Sunday, January 22, 2012

Two Little Stories About Religious Paranoia

The other night I dreamt I was in a boat floating in thick fog, talking to God.

Look, He says to me, I'm just hoping to catch a few fish. I didn't come down here to listen to you bitch.

I wouldn't think you'd need to fish, I said.

Very few people in this world need to fish, He said. But it just so happens I like to fish. I'm a sportsman, and though, yes, I could technically cheat --at this as well as at anything else I damn well please-- that's never been my style. I don't much go in for flashy stuff and intervention. The fish don't know who's on the other end of the line, and that's the way I like it. The truth is that if they did  know, it would only make it all the more difficult for me to catch them. Do you think for one minute that if those fish down there knew I was in this boat they would eagerly impale themselves on my hook just to make me happy? I can assure you they would not. Unless and until somebody wants or needs something virtually all of creation runs from me. Oh sure, there are nuts --there are always nuts-- but I think you know what I mean. You're all fish to me --understand, of course, that I'm now speaking metaphorically, but that's the way I've always thought of you-- and when I go fishing it's virtually always bad news for somebody. And I'm terribly sorry, my friend, but today that somebody is you.

And with that God pushed me out of the boat.

An Unfortunate Agreement

One night Ruckert dreamt that he had died and was standing in a long line outside the gates of Heaven. Some functionary was making his way along the queue with a clipboard, directing queries to the prospective entrants.

“Will there be dogs in Heaven?” Ruckert inquired of the man.

“Yes,” the man said, “but unfortunately not your dog. As you might recall, he killed a number of rabbits.”

The man offered Ruckert the option of spending eternity in hell with his dog, an offer that Ruckert accepted without hesitation, at which point he awoke in a cold sweat.

Despite the best and most rational counsel of his closest friends and therapist, Ruckert could not be dissuaded from  his conviction that this dream represented some sort of binding agreement.


  1. The first 4 sentences are classic biting Austin-style wit..did you learn any of that from a guy named Dean?I love it when I laugh without hesitation at something I read!

  2. This is so beautiful.

  3. And with that God pushed me out of the boat.