Shub Shibboleth

Call me Ishkabibble (because I asked you to. Is it really that big a problem?). Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely; if I think about it too long I have a flashback and the toaster starts asking me if I want to have a game of baci-ball -- having little or no sanity in my head and no particular need for it, I thought I would travel about a little and see the Thuddite part of the world. Here, there be boredom.
      Herein is a warning to all who would safeguard their humor and the humor of all men. It has cost me dearly to find this knowledge, and I pray that it falls not on deaf ears.
      Beware Shub Shibboleth, Beast of a Thousand Catchphrases, Demon of the Virulent Meme, Spawn of the Thuddite Media!
      The Awful Shub invades the minds of innocents through the speech center, causing them to do the bidding of the Nameless One (Greyface [oops]) without thinking first. Such mnemonic infection is easily spotted, but care must be taken in the search or else the battle will be lost before it is joined.
      Children of the Shub are identifiable in that they have some variant of the following catchphrase as central and primal to their thinking:
``Why Ask Why? Just Say No''

      This ``No'' can be in response to any idea or practice which is outside the mainstream. The important characteristic is that the rule is not questioned. The consequences of not following the rule are looked upon with horror, and almost universally not thought out. If there is actually some form of argument behind the rule, the person in question is probably not one of the Shub's children but rather a member of one (or more) of the Orders of Discordia.
      A secondary clue to the Shub's influence on the person is that he is usually as dull as the proverbial Stucco finish; creativity and humor often suffer due to the Shub's infection.
      Once such a person is identified, the utmost care must be taken if the person is to be saved, but the cure must be administered quickly (``Once you have started down the Path More Taken, forever shall it rule your destiny.'' -- Joka the Yeti Master). The person can usually be saved, since the mnemonic infection of the Shub does not destroy the ability of the subject to think for himself; it only suppresses the willingness to undertake such thought.
      The reawakening of the sleeping grey matter can not normally be achieved with direct confrontation (indeed, such confrontation should be avoided at all costs, as struggling directly against the infection gives it opportunity to sink its claws deeper), so sneakier means must be employed. The person must be inundated with every type and variety of heretical, humorous literature EXCEPT the type that is heretical to the particular form of his infection. Such intellectual inundation, coupled with the Humor Effect, will hopefully lead to a gestalt in which the consideration of heretical concepts as viable will expel the mnemonic infection with the force of a poorly positioned ben-wa ball.
      If such a cure is not feasible (if, for example, the subject has been so poisoned that ALL heretical concepts are personally heretical to him), the subject must be given up as lost until such time as luck or some Personal Erisian Revelation of Laughter (Divine PERL, that is) purges the unfortunate (though hopefully not on your good shoes).
      Mourn for (or laugh at) the lost, but help the salvageable.