Bowling for Jesus

It’s probably a good thing I can write.

Not to say that I am, or have been, incapable of doing anything else.  I know how to make toast, after all.  That’s an accomplishment.  No, really, it is.  I mean, if the difference between starvation, and survival onward to tomorrow, is a slightly browned piece of bread with butter and jelly, I’ve got it covered.  Not that I’m about to break into a refrain from I Will Survive, or anything, but if you hear some crunching in the corner, that might be me.

Anyway, enough about toast.  We can all make toast, right?  Please say yes.

Good.

So, I don’t remember my sixth-grade math teacher’s name, and it’s been bugging me for an hour.  Come to it, I can’t even remember what he looks like, though I do quite clearly remember it being ahe.  Of course, I only remember one classmate–a boy by the name of Scott.  And I only remember him for that unfortunate vomiting incident that caused me to plead to my mother for new shoes, and forever altered how I respond to the smell of sawdust.  Sorry Scott.  Wherever you are, I hope you aren’t vomiting on someone’s shoes.  In an effort to actually move forward, I’ll call my teacher Mister Mister Sir, and get on with it.

Mister Mister Sir did a rather curious thing in class.  Each month he chose a Student Of The Month (the first letters were always in CAPS, lest the importance of the honor be diminished).  Now, being honored as Student Of The Month is, in almost every case, a worthy title bestowed upon the one student that either kissed enough tush, or cheated on enough tests to have the highest grade in the class.  It so happened I managed both with great skill.  But being  Student Of The Month wasn’t merely a title in Mister Mister Sir’s class.  No, it came with benefits, the most primary of which was that you got to sit at a teacher’s-sized desk near the door, and grade papers all day, after which you went into the Grade Book and entered to grades.

The awesome nature of this power cannot be overlooked.  However, it wasn’t the greatest of the honors bestowed upon the Loyal Brotherhood of the Student Of The Months.  That honor came by way of a Polaroid picture taped to a piece of construction paper (mine was red, as I recall–odd that I can remember that but not Mister Mister Sir’s real name), with a brief bio underneath.  It was a typical roll-call of information: Name, Age, Birth date, Favorite Food.  I remember looking over the list and happily making it known to the world how incredibly special I was.  They would know all the most important information about me and envy me each every one of those thirty days.  The kicker was the last question, the one that nearly defined my entire life, post-Sir’s class.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Oh, boy.  That was the question.  The Question.  But I knew the answer.  I didn’t need to hesitate.  Didn’t need to take even a second of time to contemplate exactly what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to bowl for Jesus.

Mister Mister Sir mistakenly translated this not-simply-a-tidbit of defining information, and noted for all to see that I wanted to be a Professional Bowler.  Much though I was honored to sit at the High Desk, and spend a month of my adolescence grading papers and not learning a damned thing, I felt it was quite necessary to help Mister Mister Sir–enlighten even–understand where he had erred.

“Mister Mister Sir, sir,” I had said to him, early one morning before class had begun.  “I believe you may have made a mistake on my biography.  I don’t want to be a professional bowler.  I want to bowl for Jesus.”

Mister Mister Sir seemed a little put off by that, or at least that’s how I perceived it.  I now know he just needed coffee.  I see that face every morning in my mirror.  “I don’t understand,” he said, which I found to be quite obvious.  Of course he didn’t understand.  I needed to clarify.

“I want to bowl for Jesus,” I repeated.  “You know, stand up with my ball of reckoning, keep my approach straight and balanced, steer clear of the gutters, and roll my way through the ten pins with a proper angel.”

“You mean, ‘angle’?”

“No, angel.”  He stared at me, which I saw as an invite to continue.  “The proper angel is important.  You can’t just take the ten pins lightly, straight on.  You have to have an angel to guide you through and help you to, you know, get a strike.”

“What?”

He wasn’t getting it, which nearly frustrated me into silence.  Months I had worked on this, trying to get every bit of it just right.  And now here was a teacher of whom I greatly respected for choosing me as Student Of The Month, understanding none of it.  “The Ten Pins?” I tried.

“What about them?”

“It’s a parallel, Mister Mister Sir.  Ten Pins, Ten Commandments.  Angels, and staying clear of the gutters–you know,” and here I whispered, “Satan?”

“Oh,” he said, rather dry and indifferent.  “This is a religious thing, isn’t it?”

