Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FROM OUR OVERSTOCKED ARCHIVES: A CONVERSATION WITH GOD

[50 years ago last summer, your editor covered his first story in Washington. Throughout the year, the Review will exhume some of his writings]

Sam Smith, 2004

[Encouraged by our presidential candidates, I decided to also try to have a conversation with the Father Almighty. I got through without any trouble]

SAM - Hey Pops, this is Sam down on earth just checking in.

GOD - Good to hear from you. I get so tired of those suck-ups at the Christian Coalition and the Republican National Committee. Like I told them, the deal was I work six days, take the next day off, and then get at least three millennia in comp time.

But, no, they keep calling me and saying stuff like "You're with us if we take down Fallujah, right?" and I tell them they're on their own but then they run it through the spin cycle and the next thing I know I got a bunch of dead or angry Muslims on my hands.

SAM - Got any thoughts on the race?

GOD - Well, I wish that Shilling guy wouldn't give me so much credit for his pitches in the World Series. I mean, where does that leave me with those born-agains on the Cards and the Yankees? I try to be fair, you know, but everyone keeps insisting I'm their God and then using it as an excuse to beat the shit out of somebody else. Besides, I've been a Red Sox fan since at least 1932 and it hasn't done them much good until now.

SAM - I didn't know you used language like that.

GOD - Where do you think Howard Stern learned it? I'm God to all people, after all, not just to George Bush.

SAM - I was actually asking about the presidential race.

GOD - Oh that one. Well, I got to say I'm pretty disappointed in how you all are handling your democracy. Kind of wished I had thought of that one a little earlier myself, but then when Tommy Jefferson and the gang came along I had real hopes that the earth might work out better than it seemed. Now it's only two centuries later and you folks are about to blow the whole deal. I don't believe in messing with things, but I did try to warn them with those Florida hurricanes and all. I guess I was too subtle. I'd hate to think I'd have to come back down there but I'm getting pretty pissed. . .

SAM - Sounds like you're backing Kerry.

GOD - Well, I'm tempted but my basic rule is create and then stand back. But it's Me damn tough, especially when you've got that Bush guy taking my name in vain every chance he gets and talking about sanctity of life and then going out killing a whole bunch of people. Thing I want to know is why does the sanctity of life expire after only nine months? It should have a longer warranty than that.

SAM - So you got anything less than an endorsement, say like a suggestion?

GOD - Me yes, here's my tip for swing states: vote Kerry and then gain absolution by voting for every Green elsewhere on the ticket. It's that old Catholic trick: sin and then say a few Hail Marys. I like those Catholics because they still sin. The trouble with the born-agains like Bush is that they think they're always right because they claim I said so. Never did no such thing. Ever heard of Bush admitting he was wrong after he found Jesus? I mean, my Me, if that was the case I could close down this place and move to Texas. You don't need two heavens.

SAM - Didn't know you were a Green.

GOD - Well, I got to admit I prefer folks who try to do my will over those who claim I blessed them and then do whatever they want. Remember my man Frankie over at Assisi? He said, always preach the gospel and if necessary use words.

There's too much talk about me and too little action. It was like I was telling my son the other day: you know, if you go back on earth you might want to think about registering Green. And he says, but Dad, I thought Bush was the Big Christian. And I said, my Me, if Bush had been born in that manger instead of you, he would have had cut some Enron type deal with Pontius Pilate, privatized miracles, outsourced charity and give a big tax deduction to crucifix manufacturers.

SAM - I thought maybe you were more the Ralph Nader type.

GOD - Oh, I like Ralph and he and I are pretty much on the same wavelength. But it's like I tried to tell him, you don't have to do my will every damn moment. I said, why don't you take some time off, and get back to my will after the election?

SAM - Doesn't look like he listened to you.

GOD - Nope, but keep in mind that I'd still take him over the whole Democratic and Republican Party combined. And, my Me, have those Democrats been mean to him. They don't hold a candle to him but they treat him like dirt. Now I admit, the saintly can be a real pain in the butt, but, Me knows, they do more for the world than the average politician.

SAM - Well, this is quite a different take on the election than I've been hearing from certain Catholic bishops and members of the Christian right.

GOD - So you think I'm going to go to all the trouble to create a world and then pass on my opinions through the likes of some pompous priest, Pat Robertson or George Bush? I am the almighty after all. I don't have to use charlatans to get my word out. Hell, I'd rather use Jessica Simpson as my emissary.

SAM - Well, that raises a whole new issue, but I've taken enough of your time.

GOD - No problem, mate. Just answer me one question.

SAM - Sure

GOD - I thought you didn't believe in me so how come we're having this conversation?

SAM - Well, you know what they say about us journalists. We'll do anything for a story.

GOD - Okay, but don't go soft on me. I get so tired of talking with phony true believers. Especially the ones who give big tax cuts to the rich and bomb the hell out of people they don't like.

SAM - If you want I could get you a list of states with same day registration

GOD - You tempt me but I think I'll stay up here and wait to see how it all comes out.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

BACK TO INDEX

Your editor has been a musician for many decades. He started the first band his Quaker school ever had and played drums with bands up until 1980 when he switched to stride piano. He had his own band until the mid-1990s and has played with the New Sunshine Jazz Band, Hill City Jazz Band, Not So Modern Jazz Band and the Phoenix Jazz Band.

NOTES ON THE MUSIC

Here are a few tracks:

SAM SMITH'S DECOLAND BAND

'SHINE' 

JELLY ROLL

PHOENIX JAZZ BAND

APEX BLUES   Sam playing with the Phoenix Jazz Band at the Central Ohio Jazz festival in 1990. Joining the band is George James on sax. James, then 84, had been a member of the Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller orchestras and hadappeared on some 60 records. More notes on James

WISER MAN  Sam piano & vocal

OH MAMA  Sam piano & vocal