So. Happy Fourth of July, y’all. While this date in history has no actual historical significance as far as our freedom from English tyrannical rule, it is, by edict, the day we celebrate independence as a Nation—a People. Our celebrations originally settled around the freedoms sought by humans from many countries, of many religions and wildly variant political views. We had Catholics and Quakers and Pilgrims and Anglicans and Atheists and more.
Weren’t any fucking Southern Baptists, though. As a matter of fact, there were not any Baptists of any kind who left another continent to settle in America for religious freedom. Fact is, the first Baptist in America was some guy from up to New England—Rhode Island, I think—who got pissed at his church in the early 1600’s and then adopted and adapted some Dutch guy’s theological pissinesses at the Catholics because this guy—Smyth or Smith, maybe Johnny Smyth I think was the asshole’s name—didn’t think that you should baptize babies against their sins.
OK, let’s stop for an ADHD off-the-tracks moment of reflections. I might should have interjected my hypotenuse before continuing what is today’s hypothesis. And why don’t we go ahead and stop once more to carefully explain why the injection of an hypotenuse (a hypotenuse?) has anything to do with my hypothesis that all religions are fucked. And don’t even start with your “Hey, shithead, pissinesses isn’t even a word” bullshit. You can be pissed, be pissy, and pissed off. The resultant thoughts and emotions of having been pissed and pissy are your “pissinesses”.
Me, I see religion as a simple thing whether you are an evolutionist, or an ignorant “All this shit was created in seven days” brain-dead Southern Baptist. Either way, there was one, original Homo Sapien human person of each sex. One male and one female from whom to propagate and fill Earth and screw everything all to Hell and back again. At some point, and likely early in those first generations of we humans, somebody either got curious—or scared—about how we originated or what happens when we die.
This one time when God came to visit me I asked It how did people get invented. I say “It” because God was sitting in a canvas deck chair out to the dock in Austin, Texas, sampling the air with a split tongue.
“Holy shit, Big Guy, you look like one of those Gila Monster lizards. This is very unsettling to me. As the fruit of the labors of my Southern Baptist upbringings, to see you in reptilian form makes my skin crawl,” I explained.
“Get over your prejudice, Mooner,” God told me in Walter Cronkite’s voice. Wally “That’s the way it is” Cronkite was staying in Austin for an extended period and I thought him to be the News God as a kid.
“Fine, Sir, I’ll try. But I like it much better when you look like a woman. Remember that one time when you came as Marylin Monroe? Now that was some visit!”
“How could I forget? You tried to get Me to have sex with you.”
He was right, of course. “Well, ma’am,” I replied to what had morphed into the visage of Marilyn Monroe, “I was fourteen and you did show up in the middle of a dream.”
Anyway, during this visit I asked God about the religion dealio, about what the first religion was, and how She fit into these scheme of things.
“Look, son, I had nothing to do with religion and even less to do with why you people are here. For the life of Me, I don’t now why I get the blame and credit for everything you humans do. Ever since your kind congregated the first time you started looking for something to justify your bad acts.”
Now God looked like a granite slab—pink granite with gray swirls—and as It spoke, the legs of the deck chair creaked under the weight. OK, stop again. Should I have said that the chair creaked under “The” weight? You know, capitalize the The because it’s God?
“But what about our souls? Aren’t you responsible for those rotten and truly wonderful things?”
I had long wondered about our souls, and mine specifically as mine had already been subjected to my rending and other abuses. “Mother keeps telling me that my soul is going to burn in hell because I’m a heretic,” I told God.
“That’s simply poppycock, Mooner. Reality is that you humans have no more soul than does any other brained animal, you just managed to evolve with the most useful brain cells. And just so that you understand Reality with a big “R”, having all that brain power will eventually bring the end of you.”
That unsettled me. “That’s unsettling, Sir. You’re sitting there looking like the granite kitchen counters over to Norman Eaton’s Polonaise restaurant telling me that brains are our demise. Does the term “dumb as a rock” strike a chord, sir?”
The Polonaise restaurant was Austin’s classy cafe back to the mid-1960’s. Our buddy, Craig Carthel, was a cook’s helper back to college. The owner wanted everyone to call him a “sous chef”, but Craig was a cook’s helper.
God changed forms once again, and I was sitting on an old wooden dock and staring into the deep eyes of Albert Einstein. “Listen, son. Take it from one of the wisest men ever to grace your planet. Smart doesn’t always make good decisions.”
I didn’t know Albert Einstein’s voice was a dead ringer for Gregory Peck. I told God, I said, “Did you know that my middle name is Einstein, Big Guy? Butcher Einstein Johnson’s the name, and mastering heretical acts is my game. But back to this soul thingie. Are You telling me that if an organism so much as has a single, linked synapses that snaps off a command, said organism has a soul? Really?”
“Really,” God answered. “How can you people be so smart yet so dumb. You guys are greedy, Mooner, and prejudiced. Combined with brainpower, it’ll get you killed.”
The reason that visit came to light this morning is because the Squirt asked me if the goat dog has a soul. “He’s so fucking stupid, Bwana, how can he have a soul?” were the precise words.
“Souls and brains are separate entities, little lady. And if God was telling me the truth, neither is all that special a deal in the big picture of things.”
“But Mother says that you’re soul is going to burn in Hell because you’re a heretic. Will Yoda burn in Hell because he’s dumb?” Squirt asked.
Have I told you guys that we decided to paint every fucking thing in the back yard in the “Santa Fe Style”? Bright colors contrasting with muted ones. I had stopped writing this at the end of that last paragraph Thursday morning, and now—Sunday morning—I’ve picked it back up. What I’ve done between writing sessions is scraping and sanding and primering and painting. And repainting when the attendant color combinations induced nausea.
Oh, and pig meat cooking. I found this giant package of pig ribbies at the store and we drank beer and cooked pig meat and worked outside. The ribs are not my best by a long shot, but even bad-cooked pork is good eating.
In the last couple days, I had forgotten about my adorable brown puppy’s question about my mentally-challenged and equally adorable white puppy’s soul. As a child, I wondered the same question about my own soul and those souls not mine. To answer that question for all of us, I want to quote my randy old grandmother when she was asked the question this one time.
We were all at a church picnic held under the big oak trees at the family Baptist church property. One of the church ladies brought up the question was Marilyn Monroe’s soul truly doomed to burn in H-E-Double-L, as Pastor Browningwell had said in that morning’s sermon. Several of the women tittered and tsked about MM having gotten D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D, and then they made it to local women having been divorced and their souls’ final resting places. I could see that Gram’s patience was already thin when someone said, this bigoted old gasbag asked, “Well, what about that Penelope Paxton-Parades?”
Asking about Gram’s best buddy’s soul was the clincher.
Gram smacked her flat palm hard to the folding card tabletop. Paper plates and plastic forks jumped an inch in the air. “Who really gives a shit? If’n ya ask me, it’s gonna be a Hell full a back-talkin’ fuckballs jist like y’all. Now shut yer yappers an’ pass me the iced tea.”
My sentiments, exactly. Manana, y’all.