Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quazy Quistian Question # 2

A few weeks ago, I set myself the mission of asking Christians the most inane queries I can think of about their religious beliefs. Try as I might, I had difficulty writing a second installment. I just couldn’t come up with anything dumber to ask than: Why did Jesus need to die for our sins? Why couldn’t he just say:

OK, people, listen up. Remember all those bad things you did, the ones that were gonna send you to hell for eternity? Well, f’geddaboudit. Phffft. Gone. Kaput. They’re off the slate. You don’t have to bother to thank me, although a few bucks in the plate would probably come in handy.
Somehow, that question didn’t seem quite as ridiculous as what I’d had in mind. Fortunately, though, my life provides ample examples of preposterousness. All I have to do is be patient.

And so, this evening rolled around. My wife and I went to a wine tasting at what our locals consider a decent restaurant. Where I live, a decent restaurant is any one that doesn’t have a clown character as its representative.

Anyway, we paid twelve bucks apiece for samplings of seven mundane wines, a few little cubes of Kraft cheese, and an antipasto that was heavy on the peperoncini. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love peperoncini in their place. But they’re not really the ideal accompaniment to a wine tasting. Hot pickled peppers tend to clash with any liquids that aren’t made from olives.

One of the offerings on the pouring cart was a white merlot, which, despite its name, was pink. In my opinion, pink is to wine as white is to chocolate. As green is to beef. In the food world, only M&M’s are color-transcendent. All other foods ought to stay in their own corners of the spectrum.

So there we were, sipping on our pink wine, nibbling on our peperoncini, and trying to decide which of the processed cheese cubes would be the least tasteless, when, suddenly, Jesus popped into my head. This wasn’t so remarkable, since almost every time we have cheese of any kind, I feel obliged to say, “What a friend we have in cheeses.” Then I usually launch into a series of the world’s worst dairy-and-religion puns, only one example of which should suffice.

It is easier for a Camembert to go through the eye of the needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Gouda.
Take it from my wife: You wouldn’t want to be there when I get started.

Be that as it may, the combination of Jesus and wine and bad puns immediately brought to mind the miracle at Cana. According to the gospel of John, Jesus arrived at this fancy shindig only to discover that there was no wine left. So, rather than running out to the nearest liquor store, he got a few servants to fill some pots with water, and presto – let there be White. Or Red. Or maybe Pink.

I know that some fundamentalist teetotalers dispute this. They insist that the word for wine in Koine Greek can also be translated as “grape juice.” I know zero Koine Greek, so I’m not equipped to enter that linguistic controversy. I will say, though, that it’s impossible to imagine the son of god and his followers getting their robes in a twist over being stiffed out of their Welch’s.

Also, according to John, the “governor” of the feast noticed that this particular whatever-it-was was of superior quality to the whatever-it-was that had been served earlier, before Jesus and his thirsty band had arrived. In my experience, grape juice is pretty much grape juice; I’ve never noticed a dramatic difference from one brand to the next. Superiority of quality isn’t really an issue.

Plus, of course, a wedding at which only grape juice was served would be pretty fucking dull, even if the bandleader was the Messiah.

Therefore, I’m gonna stick with the idea – believed by most Christians – that Jesus turned the water into wine. But what kind of wine? Hmmm, this was a Jewish wedding, right? But no, it couldn’t have been Manischewitz, because nobody, not even the most orthodox and soused of Chasidim, would ever rave about the relative quality of that.

Jesus must have made some pretty decent stuff; the water-into-wine trick was considered a miracle, don’t forget. And let’s assume it was something red, maybe even made, appropriately enough, with water from the Red Sea. And remember that later in his life, Jesus, himself, equates his blood with wine (almost certainly not grape juice). So I’m pretty sold on the idea of a red, unless his blood was pink like white merlot, or overly oaky like a California Chardonnay.

Let’s go with a fine red wine then. I’m guessing that the Christ would not have settled for anything short of a first growth Bordeaux, say, a Ch√Ęteau Latour or a Mouton-Rothschild. The Romans ruled the land, so an excellent vintage Barolo is not out of the question, but somehow that doesn’t strike me as sufficiently impressive to make it into the bible. Of course, it could have been a great Australian shiraz, or a California zin (red, not white!), or even a rich vanilla-y Spanish rioja. The truth is, there’s a lot of terrific wine out there in the world, and god’s palate works in mysterious ways.

