The God of Dangerous Toys

Here at the Geisinger Medical Center Hospital, the restrooms on the second floor share a vestibule with the “GI Fellows” office. I found that funny, for some reason, and I laughed—not something you want to do in Straighty McStraightsville when you’re a man walking into the men’s restroom.

006 Photo Main Title Concepts New Marie is here for an outpatient thing-thing and I rode down with her; she’s at her appointment and I’m sitting in the hospital’s coffee shop. They have a Douwe Egberts push-button cappuccino machine and my coffee tastes appropriately….European.

Too bad all the very white, very overweight very old Americans crash that feeling. That, and there’s a rack of “choice books” in the gift “shoppe” area. You won’t be surprised that I’m thinking about trash novels, and that leads me to remember something Marie said about the “crazier” Christians out there…that people should be worrying about their own sense of decency, their own kindnesses towards others, their own souls and stop worrying about death and other people’s souls and “many Biblical scholars believe that everyone is going to Heaven”. She rules.

07280008So combine trashy novels and “crazier” Christians and what do you get? Well, my big round head cooks up the image of those scarily wildly-popular “Left Behind” novels about the Rapture and the war against the anti-Christ, etc. Reading the Book of Revelation will bake your noodle. And not in a good way.

The word I’ve come up with to describe those types was “hyper-ecstatic”, meaning craving the extreme religious-ecstasy experience. But that word sounded a lot like “super-elastic”. And, of course, if you’re older than a fetus, you would remember “Super Elastic Bubble Plastic!” Yeah, Marie wouldn’t let us have that because of the fumes it produced.

There was an old Saturday Night Live skit back in the days of the original Not Ready for Primetime Players about toy safety at Christmastime. One after the other, a sleazy Dan Ackroyd pimping ever more horribly dangerous toys, including “Bag O’ Broken Glass”.

So, anyhoo, now I have another jinked juxtapositioning: Super Elastic Bubble Plastic and the kind of people who read and believe the “Left Behind” kind of stuff. This may be where the wheels come off the wagon, but it occurred to me that for some, Religion is like Super Elastic Bubble Plastic! It’s stuff that we breathe life into such as we see fit. The surface area of the stuff expands, capturing more and more of the air and space around it. And it gives off noxious fumes that, in high enough doses, can alter one’s perception of reality. And in the end, what you got was something that was far less fun and far more ugly than advertised.

Then again, I did sneak the purchase of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic! a few times without Marie’s knowledge, played with it as directed and stopped blowing bubbles when the smell got to me. So I know first-hand how the stuff worked, but I don’t go hunting on internet specialty stores to buy it.

But if I could get my hands on a Monster Maker or a Vertibird, I’d be right there with my credit card…

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