Tag Archives: Humor

Posthumous conversion

I’ve been percolating a post about religion and religious tolerance.  It started around the time of Tebowmania, and each time I’d think I had just the right angle, something new and blogworthy would happen, like a panel of celibate dudes lecturing the world on contraception.  That post may still occur, but this snippet (sorry!) was too good to wait:

Stephen Colbert on Thursday tackled the practice of posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims into the Mormon church.  . . . But “Jews don’t baptize, so instead I will now proxy-circumcise all the dead Mormons,” Colbert said.

The practice of posthumous baptism is fascinating to me from a number of angles.  Given that Jews don’t believe that baptism has any significance, our collective response should logically be “knock yourselves out, guys.  Enjoy the swim.”  But for sheer creepiness, it is really hard to outdo.  If I got word that my Jewish ancestors were being, well, not “baptized,” because that is not a meaningful concept to me, but invoked during a Mormon pool party the upshot of which is to say that their religion is better than mine, I’d be good and annoyed.  And creeped out.

Stephen Colbert has the answer.  Posthumous conversion of Mormons to Jews!

(I couldn’t get the Comedy Central video clip to embed, and I’ve wasted just about enough jury-instruction-drafting time trying.  For the full, hilarious, clip, click here.)

I’m thinking of proxy converting everyone, living or dead, to my religion:  Unaffiliated Skeptic With A Working Hypothesis of Monotheism.  Our main sacrament is Trying to Figure Out What It All Means.  All of my new converts would wander around in the same state of religious confusion in which I dwell, engaging in the Sacrament by asking each other, “What do you think it all means?” and listening respectfully to the answer.   No special clothing or food required.  And most importantly, no oppressing, killing, or even legislating against anyone else’s faith.

“Sh*t people say” jumps the shark.

Shit people say to spouses of people who use wheelchairs:

My favorite “I”m so sorry” experience was in my first trial as a young lawyer, when Tim — who was an associate at the same fancy-pants DC law firm that I was — came to watch.  On a break, our loathsome opposing counsel came up to me and said, out of the blue, “I’m so sorry.”  Given the quantity of serious litigation bullshit he had engaged in, I was glad he saw fit to apologize, but thought it was better directed to the senior partner.  I was starting to say something about that when he added, “about your husband…”  Honestly, I still didn’t understand:  Tim wasn’t assigned to the case; what could this dude possibly mean?  He had to stumble on to say something about “injury” and “wheelchair” before it finally dawned on me.  Needless to say, I was speechless.

Years later, I actually wrote and submitted a “Modern Love” column to the New York Times after some lady walked up to us at a baseball game and said something about me being a good caretaker.  How can you explain in a sentence how ordinary life is?  How care is given and taken in equal measure?  Unfortunately, my column couldn’t compete with other important dispatches from the front lines of human relationships, for example, looking for a date on Craigslist or overthinking your boyfriend’s slippers.

That’s the great thing about the blog:  the only thing standing between my thoughts and publication is my own good judgment.  Such as it is.

Public service: talking to your politically-deluded family members.

If you have a relative who is completely deluded politically  with whom you graciously disagree on various political matters, you may have trouble from time to time coming up with something to talk about at family gatherings.  As regular readers of both of our blogs have discerned, my brother is completely deluded politically a Republican and I am correct in all things a Democrat.   Yet we have many fascinating, non-political things to talk about.  Herewith, as a public service at these family-oriented holidays, a working list of the things that can completely occupy our conversation in the absence of politics:

  1. the awesomeness of my niece and nephew.
  2. our weird extended family.
  3. nasal allergies.
  4. solutions to nasal allergies.
  5. things his kids have puked up compared with things my dogs have puked up (I win — neither of his kids ever puked up a tennis ball).
  6. food (generally not immediately following item #5).
  7. decades old in-jokes involving pointless things our grandfather said.
  8. sports.
  9. hilarious things our father used to do, for example, applying lotion to his face while driving by pouring a big puddle of lotion on the dashboard and dabbing it on his face.
  10. Fart jokes.

Your mileage may vary.