I had the opportunity to spend some quality time in my library which consists of a very unhygienic basket of random magazines and books wedged between my toilet and the wall. I thought I’d fill my literary quota for the week. I attempted a go at a book entitled What Would Jesus Buy?
This alluring title was purchased by my wife from the $2 sidewalk bin at our local bookstore slash coffee shop slash “I’m a writer. See me write?” hipster hangout. The fact that this book was displayed on a sidewalk cart begging to be stolen speaks volumes of its sales history, but purchased it was and graces my library it does.
I haven’t the foggiest idea what this book is about. I made it through a page and a half of “we are living in a dangerously consumer-oriented society” before my brain glossed over and I exchanged the paperback for a sales circular.
Ironically, I began to break the 10th commandment, which, more ironically, the breaking of is the basis of capitalism, and started lusting for all sorts of plastic products. All of which I could mount a valid argument for purchase.
My subconscious conversation having been influence by the discarded paperbacks’ premise went something like this: “Jesus! I need to buy that. It would save my back doing yard work. It’s certainly cheaper than a chiropractic visit.” *turn page* “Jesus! I sure would love to have that sleek machine on my kitchen counter. The Lord wants me to have freshly made pasta, doesn’t he?” *turn page* “Jesus! Jesus would want me to have this…this…I don’t know what the hell it is, but surely owning one would ensure my soul’s entrance into heaven.”
Lurking somewhere in the bottom of basket-library lies a Bible. I know this because the conflict brought about by the lust-inducing circular and the velum pages of the former caused the wicker to catch fire…yet not be consumed. Now where had I heard that before? Unfortunately, the same can not be said for me. I ended up jumping into the tub and extinguishing my buttocks with cold water.
Naked and shivering in the tub isn’t the way I pictured meeting God, but the Almighty has a ruckus sense of humor. I timidly asked, “Lord, is that you?”
A booming voice returned from the flames, “Ha! Third one today. That one never gets old.”
“What do you want of me, oh Lord?” I said in a respectfully 3rd millennium B.C. sort of way.
“I want you to have fresh pasta, my son.”
“But Lord, shouldn’t I be feeding the poor or clothing the naked like your book says?”
“Well, I suppose you could cloth the naked. You could start with yourself. I’ve never been comfortable with a man’s naked body. Even Adam’s was a bit disconcerting. I’m just glad I made fig leaves as big as I did. So, yes, go and put on some clothes for my sake.”
Lacking the requisite raiment of camel’s hair for the occasion, I donned jeans and an unfortunate tee-shirt with, “Frankie says relax” emblazoned on it.
“What’s with the tee? asked the Almighty.
“Sorry, it was the 80s.” I replied.
“Actually, that’s good advice.” said the Lord. “More people should do that especially some of those Muslims. They’ve just got that whole ‘vengeance is mine, thus saith the Lord’ thing all wrong.”
“Is that your mission for me, oh Lord? Shall I preach unto the Muslims?”
“What? No. What makes you think I’ve come to give you a mission? I just stopped by to remind you that good pasta is the meaning of life. That and the flaming buttocks thing.” The Lord did chuckle, “Ahhhh…that one just never gets old.”
“Yes. You mentioned the joke’s timelessness, oh Lord. So, you want me to buy the pasta maker?”
“Meh. If you want to, but only if it has a 30-day, money-back guarantee and you use it wisely. Make a few meals for the hungry.”
“I will, Lord. I’ll write that down, ‘send meals to Hungary’.”
“No you idiot!” Boomed the Creator. “Meals for the hungry, not meals for Hungary. What sort of brain-damaged creature are you.”
“The regular sort, oh Lord. Sorry. ‘Meals for the hungry,’ got it. Shall I also buy the lawn equipment?”
“No! Your bad back is your constant reminder that life is suffering and your reward awaits in the great beyond.”
“That’s hardly fair, Lord. I’d much rather be out of pain and eat Ramen noodles than be in pain and eat fresh pasta.”
“Look. These are my commandments unto you. You get fresh pasta and a bad back. If you want to argue the point, I can set your bottom on fire again.”
“No, Lord, I mean, yes Lord, I’ll get the pasta maker,” I sighed.
“Good. Now go forth and purchase. I’ve got like a bazillion more calls to make today. Busier than Santa Claus and all that.”
And with that, the flames died out and the Almighty was gone. Unfortunately, the sales magazine was burnt beyond recognition. I have no way to order the pasta maker, my back still hurts, and I’m eating Ramen noodles for lunch. Indeed, the Almighty has a wicked sense of humor. Praise be to Him, I had burn cream in the cabinet. When this heals, it’s going to look exactly like the Virgin Mary and selling the photos to the faithful is going to make me rich…rich enough to pay someone else to make my pasta.