Archive for the ‘Catholicism’ Category

Wal-Mart As Bad Religion


Me: Could you repeat that?

Buck: I said, the shopping cart etiquette at Wal-Mart is so fucking out of control I just can’t begin to believe it.

Me: Really.

Buck: Really. Trying to push a shopping cart around Wal-Mart, just minding your own business, is impossible. The way people act . . . they think they’re Britney Spears shopping in the store all alone after hours.

Me: [laughing] [laughing]  I know. That is true. But it’s not just at Wal-Mart. I have problems everywhere I go that a shopping cart is involved.

Buck: You know, I go out on a simple mission and I figure I’ll surprise you with a new Rubbermaid sink divider —

Me: I hate when you surprise me with stuff like that —

Buck: — because I know you’ll never remember one because of your list problem, and, it’s especially bad when you venture down into the kitchen aisles. You know the kitchen aisles?

Me: Yeah.

Buck: Oh my God. It’s like people’s brains are gone. They’re all thinking, Hmm, what sort of accouterment should I get for my gold chandelier at home, or some crap . . .

Me: Like what?

Buck: Oh I don’t know, some add-on device for their chandelier.

Me: Well my flowers are gorgeous, and these candles are beautiful … thank you! I really needed some new candles, because most of mine are used up.

Buck: I thought you’d really like this one, because of the devil’s horns.

Me: Well, I don’t think that’s actually the devil’s horns —

Buck: It’s devil horns, trust me.

Me: Okay. But  it kind of looks like a mystical half moon, or maybe the top part of a golden ox . . . I hope it’s a golden ox’s tusk. I like to think everyone’s been wrong about idols, etcetera, because they’re kinda fun. I think the ox tusks are sitting atop a magic lamp. Sure looks like a magic lamp —

Buck: Oh. Read this. It’s a Saint for the depressed. It’s protecting us from the depths of despair. We should light a whole bunch of these.

Me: Oh my God yes! We should cover every surface in this house with these candles for the depressed and the desperately despairing. Lit candles.

Buck: It says, As you gaze upon us, help us, provide remedies for our pain and do not abandon us when we sin.

Me: Well … that’s for you really, now isn’t it. You’re the Catholic. Only Catholics sin. In my family’s religion there’s no sin. Sin is so stupid, we don’t have it. There are crimes . . . crimes against humanity, crimes against the law, but not sins. The whole concept of sin is just so preposterous —

Buck: And that’s why you’re going straight to Hell.

Me: We don’t have Hell in my family, either.

Buck: They’re all going to Hell too.

Me: . . .

Buck: This Saint is another virgin. This one’s from San Juan. There are a lot of these virgins around —

Me: I know, isn’t it great? There’s a virgin for every situation. Now we, the depressed, have one.

Buck: How did all these virgins propagate? If it’s immaculate conception, someone’s been really busy.

Me: I don’t know. I’ll ask Barbara. But I can’t call her now. It’s almost my nap time, and in her world it’s the time of day when she gets in her Jeep and drives around drinking coffee. There’s a small window during the morning when I make my phone calls to people, and right now it’s much too late in the day. I’ve already turned the phone off anyway.

Buck: The blue of that candle … what is that? Ethereal blue, I think. 

Me: Oh god no. It’s royal blue. Ethereal, now that’s a word for me. Ethereal is one of my words. I try and use it whenever it applies. I love ethereal, and that’s not it. That’s royal blue.

Buck: I got you another Barbara candle, because I figured it was time.

Me: Yeah, another day or so and it will have gone out, so I do need a new Barbara Writing Candle. You’re a mind reader. I like to keep a candle lit at all times for Barbara’s writing. The flame must burn for her latest book, even when we go out to dinner.

Buck: Read the back of this candle–

Me: I don’t have to read the back, I’ve memorized it —

Buck: It looks like you wrote this to Barbara, Prayer to Santa Barbara, my sublime and generous protectress —

Me: [laughing]

Buck:I beseech you to deliver me from all the wickedness and snares of the devil, who would keep me in misery and sin.

Me:[laughing] Yes? What’s so funny? She does that for me —

Buck: Barbara’s got the inside track, huh?

Me: [laughing] She does.

Buck: It looks like she’s doing a trick.

Me: Yeah. She’s making an ethereal sphere come out of her coffee cup and float over it —

Buck: No, she’s holding it up to the moonlight. It’s trick photography.

Me: Whatever. But I seriously do like to keep a candle lit for her writing at all times, so I really appreciate that you thought of me and got this. It saves me from having to leave the house.

Buck: Plus, Saint Barbara’s got a sword here. What the hell is that? I thought a pen was mightier than the sword.

Me: You’re right. And the pen is mightier than the sword. Could you fix that for me?

Buck: Put it on my desk.

Me: Thank you.