Even so, with all the noble grapes that abound, there’s still plenty of swill lurking on wine store shelves. Like pink white merlot, for example. Some of the stuff is lousy because it’s not produced to the exacting standards of oenophiles (that’s wine-lovers, for you Bud drinkers). But a lot of the crap that passes for wine is made from grapes that are just plain inferior.

And that got me thinking. Assuming, as many Christians do, that god stamped his idea of perfection on each thing he chugged out during the creation, why aren’t all grapes equally good? I can understand that he might have said to himself:

Well, variety is the spice of life. (Which reminds me: I’d better get some cinnamon and cloves going somewhere.)
But why would he bother to plant those grape species that aren’t even fit to make raisins? Why, in fact, is there such a large discrepancy in quality between different variants of essentially the same food plants, from grapes to lettuce to corn to coffee beans? How come some are considered by gourmets to be far more desirable than others? Why are some fruits too sour for people to eat, and others succulent and sweet? Why don’t all vegetables grow with butter already on them? And what’s the deal with poison mushrooms that look exactly like the ones you throw on pizza? And most of all: Could it conceivably have been in god’s plan for mankind to discover white merlot?

Quazy Quistian Question # 2:
Why did god create food plants with such gross inconsistencies in quality? Explain your response.


Anonymous said...

Q: What did Jesus say when they were serving the drinks at the Sermon on the Mount?

A: Blessed are the poured-in spirits.

tina FCD said...

He did that so you could post this question???

Unknown said...

I was just getting over "what a friend we have in cheeses," and now I have to contend with "poured-in spirits?"

PhillyChief said...

Yikes! Where on Earth are you living? Sounds absolutely horrid. This is my local liquor store. It's bigger than my local supermarket. Spanish reds get almost an entire aisle. I feel very sad for you, mon ami.

I don't know about this god thing, but come on, how much more do you appreciate having a fine wine now after sipping white merlot? How much greater is the pleasure of a chunk of say Scharfenberger dark chocolate or slice of Sacher torte after having experienced some awful Whitman's sampler "chocolate"? No sir, shit is necessary and sometimes required to be experienced to fully appreciate the quality of the good stuff. We need perspective. Maybe this god guy knows this and ZIM ZALABIM he brought forth upon this world robusta plants and poisonous shrooms and hardened the palates of some so that they would produce abominations like "peperoncini" and pink wine in pretty boxes with easy pour spouts that nestle nicely on your refrigerator shelf. Afterall, the Abrahamic god did admit to having created evil, did he not?

Also, that Jesus guy very well could have made Manischewitz. hell, he might have just made some water or grape juice and just put the whammy on everyone making them think it was good wine. Deities can be pranksters. ;)

Reason's Whore said...

Where I live, a decent restaurant is any one that doesn’t have a clown character as its representative

Holy moly, we must be neighbors!

I think phillychief nailed the correct Xian response above. That's one they love to trot out to explain away evil: because how else would you know what good is? This of course ignores the many many areas of life where you recognize good things as such without having been exposed to a corresponding bad thing. For example, what is the "opposite" of an orgasm? A "not-orgasm"? The other 23 hours and 59 minutes of each day?

Babs Gladhand said...

Here's my Christian response:

Everything is perfect in God's eyes. We are merely sinners and cannot understand the depth of God's omniscience. In fact, we're not really sure what omniscience means. We just like using big words. We do not dare question God, because we are scared he will send a mob to stone us. Or make us eat cakes made from poop. Ezekiel 4:12: And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. That verse is proof that God doesn't want us eating good things all the time. When we sin, we have to eat poop. But when we don't sin, we get to have potluck suppers in the church basement and indulge in a variety of casseroles.

By the way, you're going to hell.

Chuck Blanchard said...

I think the answer goes back to one of your earlier posts--which god (lower case) are you talking about? the god of the bibical literalist has a problem--if god was some sort of master designer/builder described in Genesis then this question is troubling. (He (and this god is definately a "he") has a great deal to answer for as a designer).

But if you are a Christian like me or Dr. James McGrath who accepts evolution, rejects creationism and ID, then the question becomes easier to answer--we don't believe in a God (upper case/gender a silly concept) that designed each and every feature of nature.

