Thursday, March 26, 2020

"The Second Stone"

“You know what the Bible says?” said Gilbey the Geek. “Hey, Purple, I say you know what the Bible says?”

Purple hadn’t turned purple yet, but it was early yet.

“I know a lot of what the Bible says,” said Purple. “And, for your information, I prolly know a hell of a lot more about what the goddam Bible says than you’ll ever know.”

“Yeah,” said Gilbey, “but you know what in particular the Bible says?”

“What, Gilbey? What? Just come out and say it fer Chrissake.”

“Let him what is without sin cast the first stone.”


“Let him what is without sin cast –”

“Awright, awright, I heardja the first time. So what?”

“Let him what is without sin cast the first stone.”

“Jesus Christ, Gilbey –”

Sure enough, Purple was starting to turn purple now.

“But,” said Gilbey the Geek, “what about him what casts the second stone?”


“The first guy what casts a stone, let him what is without sin cast that first stone, okay, I get it, fair enough, but what I am asking is what about him what casts the second stone? Don’t he gotta be without sin? Or not. What I am saying is maybe, just maybe – maybe it’s only that first guy what casts a stone that’s gotta be without sin. But, if somebody already did cast a stone – and this should preferably be somebody who ain’t got no sins on his soul – then it’s like anybody can cast that second stone.”


“I am saying that you’re allowed to throw the second stone even if you do got sins on your soul, but you just ain’t allowed to throw the first stone.”

“That is the stupidest goddam thing I ever heard.”

“It makes sense, Purple. Ya see, this is why so many people get stoned. Because it only takes some guy to throw that first stone, and then everybody just rushes in fallin’ all over each other to cast that second stone.”

Purple didn’t say anything, and oddly enough his color started to fade from deep purple back to its normal bright red. He took a drink of his bock.

“Everybody,” said Gilbey. “Everybody can cast that second stone, and everybody will cast it. Except very few. Very few, Purple.”

Neither of them said anything for a minute. Purple took another drink from his glass, emptying it. Gilbey just stared at his own empty glass. He was out of dough, which was a shame. He sure would like another bock.

Bob came over.

“Another one, Purple?”

“Yeah,” said Purple. “Give Gilbey one too.”

“What?” said Bob.

Purple had never bought a drink for anyone in his life.

“Give Gilbey a bock too.”

“Can I get a imperial pint?” said Gilbey.

“No,” said Purple. “Just a glass, just like me. What do I look like, John D. Rockefeller? Just a glass, and be glad you’re gettin’ that much.”

Bob took the empty glasses and went over to the taps.

“First stone,” said Purple. “Second stone. They both hurt, no matter who throws them.”

“And every stone after that,” said Gilbey.

“Until you croak,” said Purple.

“Until you croak.”

“Then you don’t feel nothin’,” said Purple.

“Unless you go to Hell,” said Gilbey.

“Oh, Christ,” said Purple.

“Unless you go to Hell and burn in the everlasting fires of Hell,” said Gilbey.

“Hey, do me a favor,” said Purple.

“Sure, Purple,” said Gilbey.

Bob brought the fresh bocks over and laid them down. Purple slid two dimes forward, and Bob picked them up and went away.

“Just drink your bock and be quiet, Gilbey,” said Purple. “You think you can do that?”

“Sure, Purple.”

Both men picked up their bocks and took a good drink. They set down their glasses, and another minute passed silently into oblivion.

“You know what else the Bible says?” said Gilbey.

{Kindly click here to read the “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, profusely illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq.}

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