Well, I guess Jesus is all-seeing after all. Even though I’m clearly identified here on No More Hornets as “The Exterminator,” the Christ has figured out that I don’t usually go by that title in my day-to-day life. I got a piece of mail from his representatives today, and it was addressed to me by the actual name I use in my non-blogging existence: RESIDENT. (Confession: It used to be RESIDENTOWITZ, but my grandparents changed it to make it sound more American.)
The envelope was dated “Sunday — May 2008.” I was under the mistaken impression that there were four Sundays in May 2008, but I guess I was wrong. However, I did wonder: If Jesus is so magical, how come I received the letter on a Wednesday? I guess we all know that the lord works in mysterious ways. As god always says: “Sunday, Shmunday. What am I, a watchmaker?”
Also on the envelope, there was a lot of red type and underlining and and italics and boldface and BOLDFACE CAPS. And, of course, what would a note from Jesus be without at least one exclamation point! Not only is he omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient, but he's also omnifonted. In the beginning was the MS Word.
Contained inside the package was some hoopla about an accompanying paper prayer rug, and how the closed eyes on the Jesus face would open if I stared "into" them hard enough. They didn’t, but I was briefly able to see the messiah's face in complementary colors when I quickly looked up at my white wall. There was also the text of some mumbo-jumbo I was supposed to repeat while kneeling on the rug or holding it over my knees, as well as some instructions for where I should stick the thing overnight. No, not there. And of course I was asked — gently — to make a contribution to St. Matthew’s 57-year-old Church (not to be confused with St. Matthew’s 58-year-old Church), the institutional sender of this First Epistle to Residentians.
The prayer rug was a folded piece of 11 x 17 paper, tinted in lavender and orange, which is certainly the most holy color combination. Near the bottom, it was conveniently labeled "Church Prayer Rug," so I wouldn't mistakenly think it was just some run-of-the-mill unfolded picture of Jesus. The thorn-crowned savior's face sat smack in the center and some ersatz Persian-ruggish design surrounded him as a border. On the back of this treasure, a short text informed me that it had been “Soaked with the Power of Prayer.” It didn’t feel moist, but maybe that’s because I’m an atheist. Anyway, I was ordered to use it immediately, and return it because “Timing is important to God.” (That's probably why he's such a great comedian.)
So I had in my hands:
- a very personal letter (Dear ... Someone Connected with This Address);
- a genuine paper prayer rug with Jesus's authentic face, complete with a pathetic, solitary tear streaming down from his closed left eye;
- testimonials from women who had received financial windfalls from J.C., but neither of whom, judging from their pictures, saw fit to use the cash for a much needed makeover;
- an offer for a “FREE, DEUTERONOMY 8:18 PROSPERITY CROSS, BLESSED BY THE CHURCH (Look it up, you lazy bastards);
- special Christian fortune-cookie prophecies personally meant for me, RESIDENT (apparently, I may feel my inner power growing);
- a checklist designating exactly how I’d like the church to use their power of prayer for my family and myself (e.g., A New Car, A Money Blessing, or A Closer Walk With Jesus);
- an important shilling notice reminding me that I should “Pray about sowing a seed gift to the Lord’s work,” and asking me to “give God your best seed and believe Him for His best blessing" (yeah, I was tempted to do what you’re thinking of);
- and an enclosed return envelope (addressed to “PRAYER BY LETTERS”).
So our tax dollars, yours and mine, are being used for a scamming CHRISTIAN CHAIN LETTER!!!
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT No. 636
I’ll be calling the postal authorities tomorrow. I’ll also be contacting my congressman and both senators. More later.