Friday, April 15, 2011

On the Heavenly Realm, and Other Unpleasantries

Will there be any stars in my crown, in my crown?

-Old folk hymn

No not one, no not one…

-Slightly less old folk hymn

* * * * *

Sunday School teachers say the stupidest shit sometimes.

Miss Smitchens told us that God had a wife. No further explanation was needed—little Scotty asked if God had a wife Up There, and she responded, without further extrapolation, “Yes, and her name is Heather”.

I think that was the time I saw Miss Smitchens’ slip sticking out from under her wool skirt. I knew God didn’t want me looking at the teacher’s slip, or feeling the way I felt when I saw her underwear. That wasn’t the way an eight year old was supposed to feel toward his Sunday School teacher; it was the way God was supposed to feel toward His wife.

I felt guilty…but I couldn’t stop staring.

Miss Smitchens’ favorite topic was the Afterlife. She described the glories of New Jerusalem to us, how everything was so beautiful that they could afford to pave the streets with gold and still balance the budget of municipal expenses every year.

On a different Sunday while the grown-ups were in Big People’s Church learning some virtuous lesson from the Beatitudes, Miss Smitchens explained to us kids that when we all went to Heaven, each of us would get a crown; we would have a star in that crown for every person we had converted to Christianity.

My first thought was, that’s bullshit. I didn’t have access to anything close to the sort of mass communication network that someone like Billy Graham had at their disposal. It was anything but a level playing field. Not fair.

Eventually, though, I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get any stars in my heavenly crown. I figured I’d settle for serving coffee to the people who had stars in their crown, and I’d be OK with it. I mean, even in Heaven, someone had to wait on the people who really deserved to be there.

Besides, I figured, most of them would probably be dicks about the whole crown thing anyway, and maybe I could spit into their coffee when they weren’t looking. Someone would have to take them down a notch every now and then.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Don Juan Tenorio manda un comunicado a los policías de tránsito de San Diego

Infelices policías de tránsito de la ilustre Provincia de San Diego de Alcalá—oídme vosotros.
Pronto llegará el glorioso día en que el Señor de los Ejércitos, en su eterna y divina justicia, pondrále fin a vuestra tiranía impune. Habéis atentado contra mi nobleza y mi honor, pues no cesáis de chingarme la vida sin causa alguna. Por lo tanto ruégoles a la Santísima Virgen Nuestra Señora de Fátima y a todos los Santos porque derramen sobre vuestras cabezas el divino castigo hasta que sobreabunde.
Os presento, para vuestra atenta consideración y para que os sirva como ejemplo de la tiranía a la cual se nos sujeta sin reposo, el caso que a este humilde servidor sucedióle esta misma mañana.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


That was the summer the Beanie Babies descended on our town.

McDonald’s announced that their Happy Meals would be accompanied by a different Beanie Baby stuffed animal each week. With religious fervor, adults across our suburban community laid waste to the restaurants like so many pudgy Mongols. According to the 6 o’clock news, these stuffed animals were limited edition “collector’s items”, endowed with the power to transubstantiate thousands of housewives, firemen, secretaries, retirees, church pastors and exotic dancers into a newly homogenized crowd of “Collectors”.