My friends, I come before you with a gospel of truth to preach. As of late, I have strayed from the flock. I have sinned. And I have turned my back on the sacred tenets that I once held to be unquestionable.
But, friends, we must rejoice. For I have seen the folly of my ways. And, presently, I stand before you to recant the odious lies that I once believed so fervently.
I was lost.
But now I am found.
And now… I’m a born-again believer it’s not butter.
Praise be to the powers that have granted me this strength of clarity.
You see my friends, years ago, in the unblemished innocence of my youth, I too was a fervent believer that it was not butter. I was righteous. I was assured. And I had no reason to doubt the indisputable bonds of my own faith.
And, each and every day, as I would smear my pale-yellow “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”-brand margarine upon my daily bread… I would raise it into my mouth, taste of its sweet nectar. And, silently (with the inimitable power of conviction), I would whisper to myself: “No…No…”
“This can NOT be butter.”
If only I had stayed so untainted.
But, just like in the woeful Book of Genesis, I too was lured away from paradise — I too was ushered out of Eden and into the sinful Gomorrah of not being able to believe that it was not butter.
I can still remember how it all unfolded.
See, just a mere four months ago, as I was preparing a humble repast of cornbread and chili con carne after a long day of freelance copyediting, I was interrupted by my iniquitous roommate, Kevin, who was returning to our apartment after a licentious evening of adult recreational kickball.
And I, being the kind of man who cannot eat cornbread without some form of fat or oleo smeared upon it (anything to take away its vile dryness), I spake to my roommate and demanded quietly of him: “Hey man, can you get me some butter?”
Even now I wonder… did the depths of my folly know no bounds?
Because, then, with a sly flourish of deceit, Kevin (the wicked serpent) reached into the shadowy depths of our larder and passed me a spoonful of something. Yes, you heard me, my friends. Not butter… but something. A spoonful of a creamy, pale-yellow spread that was similar to butter.
But, in my heart of hearts, I knew that it was not (and could not be) butter.
If only I had trusted my better instincts…
If only I had not been so misguided…
Instead, I furrowed my brow and shellacked the duplicitous goo upon the surface of my delicious cornbread. And, as I took a bite, I spake through a mouth full of cornbread and margarine and LIES and I said: “Ok. But you promise that this is butter? Like, you’re 100% positive?”
Then Kevin, the great deceiver, replied: “Sure. Whatever.”
And I replied: “Tastes good.”
And that was it.
That was how I fell from grace.
Not with a whimper. But with a loud and deafening roar.
It was only months later, as I was searching through that self-same larder, when I came upon a small, plastic tub with the inscription “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” stamped upon it (like the scarlet letter of Hester Prynne).
Quelling a retch of revulsion, I slowly pried open the tub.
It was filled with a creamy, pale-yellow something. Not butter… but something.
And that was the moment I began to weep.
For that was the moment when I realized just how much I had forsaken.
And so, my friends, I stand before you now as a stark testament to the necessity of faith. For, although we shall never have definitive proof that “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” is not actually butter, we must remain strong. And we must hold dearly onto the shroud of belief.
It’s not butter.
It cannot be butter.
It MUSTN’T be butter.
I beg of you to heed my arduous tale, friends… Lest the same temptation befalls you as well.