God's Comic

God's Comic

My memories autograph

posted by Brad Stine

I
signed a few autographs at a show the other day and it occurred to me what a
bizarre ritual this is. Fellow humans want you to sign your name and give it to
them as a remembrance of our encounter. I have never asked fans for their
autograph in return but they want mine anyway. Perhaps to document I actually
exist outside a DVD? It’s a keepsake that proves A) I’m not illiterate, and B)
They are willing to humble themselves and ask for a piece of me to take home.

 One wonders if there is any criterion
that legitimizes an autograph? If I decide to sign my name left-handed for
example is that considered a forgery? What if I spell my name wrong or write it
in a way that I never did before? If I use hieroglyphics does it count?

Ancient
tribes used to fear photographs being taken of them because they thought it might
steal their soul. I wonder if the autograph seeker doesn’t lose a part of his
soul by wanting another beings name to revel in? Autographs are a vicarious
thrill for the autograph collector. It is a strange form of idolatry as it
finds value in proving someone they admire was in their presence. It doesn’t
honor the signer as much as lift up the collector by carrying this “talisman”
around to show others who you’ve been next too.

Though
the autograph seeker could conceivably be honoring you by believing your
autograph is valuable and cherished is it what really matters? Or is it instead
the communal encounter of two people who respect each other?  I was in Florida a number of years ago.
I was performing at a comedy club in a hotel there. One day I was walking from
my room to the restaurant outside the hotel and glanced at a man standing in
the parking lot looking towards the building obviously waiting for someone.

I
continued to walk a few more steps and then suddenly, it hit me. That was Ted
Williams! If you are not a baseball fan then that may not mean much to you but
if you are you know that this was the Holy Grail of a sighting. If you could
meet one of the most renowned people in any field of endeavor, a legend, an
icon, that is Ted Williams to
baseball-ophiles. It would be the equivalent of meeting Abraham Lincoln to a
political junkie. He’s Caruso to opera fans, and he’s Moses or Paul to
Christians. He’s that big.

I
have never been star struck and only as a kid did I collect autographs at
baseball games. I didn’t want to bother him but as I strolled further away I
started to evaluate the situation more thoroughly. This is TED WILLIAMS!! My
dilemma was Ted was never known for being gracious and cordial to reporters or
fans. But I said to myself ” I have to meet this guy, what’s the worst that
could happen, he tells me to get lost?”

So I
decided I would go back and if he was still there I would go approach him. I
returned and sure enough there he was so I walked straight up to him and said “excuse
me sir” he looked at me and said “yeah?”, I said ” I just wanted to shake your
hand, I know Ted Williams when I see him”. He kind of half smiled-smirked and
shook my hand. Then I said ” I have a baseball card of yours worth $250.00. He
said ” hang on to it, it’s going to be worth more”. Then I said ” what are you
doing here, golfing?” and he said “yeah” but by this time already he was
checking out of the dialogue and going back to looking for his friend.

I realized
my audience with Ted was over so I walked away. It lasted maybe 30 seconds but
I never forgot it. I didn’t ask for or get his autograph. I just shook his hand
and said I admired him. That is enough for me. That experience is in my head
and heart and will stay there till I die.

We
Christians often consider what we’ll ask God when we get to heaven but rarely
consider what God will ask us when we
get there. I know now. For me the first thing God will say is ” Welcome home
son…now, how in the heck did you not ask for Ted Williams autograph when he’s
standing right there?! What are you stupid?” of which I will have to reply “apparently”.
 

A “Hell” of a word

posted by Brad Stine

I
don’t think people take Hell very seriously anymore. We used too. As a matter
of fact it was one of the reasons why people were nicer years ago because they
didn’t want to go to hell. That was a curse word; literally to tell someone to
go to Hell was bad. Why not? You are condemning someone to an eternal existence
in a place where your flesh is being burned off your skull while demons are
constantly poking your butt with pitchforks. Face it, it would suck. Now hell is apparently a positive word. We even compare places to
it. “Where were you? We went to Disneyland. How was it? Oh it was cool as Hell.
Cool
as hell? Hey, talk about an oxymoron! Cooler
than hell….what isn’t!? You could be standing in the middle of the Sahara
desert in July trapped in an oven and that
would be cooler than Hell. That’s kind of Hells expertise. It’s the hottest
place there is. Everywhere is cooler
than hell. Hell is also applied to recreation. “He had a hell of a game”. What
kind of games you think they have in hell? Probably not running games cause its
hard to run with any speed or grace while trudging through lava. Guess you
could swim since there is a lake of fire. They would have to give you a
handicap I imagine though since it’s harder to paddle stroke when your flesh
keeps melting off your hands. Fleshless bones have never been known for
creating good thrust. How about “He pitched a hell of a game”, yeah but whose
your competition? Hitler’s in Hell. He is fantastic as an evil tyrant but his
fastball was never clocked over 86 and that was when he was warm. Which is all
the time now I’d imagine. “He had a hell of a good time” is also suspect of
course. Who has a good time in eternal torture and torment? Maybe the Marquis
de Saad I suppose? How about for us comedians? I once performed at a curse free
comedy week with Jeff Allen at the Improv in Tempe Arizona. There was a couple
that came to the window saw that the show was clean and actually had a
discussion as to whether they should stay. They of course suffer from the
delusion perpetrated by hack “comedians” that have come down the pike in recent
years that believe dirty, offensive, crass, blue, shocking, crude and expletive
driven “comedy” makes up for poor writing and delivery. Every comic on earth
knows it is harder to write clean than dirty. Anyway this couple ends up
staying for the show and after seeing my set came out to the lobby to
compliment me. The man put his arm around my shoulder and said, and I quote “We
didn’t think you guys would be funny but you were funnier than hell!” The irony
was lost on him I am sure not to mention the backhanded compliment! Listen all
you newbie comics, if you perform a set that hell was funnier than…you may want
to consider accounting.  

