A Zen Koan Featuring Max Scherzer


A young pupil came to his master and asked for a koan to ponder.

Responded his master: “Show me the sound of Hall & Oates playing blue-eyed soul.”

The pupil played “Rich Girl” on a small stereo.

“Good,” said the master. “Now show me the sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul.”

The pupil bowed and went to his room to consider this problem.

The next evening, when his teacher asked him to illustrate the sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul, the pupil began to lip sync “Rich Girl” in a voice like Max Scherzer’s. “No, no,” said his master. “That’s not it at all.” The night after, the pupil returned and threw a ball in the style of Max Scherzer’s windup. The master was equally unimpressed by this performance.

For ten nights, the pupil arrived to demonstrate for his master the sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul. Always, the master rejected him. At last, he stopped coming to the each night. For almost a year he thought about the Max Scherzer question.

Finally, the little pupil entered his master’s room silently, sat before him, and removed his own eyes. As blood and gore showered the pupil’s face, the master noted that this, as well, wasn’t the sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul. “And not only that,” continued the master, “but the medical bills for your indiscretion will be nearly debilitating to our little monastery.”

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

8 Responses to “A Zen Koan Featuring Max Scherzer”

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  1. shibboleth says:

    Where’s the Like button?

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  2. pandamans says:

    I will be contemplating this as yet unknown sound for many sleepless nights into the future.

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  3. Robert Hombre says:

    Did ever the pupil grow iriscible?

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  4. Rick Lancellotti says:

    “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”

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  5. Matthew says:

    The sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul is the sound of Max Scherzer playing blue-eyed soul.

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  6. otis_nixons_pager says:

    You say potato…

    I say your self-indulgent use of metaphor is tantamount to public masturbation.

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  7. Mike Green says:

    Alternate ending:

    One day, the pupil saw the master in the communal shower blissfully singing “Wrapped Around Your Finger” an octave too low. He fired a fastball at 160 kilometers per hour on the autobahn towards his master’s strike zone. His master’s eyes turned from brown to blue, as the pitch was perfect. And the servant was now master.

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