Bible thumpers

I have access to at least a hundred TV channels, and some nights when I cannot sleep, I flip from channel to channel to find something to watch or to anesthetize me.
Invariably I come across the preachers; they are legions and judging by the crowds they minister to, they seem to be doing very well, thank you.

The preachers, (who, I don’t know why are mainly Southerners) endlessly quote the Bible and rhapsodize about Jesus. It always seems that they all knew him personally and are very familiar with his most inner thoughts.
Personally, I was never close to Jesus, but I understand that he was some kind of a do-gooder.

I have always been suspicious of do-gooders and I am not the only one. George Orwell said it better than I could when he wrote “Saints should always be judged guilty, until they are proved innocent”.
Saints make me uncomfortable. They are too… perfect. When I venture to compare myself to a saint, the gap if so frighteningly wide that I get dizzy just thinking about it.

But preachers feel comfortable with saints and have a very good and close relationship with Jesus. It seems that they were schoolmates or something like that. They know all about his life, where he was born, the kind of parents he had, the kind of pranks he used to play on his teachers, and most of all what he did and what he said.

I couldn’t be a preacher, because I have a bad memory and because I am so damn skeptical. Preachers casually mention that Jesus fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread. Nobody in the audience blinks an eye. But myself, I feel a little dubious…
Preachers have written proof of what they say and two thousand years of history to fall back on. Me, what do I have?  A few copies of National Geographic. What they say and what they show in this magazine is closer to my line of thinking.

I think that it’s great that so many people find salvation listening to preachers, but as I said before, they (being so close to sainthood) make me feel uncomfortable and I quickly switch to “Everybody loves Raymond”, something I can relate to.


PS: I have found that preachers are very good at inducing sleep. So if you occasionally battle insomnia, put away those nasty little pills and tune in instead to those wonderful fellows who are such marvelous hypnotizers and storytellers.


Life in the wilderness

A long time ago, the “coureurs de bois” (runners of the woods) left the relative comfort of their homes and ventured into the wilderness for months at a time. They traveled long distances to buy pelts and trade with the natives.
During that time they were totally cut off from civilization, and amazingly they survived their harsh conditions and even thrived.

Today it is difficult to imagine anybody leaving home without a cell phone in his/her bosom.

In our day and age, the cell phone has become such an indispensable tool that many people cannot face the prospect of being “phoneless”, even for an hour.
They have this absolute need to feel “connected” or otherwise they will most certainly die.

But even when you carry a cell phone you can get cut off from civilization. There are many areas in the US where no phone signal is available and where it is impossible to get a “fonefix”.
This is a serious health problem and I think that the phone company should look into it.

Speaking for the silent majority, I think that Ma Bell should provide emergency stations along the way and allow oversensitive travelers to get a temporary fonefix to avoid dangerous withdrawal conditions.

We are so used to cell phones that it almost unthinkable of being deprived of it; especially teenagers who have an absolute need to fondle the thing regularly and send numerous very important messages to their peers.

When I was young, the worst punishment inflicted upon me was to deprive me of books or forbid me to go the local library.
Today a teenager’s worst punishment is to be denied his cellphone. Never mind the books.
Being phoneless is considered by the teen set to be a fate worse than death and deemed to be “unusual and cruel punishment”. And many parents will agree with this.

Last weekend I spent two days without being “connected” and amazingly I survived this ordeal without incurring any major trauma.
I even enjoyed it.

Even though I couldn’t bathe in the daily glory of my readers’ adulation, I felt a strange sense of peace surrounding me. Just like Adam must have felt in the Garden of Eden.

So even though being phoneless for a few days can be challenging, it is not deadly and with a little determination you can survive it.
Just be sure to carry some booze and a bible, and you’ll be all right.

I guarantee it.


PS: To look at pictures of this event, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.


When Insults Had Class

**** An exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d poison your tea.”
He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” 

 **** A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

 **** “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”  – Winston Churchill 

 **** “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway). 

**** “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it” – Mark Twain 

**** “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends..” –  Oscar Wilde 

**** “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… if you have one.” – George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
 “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response.

 **** “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” – Samuel Johnson 

 **** “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.” – Charles, Count Talleyrand

 **** “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” –  Mae West 

  **** “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde 

 **** “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it” – Groucho Marx