PhillyChief said...

Hmm, I'm going to have toe bookmark that passage Babs for further study. A quick snoop shows that got changed to the poop being used as fuel for the fire, not actually used as an ingredient. Pretty weak apologetic. The cake will still have the aroma and taste of poo though. So if it smells like a poo cake and tastes like a poo cake, can you still call it a poo cake even though it doesn't contain poo?

The Exterminator said...

You asked, How much more do you appreciate having a fine wine now after sipping white merlot?
I don't actually have to drink piss to know that Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is better.

You said, By the way, you're going to hell.
Yes, and I expect to find a higher class of people there -- including you -- than I would in the alternative location. Whatever else happens, I know we'll a lot more. Maybe we should all wear those Dawk-A shirts, so we can recognize each other. Or, better yet, name tags. "Hi, I'm Babs. Ask me about poop."

You asked, What is the "opposite" of an orgasm?
A faked orgasm.

If you're going to be one of those reasonable, tolerant, liberal Christians, I'm gonna have to ban you from commenting here.

Seriously, though, perhaps you can elaborate on and explain your beliefs about the creation. I know that you don't think every word in the bible should be taken literally. But if you do believe that God (I'll give you the capital "G" for the purposes of this question) got the ball rolling, when and to what extent did he bow out of the picture? And why? And by what authority do you come to your conclusions?

I understand that I'm asking you a few hard questions to which glib, easy answers will be impossible. And, in all fairness, I must tell you that I suspect you'll have to resort to "faith" somewhere in your response. But let's get a dialogue going anyway.

Special note to SI: You see, in some instances, I do think it's worth having a conversation with believers. I've said this before about Chuck and others like him: I don't think we'll ever agree on religious issues, but we have lots of political common ground. Maybe we even agree about pink wine and white chocolate. So it's worth getting to know one another, and figuring out where we're each coming from.

John Evo said...

Nice piece of writing, Ex. And VERY funny!

Look, it's all so simple. God made EVERYTHING perfect. Eve screwed it all up. The sin she brought into the world even infected the grapes (sinful little devils they can be, too). But worry not, my friend, in hell they will all be perfect again.

You guys with your wines and cheeses make me feel so unsophisticated. I don't know if I'm worthy to hang with you.

At least I'll try though. If you take me out, buy me what you consider to be a very fine wine - I'll sip it, smile, and say "Mmmm, yummy. Can someone pass me a chunk of Monterey Jack? Tell me another religion and wine joke”!

Chuck Blanchard said...


Your questions are good ones, but I doubt that I will be in a position to give a complete answer here. I might also add that my answers are tentative, and subject to change, as I think through the issues.

From what I know about the scientific evidence of evolution, there is no evidence of (or need for) a supernatural being to explain the development of species. Could a god have intervened in a way that we don't notice? Of course, but it seems to me that the better evidence is that random mutations followed by natural selection explains what we observe in nature. The development of life itself is a bit foggy, and a bit less developed, but the scientific theories for the development of life seem quite plausible and don't require some supernatural being.

I'll largely skip the cosmology, but here too there doesn't seem to be much evidence for--or need for--a supernatural being until you get to the Big Bang. So, in answer to your first question, I believe in a God that set the universe in motion with a set of rules and let things develop based on those rules.

So where is the room for a god? Rather than offer a complete answer here, I would suggest you read this post and this one from my blog.

As you can see, my argument based on rationality does reach a point where a choice must be made, and I will be the first to admit that my choice is influenced by my own subjective sense of God in the world. But as my priest (who was an astronomer and physicist before he became an Episcopal priest) like to say, this belief in a God works for me, and I think it makes me a better person.

JP said...

Jesus man, I do not know how to answer your question but damn do your posts make me chuckle.

I am assuming the wine that was made at the wedding was a non-alcoholic brew similiar to the likes of Coors Cutter beer. Drinking alcohol is a sin so I am assuming Jesus was being a bit cretive to work around his fathers rules.

By the way....just give me a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon and I am in la-la land.

Happy sipping.

The Exterminator said...

Chuck, you said:
This belief in a God works for me, and I think it makes me a better person.

I suspect you'd be as good a person as you are no matter what god you did or didn't believe in.