Die in your sleep

posted by Brad Stine

Where
did we ever come up with the romantic notion that the best way to die is in our
sleep? First things first, when it comes to dying, there really isn’t a “good”
way to go. Why? Because you’re dead! Dying in your sleep I believe comes with a
lot of potential pitfalls.

The
first being if you die in your sleep, when do you first realize your dead? At
least in a car accident you can see it coming! You scream throw up your hands,
have your life pass before your eyes, and enter into the death place knowing how
you got there. Dying in your sleep your never sure if you died and are in
heaven OR you are dreaming and just when your excited about the prospect of
seeing God, surprise. It was all a dream.

The
other problem with dying in your sleep is the inconvenience it puts on everyone
else, especially if that “everyone else” was sleeping next to you. Nothing
starts the day off on the wrong foot like waking next to someone who is dead.
Dead people are a pain in the butt. They expect you to do everything for them. They
assume you are going to treat them tenderly and dignified yet they do nothing
to assist us. When you’re dead someone else has to dress you, which is really a
challenge because you can’t help push your arm through the jacket.

We
dress dead people in clothes so perhaps we should wear clothes to bed and then
at least when you croak your ready to roll. Not to mention I find it difficult
deciding which tie matches the suit we are going to bury you in. We dress
people up to throw them in a hole and toss dirt on top! Why? Why aren’t we
buried in the same outfit we came in on? Talk about a waste of perfectly good
suit or dress. I say we are buried “au natural”.

Some
people leave gifts and memorials at the gravesite of a dearly departed. Maybe a
teddy bear or a bottle of Jack Daniels depending on the type of person they
were in life. These gestures by the way are touching only to those of us that
can appreciate them, in other words the “still here” folks.

Notice
too that these bottles and necklaces and teddy bears and handkerchiefs and what
not always mysteriously vanish from the gravesite. In other words someone is
leaving this tribute of love and someone else is stealing it and using it on
the living. Seems a little creepy giving a stuffed animal to a living child
that you had ripped off from a dead child’s gravesite.

Again
the ultimate truth is that all the pomp and circumstances we go through for the
dead is actually for the living. The dead person is long gone and aware only of
where their eternal destiny is established. If they died in sins their arrival
is bleak to say the least. If they committed their soul to Christ then they
actually get to meet him and enter into eternal rest. That’s why if they got
there by falling off a cliff, it’s actually comforting. They are sure they
aren’t dreaming and realize they are more awake now then they have ever
experienced before. You on the other hand can keep your teddy bear.

Clean your gun!

posted by Brad Stine

How in this day and age are people still killing
people while cleaning their gun? If you were a gun owner one would think you
would be most aware of removing the bullets before cleaning. If this isn’t a
collect the insurance scam I don’t know what one is?

It seems as though this excuse has worked over
the years but it is getting a little stale. Of course if it works why change
the strategy?  It would be a
perfect scenario for other murderers to give it a go and see how dazed jurors
of our peers actually can be.

“Sir why did you run over your wife”? “I didn’t,
I was washing my car when it suddenly went out of control and hit her while she
was sunbathing in the back yard. What are the odds that the one time I decide
to wash my car with the engine on…THIS happens”?

Similar to the insanity plea. The fact that people
can live a normal life and then for no apparent reason get an itch to murder
and eat their neighbor and then get let off the hook should be (by us sane
people) reason enough to make the insanity plea an automatic lifer for the
insane dude. I would have to categorize this as a put em in jail and throw away
the key conclusion if there ever was one.

Yes but
(says the bleeding heart), they were not responsible for their behavior. If you
are telling me that people can snap at the drop of a hat and then claim they
were in a fog, or the toaster wouldn’t stop screaming at them, then I don’t
like my chances hanging with him if he asks me if I would like to take a tour
of the old neighborhood meat packing place, you know for nostalgias sake? In
other words if you are unable to desist from your periodic robotic killing
sprees then you have forfeited the privilege of living amongst the non-cannibals.

It does lead to interesting developments in the
idea of justice when this nonsense is allowed leeway. Who would have imagined
awhile back that when a pastors wife shot her husband in the back of the head
with a shot gun while he slept, ran off with her kids to escape, (funny how her
“sanity” kicked in when she needed it most), gets caught, suddenly remembers
her husband was “abusive” and eventually was returned custody of her kids, that
this is considered justice to a society. Women have been let off the hook for
violent crimes against men for years when apparently the only time feminists
play the “we are weak and fragile and in need of assistance” card is when women
kill.

Excuses for our sinful behavior is nothing new
to the human race as it was the original “Abbott and Costello” routine. “What
happened?..she did it!…what happened?…the snake did it!…what happened? The
people you made did it!…. Oh I see…It’s MY fault for being dumb enough to
make you guys, my bad!”

This is where the Judeo/Christian worldview
comes in handy. It actually recognizes the sinful human condition and admits
it, God didn’t make an excuse for us, instead He bought our pardon. You might
want to consider that the next time you hear about the husband who was
accidently cut to ribbons while his wife was cleaning the chainsaw.

 

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