O Me of Little Faith

Thanks to everyone who entered yesterday’s fill-in-the-blank Mad Libs contest using a line from O Me of Little Faith.

I discovered two things from the contest:

1) Creativity, among readers of this blog, is apparently a license to describe the pestering of animals. Mice, Jack Russell Terriers, cats, birds, sheep, llamas, gophers, flies, chickens, buffalos and Velociraptors all made appearances. Variously disturbing things were being done to them. I fear a PETA backlash.

2) The excitement of animal-bothering can be a distraction. That’s my conclusion, since many failed to follow the explicit parts of speech needed for the sentence. A number of the entries were disqualified for not adhering to the specified last two words: on a/an (place) (noun). Sorry. But rules are rules, and this is a highly legalistic blog.

Anyway, I’ve chosen some finalists from the qualifying entries. Here they are:

… like herding cats with a laser pointer on a glass company truck rack.

(Lauree used some extra words but followed the intent of the law, so I’ll allow it. And the idea of cats chasing a laser pointer surrounded by glass is awesome.)

Danny Bixby
…is like soothing velociraptors with an airhorn on a fault line.

(Great imagery. And I will almost always respond favorably to sentences about Velociraptors.)

…is like shearing sheep with a lightsaber on a Six Flags roller coaster.

(Lads like me love alliteration. And shearing sheep with a lightsaber sounds really fun, whether a thrill ride is involved or not.)

…is like twirling matches with a fork on a desert island.

(A person who could do this would no doubt be elected the leader of the survivors following a plane crash, though that might also mean a lot of headaches what with the time travel and polar bears and stuff.)

…is like catching flies with chopsticks on a Niagara Falls tightrope.

Bob wins! I give Bob the creative victory for two reasons, because his sentence involves two distinct cultural and historical allusions. #1 is the Karate Kid catching-flies-with-chopsticks thing, which I love because Mr. Miyagi = awesome. References to movies from the ’80s are always welcome here. #2 is because the Niagara Falls tightrope refers to the Great Blondin, a daredevil from the 1800s who crossed the falls several times on a tightrope and who — get this — makes an appearance in O Me of Little Faith. A pretty important appearance, metaphorically speaking. Bob? Where’d you get an advance copy of the book?

Bob, send me your shipping address and I’ll give you a signed Pocket Guide to the Bible along with a copy of Picking Dandelions by Sarah Cunningham.

And Denise gets second place, because the shearing-sheep-with-a-lightsaber image is irrevocably wedged in my brain. So cool. Denise, send me your shipping address and I’ll put a signed Pocket Guide to the Bible in the mail for you.


What was the original sentence from O Me of Little Faith?

The practice of praying in my head — of lining up stray thoughts to present them to God in an official, well-reasoned and coherent manner — is like sweeping marbles with a push-broom on a gym floor. I can’t sustain it for any length of time before everything scatters.

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