slaughtered every semblance of wildlife, then domesticated life, then sentient life, until such a time when their hunger pangs ignited all-out war. And that war led to the carpet bombing of—. You know what? I’ve said too much. Let’s just say eventually the world’s carrying capacity corrected itself.
I TEND TO SAY TOO MUCH. It’s a bad habit. I see all things at all times. I see every moment of every life of every molecule I’ve ever created. It’s so hard for me to focus on any one problem. My therapist says it’s my second most pressing issue; that I don’t see the forest for the trees. She also says I have a God complex. Gah duh.
I grew detached from the world; from the universe. I was bitter, jaded, and lacked perspective.
My therapist suggested I focus on one single point; one moment; one single person in one single instant in time. She said that it would help my focus. She said it would teach me empathy.
I DON’T THINK I HAVE an empathy problem – anymore. I used to have an empathy problem. There was a time I empathized with everything; when every single solitary creature, big and small, had a little voice in my head; when ninety dodecatrillion little voices sang through my head every moment of every day.
They were horrible, miserable terrible thoughts, those of the galaxy. For every selfless prayer, four selfish ones whizzed through, for every act of kindness, I heard ten acts of vengeance. ZOMG there was sooo much empathy it was coming out my ears.
THAT’S WHEN I SNAPPED. I spoke to people through muted whispers and revealed myself through burning bushes for fun. I sent floods and volcanos and all sorts of horrible things down on my creations throughout the galaxy – decimated my imperfect creations.
Those were the days of my psychotic break. But, I’m better now that I’ve shut out the voices. I’m much, much better now that I’ve stopped focusing on the individual problems of the people of the universe and more on the task of managing the universe.
I mean managing the universe is “THE” big job, the biggest job out there right? Plus, it’s easier to sleep at night when you don’t think about the trillions that died miserably and unjustly that day.
I do realize that it made me cold and unfeeling. Unmovable. My psychologist didn’t like that one bit. “How can you be a compassionate god, if you can’t feel anything for your creations?”
“How can you be a sane god,” I responded, “if you do.”
WE WERE AT A STANDSTILL and remained there for a long while. Back and forth we went for an eon or two, until I finally relented. Truth be told, I kind of missed the voices, but I couldn’t let them all back in at once. I couldn’t handle that much hate and pain.
I could, though, focus on one moment in time and one person. I could focus on one miserable person. If I could let him in, if he could prove to me that he had even a single iota of goodness in him, maybe I could open the floodgates.
I DECIDED ON ONE MAN: Albert Ross. He would decide whether the rest of humanity was worth my compassion. It was all up to Albert Ross; a single man; a single, horrible, little man. Of all the people on the planet, and I can’t emphasize this enough...he was the literal worst.
I have the charts to prove it. At every moment, statistically, there must be one worst and one best being. Empirically, it has to happen. I shouldn’t have to explain that to you in any greater detail. I made your brain smart enough to get that little concept.
You are ranked from one to infinity depending on how many of you creatures inhabit the world in any one moment.
Dogs are ranked on their own chart. Cats too. Rocks, and every manner of stuff are as well. All the things are ranked. Angels liked ranking stuff. They’re kind of stats freaks.
Humans, cats, dogs, rocks, and alien life are all jumbled together and ranked in one long infinite chart too; every second of every day. Humans do NOT fare well with the rest of the universe... or the rest of the planet for that matter.
People fluctuate from nanosecond to nanosecond depending on a lot of factors: success, height, weight, ability to spit a loogie onto a ceiling and have it stay for a long, long time, etc. etc. etc. There are infinite factors that go into every calculation, and those calculations are run infinite times a second.
And for thirty-seven nanoseconds, Albert Ross was the worst thing in the universe – fifteenth longest time in human history. Right behind Hitler, Stalin, and Leopold II, and far behind the Chairman. Those charts go back to the dawning of humanity. And back even further to the birth of the universe and even beyond that.
THAT’S THE MOMENT I chose Albert Ross to focus on; that moment where he became the most worthless. I chose this worthless, useless, miserable thing as my single point in time to study, mostly to piss off my psychologist, but also to prove a point. If there is any good in humanity, it would present itself in every human, even the worst one in the entire universe, by a factor of a thousand.
If even Albert Ross could have a shred of human decency, then there was hope for everything in the entire universe and maybe – just maybe – I could let the voices back in.
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