However, as you and I have said many times before, the ultimate question of faith is inarguable. I think a more widespread recognition of that fact would go a long way toward making theists and atheists comfortable with one another. There's a point at which we just have to look at each other, shrug, and -- if we're both well-meaning -- maybe even laugh at our differences before moving on to other topics. As you've pointed out in many posts on your blog, it's the attempt by so many religionists (not only Christians) to foist their worldview on everyone, that causes us atheists to go on the offensive against all believers. Which is a shame really, when we could, instead, be making common cause with most of you against the extremists, both in the religious and political spheres.

The Exterminator said...

Your comment slipped in there while I was responding to Chuck, so I didn't see it until I'd already hit "Publish."

I don't think that drinking alcohol is specifically defined as a sin anywhere in the bible. Most believers I know are quite happy to partake of beer, wine, and spirits whenever they choose to. It's unnatural monstrosities like Coors Cutter Beer (basically, malt-flavored soda) that are the true abominations.

PhillyChief said...

There are small amounts of alcohol in non-alcoholic beer. If you have the patience (and bladder) necessary, you can get a buzz off that shit (I speak hearsay, I'm both unwilling and unable to confirm this through personal experimentation).

The bible not poo-pooing alcohol (just some cakes, according to Babs) is one of the many things the muslims get to smugly take the moral high ground on over christians. Of course for the rest of us, that moral high ground is equivalent to standing atop one of those multi-tiered medal platforms like at the Olympics, only this would be for "top crackpots" in the "dogma destroying quality of life - alcohol" category. Congratulations. Jews and muslims share top honors for the pork category.

Mmm, suddenly I'm hungry for a roast pork sandwich and a Smithwicks.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

A couple of things:

Yes, Chuck is not like, well, he who I won't mention but his blog rhymes with "fucks". He actually listens and answers, instead of responding with "whatever, asshole". I'd be curious to hear his take on Cheetos, which comes in two levels of quality: fried to a crackling crisp, or puffed up to something no longer recognizable as a corn byproduct. Did god have anything to do with that?

The opposite of orgasm, slut, is nagging. Everyone knows that. And a minute a day? How can you spend that much time on an orgasm?

Anyone remember what alcohol did to Noah in his old age? (I think it was Noah) His daughters got him drunk and had sex with him. That'll teach you to have children. Apparently, that's why god created alcohol. But I always wondered how in the hell he got so drunk that he a) didn't recognize his own daughters and b) could get it up twice.

Not sure any of this answers the quazy question you queried, so I'll leave you with this:

Blessed are the cheesemakers.

The Exterminator said...

You forgot the second part of the verse:
Blessed are the cheesemakers ... for they shall be called sons of Gorgonzola.

You said, Mmm, suddenly I'm hungry for a roast pork sandwich and a Smithwicks.

See, it's people like you who give atheism a bad name. Everybody knows that a pulled pork barbecue sandwich is better than a plain ol' roast pork one. And, Smithwick's? Give me a Bass Ale over that any time. In fact, give me two.

If we're inviting John Evo to join us, though, we'd better keep it unsophisticated. How about BLT's and a few Buds?

PhillyChief said...

Perhaps because of the frequency in which I bbq, I'm more in the mood for a proper Italian roast pork sandwich which also brings me to say that I don't think one trumps the other. Different things for different times. Same for Bass vs Smithwicks, although I think the parings would probably work better switched. The fuller taste of the Smithwicks and subtle sweet aftertaste might pair better with bbq and the more subtle Bass or perhaps a lighter brew like a Pilsner Urquel or Stella would go better for the roast pork.

Speaking though of bad names, anyone who would either choose to drink Bud or not act to stop a friend from doing so should be ashamed. It should be our responsibility to raise John's awareness of quality brewing. So as not to give too much of a shock, perhaps something not to bold, like perhaps a Becks? I'm cool with the blts though, but why not upscale a tad and go for the club? Just a thought.

The Exterminator said...

Yeah, Pilsner Urquel sounds perfect. It's lighter, to give our palates more of a chance to savor that dead pig.

As far as Evo goes, I imagine he'd join us for a club sandwich and a Beck's -- if we can manage to drag him out of the Pizza Hut. Maybe we can even sneak some avocado and a fancier cheese than Velveeta between the bread.

OK, we've now got a project: Upgrade Evo's eating habits to match his new slimmed-down name.

