A man named Lot lived with his wife, Lottie, and their three little Lots — Lettie, Lennie and Larry — in a town called Sodom near another town called Gomorrah. The Lots were into real estate, and it was often said of them, “The Lots own lots of lots in Sodom — and more in Gomorrah.” That was probably because Lot’s father told him once when he was a little Lot, “Lot, get a lot when you’re young.”

Sodom and Gomorrah were both sinful towns. God saw this, and God said to himself, “I’ve got to get the hell out of Sodom.” So the Lord decided to destroy both towns. But God saw that Lot was a religious man who obeyed God’s laws, and so God sent two messengers to Lot warning him to leave Sodom before it was destroyed.

Lot tried desperately to convince God not to destroy the towns, but he failed and only succeeded in getting God angry. God finally thundered down, “Lot. Thy people go!” (God thought he had heard something similar a few years earlier in Egypt or someplace like that.) Then he added, “Tomorrow I will destroy Sodom — and there won’t be a lot left in Gomorrah either.”

So Lot gathered up Lottie and all the little Lots and prepared to leave. As he was about to leave, one of the messengers warned Lot that neither he nor anyone in his family must look back at Sodom after they left it because if they did, they would be turned into a pillar of salt — a sort of salt lick for all the wild animals in that area.

Soon after Lot and Lottie Lot and the little Lots left, the Lord descended upon Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone and destroyed the cities and all their inhabitants. A lot died but not any Lots. It was a terrible scene of death and destruction.

Lot’s wife knew about God’s warning about not looking back at the destruction and the whole salt-thing threat. But she couldn’t resist knowing what had been Sodom’s lot. Then she got the idea to look at Sodom in her mirror instead of looking at it directly.

But God was not fooled. He turned Mrs. Lot into a pillar of Mrs. Dash.

Over the centuries, a lot of Lottie Lot has been licked away, but if you go there today, there’s still a little of Lottie Lot left to lick.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. The opinions and comments in this column are his alone and do not represent the opinions or policies of any outside organization. He can be reached at pburri@west.net.