Last night, Curtis and I were sitting out on the cement porch. Despite our penchant for getting into arguments… and often trying to kill each other… we’re best friends. So last night, we sat and sipped on some moonshine that a guy over in Medina makes. Not the best stuff we’ve ever sampled, but if you watered it down, it wasn’t too bad.
Since Curtis has become a Christian, most of our conversations have centered around that subject, but last night, we got into an argument about cockroaches. Ya see, while we were sippin’ and chattin’, we saw this cockroach dragging a dead rat across the far end of the cement porch. Not an unusual thing out here in rural Texas, but this particular cockroach was a bit bigger than the usual Texas cockroach.
“Damn!” said Curtis. “That’s the biggest damned roach I’ve ever seen!”
“I’ve seen bigger.”
“You have not!”
“Have not! Where’d you see a cockroach bigger than that?”
“Yeah, Cambodia. You know, back in the day.”
“You jerkin’ my chain here?”
“No. No. They got cockroaches so big that they attack and eat small children and old people.”
Curtis was having none of this. “You’re full of shit. There ain’t no cockroachs that big.”
“You ever been to Cambodia?”
“See? See what I mean? You’re always going on about things that you don’t know nuthin’ about.
Fortunately, Curtis doesn’t know much about anything. He might be a space alien and all, but with the exception of being in that movie in 1979, he’s never been further than twenty miles from the space alien reservation down by Bandera. Besides, even by space alien standards, Curtis just ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
“Sooooo… what’s Cambodia like?”
“Oh, you know… lots of snowy mountains, pine trees, grassy meadows full of deer and moose and such.”
“I’ll be damned. Sounds like a hell of a place.”
“Yeah, it is. I mean except for the giant cockroaches.”
“I know what you mean. I don’t want to be in a place like that.”
“So, just to change the subject a bit, how’s that Christian thing working out for you?”
“Not bad. I’m trying to figure out which church to join.”
“Oh, that’s easy. You find the church where all the rich and important folks go to, and then you join up that one.”
“That sounds a bit cynical.”
“No, not at all. Remember, I’m an atheist, so I figure you should make the best of silly things like this.”
“It’s not silly.”
“It is so. I mean, you can’t even be a Christian, so I don’t know why you’re putting so much energy into it.”
“What do you mean? Of course I can be a Christian.”
“Nope. God made man in his own image… says so right in the Book. And he made man for no other reason than to worship Him. That’s in the Book too. And since you ain’t no Human Being… and God didn’t make you in His image… you don’t get to worship. Sorry.”
“Well that just don’t seem fair. But what about human women? They weren’t made in God’s image. They was made from Adam’s rib, and women are nothing like men. Are they like me? Can they still be Christians?”
“You know, I’d never thought of that. That’s a damned good question.”
Completely out of character, Curtis looked pensive. Kinda like he was having deep thoughts. Of course, this mood change got me kinda spooked, because Curtis thinking hard could only come to a bad end…
“So.” said Curtis. “If the only folks that can truly be Christian… you know, males made in God’s own image and such, then Black folks and Mexicans can’t be Christians either.”
“No, I don’t think that’s the way it works. How’d you come by that idea?”
“Well, I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Jesus, and he’s a white guy with blue eyes. Stands about six-two or six-three. Long blonde hair.”
“Those aren’t pictures of the actual Jesus. Jesus was probably a short Jewish guy.”
“A short Jewish guy? No, no, no… you ain’t gonna fool me on this one. I’ve seen the pictures, and I know goddamned well what Jesus looks like.”
“I’m not going to argue with you on this one, Curtis. There was no actual Jesus, and if there was, he was probably a short Jewish guy.”
“You’re calling me stupid again, ain’t ya?”
“No, I’m calling you an ignorant son-of-a-bitch, because you are an ignorant son-of-a-bitch! It’s no wonder you voted for Trump!”
That was it for Curtis. He got up out of his lawn chair, picked it up and knocked the shit out of me with it. So… I picked my lawn chair and knocked the shit out of him. It went on and on… until there was nothing left of the lawn chairs.
“This is 9-1-1. What’s the nature of ya’ll’s emergency?”
“These boys are killing each other!”
“That you, Diane?”
“Yeah, Mabel. It’s me.”
“Are they still breathing?”
“I think so, but they’re pretty beat up.”
“Well, it they stop breathing, you give me a call. We’ll send somebody out.”
“Thanks, Mabel. I’ll let you know.”
“Not a problem. Ya’ll have a Blessed Day.”
“You too, Mabel.”
It’s just life here in rural Texas. It ain’t always pretty, but it’s always Texas.
Have a day.
primum vivere, deinde philosophari.