Tag Archives: religion

The Bookstore Game

So, when I’m bored in a bookstore (Bored in a bookstore? How? Look around you!), I have a little game I like to play.

I take books from one section and place them in another section. Not at random, and not en masse. The goal of the game is to introduce someone to a book that they’ll like, but that they might not have sought out on their own.

So, you might move Catch-22 to the World War II History section. Or you might move Jane Austen to the Romance section. You might put Stiff in the mystery or horror sections. Be creative.

However, this is not license to move all the bibles to the fiction section. I get what you’re saying, and ha ha aren’t you clever and all that, but come on. All you’re doing is annoying a bunch of christians. And really, if you have to go out of your way to annoy christians, I don’t think you’re living a full life. You’re in a bookstore. Read some books, get some ideas, and go try them out. You’re sure to annoy a whole mess of christians.

And another thing. If you’re in the opposite camp – the “bibles should be moved to the nonfiction section” camp – I don’t think you should move the bible to the section you feel could benefit from it the most. This game is decidedly nonjudgmental. And, even if you don’t mean it that way, suggesting that someone read the bible is going to come off as judgmental. This is why I have a standing policy on facebook that if you suggest I read the bible, you will find yourself defriended.

What you’re saying to someone when you suggest they read the bible is:

“Not only do you have some character issues that I think could be resolved by this book, but I’m pretty sure you’re so thick – or willfully ignorant – that you’ve managed to overlook every single highway sign, commercial, religious tract under your windshield wiper, well-meaning family member, elementary school friend, crazy person on the street, thinlyveiled film depiction of Christ, and all of Fox News for the entirety of your life. You’re stupid and evil. Read this book.”

It’s amazing that a person might find that insulting.

So, what I’m suggesting to you is that you take the book that you’re wanting to associate with the bible and move it to the bible section. Now everyone’s mind has been opened to the possible connection between Dead Until Dark and the Lord.

A note to bookstore employees: I’m sorry. I know this causes more work for you. But it’s for the greater good. Also, you’re lucky you have a job, because I keep reading that print is dead.

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Shelby looks forward to your hate mail, too.

This is my first-ever blog-by-request. Any complaints about anything in this post can be directed to my friend Shelby in the comments. I’m sure she’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Some backstory: I have 4 close friends who live in all different places, making it very difficult for us to ever see each other. So we use twitter to talk to each other. For any of you who are going to comment on how stupid twitter is, and how it’s only used by losers who want to tell everyone what they had for lunch, please do comment. I’m developing a response right now, and I can’t wait to tell it to you.

Anyway, yesterday I was tweeting some of my random crap and getting no responses, so I idly wondered, “Am I the only one still alive? Did the rapture come and somehow you guys all got into heaven? Where is everyone?”

So we got into a discussion about which of us was more likely to get into heaven (apparently me, not sure why), and what exactly the guidelines are for getting into heaven, and I mentioned that “punching random people in the face” was not allowed.

So Shelby said I should write a post about what you could do that would keep you out of heaven. So here’s the list.

(I should probably note here that I’ve been told many times, by many different people – some of them good friends of mine – that I’m going to hell. I certainly have not been a perfect angel my entire life – or any one part of it – but I’ve never committed a violent crime or stolen anything that would be missed. I have only been told I’m going to hell in response to things I said. I know I talk a lot of shit, but…really?)

Things that will keep you from getting into (my version of) heaven:

  • Punching random people in the face.
  • Driving a Hummer if you’re not fighting in a war. Figurative or conceptual wars do not count as real wars.
  • Asking someone a question, then not listening to the answer.
  • Calling people stupid because they have a different opinion than you. I’m not stupid for liking Dude, Where’s My Car?, any more than you’re stupid for liking Vanilla Sky. Although I think a case could be made for the latter.
  • Taking credit for someone else’s work.
  • Forcing anyone to do anything against their will. I’m not talking about making your 5-year-old take a bath. I’m not talking about telling your employee to get back to work. Let’s use some common sense here.
  • Taking things too literally.
  • Using honesty as an excuse to be a raging asshole.
  • Responding to words with violence.
  • Thinking you’re better than another person.

A note about lying: Lying sucks. You shouldn’t do it. But we all know that there are situations where it’s not only understandable, it’s the right thing to do. There is only one lie that you can tell that will keep you out of (my version of) heaven: Telling someone you’ve forgiven them if you haven’t.

Things that will never, not in a million years, keep you out of (my version of) heaven:

  • Having consensual sex with any person (or persons) who can be legally and emotionally considered an adult.
  • Joking about religion.
  • Talking about religion.
  • Having an opinion about religion.
  • Having an opinion about anything, even if you’re wrong, as long as you are willing to listen to other opinions and intelligently defend your own.
  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Dancing.
  • Wearing makeup.
  • Wearing revealing clothes.
  • Wearing clothes that are not traditionally worn by people of your gender.
  • Learning to read.
  • Having an idea.
  • Making a mistake.
  • Not believing in heaven, or hell, or original sin, or god, or whatever other concept you might come up with.

I know that seems contradictory. Here’s the thing, though. I’ve had people in my life who haven’t believed in me. Some of them were very close to me, and it hurt a lot when they didn’t believe in me. But I forgave them eventually. And I’m not even close to being the nicest person on earth. So I kind of feel like god, or whoever you might believe in (or not), should at least be nicer than me.

By the way, my heaven has alcohol and sex and bouncy houses. You know you want to get into my heaven.

Okay, that’s it. I look forward to your hate mail.

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