I felt my shoulders drop somewhere below my knees.”Well, no.  I mean, yeah, kind of.  But not, if you know what I mean.  It’s kind of a religious sort of thing that I talked to my preacher about.  Of course, he didn’t understand either.  But I think that was just because the Idiot Gnomes got to him.”

“The Idiot Gnomes.  That’s what my father calls them, anyway.  They break into your room at night, on days when you’ve been particularly bad, and steal your brain cells.  They turn you into an idiot.  That’s why I try to be good and come up with good ideas all the time.  I don’t want to be an idiot.”

“But you want to Bowl for Jesus?”

“Yes!  I do!”

Mister Mister Sir smiled, laughed a little, then stood up and walked to the wall where my beaming visage sat in all its Polaroid-glory.  He removed the construction paper, walked back to his desk, made quite a scene of crossing out Professional Bowler with a marker, then quickly wrote something I couldn’t make out.  He walked back to the wall, and re-posted my shrine of glory.

He nodded, and returned to his desk, where he downed nearly a full cup of coffee in one gulp.  After a moment of hesitation, I walked to the wall and stared at my biography.  I stared at it for about two minutes, contemplating.

“You can bowl for Jesus all you want, kiddo,” said Mister Mister Sir, now standing behind me.  “But you damn well better write about it afterward.  Weirdness breeds entertainment, and I’m pretty sure you’re gonna breed just fine.”  After which he walked out of the room.

I’m not sure at what point in the month that Scott vomited on my shoes, but I know that it was about the same time that I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  If not for Mister Mister Sir, and his biographical misstep, then for me and my wardrobe.  I wanted to wear nice, clean, warm, slippers all day, somewhere free of random vomit, and the gag-inducing smell of sawdust,

It’s a good thing I can write.

Russ Eat Meat

This whole Talking About Wordsmiths thing is at a merciful end. Its intended purpose–to purge the final glistening dew drop from the leaf of my life (whatever that means)–has been fulfilled, as I find myself lacking the desire to post anything further. I’ll drop some pictures with brief captions tomorrow, in an effort to blast the final tidbits of favorable memory into the ether, and to honor those who meant more to my efforts than they might realize, but I think this will be it.

I can think of no better way to finish it.

I previously detailed the launch night of Anointed as one of my favorite nights. Though I must admit to the self-centered affixation to that’s night’s purpose, I can’t deny the book launch portion was but a reason why it was my favorite night. You see, Wordsmiths Books became the ring for a rather entertaining (and, admittedly, one-sided) tug of war. One that carried on like a fifty round bout, no ref in sight to stop the continual beatdown suffered by one of the contestants. Or better, it was like watching a train wreck, plane crash, and hundred-car pile-up, all rolled into one, unable to turn away, unwilling to ask why it must go on in perpetuity. It was mesmerizing.

Enter the ring, one Joe Davich. Undefeated. Unbeaten. Indestructable.

The Undisputed Featherweight Champion of the Verbal Smackdown

The Undisputed Featherweight Champion of the Verbal Smackdown.

His opponent, his defensive retorts weighing in at an unprecedented, and immeasurable, Zero G, Russ Marshalek.

Um...

Um…

Every war has an end. Every skirmish a victor. Every moment, a future defined. On February 22nd, 2009, the verbal spat that was Davich v. Marshalek came to a climactic conclusion, on the stage of Wordsmiths Books, before a captivated audience of 150. It will forever be known (by at least one local, who flings it with regularity every time he sees me) as the day the world paused in reflection, uttering the words “Russ Eat Meat” with nary a clue as to what they meant.

Setting the ground rules only encouraged the wine, and the whine.

Setting the ground rules only encouraged the wine, and the whine.

Content is unecessary. In fact, ask me to recount the round by round commentary, and I’ll stare at you blankly for a time, finally bringing myself to say only, “Joe won,” with a notable shiver. I don’t remember the punches. I only remember the result.

I can offer for certainty that Russ fought with great resolve, challenging his opponent with cited passages in defense of … well, no idea really. In defense of something.

The Defense

Joe responded, as only Joe can.

"Dear God, Mother Mary and Madonna" was uttered a few dozen times.

“Dear God, Mother Mary and Madonna” was uttered a few dozen times.

His counter left Russ reeling, coiling into a bottle like an infant to the teet.

At some point, you just have to forgo the glass.

At some point, you just have to forgo the glass.

