Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Friends Call Me "Rezz"


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 double-underlining 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”).
All this had been stuffed into a business envelope that had a printed notice in place of a stamp:
NONPROFIT ORG.

U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

PERMIT No.

636
So our tax dollars, yours and mine, are being used to pay mailing fees for a scamming CHRISTIAN CHAIN LETTER!!!

I’ll be calling the postal authorities tomorrow. I’ll also be contacting my congressman and both senators. More later.

16 comments:

tina FCD said...

Whoa! I think I received one of those before. Yuck!

the chaplain said...

I didn't realize you were part of the Resident clan. Now I know where to send those letters that open with the intensely personal salutation, "Dear Resident." It's so embarrassing to read someone else's mail. It's even worse now that I know I've been reading your mail! Don't worry, your secrets are safe with me. ;)

I am a proud member of the Occupant tribe myself. It does my heart good every time I open a letter addressed specifically to me, "Dear Occupant." I'm sure you can relate to that feeling.

John Evo said...

But how much money did you send?

iambilly said...

They must have sent a shitload of these to Pennsylvania. I got one (and just posted about it on my blog (shameless plug)) on Tuesday, spent Wednesday laughing about it, and blogged this morning. One of my close friends told me everyone in his church (of course, its a Catholic Church, so Oklahomans don't recognize it as a church) got it too.

yunshui said...

It's a thing of beauty! I'm very jealous - look at the exceptional penmanship on the beard, the detail in the (rather substantial) crown of thorns and the excellent surround tint giving an almost holy aura to the work. The border is a masterpiece of the Clip-Art genre. I for one would love to have this in my home, and greatly regret that my geographic locale has prevented me from receiving one of these.

I suggest you photocopy it and start selling them.

John Evo said...

Has anyone noticed that when the eyes "look at you", they are vacant? I believe there is a lesson here...

The Exterminator said...

tina:
I think "Yuck!" is too mild an expletive for this. Or does that word contain a typo?

chappy:
We Residents have been feuding with you Occupants for almost a century now. I sure hope my son doesn't decide to marry an Ocky girl.

Evo:
I didn't send any money, because I'm kind of strapped for cash until Jesus sends me my prize. Instead, I dutifully returned the lovely prayer rug, as suggested, and recommended that they pass it along to you and yours.

By the way, the eyes are vacant because you don't believe. Keep staring. Perhaps hitting yourself on the head with a hammer will help the savior come alive.

(((Billy))):
I'm not in Pennsylvania, or even a nearby state. But I don't see why Catholics wouldn't want a gorgeous Jesus prayer rug any the less than other Christians would.

yunshui:
If you send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, I'll see to it that your very own paper prayer rug will be winging its way to your flat shortly.

Ordinary Girl said...

I was jealous of you and Babs until I got my apocalyptic comic book in the mail. It was addressed to you though, oddly enough.

heather said...

Who would have thought that spam could now also be supplied in a handy paper format?

iambilly said...

Ex: Sorry. I was thinking of someone else. Forgive me. Or ask Jebus to forgive me.

the chaplain said...

OG - What's this about an apocalyptic comic book? I think there's a great story lurking behind that comment.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

You're so lucky. All I ever get are bills. And the Clipper magazine.

ozatheist said...

Glad I'm not the only one who gets mad fundie mail.

I received a 2 page letter about 5 weeks ago titled The Importance of Jesus.

Unlike you Resident and Occupant mine was actually personally addressed to me.

I didn't bother saying the prayer, I knew I wouldn't really mean it.

The receipt of my letter was a little freakish, if you are interested you can read about the strange occurrence and read the letter on my blog

kristi said...

I got that letter a few weeks ago. After laughing hysterically for awhile, and reading it aloud to anyone who would listen, I put in into my Circular Prayer File. It's a ludicrously bad scam, but no doubt some of the faithful will fall for it.

PhillyChief said...

Maybe these things don't make it above the Mason-Dixon line. Probably the thinking is if they did, they'd have to deal with responses like the ones you no doubt have sent or will send.

EnoNomi said...

I told myself I was only going to comment on the recent entries as I get my reading caught up, but I had to say, if I had seed I certainly would have sent it to them. I hope you changed your mind.