“The rain is looking a little red, and there have been a lot of frogs and locusts, but I think that’s just climate change,” said Palm.
Photo by Sharon Roth
In a precedent-setting case of divine communication, local physics major Norton Palm has reported that he has talked to God by decrypting Morse code sent through What Hath God Wrought (WHGW). However, according to Palm, God mostly asks, “You know the dream you had last night?” to which Palm consistently responds, through telepathy, that he “just [doesn’t] remember [his] dreams. Is Heaven real?” to no answer. Kaiser Permanente has stopped insuring people who identify as an “expert” in any field following a series of particularly heated discussions on the legitimacy of Palm’s claims, which have already cost the insurance company a reported $430,000 in hospital bills.
Palm says he had “no idea” he would be the source of such controversy when he began his communication. “I had recently learned Morse online because I didn’t want to do my homework,” said Palm, “and then I realized WHGW wasn’t saying ‘What hath God wrought.’ It was saying, ‘Norton, why haven’t you done anything yet?’ I thought it was a stress-induced thing, or a weird new CALPIRG recruitment strategy, until God confirmed His identity by guessing my SSN on the first try. Even I don’t know my SSN — I had to call my mom to make sure He was right!”
A group of skateboarders who frequent the bottom of WHGW corroborated Palm’s claims. One skater recalled, “The same guy kept showing up and standing like 50 feet away to stare at the lightbulb better. After three weeks he came over and asked us, ‘Why won’t God just tell me what to do?’ I told him there are some people on Library Walk who would love to talk to him about that, but he said he ‘had enough problems.’”
Palm described his attempts to communicate further with God. “I asked, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And God said, ‘Don’t you remember the dream I sent you?’ And I said, ‘I don’t remember my dreams.’ And God said, ‘It was really important.’ And I said, ‘The last dream I remember is the one with the bear.’ And God said, ‘It wasn’t that one.’” Palm reportedly tried multiple methods of remembering his dreams, including a journal, associative memory aids, and waking up and going back to sleep five times during his roommate’s alarms, but to no avail. Norton continued, “He keeps saying the instructions have to be in a dream because it’s ‘classic,’ but we’re already talking through a giant metal pole. I don’t think Noah was getting the news like this.”
People who do not wish to be identified as “experts” in sleep, philosophy, and the Stuart Art Collection have extensively debated whether Palm’s talks with God are imagined, real divine communication, or Phase II of Mark Bradford’s art installation. One philosophy studier said, “Five Ways? More like mysterious ways. Millenia of debate about God, and we should’ve been taking notes from LA Story.”
Meanwhile, the sleep debate has gone another direction: “It’s possible that the same psychological factors that prevent Palm’s dream memory formation are also making him blink in such a sequence as to make it seem like WHGW is spelling out different messages. If only any other person on Earth knew Morse code so we could confirm or deny Palm’s claims.” One electrical engineer responded, “It’s kind of late to bring it up, but I think I swapped the wrong wires when I was replacing the lightbulb.”