ASK DR. BOLI.

Dear Dr. Boli: I try to maintain a cheerful personality, but lately my gay demeanor has become strained with worry about the dangers of modern society. For example, while walking into the office building where I work, I noticed a room labelled with the sign “Fire Control—Authorized Personnel Only.”

Has our society become so steeped in violence that office buildings now mount sophisticated weapons systems? What types of weaponry does the average office building have installed, and who are these personnel that are apparently authorized to utilize these machines of destruction? —Yr. Obt. Servant, John M.

Dear Sir: You have fallen victim to a common hermeneutical mistake in your interpretation of the sign on the door. The “fire” to which it refers is not weaponry per se, but a refining fire, which is used to purge the building only if the building should become so badly infested with irredeemable sin that strong measures become necessary. You can see why the access to such awesome power would be limited to authorized personnel. If you explore the building further, you will doubtless find a room labeled “FULLER’S SOAP—IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (MALACHI 3:2).” Most modern office buildings are equipped with some such two-stage purification system, although a few older buildings are still piped for a purge by flood.