Another in My “Holy Shit, God is an Absurdist!” Series

by Joe Buonfiglio

Sunday. 11:37 a.m.

God is running late for Sunday brunch. In His defense, He has a shitload of the devout to check in on any given Sunday morning; I get that. Nevertheless, it is more than a little rude to invite somebody out to brunch and then be late. This particularly adds the proverbial “insult to injury” when you consider that I’m an Agnostic and could have been sleeping in. An Agnostic writer having “shit, showered and shaved” by 10 a.m. any day, let alone a sleepy Sunday, is a fairly big accomplishment that should not be poo-pooed upon with the discourtesy of tardiness… even by the all-powerful Alpha and Omega.

“You’re late,” I say stating the obvious with more than a little irritation in my voice.

“And now,” God says waving his hand in a brushing-off motion as He sits down, “I’m not.”

My wristwatch, along with every other timepiece in the building — and probably the world — had just rolled back 37 minutes.

“Eleven o’clock just as we agreed,” He says with an impish grin on His face.

“Of course it is,” I say shaking my head in mild contempt. “I ordered a Bloody Mary while I was waiting. Would You like one?”

“What?” he says with a scowl. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Huh? …. Oh. Right. Sorry.”

Even though the common, yet beloved cocktail — a staple of the Sunday brunch along with the Mimosa — is named after the notoriously violent, ruthless and murderous Queen Mary I who became the first-ever woman ruler of England in 1553, Mister Supposed-to-be-Omniscient seemed to think it referred to a different Mary; one much nearer and dearer to His own heart.

“So,” I say unable to suppress a yawn at that most inopportune moment, “Why does the Man Behind the Universe’s Curtain need to meet me for Sunday brunch? Couldn’t you have just sent me a Burning Bush-a-Gram or something?”

“I need you to—” It was obvious He was suppressing a laugh. “I need you to let everyone on the entire planet know that the end of the world will be here in three days, and I will only Rapture true believers who are having intercourse with a duck at the exact commencement of that End Time moment. Only duck-lovers will get a Fast Pass into Heaven.”

“Are you kidding me?” I say having seen the Oh, God! and the Bruce/Evan Almighty movies; knowing full well it doesn’t go all that great for the protagonist of the story. “How am I supposed to get the word out to the whole world in just three days. Don’t You think that’s just a little unreasona— Wait. What?! Did you just say something about sex with ducks?”

“You want to get into Heaven? Gotta be doin’ it with a duck at the moment the Apocalypse launches.”

“Duck… … … fucking. You’re talking about literally fucking ducks?”

“It sounds so vulgar when you say it.”

“Uh, yeah. It sounds a little Sodom and Gomorrah-ish when You say it, too!”

“Oh, it doesn’t have to be a Mother Goose-type domestic duck per se,” shrugging off the ribald nature of His outlandish request. “Mallards would do fine. Muscovy would be okay; any of the dabblers. Divers are nice: goldeneyes; redhead; canvasback. Oh, the red-breasted merganser is nice. I really like those….”

I slam back what remains of my drink and, while munching on the vodka-soaked celery, leave the Magic Man in the Sky hovering over eggs Benedict while continuing to ramble on about His ultimate plan to save humankind via unnatural acts with the woodland creatures of the lake. His bizarre foul fowl fetish is more than my tiny monkey-brain is able to comprehend without leaving my body and floating between quantum dimensions within the dark space of String 6 and String 7 of proper String Theory.

While I hope — and in my own way pray — that my Agnostic doubts are still intact and this is just some random madman who somehow acquired temporary mastery over space and time as if Doctor Who on cosmic steroids, my subconscious fear of burning in the flames of Hell are ever-present at the moment.

And down in the core of whatever constitutes a soul in me, I know.

Oh, how I know.

There will be duck-fucking in my future.


© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.


My Conversation with the Big Guy in the Sky


by Joe Buonfiglio

ME: “Um.  Well.  Uh, hello.”

HIM: “Hello.”

ME: “I’m sorry, but I’m not really sure about protocols and etiquette when it comes to conversations with deities.”

HIM: “Relax.  You don’t have to say you’re sorry.  Anyway, My Son — who was Me in corporeal form but an Entity unto Himself — already died for your sins.”

“Wow.  So we’re going for it right out of the gate.  Okay.  Then what You’re saying is that the Christian viewpoint of religion is the correct one.”

“No.  No, I’m not.”

“So one of the other world religions has it right?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Wait a minute.  They can’t ALL be right.”

“I didn’t say that either.  Look, would you like some tea?”

Okay, so God didn’t offer to wash my feet, but tea was nice.  I just wasn’t in the mood for it.

“No thanks,” I responded trying to look grateful.  “But I’ll take a beer if you got one.”

“I’m not big on beer.  Wine work for you?”

“Sorry, God.  I’m not really a wine guy.  You do know I’m straight, right?”

“Please.  Of course, I do.  Well, you’re straight for the moment.  There will be that drunken Halloween party four years from now that will call all that into question.”

