Joe-Joe’s Egoless Shop

With sighs of relief, Joe and Joe sat their conceptual body-minds down on overturned pails outside their shop. The morning’s case had been a stubborn one, and now it was time for a break and a smoke. These ego-busters were from the good ol’ days, and they made no bones about it. They liked their cigarettes strong, their muscle cars fast, burgers with cheese and onions, and fries with gravy. We won’t get into their taste in women. They were an unlikely pair to be running an ego removal shop; but that’s just how life is. It can be full of surprises.

Joe-the-small lighted his cigarette and inhaled deeply. He then tossed his lighter to Joe-the-big, who fumble-snatched it and did the same.

“Well, that was a bit of a tough nut to crack, wasn’t it?” said Joe-the-big.

“Ohhh, yeah,” said Joe-the-small. “Kinda reminded of me of our first case. Remember it?

Do I!?” exclaimed Joe-the-big. “Like it was yesterday.”

“Back then, we were using mechanical methods.”

“When you know better, you do better,” said Joe-the-small. “We were green; not the suave and sophisticated gurus that we are now.”

“Nope. Good ol’ hammer and chisel–sharp of course; and one heck of a lot of anesthetic.”

“Jackhammer-under-the-chair method sometimes, too,” piped Joe-the small, “for shaking out that stubborn pride.”

And lust, and greed, and selfishness, and shame, and pride, and guilt, and fear, and attachment, and…”

“There are other conjunctions, you know,” quipped Joe-the-small, with a droll look.

And…so I’ve been told,” said Joe-the-big with a chuckle. “Remember what our first client said when he came to?”

“You tell it,” said Joe-the-small, “I know how it’s your favourite part.”

Joe-the-big leaned forward, his hands braced on his knees. He said, “I feel so much lighter! What the heck did you take out of me?!”

In unison, the two Joes piped, “a whole lot of conceptual nothing!”

”Ahhh, those were the days,” said Joe-the-big. He blew a smoke ring skyward in celebration.

“Yup, sure were. We had our slow days, though–probably ’cause we didn’t have no formal training.”

Details,” said Joe-the-big, with a swipe of his hand.”

“Yeah, you either got it…”

“…or you don’t.”

“I think our greatest contribution to the field of Consciousness, at least from the human perspective, happened on that rainy day when we were tinkering with tools in the back shed and invented the Whiff-OmeterTM.”

“Without a doubt,” said Joe-the-big, “I would agree. Quick and easy. Throw a bag over the client, hook up the hoses, and within minutes we got a reading of an approximate ratio of Being/Human. Pre-dated David R. Hawkins and his Scale of Consciousness by twenty-some several years!

“Uh, huh,” said Joe-the-small, with a triumphant thumbs-up.

“Good thing we had the gas pumps, though, for those slow days in between consultations.”

“Yup, and cleaning customers windshields kept them coming back for more.”

“Remember the look we got the first time we tol’ a client that he didn’t actually exist….as a thing?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s not somethin’ you forget. If I remember correctly, he went pale and googly eyed.”

“Cool face cloth fixed that.”

“We grew more tactful as the years rolled along.”

“Yessir, we did.”

Joe and Joe continued to sit on their pails and reminisce until they had drawn their cigarettes down to the filters. One look at each other, confirmed by glances at their watches, informed them that their break was over. Another client was due in ten minutes. A little mouthwash, a wash of their hands, and fresh coveralls and they’d be good to go.


It was Joe-the-small’s turn to begin. Holding a clipboard and pen (just for looks), he began by using the “Who Am I?” question.

“Who am I?” echoed the female client.


“Well,” she began, “my name is…”

At this, Joe-the-big rolled his eyes ever-so-slowly to the far wall, as though looking for an escape hatch that didn’t exist. Another hour would pass before he and Joe-the-small would be outside again, sitting on their pails. At least they could look forward to the evening. They were going to play euchre with their wives (you guessed it), Josephine and….

Dare to Dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,


Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell


If you enjoyed this article (originally published in August, 2021, on my personal blog), you can find more of my writing at My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey.

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