 Buck: So I get you candles and flowers, and I got an air filter, some dog treats, and light bulbs.

Me: So what was your problem with Wal-Mart etiquette?

Buck: Wal-Mart is Hell. I feel like I should wear a helmet when I’m in there. A motorcycle helmet. Because there’s all these people going around with the blank look on their face like they’re not really there, and they’re dangerous. They just slam around. Like, there was this woman who slammed her cart into mine, blocking me so I couldn’t move, and she just walked away from it … she just left her cart blocking me and started shopping! 

Me: My God. They’re so stupid, aren’t they?

Buck: So I said to her, Excuse me, excuse me, and she looked at me like she was disgusted.

Me: Remember when I was at the supermarket on Sunday and met that old guy in the wheelchair cart who needed help?

Buck: Yes. I remember it well.

Me: Well.  It was mobbed in the aisle, and he kept asking people to help him reach the marmalade, and they all ignored him! That’s how I ended up helping this guy to shop … because I was the only person who responded to him asking for help. But I was way down the other end of the aisle, and I had to worm my way through the crowd to get to him, for crying out loud. And when I ever found out he was from New York City, I almost had a fit.

Buck: Because you figured they could smell East Coast on him?

Me: YES! There was something wrong, don’t you think? I mean, why wouldn’t anyone help him?! They certainly heard him. Was it the way he pronounced marmalade? Was that the repellent?

Buck: Probably.

Me: So I ended up having to go around the store with him and help him shop. Not that I minded. I actually enjoyed it. We talked about how much we hate it here, and how the hot dogs suck, and you can’t get a decent bagel —

Buck: I’m sure you did. You must have made quite a pair, strolling through the Texans and kvetching about the absence of a good deli. Did you tell him your theory about Jesus hating the Yankees?

Me: Well … he was from New York

Buck: Yes. And you’re from Boston …

Me: Soooo … noooo … I didn’t get around to … I don’t have a lot of friends here … No. I did not tell the old man from New York how Jesus hates the Yankees. But I did tell him how my mother was a native New Yorker. And we talked about Manhattan for awhile —

Buck: So anyway.

Me: I can’t keep talking about shopping cart rudeness, I have like a million instances I could cite and I’m really fed up with it. I’m like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Buck: We’re both like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. And that’s why it’s my all-time favorite movie. So anyway. I’m down in the curtain aisle, looking for your curtain rod thing, and there’s this woman down there looking at the rods too.

Me: Uh oh.

Buck: She looks right at me, and just as I’m starting to walk by her, she pulls out a giant curtain rod and I had to dodge it to avoid getting hit in the face! And she immediately turns to me and says, Oh, did I hit you? 

Me: That’s terrible. What’s wrong with people? Seriously, what-is-wrong-with-people? Why is everyone so inconsiderate? It’s so depressing to me. These people are horrible. And I don’t understand. Why doesn’t anyone use common courtesy? Why? Do we expect too much? Are we too polite?

Buck: Yes. I wish these fucking shopping carts had horns on them.

Me: Car horns or devil horns?

Buck: Car horns, so I could beep at these people. Though devil horns might be better, so I can impale them.

Me: Or an ox tusk. An ox tusk would be good.

Buck: Ox don’t have tusks.

Me: Not the contemporary oxen, no. But the golden ones used for idolatry do have tusks. The car horn is a good idea, too. I’m sure a bike horn would work just as well. Note to self, get a bike horn for my shopping cart.

Buck: Yeah, that’ll look good. Be sure you bring your cat with you to ride in the basket.

Me: Well now you’re just talking crazy. I don’t even have a cat.


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Saint Applencia

Well it took a lot of research but I finally found her, thank heavens. Here she is: Saint Applencia, the Patron Saint of Small Kitchen Appliances.


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Barbara! Your INSISTENCE on calling Jesus’s arrows’ crosses has left me no choice but to assume it is the work of the devil in the guise of poor screen resolution. Not to mention what it’s made me do to Buck up there. Those arrows on Jesus’s hands in the previous post are not regional crosses, although I do admit that idea intrigued me as it would open the door to Cape Cod Jesus’s clam shells, New York Jesus’s Big Apples, and so on.  But the Catalog Jesus is wearing arrows, and arrows and crosses are not the same thing. Witness the photo below:

On the left is a CROSS. On the right is an ARROW exactly like what Jesus wears when he’s posing in catalogs. Now, again:

On the left is a cross, on the right is an ARROW. A Jesus Arrow. Thank Jesus you’ve ordered the catalog. I really hope you’ve asked them to overnight it.

To anyone who just started reading this cross/arrow discrepancy, please check the previous post. And Barbara, I am perfectly willing to hear any additional evidence to support your argument should it come in the form of photos of Craig proving your point (point as in arrows).


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