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Knock On My Door, Will You?

giphysnowhag

A True Story. Mostly.
A knock on the door last week, too damned early in the morning…an older middle-aged woman with pamphlets and a bible in a floral dress and sensible shoes bearing close resemblance to Mrs. C, my tenth-grade typing teacher.
“Hello, I’m spreading the good word about a 3-day conference in–”
“Is this a god thing?” That momentum needed to be checked.
“Why yes, it is a 3-day conference in–”
“We’ve already got a grail!” Dodge. Parry. Non sequitur!
“What? I’d like to invite you to a three–”
“Not interested. Do you have encyclopedias?”
“But…huh?”
“Vacuum cleaners? Brushes? Steak?”
(Confused) “Ummm?”
“Can you get students to paint my house real cheap?”
“I don’t think you understand.”
(Leaning into her space a little bit.) “Are you saying I’m stupid? I think I do pretty well with what I’ve been given. You don’t need to be mean about it.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to–”
“Maybe you should just try the neighbors; they’re real zealots. I hear they drowned a witch, last place they lived.” I lower my voice and whisper, conspiratorially, “It’s Texas. That’s where they’re from, and they definitely burn books–religiously, you might say.”
“What?”
“Did you see what I did there?
It’s a pun. They religiously burn books. Get it? I told you I was smart. Not that I’m an angel myself. I’ve done awful things. I’ve danced a bunch, and listened to Led Zeppelin records backwards, and between you and me, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of owls.”
“Owls?”
“Yup. Lots of them. The small ones, particularly.”
“Owls?”
“They’re fuzzy and sweet. A lot like peaches, really. They’re great on waffles, with some cinnamon and maple syrup.”
She looks over her shoulder at the street–no backup there–and turns back to me, squints a little, then opts to scurry away, looking worriedly over her shoulder, and skitters up the street, ignoring my “Have a nice day!”
Knock on my door, will you?

Categories
fiction

Porch Missionary

A knock on the door last week, too damned early in the morning…a woman with pamphlets, a forced smile, and a bible.
“Hello, I’m spreading the good word about a 3-day conference in–”
“Is this a god thing?”
“Why yes, it’s a 3-day conference in–”
“We’ve already got a grail!”
“What?”
“Never mind. You have encyclopedias?”
“But…what? It’s a 3-day…”
“Vacuum cleaners? Brushes? I could use a good brush! Steaks?”
(Confused) “Ummm?”
“You don’t have any of those?”
She shook her head.

“Can you get students to paint my house real cheap?”
“I don’t think you understand.”
(Leaning into her space a little bit.) “Are you implying I’m stupid? That I can’t possibly understand? That’s hurtful, from where I’m standing. I think I do pretty well with what I’ve been given: the best that I can. You don’t need to be mean about it.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to–”
“Maybe you should just try the neighbors; they’re real zealots. I hear they drowned a witch, last place they lived. They definitely burn books–religiously, you might say–and other things. ”
A wink.
“What?”
“It’s a pun. I told you I was smart. Not that I’m an angel myself. I’ve danced a bunch and, between you and me, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of owls.”
“Owls?”
“Yup. Owls” A nod. “That just between you and me, mind.”
A step back, almost certainly subconsciously. She looks over her shoulder at the street–no backup there–and no witnesses–and turns back to me, squints a little, then backs to the edge of the porch stairs before spinning towards the street. A hand on the railing, and she’s gone. Down the rickety stairs, scurrying away, glancing worriedly over her shoulder, she skitters up the street.
I wave heartily, call after her, “Good luck! Have a blessed day!”

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Email Excerpt: Circa 2008 New Right Wing Battle Tank

Discouraged  with their progress in claiming the middle east for Jesus and pressed by the fast-approaching change of administrations, cynical neo-conservative empire builders and their evangelical allies have pushed the Bush administration to deploy a battalion of experimental Coulter A2-FU battle tanks in Iraq.  Named after Ann Coulter, the creator of the US’s post-9/11 doctrine: “Invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity,” the A2-FU tank allows American forces to accomplish all three of these goals simultaneously.

