Thursday, January 11, 2007

God is like Beyonce

As I parked my car and walked towards my door with the day’s mail in my hand, I spotted two teenagers wearing tweed coats walking the walkway next to my apartment building. As I looked over, I realized I had seen them (or dudes dressed similarly) several times before at various times during the day. Usually, they were on bicycles or foot and never in a car. Whatever their mode of transportation, they always sported white full-sleeved shirts, black pants and that black wool / tweed coat. I might’ve also spotted a tie on one occasion. Every time I had seen them, they did raise curiosity, but never enough to make me want to stop the car and strike up a conversation. That night however, as I turned away, I heard one of them holler out “Hi there, how’s it going?”

Now, this being the South and me being familiar with (and empathic towards) the traditional “Southern Hospitality”, I found it very much in the domain of the ordinary. Reflexively, I responded, “Hiya how’re you doing?” (Those not familiar with this routine might notice the oddity that a question was answered by a very similar question). In the normal course of events, at this point, both parties make eye contact, smile, nod, and part ways. Sometimes, however, the other person will seize initiative and continue the conversation, usually to seek information; e.g. “Hi I was trying to contact the apartment manager here, would you have her number” and the like. Less often, at least in my apartment complex, it turns out to be a rookie salesman who goes in to a sales pitch “hi, I’m trying to raise money for a charity and my goal is to raise $50000. I’m also working on my sales skill, so would you be interested in helping in two causes by buying some (overly priced) magazine subscriptions?” Each category is relatively easily answered.

This time however, the question was quite interesting: “Do you believe in God?” At this point, as I was still reeling from the initial surprise and as my eyebrows and vocal cords competed for attention of the right half of my brain, the second teenager reached within talking distance, extended his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Elder Blah.” (name changed to protect identity of characters). As I shook hands and introduced myself, the first tweed-clad teenager said, “Hi, I’m Bleh.”

Blah and Bleh, now standing in flanking positions (or so it seemed), furthered the monologue by querying, “What do you think about God?” At this point, the following scenarios flashed before me:

a) become pissed and rude like when you get approached by an unsolicited, pushy salesman
b) make a lame excuse about being in a hurry and run away
c) running bare feet on white sandy beaches below the azure sky aside turquoise water and through the refreshing breeze of Hawaii (why this happened, I have no idea… perhaps I wanted to watch another episode of Lost)
d) be polite, stand firm and have fun

If you thought I chose option (d) you are beginning to know me a little. Congratulate or censure yourself accordingly.

“I don’t”, I said, initiating dialogue. It was their turn to do the eye-brows and voice routine. They instead settled to merely exchange glances.

“Knowing God helps us know ourselves”, Bleh recover first and countered.

“I’ve known myself for a while now, and am pretty satisfied with the results so far. And I really don’t want to kill the suspense and surprise (of getting to know too much of the rest in a hurry).”

“What if I told you, that today there is a Prophet of God right here among us”, said Blah soldiered on.

“You mean like Mohammed was?” At this point, I had to really keep from splitting my sides and kept getting reminded of the “giggle loop” (ref: “Couplings” for the neophytes).

“We are from the Church of Blah&Bleh” (name changed of course, and I am not trying to insinuate blasphemy or insult or otherwise diminish the glory of any religion or religious denomination).

“I am familiar with that Church. I knew a friend from the same church. He was one of the smartest, well read and nicest people I know.” This is fact. That person still has my deepest respect and admiration not in the least because we could air genuine well-formed arguments on similar subjects without anyone getting offended.

Emboldened by my admission, Blah offered “What if I told you that you could experience the true nature of God, find out what it is like to know him? Do you know what God is like?”

“God is like Beyonce. You know Beyonce Knowles, right?”

More quizzical glances.

“They are both really famous and both have a huge following.
“An amazing amount of real people want to meet them, very few will, if ever.
“I see images of them almost every where I go, but I have never met someone who has actually met either. So I’m equally unsure if either actually really exists.
“People talk about what they said or promised or did or didn’t do, but neither’s action has ever affected my life even slightly.
“It is said that we can meet them, but somehow the path always involves some money or material donation”

Long pause. If this had happened after a girl had expressed interest in a guy (or the other way around) it’d be called the “awkward silence”. In the present case, it was “giggle loop” funny.

Bleh finally spoke, “Is that your philosophy towards God?”

“Well, I don’t bother Him (or Her or It (Ebay, are you listening?)) and He doesn’t bother me”, I replied.

“Well, we only wanted to pass on his message of happiness and togetherness and the value of family. If you ever want to attend Church and receive his message, here is the address”, and saying so, he produced a card from his pocket bearing cheery, smiling faces.

“Thanks so much,” I said accepting the card. “Happiness and togetherness of a family is a very important thing and I appreciate this.”

Blah and Bleh were already walking away. May Beyonce bless them.


t-HYPE said...

Raaahaa haahaa!

You're wrong for that!
Be nice to the Mormons.

*adding link to blog*

kage said...

hey T, how've you been??

and I am nice and sweet and simply being myself, couldn't you see :)

Anonymous said...

such wisdom at such a tender age, you should be god, or at least the prophet who walks amongst us.

kage said...

@anon, thanks for the sarcastic apotheosis but i just think i'm not vain enough to consider myself a prophet :)

Anonymous said...

cool... i am happy with beyonce as well... :=)

Anonymous said...

Good one. Very nicely written !

Alan said...

I wandered over from t-Hype's blog. Very funny post. I think the giggle loop would have gotten the best of me in that situation.

kage said...


thanks for the compliment... btw, just sampled some of your blog.

Mere biwi exclaimed. “Oh My God, They actually kissed!”

is priceless! I'm impressed that you've picked up Hindi!!

Also, this topic has been on my "to blog about" list for a while. When I finally get around to it, I'll point to your blog as a reference!

Anonymous said...

Obama's a fan of Beyonce too!
Obama Heart Beyonce!

kage said...

This just cracked me up:

[ emphasis added ]

"Logically, from what young kids observe, it makes sense to think that Santa is real, says Dr. Woolley. And Santa and the trash collector share certain characteristics. Both are people whom kids have heard about but have likely never met before. There is proof for Santa's existence—the gifts that appear on Christmas morning—as well as for the garbage man's—he makes trash disappear—even though kids don't usually see them in action"

The Power of Magical Thinking:
Research Shows the Importance of Imagination in Children's Cognitive Development
at the WSJ