Chuck Blanchard said...

Reading these comments is making me hungry. And I must admit that I am with PhillyChief on the friends and Bud issue.

Ex: I agree that, in the end, "the ultimate question of faith is inarguable." As I said, my argument for God based on reason took me only so far--and in the end I needed to make a philisophical choice--admittedly one that was ultimately based on my own subjective sense that God operates in the world.

I guess that the difference between a liberal Christian like me and an atheist like you, is, in the end, this subjective and philisophical choice. I sense the presence of God in the world. You don't. I may be deluded. Or you may be blind. But in the end, no amount of arguing over this point is likely to change your view or mine.

What is far more interesting to me is all the discussion that come until we reach this point of departure. (Which is why I read your blog and the others who comment here).

John Evo said...

Spanish Inquisitor -

What the HELL were they teaching you in that Catholic School? Noah lived that long to give him time to shovel the shit out of the Ark after 40 days and 40 nights of crapping.

It was LOT who got drunk and had sex with his daughters (shortly after the good lord turned Lot's wife into a giant hunk of salt for the clearly evil act of turning her head to look back at her home town, filled no doubt with dozens of loved friends, as He was destroying it because they had wild sex there all the time).

Here's a sample verse from the story in Genesis 19:

"19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father."

By the way guys, "unsophisticated" doesn't mean I eat crap, ok?

Lynet said...

I like white chocolate. So there.

SI: And a minute a day? How can you spend that much time on an orgasm?

Oh, come now, it's perfectly possible. Triple orgasm is hardly unusual if you're female (and doing it to yourself), so just add in the fact that the start and end of an orgasm isn't perfectly defined, and -- oh, all right, I guess maybe it'd have to be 60 seconds of experienced time, given the effect of adrenaline, but still...

The Exterminator said...

I don't know why, exactly, but your "throwaway" line at the end of your response to SI just cracked me up.

I expected a retaliatory zing of some sort, but you came back with a masterpiece of understatement. Nice.

When we all meet for that beer-and-sandwich lunch, you're invited, too.

And you're definitely invited.

Babs Gladhand said...

Philly - No fire. Because in a verse or two down, Ezekiel whines a little bit and he got his human poop cakes changed into cow poop cakes. Probably a bit more palatable, but still, I would imagine, rather poop-like.

I just wish I'd known about this verse when I was a kid in Sunday School. For some reason, they just didn't teach us this one.

John Evo said...

Ex said: "Lynet:
And you're definitely invited."

Yep, although Exterminator is no doubt thinking differently than me again... bring the white chocolate.

Anonymous said...

funny blog Exterminator, feel sorry for where you live. I suppose I shouldn't tell you about the 2 wine shops bigger than supermarkets near me, or the abundance of restaurants such that you'd have to go to more than 1 a week to do them all, including 3 'hatted' restaurants.

In answer to the question:
(otherwise David Attenborough wouldn't have so much to talk about) TIC

Reason's Whore said...

SI - as Lynet has already pointed out, it's very easy to "spend" a minute a day, if you do it right. ;-)

Unknown said...

This is by far the most whacked out, hysterically funny comment section I have ever come across in my life.

Chocolate, cheese, booze, orgasms, incest... you people are insane.

Now excuse me while I crack open a Pabst Blue Ribbon, grab one of those aerosol cheese cans, and spend the afternoon on the couch in my underwear watching Charlie's Angels reruns.

PhillyChief said...

In my experience, it takes far longer than a minute for a woman to, um, have her moment. There's some work involved, not to mention usually having to provide dinner, some entertainment, and some witty reparte'. :)

Unknown said...

John: I may have to change my blogger name to "Son of Gorgonzola."

PhillyChief said...

Back before the days of WoW, there used to be MUDs, which were like online, interactive Zork adventures. Pretty lame, but hey, that's all we had back in the day. Anyway, a buddy of mine spent an entire weekend in his dorm room playing this subsisting solely on a can of spray cheese. Whether he just remained in his undies the whole time I can not testify to knowing.

The Exterminator said...

You said, This is by far the most whacked out, hysterically funny comment section I have ever come across in my life.
I hope we all take that as a supreme compliment. Now, if you really want to join in, you're gonna have to tell us how long your orgasm takes. And, for the record, you'd better cast your vote on the white chocolate issue.

