170 Ethics

I witnessed a scene at the post office this morning that I believe changed my life. I’m not sure how deeply or for how long, but I hope I won’t forget it anytime soon.

It goes like this: the short, elderly woman in front of me had two boxes, each at least a cubic foot in size. She was having trouble holding them. They looked like they could have fallen out of her hands at any moment. But what do I do about it? Zip, zilch, nada, nichts, niente.

Another elderly woman a few places ahead of us comes up and offers the woman her place in line, much closer to the front. Selfish me thinks there’s something going on. Fortunately I got that thought out of my head as soon as possible. I realized the second woman was just doing a good deed, for no other reason than she thought it was the right thing to do.

The woman with the boxes was still juggling them when the man in front of her offered to hold them for her. This whole scene was significant to me because I haven’t seen a whole lot of acts of generosity like that since I came. I still like Chicago, but I get turned off at all the times people honk at me or try to pass me on the sidewalk. I feel like a bumpkin, movin’ kinda slow at the junction. Just me and a lot of beautiful people walking on air with their great jobs and their cool friends, going to clubs so exclusive they don’t have windows, and they don’t put their name on the outside.

I can’t tell you how snotty some of the people around here are, but then again, that used to be me. I was never very good at being cool, though; I always felt guilty when I gave someone the cold shoulder.

I don’t know about you, but I think Easter has it all over Christmas when it comes to Christian holidays with pagan roots. The candy is pretty much the same, but the story is way better. After all, anybody can be born, but to come back to life after you’ve been nailed to a cross? Come on! That is freakin’ superhero material! And then to push aside this humungous stone that’s blocking the way out of your crypt as if it were just a plain-old door? Truly mind-blowing stuff.

The weather is also a little better this time of year than it is at the end of December.

In my lifetime, I have seen Jesus Christ go from being a blue-eyed, blond-haired, somewhat wimpy, hippie-ish Son of God to, on the one hand, a brown-eyed, Palestinian jew with curly or wavy hair (or possibly a black man), and, on the other hand, an ass-kicking, gay-hating marine with a Southern drawl (he only speaks English, dammit) and a Hummer. Of the two possibilities, I have to say I am more comfortable with him as an Arab or black man than I am with him as basically an anti-Christ who’s going to come back one day and open up a can of whupass on all us heathens, and then settle down in South Carolina, or possibly Kansas.

However, the idea of Jesus as this violent, intolerant right-winger does fire my imagination in ways the more ethnically and historically correct but still basically kind, thoughtful Messiah doesn’t. Picturing Christ as some kind of tight-butted, snuff-spitting special-ops guy is just more fun. So, while I may in a future post attempt to trace the evolution of popular concepts of Christ, for now I am going to attempt to catalog all the ways that Christ the Carolina shitkicker knows to kill a man. Herewith is that list:

  • Jesus can rip your heart out of your chest and keep you alive long enough to watch Him eat it
  • Jesus can manipulate air currents in such a way as to produce an ultra-low-pressure system that will make your lungs explode, or cause your skeleton to pop out of your skin
  • Jesus can reach in and pull your spine out
  • Jesus can pull your skin up over your face, so that you suffocate on your own skin
  • Jesus can end you with a paper clip
  • Jesus can end you with a well-thrown CD
  • Jesus can end you with a manila folder
  • Jesus can end you with anything from Staples, up to and including the Easy Button
  • Muhammad, Buddha, Joseph Smith and Rasta Fari know how to take you out, too
  • Jesus carries a dozen throwing stars on his person at all times
  • Jesus can cancel you by pinching you at one of about a dozen locations on your body
  • Jesus is like fucking MacGyver, man
  • Jesus don’t take no mess
  • Jesus can drop you just by holding a certain note
  • Jesus can put a cap in yo’ ass
  • Jesus can lock you in a room and suck all the air out with a straw
  • If Jesus punches you in the solar plexus, or under your arms, you out, G.

Every once in a while I like to just type in random URLs to see if they actually exist. Most of them go to porn sites or vague catch-all sites that often say, “What You Need, When You Need It.” But this Web site,, has a sparseness befitting contemplation of the Supreme Being. God has a page on Wikipedia and several pages on MySpace. At the time of this writing, God’s mood was “angry.”

P.S. — God also has online presences at,, and Typing in “” took me to this site.