It’s Tina’s Birthday!

It’s Tina’s birthday today. She loves birthday wishes almost as much as she loves you.

So while I’m spoiling her with gifts and kisses, send some word kisses her way. She’ll love them just as much as she loved her dessert last night at dinner. We went to a place called, “Hot Chocolate,” so you know their desserts kicked ass.

And by kicked ass, I mean, they’d make hungry kids cry if they ever had a chance to taste one.

We had two.



Pope Mohammed and the Wager

“The fact of the matter is,” continues Pope Mohammed, “That you’re better off believing what I teach than not. It’s a sure bet. No chance of losing if you even pretend to believe.”

Pope Mohammed has been droning on for the past hour covering the same base: “You’re better off believing than not.” Delilah Solomon is half listening, half not. She’s heard the lessons before. Delilah is driving her Red ‘64.5 Mustang Convertible. They’re on highway 40, somewhere between where you are right now and California.

Pope Mohammed is sitting in the passenger seat with an arm on the arm rest and the other hand near his face. He’s intermittently picking his nose.

Pope Mohammed preaches the gospel of Gollah. Gollah created the universe back in 1885, a year whose significance is only that it’s a date in which no one currently living was born or could remember if they were. In the Gollah philosophy, it doesn’t matter what’s in the history books. “For all you know,” says Pope Mohammed, “A very creative group of men formulated history just like film writers.”

Delilah flips on her left blinker, changes lanes, passes a SMART car, flips on her right blinker, and presses on in the right-hand lane again.

“Gollah loves you,” says Pope Mohammed for what seems like the thousandth time. “He created the universe for you. He created an amusement park for you that you live in every day after you die. That’s what you get in return for loving Gollah. If you don’t love him back, that’s fine. You’ll only spend the afterlife in a pool of jalapeno juice.”

Delilah shakes her head in disbelief. She told Pope Mohammed once, and she feels she doesn’t have to repeat herself. “I don’t buy it.”

“What if you’re wrong?” asks Pope Mohammed.

“What if I’m wrong?” responds Delilah.

“Yeah, what if you’re wrong?” answers Pope Mohammed. “Wouldn’t it be better to believe in Gollah, than not. Wouldn’t it be better to worship him and reap the benefits than not believe? That way you’re safe after you die. It’s like being faced with a wager and you take the safe choice. Win for you and win for Gollah.” Pope Mohammed adjusts his butt in the seat. His finger dives under the armrest, which Delilah imagines is a leather Kleenex.

“What if I’m wrong?” Delilah repeats.  “What if you’re right? That’s the question.” Delilah is near the end of  her rope.

“What does that mean, ‘what if I’m right?” Pope Mohammed has a furrowed brow. He’s never had any one resist the “wager” statement so diligently.

“If you’re right, that means your Gollah isn’t love after all. That means your Gollah requires worship or else I — or anyone else who doesn’t buy into your stories — will swim in a pool of jalapeno juice for all time after I die.”

Pope Mohammed stares at Delilah with every ounce of hate muscle he can muster. “Gollah is unconditional love.”

“If you’re right,” Delilah says firmly. “Than you’re wrong. Gollah is not unconditional love. Unconditional love has no requisites. No conditions. No boundaries.”

Pope Mohammed sticks his finger in his mouth. The same one he’s used to pick with.