Throw rocks

WRITING - Joe Bob's America

I keep getting these letters in the mail about when Jesus is coming to town.

I realize that a person who's on 9,000 mailing lists is gonna get hassled by a lot of people who's elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor, but it's the NUMBER of these warnings that's getting to me.

This one guy in Glendale, California, keeps writing to me about how the Virgin Mary recently had a gig in Flushing Meadows, New York, where she criticized tabloid journalism and predicted a Los Angeles earthquake. I wrote back to him, pointing out that I have also criticized tabloid journalism and predicted a Los Angeles earthquake, so could there be some possibility that the Virgin Mary is communicating with me without my knowledge? But he never has written me back.

There's another group of "Jesus is coming" true believers who have been hanging out in Yugoslavia, because the Virgin Mary appeared there several times and told them to love one another. I wrote to them to ask whether they would still be hanging out there if the Virgin Mary had appeared and told them to HATE one another? I mean, you're either gonna FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS or you're not. No answer from there either.

For a while there was a guy on an independent TV station out of Irving, Texas, who was explaining EXACTLY where each prophecy in the Book of Revelations would be fulfilled in the next ten years, with references to a Middle East war, nuclear holocaust, and the comeback of the mini-skirt. This guy vanished for lack of funding.

I'm not even gonna mention the Adventists. They've been predicting the date Jesus would show up for almost a hundred years now, but the last time he didn't show they changed the date to "soon." I think this shows a remarkable theological shift from the specific to the general, and probably guarantees an increase in membership for at least the next decade.

In other words, a whole lotta people waiting on Him. And, because of that, a few might wanna know what you can do to get ready.

Most of the religious brochures make very vague suggestions about how to get ready. "Repent" is the most popular one. "Clean your household" is one mentioned by a Pennsylvania evangelist. This is one that my mother would like. But I have very SPECIFIC suggestions for the coming Event. You might wanna keep these tacked up on your refrigerator.

1) When Jesus comes, it would not be a good idea to be wearing black leather and latex and holding a riding crop in your hand.

2) When the messiah shows up, and you're in a synagogue, continue the same prayers, but add the following words at the end of every verse: "Correct me if I'm wrong."

3) When the messiah shows up, and you're in a Babtist Church, it's probably not a good idea to say, "Would you like me to point out the ones that are going to hell?"

4) When the messiah shows up, and you're in a Methodist church, refrain from saying, "Whatever you tell us, we'll put it to a vote and probably go with your program."

5) When the messiah shows up, and you've been machine-gunning Kurdish peasants, it's not a good idea to say, "But that was a long time ago."

6) When the messiah shows up in a Unitarian church, try not to say, "We're all equals here. Don't expect any special privileges."

7) When the messiah shows up and you're watching ESPN, don't ask him to wait until halftime.

8) When the messiah shows up and you're pursuing an acting career, don't tell him you want to explore how your character will respond to this.

9) When the messiah shows up at Willem Dafoe's house, don't say "I KNEW I was off on the accent."

10) When the messiah shows up, at the one time in your life when you're doing something decent, like feeding the poor, don't say "Can you wait just a minute? I need to finish up this act of human kindness here and then I'll be right with you."

Now that I think about it, we're all doomed, aren't we?