Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Permit To Toe Squish

Hello Boys and Girls, today’s lesson centers on our world, this great big, beautiful planet that we call home. This spinning orb that houses such diverse pleasures and pus-filled pox as butterflies, flowers, the Rocky Mountains, Bigfoot, billions of Chinamen, David Hasselhoff and the greatest vocalist ever to grace our ears, Mr. William Shatner.

Do you know what I’ve determined in my short time on this great big ball? No? Ok, I’ll tell ya …. This is one screwed-up place. And it’s getting worse. Honestly, I didn’t always think this way. When I first popped out of my mama and gasped, then coughed, then gasped and thought “Damn! Could ya take a Lady Bic and some FDS to the hedges, ma?” I had no clue about what this world held in store for me. I was still thinking about the good old days in my first life when I was Pharaoh Amen Ho! TepOnOverHere and had a 13-inch staff that I could command to become a snake. That magical time when a pyramid scheme meant creating a wonder of the world and Babylon wasn’t a bombed-out sand hole crawling with men named Saddam or Mohammed being forced to adopt a certain political structure by an egotistical Westerner. Well … maybe not that one. Some things never change.

Well, now here I am, reborn a slimy, slightly pissed new addition to the 20th Century. My staff is now a sprout. But, who knows what this life will hold. Forty-six years later I have learned a thing or two, adopted a habit or two… one good, many bad… and experienced things in this world that many people would never imagine being able to experience, let alone want to experience. Being a numerological Life Path 5 I feel the need to move often from place to place, task to task and experience to experience. Not in everything, per se, (I love that term, it’s catchy) but after learning something or mastering something I become bored and need to move to something new. It’s what has always caused me to stay in relationships for sometimes too long and change jobs or careers sometimes too often, at least by the world’s standards. If I get bored I’m not being challenged and if I’m not challenged then said task or item isn’t useful to me anymore. Blunt? Yes. Don’t like it? I don’t give a rat’s ass. Really. And a rat’s ass is pretty small.

Getting back to my idea, I’ve determined a few things about life on this planet and those things can easily be summed up in three simple things that apart seem mundane yet combined would provide a cure for the common cold, world peace and premature ejaculation if used for good, not evil.

Those three things? Ok… Organized Religion, Foul Language and the DMV.

Strange bedfellows? Yes they are. But they have a connection and that connection is at the very core of our existence. You may be thinking, “How is this peckernoggin going to explain this? What does the DMV have to do with anything good in life?” Well, patient, young Grasshoppah, I will enlighten you.

Let’s take organized religion first. Take a drink, toke, pill, breath or grab your rosary and say 100 Hail Mary’s before you read on. And let me preface this by saying that before I became enlightened, I had been a practicing Christian as early as the age of ejaculation. It wasn't until nine months later that I had the 666 sanded off my forehead at birth, so I do have some insight into this subject. Question for you …. What do Christianity, Islam, Mormonism and Hinduism have in common? Come on … give it a shot. Give up? Ok, well, each has it’s own sacred prophet or funnel to God. Jesus. Mohammed. Joe Smith (?) and a cow. Yes, a cow. I love a good piece of beef as much as the next guy but I’m not going to bend over and worship Bessie.

On a personal note, I have gone to church and been a Methodist all my life. I always equated church with flowers, a steeple and hard wooden pews when I was young and to eternal salvation, good versus evil and sacrifice as an adult. Here’s the kick in the ass that has recently opened my eyes … The one thing that organized religion teaches that I never consciously noticed but is SO very obvious when you step back and look… JUDGEMENTALism. Organized religion is the most judgemental, closed-minded form of segregation. Not just for Christians. Christians had the Crusades, based on human interpretations of what the Bible says. Islam has suicide bombers now but has always judged the world who doesn’t agree with its message of “peace.” Don't even consider mentioning South Park and Mohammed in the same sentence. You automatically sign your own death warrant and forfeit any chance of a virgin in heaven. Feel the Love? Mormonism? Well, it’s just fucked up. Jesus visited Colorado and talked to some dude named Joe Smith and told ol' Joe to hide his china pattern in a hat. Later, he added a clause in the Book of Joe that stipulates each male child, upon reaching the age of puberty, shall henceforth be required to straddle a Schwinn and annoy the living hell out of people door to door. Mission accomplished. The one thing that Mormonism has going for it is the multiple wives angle. There’s something to that. So says the Book of Mormon.

