It's a funny thing--he was stuck between the couch cushions with my old TV remote. No telling how long ago he's been down there, surviving on old M&Ms and pieces of potatoe chips and loose change.
James Cameron can find Jesus' tomb, and me, I've found God's Own Hankie. In the mail. It was sent to me. See, I got this letter in the mail at work. This is not ordinary because I get ALL the letters at work, sort them to the right people, toss the junk in the round file and Bob's yer uncle, but this one caught my eye.
Now, it wasn't the blue faux highlighter marking that got me. It wasn't the 'Use It And Be Blessed' stamping. No, it was the address section: "Resident -- To A Friend." Uhm...okay, I don't live at work even though I sometimes feel like I do, but how was I to take that? Was I supposed to bring it to a friend, me being the aforementioned resident? Was I going to turn into a zombie and go stumbling around Raccoon City? What if I don't HAVE any friends?
The other hook that caught me was that The Head Spook had told these kind folks down at this here Full Gospel Missionary Church On The Rock that they were bearing an onus to loan this thing to me. I don't recall recently praying for anything like a bag full of dead presidents or a bottled genie, but then maybe, I figured, the Holy Insubstantial Hisself might be a little backed up in the Request Fulfillment Dept. (say, some twenty-odd years) and was just now getting around to shipping Tawny Kitaen to me via Fed Ex Overnight, so I plowed onward.
I flipped it over to slide my handy-dandy Anthrax-Sensitive Letter Opener (a buck three eighty at K&B)and saw THIS.
Wow. Some octogenerian letter-stuffer had a field day with the blue Sharpie marker back here. So what did I have to look forward to? Church letter of prayer? Handkerchief? Prophecies? Under my bed? I was starting to get really excited, because it seemed I had stumbled into the mother lode of crazies, and they had included the ultimate relic, Gawd's Own Handkerchief, stolen perhaps from the Vatican's relic storehouse. Visions of melting faced Nazis crowded into my head and I almost crowed with happiness, ready to lay waste to my foes with this Most Blessed And Powerful Linen Nosegay +5 Holy Avenger.
But then, just like your most annoying relatives, reality settled in on me. See, I have this memory. Let me take you there. *making flashback noises* Back when I was a kid, it was the grandest thing in the world to get mail. The time Playboy got me on it's mailing list and started sending me tantalizing offers of sumptously unclad women with astounding physical proportions (I knew nothing of airbrushing back then) was vieing with memories of the first religious thing I ever got in the mail, but the religion thing was winning the battle over all those long pale legs and heaving boosoms.
It came packed in a plain #10 envelope, but inside was this glossy, road map-sized, foldout Personal Compleate Guide To How To Burn In Hell, all printed in one colour--blue. Sharpie marker blue. Some kind church-going folks had thought enough of my nonexistent immortal soul to send me this giant poster of people suffering in eternally burning lakes of cobalt fire, souls being tormented by fanatic indigo demons, and peacefully praying ultramarine families being ascended bodily into Heaven by sapphire rays of Holy Transporter Energy and welcomed thereto by St. Peter and His All-Blues Jam Band. Even good old Fido was there to welcome them, the family's Blue Heeler.
Yeah, that was one step too far. Sorry.
This glossy thing had left it's marks all over me, and not because it was still fresh from the printer. No, it was the first real attack on my person by junk mail, and it came from that fog-shrouded land called Religion, and it was strong enough and so coincidentally well-timed that it was referred back to by my hindbrain more times than I've taken it in hand. Or maybe every time I take it in hand. Anyway.
And now, this navy missive, this Sharpie-highlighted letterbomb, just waiting to send me spiraling right back to the Cerulean Pit Of Super-Sized Eternal Damnation. Inside--a sealed prophecy and a 56 year old lunatic ready to give me all my wishes come true simply for returning Gawd's officially embroidered (what IS God's initials, anyway?) hankie. Liar to a people was more like it, but I was hooked. I HAD to see what sort of idiocy was hiding in this envelope.
Okay, everyone from Tulsa Oklahoma reading this now? Smack yourself across the face for this return envelope. Hard. Again. Once more with feeling. Okay, thanks. "WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! THE NEXT MORNING!"? What? In Comic font? Sounds like someone shouting a really terrible fortune cookie fortune in a mildly humorous voice. "With god all things are possible the next morning in bed with a banana, waka-waka-waka!" Er...yeah. Okay. And with two you get eggroll and your choice of soup, Fozzie.
Oddly enough, it only got worse.
I hate to say it, but at this point I was laughing so hard that the onslaught of a dozen print colours, fonts and all those frills and scrolls and other modern scribe's illuminations I blacked out for a moment. Seems that if I wrote my fondest wishes on the included hankie that up until recently belonged to Gawd my son would beat the rap on that cop-killing charge he was being set up with, my other son would suddenly be free of "the dope" (I thought I divorced her years ago,) God would fondle one of my children ("Point to where the Divinity touched you on this doll, sweetie,") I'd get the clapping in my hands (I'm told penicillin cures that) and I'd join the Seed Harvest, what the hell ever THAT is. Heady stuff indeed. I was ready to cover that prayer-soaked hankie with my best Zodiac writing and send it back and then wait, anxiously, for my seed delivery. Or Tawny's panties. Or whatever.
And then, like a cheap paper imitation of cloth, there It was. God's personal snot rag:
I was underwhelmed, I must say. I would have figured He could afford better than that...like maybe real cloth for starters. I mean, He's supposed to be The Guy, the Cosmic Watch Maker, the Dood Who Set It All In Motion, who hung the stars and set the planets in motion and when He gets a cold He's got to wipe His omniscient nose with a sheet of high cotton content paper? Wow, no wonder Bush is president: this really IS Hell.
And it's not even blue.
So the only thing left was the sealed prophecy, which I wasn't supposed to open unless I wasn't going to send in the Holy Handkerchief and an undisclosed amount of money. So what did I do? You got it. I let PB&J here in the office open it. I figured if any demons (aquamarine or not) were going to leap out and rend me to pieces to prove that the hankie had fallen into the wrong nose I'd rather them leap out and shred someone else. No offense, PB&J but you're the low gal on the totem pole.
To be honest, at this point I was having spasms from laughing too hard and the sealed prophecy vanished in a puff of smoke or something when I changed the flow of time by not leaving it sealed under my bed with a banana so I'm really sorry I can't share it with you, but I tell you what--I'll meet you in Hell and we can talk about it. I'll be on the corner of Aqua and Turquoise streets.
I'll be the one in red.
post-script to the 1000th post:
You know, I had seriously considered naming this post simply "M" in true Roman Minimalist fashion but then I'd have had to go off into some sort of Peter Lorre direction, and I couldn't really do my Lorre voice (EVERYONE can do a Lorre voice) and then it'd likely end up somewhere in the esoterica of Rick's Cafe American, and if you followed THAT series of mental leaps and bound then congratulations: you're a suitable case for treatment. Right this way...