Posters were brandished, slogans were uttered, Marisha Pessl was slandered, people laughed, people cried (out loud as part of laughter perhaps, but still), I was amused, the wine vanished. In the end, the champion stood, proud and victorious, stepping from the stage with a haughty grin, parting the crowd like Queen Elizabeth (for a more detailed description of anything Queen Elizabeth ever did, please see Sir Davich), off to celebrate his long-sought dominion over the defeated Wonderboy.

If not smug if you're Joe.

It’s not smug if you’re Joe. Neither is it ever misspelled.

It was a great night. A fitting end to a store that was about more than just selling books. It was a sitcom without cameras, a novel without a writer, an entertaining home without a pug. It took a great deal to organize (actually it just took a customer telling the two of them to put up their Hello Kitty purses and hash it out on stage, which was a glorious moment for all), a tremendous amount of wine, and a propoganda war unlike any ever seen, but it happened nonetheless.

Wordsmiths Books: Wage your verbal war on our stage. Please. We’re bored.

How to Count to Five in Eight Easy Numbers

A couple of things up front. First, my “every day with a blog about Wordsmiths” thing didn’t work. I blame the snow. And the logjam of work it piled up in the process. And my need to do actual writing that benefits my future. And side projects I don’t talk about that take up more of my personal time. And Bush. Secondly, I find my titles in the bottom of coffee cups, so don’t blame me if they fail to convert into meaning of any sort, or link to the post I ultimately write.

Nothing is my fault. I am the fault of nothing. The Nothing. Oh, that was a good movie. Like.

There aren’t many days left to February, which means I have only a few more opportunities to write about my wayward bookstore before it’s five-year-closing anniversary sweeps on by. So, some of what I might have written about (which perhaps might not have been that interesting anyway) gets canned like Armageddon Tuna. I don’t know what Armageddon Tuna is, so don’t ask, but I’m sure it makes sense somewhere to someone. Hopefully, they have a can opener. The rest of the process of opening and closing a bookstore is really just a matter of money anyway. Or, lack thereof. Having cited how the store got behind at the outset, I don’t think there’s much mystery left. Quite a lot less than, say, how I can write a heartfelt post about Wonderboy, and not hear a peep from him about it. That’s quite mysterious to me.

Take away the stress-laden nausea-inducing daily grind of owning Wordsmiths Books, and what I’m left to talk about are a few standout moments, and a few exceptional people. Maybe I’ll find the time to go one more post deep about the inner mechanics. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll drink more coffee and see if my dog’s empathetic beacon fries. Beacon fries? Bacon fries. Whoa. Want.

Bacon. The momentum killer.

Where was I?

Um.

Dunno. My brain just completely stopped.

Well, regardless, I know what I had planned on writing about, so let’s a get a move on.

In addition to the forthcoming Closing-Date anniversary, there’s a far more pleasant anniversary to celebrate. Five years ago tonight, Wordsmiths Books held its final event. There are a great many things about that night I will always remember, but saying farewell to my employees as they passed through the door a final time (I was to work the last week alone…it just seemed appropriate, and a bit necessary to be honest) was heart wrenching.  I knew I’d see most of them again, true, but it didn’t lessen the blow. They were my family. Another memory involves a debate on the stage, which is easily my favorite moment ever in the entire run of Wordsmiths, and the next post in line. So, stick that in your pocket for now. The event that night, however, marked something special for me. It marked the launch of Anointed.

Best pile of books ever.

Best pile of books ever.

For the first time, with more than 100 people in attendance–friends, family, and some devoted customers as well–I read published work of mine in public. It served as a nice transition into my post-bookstore life. Closing the doors while opening a new set. Despite what I knew was to come less than a week later, the building was filled with laughter, smiles, cheerful conversation, hope. I couldn’t have scripted a better end. I closed out the brief but notable tenure of the Wordsmiths stage, overextending my reading like an uncomfortable goodbye, signing books, offering the store banner for everyone to sign, and somehow being far too busy to eat some of the best cookies ever made (which were made by The Moss, who found herself in my life almost two years later, cookie recipe along with, so I win). If the best thing to come of opening Wordsmiths was that night, then all the stress was worth it. Granted, it wasn’t the best thing, but it surely hit the top (insert arbitrary number not to exceed five here).

