Therapist Bob was not convinced that I had kicked my addiction to virtual chain-letters that he forwarded me the following e-mail message to test my resistance:
Subject: FW: Bedfellows in Hell
Message: Face it, sooner or later we are all going to hell, so we may as well accept what we cannot change and revere our impending descent. But before all of us can get chummy down below while roasting marshmallows for Satan’s S’mores, we should break the ice by sharing 25 random things about ourselves that helped secure our place in Satan’s belly. With that in mind, comb through your tainted past and write out your own list and forward it with this message to 25 fellow heathens. Failure to do so will break the chain, thus guaranteeing you table-turns at the front of the burn-in-hell line.
Damn you, Therapist Bob! You know me too well.
Unable to resist, I started transcribing all the files on my mental rolodex labeled under “See You in Hell,” “The Art of Blasphemy,” Partially Nude Photos — New Kids on the Block,” “Crossroads,” “You and Me and the Devil Make Three,” and “Crime Scene Tapes.” Once this monumental data purging was completed, I had the computer select 25 Random Things About Me That Will Secure My Spot in Hell.
(Note: since the following list is completely random, they are in no particular order, nor is the backward countdown intended to be symbolic of my descent into hell.)
25. Petitioned to have the Seven Deadly Sins framed and mounted next to the Ten Commandments when I was in Junior High.
24. I made a Faustian pact at the Crossroads bartering my soul for a career in comedy writing, and all I got out of the deal was this goddamn blog.
23. During my brief sojourn in church as a child, I managed to steal another kid’s Bible, because I had left mine at home and didn’t want to get into trouble.
22. The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” is my default ringtone.
21. In a satirical column, I accused God of being a Deadbeat Dad for immaculate conceiving His son Jesus, pretty much abandoning him at birth, and despite his Almighty powers, stood by and watched his very own creations crucify his son.
20. Bookmarked Dante’s “Inferno” on MapQuest.
19. Believe the Christian Right is oxymoronic and look forward to the day of reckoning when it cancels itself out.
18. Even though I don’t have a religious bone in my body, I plan on giving up Responsibility for Lent this year.
17. First cassette tapes I ever bought were The Bee Gee’s “Tragedy” & AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” Although vastly different in style and delivery, their underlying messages foreshadowed the beginning of the end for me.
16. Using the Lord’s name in vain (see No. 24).
15. Vowed I would never go to heaven after hearing “In heaven there is no beer” song at UI Hawkeye football game.
14. I have yet to cast the first stone…
13. Mark Twain’s “Letters from the Earth” — a book told through Satan’s point of view and observations about man — convinced me that Heaven is the last place I would want to spend my twilight years. Satan’s right, who would want to spend eternity living in abstinence and strumming a harp all day long as a means of relieving pent up sexual tension. No thanks, I prefer a feisty fiddle in hell any day of the week – including Sundays.
12. Started new category (see list on right) completely devoted to Blasphemous Satire.
11. Impersonated a Mormon for five hours during Army Basic Training, so I wouldn’t get yelled at by the Drill Sergeants for getting on the wrong bus. Spent all morning faking Mormonism in small classrooms at a civilian church off post, until they herded us into the church and had an hour-long community confessional. People took the microphone and spilled their guts for recent sins.
10. The only reasons I went to church service in Basic Training in the first place wwere to get out of bathroom cleaning duty, find a secluded place to sleep without getting caught, and the opportunity to ogle civilian women.
9. During Mormon open confessional, I had several impure thoughts about group of high school girls who confessed to drinking alcohol at a recent football game. (I was thoroughly disappointed when their confessions ended with that.)
8. I prefer listening to my Led Zeppelin reel-to-reel tapes backwards.
7. My eighth-grade English told me so, and if anyone has a direct pipeline to hell, it’s her.
6. I’m still convinced that Eve was framed in the Garden of Eden scene by a second serpent who ate the forbidden fruit on the grassy knoll, upon realizing that he and Eve were not sexually compatible and never would be.
5. My favorite movie feel-good movie is “The Omen.”
4. Pulled prank in high school involving the abduction of Baby Jesus from neighbor’s nativity scene and left traditional ransom note (letters from newspaper cut and pasted the old-fashioned way) that read: “REPENT ALL SINS IMMEDIATELY — IF YOU EVER WANT TO SEE JESUS AGAIN!”
3. Recently accepted the Flying Spaghetti Monster as my personal Savior.
2. I keep my Bible, the one I didn’t steal, on the Historical Fiction shelf of my personal library — sandwiched between Homer’s “The Odyssey” and George Orwell’s “1984.”
1. Going public with this list of blasphemies – assuming of course that I don’t convert to Catholicism anytime soon — which would make this list my inaugural confession, thus absolving me.
Remember to copy and paste this list in an e-mail message, write your own, and forward it to 25 fellow heathens.
Thanks and see you in hell.