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.


  1. Dear David,

    I'm struggling to come up with a way to segue into what I want without coming off as A.) a stalker, B.) an annoying ass hole, or C.) an annoying stalker ass hole. I hope this self-aware, slightly humorous hook will do the job. If not, fuck it. Please read this!

    First things first, if you're not the David J. Schmidt from San Diego who published an article in the home brewing magazine, Zymurgy, then you actually really don't need to read this. BUT. If you are, then here's why I stalked you out on the internet and found your blog: I'm going to be graduating college next year and well...the real world scares the piss out of me. I want to adventure, you know? Of course you know. However, loans will prevent me from doing my desired lifestyle of asceticism and freedom. But there is a loop in the system! Well...not technically a loop, an opportunity rather. There's a crazy fellowship called the Watson, that I could apply for, which would allow me to do a year of exploring my passion across the world. The more unique the passion the better, which serves me well, because my passion is home brewing. The pieces are coming together! That's right, I read your article and thought you'd be a great resource in learning about indigenous home brewing cultures, specifically in Mexico. If you had any advise, books I should read, or anything, I'd super appreciate it!

    My email is

    I hope you'll shoot me an email. And I enjoyed reading your blog. Good stuff.

    Joe Decker

  2. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the message. I just responded to your email; send me a message on this blog if you don't get the email. And don't worry, you came off as neither stalker, nor asshole, nor annoying asshole, nor annoyingly assholic stalker (truly the most detestable category).