Anointed isn’t the best thing I’ll ever write, but it’s entertaining, was well reviewed, and had strangers tweeting and writing about their enjoyment in it. Likewise, Wordsmiths Books isn’t the best thing I’ll ever do in my life, but it had an impact, was well received, and created a family full of generous memories I’ll treasure forever. Though I’m ready to let go of the pain, I’ll never let go of those memories, of my people, or of the smile I get every time I see the logo.

Wordsmiths Logo

This New Stuff is New and Also Stuff

In 2009, my first book, Anointed: The Passion of Timmy Christ, CEO, was published. Publishers Weekly had this to say:

“Steele’s biting satire takes on megachurches and their murky brew of faith and business. Nagged by his wife into interviewing for the CEO spot of a 2,000-year-old religious corporation, Timothy Webb becomes Timmy Christ despite himself. He’s shocked to learn that his primary responsibilities are to profits and image rather than his followers’ genuine needs. After a slapstick start, a scheming Judas, a protective, repentant Satan and a murderous Anti-Christ show up to deepen the tale. Timmy soon discovers that battling supernatural evil is only slightly more difficult than challenging the legal labyrinths of the Christ Corporation Council. Those who endure the initial over-the-top chapters will enjoy the notion of a Christ CEO wanting to be Christ-like, presented in a mix of raucous fun and deep questions.”

It was nominated for the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate Fiction. Pretty cool stuff. I like that people have to endure my writing.

In 2011, the follow-up, Flutter: An Epic of Mass Distraction was published. I had this to say about it:

“Oh, hey, I have another book out. Cooool.”

In 2013, I had … oh, um, nothing published. That’s a bit of a bummer. Actually, 2013 in general has been a bit of a bummer, so perhaps it’s best to leave the publishing for another time. After all, 2014 is another number! I mean, year. 2014 is another year. I never get that right.

Mind you, my lack of publication hasn’t been for a lack of trying, or writing, but more a product of circumstance as well as a determination to produce quality material. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time refining my craft.  I don’t want my work to be good.  I want it to be great.  I want it to be unforgettable. My determination to improve aside, there was this: On August 19th, Mercury Retrograde Press, publisher of my first two books announced they would be ceasing operations as of January 2014, which was quite sad news to hear for various reasons, not the least selfish of them being my desire to spin a third novel in the Timothy Webb Universe into their eager hands. The War Maiden, the origin story of everyone’s favorite Satan, Natasha, has a beginning written, a generous plot, and now a nice cozy shelf to sit upon. At some point, I’ll get back to it. Likely as an ebook series of novelettes. On the plus side, however, the MRP closing reverts rights of Anointed and Flutter to me, so I’ll be reissuing those as ebooks in 2014. Not sure if I’ll make any changes to the text. Perhaps some additional material will be added.  You’ll want to buy them even if you already own them, though, because you love me so much.

In the meantime, my attention has been transfixed on a bugger of a book. I refer, of course, to the most time-consuming and personally-invested manuscript I have ever worked on: The Storyteller, Book one of five, The Shadowheart. I have worked on this for close to three years, the idea a bit of a noodle in my head for close to a decade. I’ve talked about it, discussed it, written it, rewritten it, edited it (again and again and again ad naseum) and rewritten it once more. I’ve sent it to Beta readers, agents, and discussed the concept with several editors. And now it’s as done as I can get it. I love it. I think it’s brilliant. I think you’ll love it. I think you’ll never pick up a book again without wondering if the universe the story resides within is real. I think Oliver Miles will win you over, and his cadre of friends will keep you amused. I think, above all, if someone will publish it, I will be extraordinarily happy. The series is somewhere in the Middle Reader (8-14) and Young Adult genres, depending on who you talk to. Either way, it’s friendly to kids and to adults. There have been some bites on it, one significant, others mere nibbles, and I hope to secure something before too long. I’m still open to Beta Readers, providing you’ll actually read it and offer insights, but I’m not sure how much more work I can do on it until an Editor has it in hand. Regardless, I’ll be talking more about it now, offering some snippets here and there. So, be on the lookout. I seek your thoughts. Share away.