Hinduism? A cow is sacred. Yes, Bobby Flay is the preacher and Mrs. Dash is the essence of the religion. So says “Boy Vs. Grill.” It doesn’t matter if you get on your knees and praise Allah, God, Elsie the cow or “Jesus James” (Jesus in the wild west! Go Mormons!). In the end, every one of us will have to answer to someone. Whether it’s God, asking why he should “push the button and open or close the garage door” or the doctor standing over the death bed asking if it’s ok that he pulls the plug, we all have to answer to someone in the end.

So… being human as I often am, I thought a bit about the dynamics of religion per se, ;) and how foul language is directly related.

Think of the biggies that always got our mouths washed out with soap… Goddamn. The granddaddy of them all. A direct word of defiance, bastardized over the years but I have a feeling that the day Abraham heard God say “Abraham, I want you to climb that mountain and kill your boy” Abraham said under his breath, ‘Goddamn” … or maybe it was “Goddamneth” I don’t know, but he surely had a moment of defiance. And when Joe Smith was visited by Jesus in Utah and Jesus told ol’ Joe, “Hey Joe, you need at least 5 wives,” ol’ Joe said “Goddamn!” but had a bit different tone in his voice than Abraham had. Joe was thinkin’ about a fresh woman Monday through Friday and rest on the weekends … much like God during Creation. Different interpretations of a word, a foul-mouthed word, by two different people who looked upward to the same Being (who I do believe is there and has one HELL of a sense of humor).

This brings me to the DMV. Before any of this weird conglomeration of ideas even was a glimmer in my mind’s eye … Back when I had children that looked at me as a figurehead and not a lack of dollar signs, I visited the local DMV to extend my daughter’s temporary license. The place was packed with people from every ethnicity, religion, height, level of attractiveness and lifestyle. The DMV is God’s version of Hell on earth. No shit. (“Shit” is from the Aramaic for “Youethgottabekiddineth”) My daughter and I were sitting, waiting for number C209817325 to be called. They just called C209816091 so there are only 8 more hours of listening to screaming Chinese children, families of Bubbas and Tammis planning their next possum roast and Mexicans, uh, hispanics, por favor, discussing who will drive the truck home and who will ride in the bed of the truck with the lawn care equipment.

Finally, the number is called and when we get to the window the lovely young middle-eastern lady standing there is nicely dressed and has one of those long scarves on her head. My initial thought goes to my thoughts on peripheral vision while driving and how burqua'd women are able to accomplish that particular feat of safety. I wanted SO badly to ask if she has peripheral vision when she drives here in the land of Freedom but I refrained because I knew that my daughter would look at me, sneer and run straight to her mother which would guarantee an early demise. In hindsight, I wish I'd spoken.

Being I wasn't quite ready to answer to God or the surgeon just yet I didn’t ask.

But, I had to know something. Like I said in an earlier post … if I don’t learn something new each day I consider it a wasted day. So, I asked something that I’ve often wondered about.

“Excuse me. Can you tell me the proper term for your head gear?” Yes, I said head gear. I didn’t want to say scarf, towel, curtain or the like. I thought it might be taken the wrong way. For the first time, maybe the first time in her previously oppressed lifetime, she smiled. “It’s called a Hedjamb” she replied. I asked her to spell it and she did. She explained to me why she wears it. She had lovely, expressive eyes as she spoke about her head gear. I had not been judgmental. Yeah, I partly asked to satisfy an inner smartass but I also really wanted to know. THAT is the moment the idea for this blog post took root. I also learned a bit more about myself in a few different ways. No, I still don’t agree with the cow thing, the Jesus in Utah thing, the Mohammed advocating killing people by wearing a belt made of C4, or even Jesus saying that unless you believe in him you’re destined for Hell. What I have learned is that we ALL need something to believe in. We all are human and have faults. I believe I'm doing just fine. Sure, I curse at times. I don't follow the mindless masses to church anymore so I can get a chuckle from watching the fake smiles of people pretending that everything is great in life as they raise their hands and sway to “Amazing Grace” and by God, I still have to go to the Goddamned DMV.

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