Wednesday, September 29, 2004


From a friend of mine who is a teacher in Jefferson Parish:

I met a new student today who introduced himself saying, "My name is Tegrin, like the shampoo." It was difficult not to laugh. Not just a shampoo, but a dandruff shampoo. Nice work, Mom and Dad.

Via Henry: An awesome story about the unstoppable Jerry Fontenot. Sounds like he had as much fun in the evacuation as we did.

In my endless surfing I came across the website of a guy who went to my high school (full disclosure: I graduated with his sister. Nice family - good people.) He is married with two daughters, one of whom has some pretty serious health problems. His wife is the one who usually updates the site, and the general impression I get from reading is that yes, life is a challenge for them but things are going relatively well and they are happy. Count your blessings and all that, right?

Here's the thing: the wife, in her updates, sprinkles her prose liberally with references to Bible verses. Occasionally she's follow the reference with the verse itself, but sometimes she'll just talk about how the verse applies to the situation at hand as if she's assuming her audience will understand both the reference and its application.

Who does this? Where do you learn this?

Seriously. I studied literature in depth and at length back in the twentieth century, and I've read and re-read more than a few books, but I still can't pull a page and line number out of my head and apply it to any given situation, much less have a reference like that ready for any situation. I know I live in the big godless city and I don't go to church so I just wouldn't get it, but really. When do you pick up this talent? I mean sure, if you're a preacher or something I guess you better know your stuff. But just some normal person on the street? Do they memorize the whole thing?

I read a moderately good book last summer - The Devil and Daniel Silverman by Theodore Roszak. Briefly, it's about a liberal gay Jew from San Francisco who is invited to speak at a conservative Christian college in northern Minnesota. Hijinks ensue. It was funny, but heavy-handed. Anyway, at one point Daniel calls one of the college's professors on his habit of peppering his speech with Bible references. Daniel points out that it's not a fair way of making a point, because a) not everyone is familiar with the Bible and b) not everyone accepts every word of the Bible as literal truth and c) the person quoting the Bible could be making things up and most people wouldn't know d) how would the Bible-quoters feel if someone started quoting, I don't know...the New York Times or the Village Voice or something like that?

I really like the idea of making up Bible verses, too.

"Dude, you shouldn't eat olives. It says so in the Bible."


"Thomas 12:42. 'And thou shalt not eat the fruit of the olive tree, for it is sinful and sour on the tongue.'"

"Dude, I didn't know..." And he eyes the dish of olives suspiciously.

See? That sounds Bible-ish, doesn't it? You don't know, do you? It could be in there and you wouldn't know, you Satan-cuddling sinner. You are so going to hell.

You could actually read the Bible to keep out of hell, though. That link has lots of translations including the stand-up-and-salute gorgeous language of the King James Version. Back in the day, man, they knew how to write.


Blogger siobhan said...

you can find all kinds of crazy stuff in the bible! have you seen

(mmm. olives.)

9/29/2004 6:07 PM  

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