Image

Picture shamelessly snatched from this guy:  http://www.kuksi.com/

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Jesus Leave Me Be

I try to be a tolerant guy.  I don’t care what color you are, what country your parents came from, who you love nor–once I’ve gotten to know you–who you voted for.  I won’t pretend those differences don’t exist: race, gender, orientation–all that stuff–is fascinating baggage to dig through, preferably over a drink, if for nothing else than for the wildly different experience these otherwise meaningless characteristics create, not to mention the social and cultural expectations and preconceptions engendered by the same.

I guess that’s why I don’t understand the homophobic bigotry of the conservative right, who despite their collective wailing and gnashing of teeth about “liberty” tend to expend exceptional energies in denying the freedom and liberties of homosexuals.  Similarly, I’m disgusted by the propensity of Christians to aggressively proselytize, demonstrating their overarching, dismissive disrespect for the spiritual and religious beliefs of others while simultaneously scheming to shape and control–and ultimately subvert–all public offices.

Numerous Christian women have, in recent weeks, written letters to our local newspaper in what appears to be a concerted effort, advocating a forthright Christian litmus test as part of the requirements for president, assuring us that the Christian god does not approve of Barack Obama, reminding us that that “Many people seem to forget how this country (world, for that matter) was started and who started it. God! And it’s pretty bad when people think he should be removed from all aspects of our lives.”  Finally, and this is my favorite, another woman asserted that the government’s failure to embrace and promote Christian values equates to repression and makes us “no better than the Taliban.”  And no, she was not promoting irony.

Recently, I received the following email:

      OneMillionMoms.com
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Please, help me spread the Truth for YouthAugust 28, 2013

Dear Charles This week, OneMillionMoms.com and Revival Fires International are hosting the Eleventh annual “Truth For Youth” Week across the nation.

Very simply, we are giving away Bibles to all teenagers who commit to give the Bibles to their unsaved friends in school. Parents can order a Bible on behalf of their teens too!

Really, there are no catches, no gimmicks, no shipping costs. Everything has already been paid for on your behalf.

We just want to get Bibles into the hands of our youth. No one will call you and you won’t be added to any mailing lists. Order your Free Bible now.

Our goal this week is to give away at least 65,000 Bibles. We need your help to reach our goal.

The Truth For Youth Bible consists of the New Testament in the God’s Word translation, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comic stories that are packed with “absolute truth” regarding issues young people are faced with.

Thank you in advance for your help in getting Bibles into the hands of our youth.

During ‘The Truth For Youth” week you can help make reaching the 53.8 million youth in America’s public schools with ‘the truth” of God’s Word, a reality. To receive a free copy of the ‘Truth For Youth” to give away in school, order online here or call 1-800-733-4737. Limit: One Bible per teenager in each home.

Additional copies may be purchased for a special discounted price of only $3.00 each at http://www.thetruthforyouth.com/truth_bible.html#HELPTHECAUSE.

Sincerely,Monica Cole, Director

OneMillionMoms.com

In the interest of full disclosure, I have subscribed to the One Million Moms email campaign because 1) This chick is unintentionally hilarious, and 2.) I like to know who they’re targeting.

In this case, however, I am NOT AMUSED.  What kind of people plot to use their own children to undermine and subvert the values of their peers’ families?  How fiendish and twisted to employ a militia of children to wage war against other families?  I’m pretty confident my kids wouldn’t go in for this sort of assault on our beliefs, but believe me: if a kid of mine did come home from school with a bible in their hand and a tale of attempted conversion, the parents of the kid are going to find me on their porch and in their face. No one has the right to interfere with the way I raise my children, and Ms. Cole’s breezy confidence in her insidious plot to corrupt the values of 65,000 families is shocking.

Imagine the outrage if a group of Muslim or Jewish missionaries embarked on a plan to “convert” 65,000 American children.  Christian parents in California raised a stink over physical education classes that taught basic yoga!  Sigh. I simply don’t understand the colonial, missionary zeal of the religion that instilled in me most of the (very few, I admit) moral strengths I can claim.  What is it about Christians–and Muslims, for that matter, quite a lot of common ground here–that drive them to recruit, convert, or conquer “unbelievers” either true or perceived, why the need to remake the world.  Why not live and let live?  I mean, if I don’t get into paradise on good deeds and kindness alone (not actually criteria, according to what I heard from the pulpit), it’s just that much less often they’ll have to refill the bowl of heavenly corn nuts, right.

Why not “live and let live?”

Have an answer?  Illuminate me.