With The Storyteller sitting in wait, books two through five will be on hold, allowing me the opportunity to toss a few more literary grenades down the pipe. The series of novelettes of The War Maiden is in line, and likely to find a voice in 2014 (which I would publish myself), but my focus at the moment is squarely on a manuscript with a working title of Specimen A. Easily the most complex story I’ve worked on, I’m stepping out of the satire game, to bring a more contemporary voice to the Science Fiction genre. Or maybe it’s Fantasy. Or more Speculative Fiction. I don’t know. There will probably be a new genre in the next six minutes anyway. I should probably wait on that one. I’ve written about religion. I’ve written about the imaginative power of an artist. Now, I’m writing about the reality of human existence and the overwhelming power of a mind awakened. Until I’m further along, there isn’t much more I can offer, but suffice to say, reality isn’t what you think it is. You aren’t what you think you are. And they would prefer you not figure it out.

Other concepts floating about: The Almost Heroic Life of Joey Flapp, a silly little romp of adventure, hope, and exploding cows which I’m looking forward to; and, The As of Yet Unnamed But Forever Talked About Zombie Story About Life Decades After the Zombie Apocalypse and Was Once Called The Zombie Rocker but Now isn’t Because I’m Not Sold on the Original Tone. The latter is a long title. Less of a working title than a poorly conceived description in italics. I might even write it as a screenplay. I don’t know. This could have a lot to do with why I haven’t written it yet.

Anyway, point being, I have a lot I’m working on. Now that The Storyteller is complete, I can focus on these other projects. Hopefully, I’ll be able to line up publications going forward so that the gaps are non-existent. That would be ideal. As would your willingness to buy them.

I had intended to write about my blog changes, not the least of which is the alteration of the site’s address. My former website is no more, and all information will be directed here. But that didn’t happen. And since you’re already thinking about dinner, or what the kids have done now, or your own ideas that are far more engrossing, I’ll leave that for another entry.

In the meantime, here’s an early snapshot of a possible new Anointed cover, as well as the less than exciting reveal of my new nom de plume:

Just playing around with it for now.

Just playing around with it for now.

 

What To Do When Your Face Looks Like a Foot

As I posted nearly a couple weeks ago, I’m a glutton for punishment. Just for the sheer entertainment of it, I watch the Kardashians (all the shows!), Gossip Girl, however minutes of 90210 I can handle, MTV Road Rules, Britney Spears videos, and bad movies like Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter or MegaShark vs. Giant Octopus. I don’t do this because I undervalue quality programming, or because I feel there’s nothing better to do with my time. I do it because these shows and movies are devised by and filled with idiots. Idiocy is fun to watch. Surviving idiocy is a challenge. Before you challenge that, allow me to rest the blame on the retail world. I spent too many years serving idiots and now I have no recourse but to find it elsewhere in my life, lest I get another retail job simply to feed the need. I’m programmed this way by too many pointless and stupid questions by far too many dense and corrupted minds to ever be saved.

Hence this whole “make me watch something I’ll despise and live blog it” thing I’m starting today. Listen, much like sitting down to an episode of Gossip Girl, I’m not looking forward to being exposed to Sex & the City–certainly not for 6 straight hours. Even in watching one hour of any of the programs listed above, I do so yelling at it, calling out the characters and weak writing, and rolling my eyes every 5 minutes. But I value entertainment, and if I can entertain people whilst suffering through shows I, at my core, cannot stand, then it’s not truly for nothing. It’s my version of falling on the sword on your behalf.

Granted, it isn’t as if Sex & the City is a show that most people hate. But it’s a starting point. And no matter the confidence shown by some of you that I, too, will like this show, I’m not hopeful. Maybe in small doses, but not a whole season of it at once. That’s an overdose of idiocy. I’ll be cranky by the time it’s over. And yet, I leave the call open for more. Name something that I can watch for, let’s say, up to 12 hours straight that would be on par with the above. It can be a show, a series of videos, a collection of movies, you name it and I’ll do it. And I’ll live blog the event. This is your chance to annoy me. Make it count. The only caveat–naturally–is that it’s something I have to be able to get my hands on in order to watch.

So, today at 4. It begins. I hope to utilize the live blog function for live events as well. The Oscars, for example. Or the Super Bowl, so that we can pick apart the new commercials and Madonna’s attempt at a halftime show. What other live shows/events should I do?

I wanted to post a video from Family Guy, referencing Sarah Jessica Parker’s face looking like a foot, but I couldn’t find it and I need more coffee. Hopefully, I’ll find it in time to include it today’s live blog. In the meantime, an dead friend of mine–a hacker, obviously–has resurrected his Twitter account. He claims he’s going to use it to tell people the truth about life, but from what I can gather, he just wants to annoy people. One of his opening salvos was this one about Tim Tebow. After that, he went on a mini-rampage about Christianity, then disappeared. Hopefully he comes back, whoever he is.