To return to the actual post for a minute: My inane questions are designed to avoid some of the stupidest responses by bible literalists. For example: In answer to the question Why are some people good and some people bad? the fundie usually trots out that tiresome "God gave us free will" rejoinder. But that response isn't going to work with Why are some grapes good and some grapes bad? I've yet to see even the quaziest of Quistians suggesting that fruits can make moral choices.

Unknown said...

Exterminator: White chocolate sucks. The darker the better.

How long my orgasms take? How long it takes to reach climax, or, once reached, how long the climax lasts?

My first instinct is to say "Who cares? I'm having an orgasm!"

My second thought goes more towards scientific method. How exactly I would time it? With a stop watch in my hand? Once I orgasm will I have enough control to stop the clock at the right time or will I just start getting into gyrations, spaz out and jam the switch before I'm completely, uh, done? I suppose I could ask my fiance to time me, but she finds the atheist blogging thing difficult enough to understand as it is.

I'm not sure she'll get how or why this is relevant.

As for fruit, I think "good" or "bad" in that context means preference as opposed to a moral or value judgement, but I still think you have a point. I might prefer a Malbec and you Rioja, but we'd both agree that a bad Malbec is bad. Nobody likes crap, right? So, why did God make crappy stuff?

PhillyChief said...

A: One thing us guys here have in common at least is having women who don't get why we care enough to blog about this stuff.
As for the stopwatch, I think you stop the timer at first fire.

I agree with you on the fruit. The fruit isn't inherently bad. Some people, animals and insects would find it quite good. It's their tastes that are bad. God obviously blessed some with bad taste. Now if they don't know their taste is bad, and they're happy, is it really bad? Hmmmm
In fact, it might serve the greater good. If people are quite happy consuming crap, then the demand remains low for the really good stuff and we benefit. Isn't god great? ;)

The Exterminator said...

OK, A. and Philly, you guys have opened yourselves up for some disciplinary action. Go sit in the boys'-only section and write the words "What About Darla?" a hundred times.

John Evo said...

A. said...
John: I may have to change my blogger name to "Son of Gorgonzola."

Hell, it's deifinitely better for you than "Flaming Enema"! I still think you should consider "no Kool-Aid", though. You could make it a single word "Nokoolaid". But WHATEVER - let's just change that damn "A"!

Spanish Inquisitor said...


Take my word for it. Pick a name that is short, one which you won't mind typing from memory over and over into blog comment forms that don't remember your name. You'll regret Son of Gorgonzola. Just ask John-Evolutionary Middleman". I'm thinking of changing mine to SI.

And white chocolate is an oxymoron.

John Evo said...

SI said: "And white chocolate is an oxymoron."

Nooo... it's counter-intuitive, created for people who can handle the deeply complex nature of the universe.

Urban Viking said...

Apologies for the thread necro but I simply had to share the fact that Mrs. Viking and I spent a week and a half in a chalet in the Medoc (just a few clicks down the road from la Tour and Mouton-Rothschild) earlier this year.

Forget christianity, I've been to heaven on earth: supermarkets with cheese counters bigger than whole supermarkets in the UK, fresh produce from farmers' markets in a different nearby village every day, fresh bread every morning from the patisserie down the street and the wine...dear, sweet baby Cheeses, the wine.


The Exterminator said...

That sounds like heaven to me, too. But Charles de Gaulle pointed out the downside of our heaven:

How can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?

Urban Viking said...

Ex: HA!! That's a great quote. I hadn't heard it before.

Much the same way you would organise a community of atheists and freethinkers I guess....Wait! Maybe there's a link? It would be remiss of me to not do some research into this extremely important topic....brb.

Anonymous said...

Isn't being an atheist fun!?

All I will be able to think about for the next few days is quazy questions for my husband's quistian Welatives. A great way to cause a stir at his 50th birthday this Saturday.

I just love watching them squirm!

BTW - Can I brag about living in the Hunter Valley? Home to the best reds on earth and some excellent local cheesmakers.

I actually do have a friend in Cheeses. They make up a large part of my diet - along with some excellent fruit.

Bad fruit is defined simply by how long it sits in the fruit basket before the children refuse to eat it. Well worn fruit is what I send to school 3 days running until someone finally gets hungry enough or I rlent and feed it to the lorrikeets instead.