Yesterday I mentioned one of my mom’s favorite stories about my smelly habits.
Another one of my mom’s favorite stories is about me at the same age. I was four or five. We were at a restaurant that served fish. I think they served fish, anyway. All I remember was that there was a lot of fried breaded meats, fried potatoes, and fried balls of dough that southerners call Hushpuppies and the rest of the world calls “shit food.”
While we were sitting there waiting for our waitress, I reached for a red tubed ketchup bottle, and tried to smell its contents while squeezing the greasy red plastic.
A geyser of tomato sauce shot straight up my schnoz.
Imagine me with a bloody nose. Only the blood was ketchup, and laughter was coming out of my family’s mouths faster than the ketchup out of my nostrils.
Thanks, life-changing ketchup bottle. You’re a real sweetheart.
Here’s a fun clip from Ricky Gervais about frustrating conversations with believers.
This video and the art it features inspires me. It makes me want to cancel all my appointments, go to the art store, buy a load of paint, and create.
Only I don’t have the wherewithal to create something this great.
Notice the collaboration. The man-and-woman hours they must have in their history and what their putting on the canvas is astounding.
Here’s a story you might want to check out. It’s a first-hand account of a kid who went to war a believer and came back without belief.
I joined the Army fresh out of high school. My motivations were a mixture of anger over the 9/11 attacks, and a nagging teenage desire to blow shit up. I had flirted with atheism during my young teens, but looking back I attribute it more to a pubescent desire to stick it to the status quo than a genuine belief I had reasoned myself into. In my later teens I had mostly dropped it in favor of a weak attempt to practice a non-denominational form of Christianity. Religion was never a huge influence in my life, as the only time we found ourselves inside of a church during my childhood was for weddings.
The first time I attended church with any regularity was during basic training, as the choice on Sundays was either “Church” or “Clean the shit out of the barracks for eight hours straight.” It was a refreshing respite from the rigors of boot camp, but I now realize it would be my first experience with the incredibly Christian bias existent within the military. I can even recall another recruit who wished to claim his religious beliefs as “no preference” being told that if he were to ever be injured, the chaplain would take one look at his dog tags and leave him to die, moving on in favor of people who actually “needed” some form of last rite. Another instance regarded a recruit who had claimed himself as a wiccan, with our drill sergeant responding that even though he was required to allow him to practice his beliefs, he took no pleasure in allowing “some hippie faggot to go dance naked in the woods”.
Tina and I were grocery shopping over the weekend. We split up to find a few different items. After a few minutes, Tina walked up to me and said, “What do you think is going on here?” She showed me the two jars of kalamata olives. The smaller jar clearly said, “12.73 oz” and the larger jar said, “9.5 oz.”
I scratched my head and stared at the two jars.
“Which one is cheaper?” I asked.
“The larger bottle,” said Tina.
“Hmm. That doesn’t make sense.”
We looked at the bottles like they were native aborigines that we were seeing for the first time. I finally said, “Get the larger, less expensive bottle.”
Then I said, “Wait, let me take a picture.” Tina held up the bottles and I grabbed a shot.
I decided I’d post it here to ask for help. But as I was photoshopping the two weights to a larger size, I noticed that one said, “NET. WT.” and the other “DR WT.”
So there you have it. If you’re ever stumped by something that doesn’t make sense (either in the grocer’s aisle or in your holy bible), read a little more carefully … Maybe even pull out Photoshop and scrutinize. Because what doesn’t make sense, might make more sense if you look at it in a new light.
Instead of looking at the book or bottle like it’s a freak show, look at it like it’s cancer in a microscope.
And instead of having someone tell you what to think, you can figure it out for yourself using all the clues and all the assimilated knowledge you have in that fine noggin of yours.