Jesus is no Broncos fan

Countdown to Finality

So, you have 26 days left until the Rapture.  Are you ready?  Made your Rapture Party Plans yet?  Have you found a home for your pet yet (that is to say, for those of you who will be leaving us)?  Have you made your Bucket List?  Get on it people!  There isn’t time to dilly, or dally, or hesitate!

Then again, utilizing a quote I heard during my recent trip to NYC (I can’t claim right to this one, but I will use the hell out of it): “Why can’t you quit?  Jesus did.”  So, maybe you shouldn’t do anything.  Just let it happen.  Heat up some queso, prop up your feet, refuse to shower and watch 26 days of television.

Hell, forward all your bills to the people at We Can Know, seeing as how they’re so up on this whole Rapture shibang.  I mean, can’t there be some type of legal spin on making plans around their May 21st date…you know, in the unlikely event that they’re wrong?

Dammit.  I just paid off my car.  Should have thought that one through a bit more.

Still, maybe this isn’t really a bad thing at all.

I feel secure that my publisher will still be around, since I know God isn’t terribly fond of Faerie worship or purple highlights, so at least Flutter will still arrive in August.  And since I’m not necessarily targeting Christians with my books (well, targeting, yes, but not in the publicity sense), then I can rest assured that my audience will still be around.  In fact, this may be a boon to the publishing industry, now that I think on it, because it will eliminate…er, I mean, remove all the people who are most traditionally likely to whine about literary content.  Vampire Porn for everyone!  Hopefully Stephanie Meyer is taken.  I can’t stomach anymore of her work.

I’m actually thinking that the bulk of people at Twitter and Facebook will still be around, so we’ll still have that.  To boot, all that Christian clutter will be gone, so no more scrolling through the rants and praise to Mr. Jesus.  Heck, little boys all over the world can roam free, safe and secure in the knowledge that their pants won’t be removed by some God-horny Man of the Cloth, so that’s good.  Then again, won’t all the Men of the Cloth who engaged in that activity still be here?  Hm.  Rule of the land!  It’s time to put these imbeciles on a remote island with a few other undesirables, and have an And Then There Were None reality show.  Given the dearth of candidates, and only 12 slots (should we remain true to the story), I’m thinking several continuous seasons of this will do fine.

Fortunately, we’ll still have this:

So that’s cool.

I’m actually feeling confident that the bulk of television shows, actors and actresses, producers, directors, musicians, writers, artists and executives will still be around, so I guess Hollywood just keeps rolling.  I mean, they didn’t stop for Pearl Harbor or 9/11, did they?  Can’t seem them seeing this any differently.  So, we’ll still have a major portion of our art intact.

This solves our energy crises, doesn’t it?  And food shortages?

Can we get back to community-based lifestyles, and weed out the box stores?  I can promise you all non-Christian based indie bookstores will still be around.  They didn’t break for Amazon or B&N, so I figure the Rapture won’t kill their inspiration either.  Should be plenty of stock and, as mentioned, better quality to choose from, so there you are.  Another win.

Looks like the recession is over.  Jobs for everyone!

May have to entertain that Trump for President thing, after all.  He’ll still be around.  I mean, it would appear that every politician is a Christian, or so they would have you believe.  Surely they weren’t lying about that.  I’ll vote for him.  Although George Clooney might be more interested now that there’s no real backlash to him running, right?  Hell, all of Hollywood might put their name in the hat if they can do so comfortably knowing that there’s no one left to call them out on their loose-running morality issues.

What else?

You know, this may very well be the greatest Litmus test in the whole of testing things that aren’t what they purport to be.  I sense a great deal of finger waggling, post Rapture, with some, “Ahhhhhh, I knew you weren’t a Christian!” in for good measure.  Playground rules apply.  Those shamed are cast into the Pit of the Unwanton Liars Who Used to Be Bullies But Are Now Just Stupid Dummy Butts.

Yeah, I’m liking this post-Rapture world.

I need to go stock up on cheese.  Feel free to do the same.  In the meantime, what did I forget?

Being a Non-Christian Means I Get Your Pet, Right?