“Right.  The whole omniscient thing.  You know everyth—  Hey, what?!  What did you just say?”

“Nothing.  So, Earl Grey was it?”

I started to wonder if God is a cheeky bastard.

“No,” I said mentally questioning everything I thought I knew about myself, “but I’ll take a shot of Irish whiskey if you have it.”

“You’re a Jameson’s man, right?”

“Yeah.  How’d You know that?”

God grimaced at me.

“Oh,” I responded with a smirk of embarrassment as would a called-upon schoolboy forgetting a just-revealed answer in class, “right.”

“I’m starting to wonder if you have Me confused with the Roman god Bacchus.”

“Sorry.  Tea will be fine.”

“Tea it is then.”

While he put the kettle on, I saw my chance to catch Him off-guard with some really big-ticket serious Shit-of-the-Ages stuff.

“God,” I inquired in what I hoped was a sheepishly appropriate humble tone, “why do we exist?  What is the meaning of life?”

Yes, Virginia,” He calmly responded without ever looking up from the tea biscuits and scones he meticulously arranged on a plate. “There is a Santa Claus.”

“What?  I didn’t ask that.  And who the hell is Virginia?”

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“While I appreciate that — I think — that isn’t really what I asked.”

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

“Okay, now You’re just fucking with me.”

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

“That’s Buddha!  Now You’re plagiarizing Buddha?!”

“One lump or two?”

God hovered over me with a cup of tea and a bowl of sugar cubes.

“One lump or two?” the Ultimate of Ultimates repeated.

“None.  I’ll take it straight … LIKE ME!  STRAIGHT!”

“If you say so,” God mumbled with a smile. “If.  You.  Say so.”

“Look,” I said a little annoyed at His toying with my sexual identity, “on behalf of all Humanity, I just want to know why in all that’s holy would You—  ARE YOU TAKING A SELFIE?!”


“Yes you are!”

“No I’m not.”

“Bullshit!  You were totally taking a selfie.  You put down my teacup, slipped Your smartphone out of the pocket of Your robe and took a—   YOU DID IT AGAIN!  YOU JUST TOOK ANOTHER ONE!”


“So?  SO?!  So I represent Humankind’s one chance to ask the Supreme Creator how it all works and you blow me off to post on Your Facebook page?!  I know You’re the Alpha and Omega and all that, but a little common courtesy would be nice.”

“Chill out, man.  I’m a multitasker from way back.  The original multitasker, you might say.  I can do shit all at once on a number of interdimensional planes of reality of which you cannot even conceive.  It’s all this existing outside of time and space stuff; very useful.”

All right, am I being played for a fool here?  He’s using misdirection better than a Las Vegas magician.

“So come on,” I said to the Big Guy in the Sky, “fess up.  Which religion in the world has it right?”

“The Atheists.”

“What?  How the hell can You — YOU — stand before me and say the Atheists have it right?  That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“Welcome to my world.”

“I swear my head feels like it’s going to blow clean off my shoulders.”

“I can make that happen if you think it will do any good.  Ever see the movie Scanners?  I love that film.”

“You sure You don’t have any whiskey tucked away back there in the clouds for, like, medicinal purposes?  Come on.  You telling me You couldn’t use a quick shot when Lucifer starts acting up?”

“I get it.  You’re confused.  I have that effect on people.  It’s all an existential paradox.  These things happen.”

“THESE THINGS HAPPEN?!  God tells me the Atheists — the folks who think God doesn’t exist — have the right idea about God and that’s all You have to offer?  ‘Paradox’ doesn’t begin to describe it.  It’s a goddamn existential crisis, that’s what it is!”

“Okay, calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down.  I’m freaking out here.”

“Here.  Put this wet washcloth on the back of your neck.  A cold compress will do you a world of good right now.”

“Are you shitting me?”

“I shit you not.  How about we also put a cool towel on your forehead?”

Risking being wiped out of existence for my disrespectfully childlike insubordination, I slapped the small towel out of His hands.

“All right,” I said with the determination of someone who actually believes in Self-Determination, “I’m done with the mind games.  Which religion has it right?!”

God looked down at His shuffling feet for a moment, and then simply responded “I plead the Fifth.”

“WHAT?  You can’t plead the Fifth.  You’re not an American.  You’re God!  The US Constitution doesn’t apply to you!”

“Rock the vote.”

“Rock the—  What the fuck are You talking about?!”

“Let Me leave you with this—”

“Oh no You don’t.  We’re not done here!”

“Yes.  We are.  And remember, it’s never too early to start planning for that gay-pride parade.  The rainbow-colored fabric goes fast.”

“Oh, goddamn it.”

“Was that a request?”

See, this is why I’m an Agnostic.

“I heard that.”

“I didn’t say anything!”

“No, but you thought it.”

I sighed deeply in defeat.

Intelligent Design, my ass,” I blurted out just before being whisked back to my sleazy little apartment in front of my wheezing old laptop in my gin-soaked world.  “You’re a madman!”

“Exactly, Joe,” he uttered with a devilish smile.  “Exactly.”

 © 2014 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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