GLYNN WASHINGTON, HOST:
Now, I can't wait, I cannot wait - a few weeks ago, we did a SNAP Live show in front of an amazing San Francisco audience. We'll have the whole thing for you soon, but I thought that on today's "Blackout" episode, maybe we'll give you a little sneak, peak snappers. SNAP favorite Joshua Walters rocked this story about a blackout of a spiritual sort. SNAP JUDGMENT Live.
WASHINGTON: Now, our next storyteller, he's been here from the beginning. He has a new one-man show in Berkeley at La Pena that's going to start November 22. Let me get out of the way for Mr. Joshua Walters.
JOSHUA WALTERS: I used to have payos - little Jewish curls springing from my forelocks. They were fantastic and asymmetrical. Payos - some said I looked Amish. Some said I looked goat-ish.
WALTERS: But it didn't matter, I was on a spiritual quest and a religious journey. (Yelling) Payos. One year, I cut off the curls and joined a Buddhist monastery. The monastery was located in the Trinity Alps way up in the most northern regions of Northern California.
WALTERS: When I got there, the HLIC head lama in charge was a fat white guy with a big belly and a ponytail and greasy lips named Lama Carnivorous. When I first got there, he was having a potluck at his house where they were serving pork spare ribs. This was not the custom where I came from, so I enjoyed it even more.
WALTERS: Lama, this is Buddhism? Joshua, not everyone has potlucks like this (Laughing). Don't get used to it. Lama, you see that girl? What's her name? (Laughing) That is the girl that made these delicious ribs. So delicious, Lama. Yes, Joshua. Lama, this, too, is Buddhism? Yes, Joshua (laughing).
WALTERS: Her name was Mia. And she drove around in a dusty old car listening to 10-year-old dance hall. She worked in the kitchen serving up all sorts of piggish delights. I worked outside, painting the stupas red and gold, eight statues representing the eight stages of the Buddhist life. I was out there every afternoon painting away. I had the best job there. And then Lama Carnivorous left to have triple bypass surgery.
WALTERS: Overdose of lard. The new head lama in charge was a skinny white guy who wore tank tops and rode around on a bicycle, named Lama Tofu Patty. This Lama's first order of business was that there would be no more pork. Instead, we would only have one vegetarian lunch per day. We sat across from each other at the lunch table, long stares over lima beans. I said to the lunch crowd, you know, when I first got here, I saw two naked Buddhists getting out of the lagoon.
I thought to myself, oh, this is Buddhism. Mia laughed. Tofu Patty remained perfectly calm. The hatred was potent. The next day, I was painting up the stupas and Lama Patty approached me and said, you know, Joshua, you were assigned these stupas when Lama Carnivorous was here and now that I am here, you shall now polish these brass balls. This was quite a demotion, but I did it, just as long as I got to have my swims every afternoon in the lagoon with Mia and a lot of large minnows. We swam one afternoon and after we dried off, she said, you know, that Lama Tofu Patty had approached her on his bicycle and said stay away from that Joshua, his vision is un-pure.
The next day, I was polishing those brass balls and Lama Tofu Patty approached me and he said, Joshua, you shall no longer polish these brass balls, now you shall mop up the kitchen floor. This is the lowest job there, but I did it, just as long as I got to have my swims every afternoon with Mia in the lagoon. And one day I was mopping up the floor and my vision became slanted. I didn't know if I was mopping clean or dirty anymore. I couldn't really see what I was doing to the floor. And then I had to meet Mia out in the lagoon and I ran down 15, 20 minutes late and there she was looking like a fantasy with a life preserver and I had to come back to do my chores because the floor wasn't mopped and I had to mop it all up and I thought this is not the way to live my life. And I put the broom down and I went into the refrigerator and I saw that she had left me lima beans in a little container with my name on it. But then I realized that next to it was another little container with Tofu Patty's name on it. And it had a pulled pork sandwich.
WALTERS: Oh, no. No. The next day, Lama Tofu Patty approached me and said, you know, Joshua, your stupa painting, your ball polishing and your kitchen mopping, you know, they're not good enough. Now you will - stop right there, I said. I see what you're doing. Maybe I'm not meant to be here. Maybe we both need something different. I said my goodbyes to Mia and got in the car and drove all the way down to the more centrally-located part of Northern California.
WALTERS: And as I crossed over that Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge started to lick my car. I was having a religious vision. And I looked at the sky and a red and gold Buddha flew down from the sky riding a pig the size of a horse. And he flew down and he unfurled his hands. And inside his palms were two Jewish girls. (Whispering) Payos. (Yelling) Payos. And then the Buddha pig looked at me and said, Joshua, when you're on a spiritual quest, stay true to yourself. And for my sake, keep it kosher.
WASHINGTON: Joshua Walters. To learn more about his world, visit thejoshuawalters.com. The original score was by Alex Mandel and performed by Alex and the SNAP JUDGMENT players Tim Frick and David Brand. Now, if you want to see that performance in all of its technicolor glory, Will Urbina, our own Will, he made something special for you. It's at snapjudgment.org right now. And know this - we're going to drop the full episode of SNAP Live! in SF very, very soon. Stay tuned for that.
When SNAP JUDGMENT continues, we've got a song that no one wants to hear and look who's coming to dinner when SNAP JUDGMENT, the "Blackout" episode, continues. Stay tuned.
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