So, fueling off of yesterday’s blog regarding the End of the World proclamations of the folks at wecanknow.com, it has been brought to my attention–by the ever vigilant, yet slightly askew Kimberly Kennedy–that I neglected to cover a very critical aspect of the forthcoming Rapture: What to do with your pet.

We’ll call this section of the blog, “So, You’re Being Raptured, Section 2, sub-section 43a: What to do with your pet.”

It seems that you’re on the list to ride the G-train to Heaven, and when the Rapture comes, you’ll be making your way with millions of Christians, while the remainder of the heathens stay behind to be dominated and controlled by the Anti-Christ for the five months leading up to the End of the World.  That takes care of that, right?  I mean, naturally, there is sadness for those whom you may love, to some varying degree, that were not wise enough to embrace Jeebus, and make him their BFF (or would it be BFFE–Best Friend for Eternity?), but that’s the way the communion wafer floats in the grape juice, right?  They had their chance.  But–and this is a horrifying thought, I would think–what happens to your pet?  What becomes of Fluffy the cat, or Bruiser the dog, Golden the goldfish, or Tyrus the turtle?  They didn’t have their say.  Nobody asked them if they wanted to accept Jeebus as their Lord Owner and Feeding Savior.  What if they wanted to be Christian?  Even Noah had to rescue the poor beasts of the Earth before the Great Flood, so what now?  You can’t very well leave your pets with…with…non-believers, can you?

Well, don’t fret, because the good people (and aren’t they just the best for being so thoughtful, and willing to pitch in?) at After the Rapture Pet Care have your answer.  Here’s a video to help out!

Lookit!  Real testimony from the website!

It’s a real concern, and a legitimate concern. Our pets are given to us by God for us to care for. We are stewards of their lives. Should we simply forget them at the Rapture, allow them to starve or worse?

Real…and legitimate.  Wow.  Powerful words.  Powerful.

But who are these Caretakers, and why should you trust them with your pets?  Well, right there on the Home page is your answer:

Most Volunteer Pet Caretakers fit this description:

  • They are atheist or another non-Christian religion.
  • They love animals enough to register with us even though they do not believe there will be a Rapture (or are agnostic about it).
  • They are not paid, so they are not signing up simply to make a quick buck. In fact, they’ve agreed to care for the pets they rescue as their own, including being financially responsible for them.

We match Volunteer Pet Caretakers by location and the types of pets they wish to care for. Some Volunteer Pet Caretakers will care for any type of pet, while others express interest in only caring for particular animals, such as only dogs or only cats. They have agreed to seek out other Volunteer Pet Caretakers to help them with our mission if the Rapture occurs. Each Volunteer Caretaker will be given access to our database of animal shelters and other animal rescue groups so they can quickly find other animal lovers to help rescue your pets.

Now, I’m not trying to suggest that God might require you to submit paperwork at the Pearly Gates, proving that you have made proper arrangements to have His Creatures cared for, but you might not want to take that chance.  You might not want to be the one in line that gets dropped through a cloud like a trapdoor on a stage with the simple pull of St. Peter’s Magic Lever of Descent.  You might–just might–want to avoid the spiritual embarrassment of nullifying an entire life (or five minutes, depending on how last minute you repented) of Jeebus Faith by taking a spare few minutes for the pets you love and adore, and ensuring that they will be cared for until the End of Time (or sooner, if they don’t survive the five months We Can predicts).  Just sayin’.  The Pope may not think too highly of condoms, but sometimes it’s better to be protected than to roll the dice on behalf of other lives.

Don’t wait.  He who hesitates, hesitates.  Your pet loves you, and will be very, very, very, very sad to see you go (unless you own a cat).  So sad that you might want to take a few moments now and have a good cry, and plead to God to allow you to bring your pet along, and that they’ll be really good, and not pee on the clouds, and you’ll keep them in your corner of Heaven and He’ll never even know they’re there (which He will, but, hey, semantics, right?).  But after you’ve cried long, and hard, and come to realize that every day between now and May 21st will be one in a series of Last Days You Spend With Your Beloved Pet, run to your computer, fall over it if you have to, but save these poor pets lives before they die of absolute, and utter, loneliness and despair.  It’s your chance now.  Your…last…chance.

Don’t fail your pets.  Save them now, like they couldn’t be Saved while you were there.  You can Ascend knowing they will be cared for.  They will be loved.  They will be fed.  They will play, and find some sense of happiness in your departure.

For at least five months anyway.  Then, like the rest of us, they’ll be dead.