In Zen, a koan is a kind of riddle. It’s a question so nonsensical or paradoxical that it can’t really be answered. But the process of grappling with it jars the student into enlightenment. Or at least that’s what it said on the fortune cookie.
Here’s my version of a koan.
There’s an extremely good fencing lesson in it --- maybe more than one.
See if you can figure out what it is:
A fellow gets in line at the grocery store right behind another guy who’s just buying a couple of sixpacks – even though he’s already obviously three sheets to the wind.
The drunk watches studiously as the fellow places the following items on the conveyer belt for check-out: a quart of milk, a dozen eggs, 2 cans of dog food and 3 TV dinners.
The drunk nods sagely and says to the gent, “You’re not married, are you?”
“No, I’m not,” the gent replies, amazed. “How did you know?”
The drunk shrugs. “’Cause you’re freakin’ ugly.”
Meditate on it, Grasshopper.
If you reach enlightenment, let me know.