Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In Which I Embrace The Saying..."If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em"

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of overt displays of religious fervor.

Where I come from, religious affiliation is a very personal issue and not one that people broadcast at every opportunity. Which is why, after 20 years in the South, I still cringe when someone slips a little halle-LU-jah or Praise JeZUS into completely random conversations.


Conversant #1: "Wow, this potato salad is amazing! I finally persuaded Mary to give me the recipe."

Conversant #2: "Praise JeZUS!"

See what I mean?

Any and all such pronouncements bug the living snot out of me, but the one that really makes me want to bitch slap somebody is "Have a blessed day!"

The cashier at the grocery store said it to me this morning, and I reacted the way I always do. First, I blinked furiously, trying to process. Then I felt the smile on my lips freeze into a maniacal rictus. Then I bit my tongue to resist the urge to say something like...

"I'm really looking forward to roasting over the fires of hell, but I appreciate the sentiment."

Now, rationally, I understand that when somebody says "Have a blessed day!" they are simply trying to be kind. But part of me can't help thinking that it's also a fairly effortless way to hedge one's bets when it comes to the pre-judgement tally at the pearly gates.

I imagine St. Peter and his long suffering assistant standing at the head of a long line of the wretched and the damned, trying to decide who gets in and who has to kiss Satan's ass for the rest of eternity.

St Peter: Next.

Long Suffering Assistant: Let'sssssss seeeeeee. Oh yes. (clears throat) Candy Ann Spellman, 38, single, no children. Christian. Cashier at Kroger. Hobbies include scrapbooking and wet t-shirt contests. Killed in an MVA, attempting to flee the scene of a thwarted armed robbery.

St. Peter (raising eyebrows): Joel....what do we say about Christianity??

Long Suffering Assistant: One must walk the walk, Sir.

St. Peter: Exactly! Send her packing.

Long Suffering Assistant: Um, with all due respect Sir, it says here that she exhorted some 4,786,592 persons to "Have a blessed day".

St. Peter: What of it?

Long Suffering Assistant: Sir, I believe you are aware that such a dedicated display of pointless religious promulgation is grounds for a declaration of zealotism and as such, negates any and all prior transgressions as they pertain to eternal damnation.

St. Peter: Poppycock!!

Long Suffering Assisant (patiently): I assure you Sir, it is not Poppycock. Why else would Rex Humbard be here?

St. Peter: Shit.

Long Suffering Assistant: Indeed Sir.

St. Peter: We have got to do something about that loophole. Remind to speak to big G about that.

Long Suffering Assistant (scribbling): Noted, Sir.

St. Peter (sighing): Alright then. Let her through. A loophole is a loophole. What size halo?

Long Suffering Assistant (checking his notes): Ahhhhh, size 10, extra pious.

St. Peter (thunderously): Extra Pious! I think not! She'll get a size 10 semi devout and LIKE IT!

Long Suffering Assistant: Whatever you say Sir.

St Peter: Next.

Long Suffering Assistant: Yes sir. Next we have Alice Ghostly, 81. Widowed. Mother of 7. Agnostic. Character actress and stage performer. Cause of death...

St. Peter: She's in.

Long Suffering Assistant: But I haven't finished yet.

St. Peter: She's in, I say,.

Long Suffering Assistant: But Sir....

St. Peter: Big G wouldn't approve..even pretend witchcraft is a sin. But dammit, I like her. That Esmerelda, always in trouble. She had spunk! SIGH. They just don't make quality television anymore.

Long Suffering Assistant (dryly): Yes Sir. She certainly was a hoot, Sir.

St. Peter: She's in.

Long Suffering Assisant: Of course, Sir.

So...I dunno. I'll admit I'm a little touchy when it comes to such things. But, really...what's so wrong with plain ole "Have a nice day?"

It doesn't offend anybody. It doesn't exclude anybody. It isn't pretentious, self-righteous or contrived. It your standard all purpose social nicety, n'est pas?

Oh I know, I know...we have this weird need to customize every little colloqualism, aphorism and slogan to our own personal designations. I have no idea why. I suppose it's the American propensity for self aggrandizement and egocentricism.

Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

So to all of you out there in the blogosphere, I say....

"Have a spiritually ambiguous day!"

(Originally posted 10/02/07. Yep. Still painting.)


  • At 8:12 AM, Blogger JChevais said…

    I liked the convo between St Peter and his assistant.

    The British frequently use "Bless" to signify "isn't that precious?"

    I'm not sure why, but I've never thought of it in a religious way.

    Out of curiosity, what about the saying "Bless you" when someone sneezes? Just curious as to whether this is used in the South or whether it gets some modifiers as well.


  • At 11:26 AM, Blogger Notes and letters to myself.... said…

    In Italy when someone sneezes we say "SALUTE!"

    And when my friends mother fell down the stairs in the deep south she was heard to say:


  • At 11:27 AM, Blogger Foofa said…

    I think bless you has something to do with the idea that you lose some of your soul when you sneeze, or something like that, so the blessing helps you retain your godliness??? I'm pretty much an agnostic though so I could be wrong. I find myself saying bless you out of cultural habit though. Being a northerner, I have no idea if it is modified in the south.

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said…

    Did you write that? Is it original? Oh honey that needs to be published somewhere other than your blog. It's awesome.

  • At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just because I'm lovin of me some God and Jesus doesn't mean I didn't find that post damn funny :)
    Ame in TN

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    You are a genius.

  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    Or, as they say in some California circles, "Have a significant day".


  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    When I was younger and my piss and vinegar level was higher, that sort of thing irked me as well. I would respond with a snort and an eye roll and a head shake and a hasty exit, hopefully to never return.

    But now that I am older and not necessarily mellower but just more willing to let people be as they are, I just try to consider the wish behind the words - they are wishing me well, no matter how clumsily stated. It is the same for "I'll pray for you" or whatever - I just take the good wishes no matter what religion they come from.


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