MY SUNDAY BRUNCH WITH GOD

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.

VOLCANO PEOPLE

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by Joe Buonfiglio

So, the angry guys took The Granite State.

As I write this, the most divergent presidential candidates on the opposite sides of the political spectrum — yet BOTH strangely tapping into the same anger and distrust of government saturating our highly polarized nation — have just swept the New Hampshire primary for their respective political parties.

How could this happen?

Easily. We’ve become the Volcano People; the resentment of our lot in life percolating a fury boiling in our souls beneath the surface of a faux normalcy is just waiting for traffic incident, domestic misstep, workplace occurrence or incendiary political pundit to trigger eruption.

In short, we’ve become a nation brimming full of perpetually livid sons-a bitches.

I, too, am not immune to rage’s clarion call. For as you will see, there are certain affronts that poke at the beast of my indignation and demand I pick up the gauntlet anger hath thrown down.

I AM ANGRY AT militant “buy local” enthusiasts. If I want to eat me some Argentine shrimp, I’m going to eat some goddamn Argentinian shrimp, so back the fuck off.

I AM ANGRY AT media propaganda machines posing as “news.” If the FCC labels my favorite zombie shows TV-MA because people surviving the apocalypse just might have a tendency to be a tad violent and drop the F-bomb, then they need to also protect my family’s fragile sensibilities from these political propaganda programs masquerading as news outlets by creating a “TV-PB” rating indicating Pure Bullshit.

Now THAT would be fair and balanced.

I AM ANGRY AT my cable company for not just raising my rates two or three times a year for the same old crappy service, but doing things such as not only inexplicably starting to charge me for the modem they gave me for free when I signed up (Is that even legal?), but also charging me for my cable-box remotes!

The remotes? Seriously?

I AM ANGRY AT Publishers Clearing House.

Fuck you.

No-no-no, don’t beg me for an explanation as to my ire toward you, you pricks. The state lottery takes what little money the poor have by playing on their hopes and dreams of lifting themselves out of poverty.  And then once all their money is gone, you step in to steal their time and last stamp while trying to hard sell them on shit they don’t need and can’t afford.

Hell, I take my “fuck you” back. You don’t even deserve the breath it takes for me to send it your way, you lowlife, evil son of a— Ooooooooo, is that a cast-iron model of the Hindenburg exploding?  And I can enter to win $5,000 a week for life when ordering?!

How can I say no? It’s all so … … … beautiful.

I AM ANGRY AT the whole damn state of Iowa for supporting the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Corn Growers Association that try to sell us on the idea that High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is somehow good for us.

An ear of corn for the family picnic is one thing. I’ll even give you ethanol, even though there are studies demonstrating that gasoline is so much cheaper to produce than ethanol, ironically, the farmers that grow the corn to make ethanol run their machinery and equipment on gas, not ethanol.  But High-Fructose Corn Syrup?  Shame on you.

Did I say “Shame on you”?

I meant fuck you, too. Fuck you and the processed foods ruining our families’ health you rode in on.

I AM ANGRY AT state fairs.

Cheeseburgers with Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns? Deep-fried Oreos?  Deep-fried Snickers? DEEP-FRIED BUTTER?!

Do I even have to say it?

I AM ANGRY AT professional golf, pro bowling and the World Series of Poker. If the players don’t break a sweat while doing it, then it shouldn’t pull me away from mowing my lawn on a Saturday afternoon to watch it.  End of story!

I AM ANGRY AT inventors. It’s the 21st century! Why do I still have to clean my own toilet? Get up to speed on the whole self-cleaning shitter, please!  I’ve got better things to do with my time than to sanitize the family’s communal commode  … like watch cars go around and around and around and around and around and around on a NASCAR track while I swill beer until I’m so drunk that I pass out and shit myself atop some other guy who has passed out and shit himself.

I AM ANGRY AT God.

That’s right. I went there.

Kick us all out of the Garden of Eden into the fear-of-mortality-driven madness that is this world of chaos and pain? Really? THAT’S your plan?

And yes, I say “plan” as in You meant to do that. If You’re omniscient, all-knowing, then You KNEW Eve couldn’t resist the apple and Adam could resist a naked Eve even BEFORE You created them and explained the rules of the game to our fig leaf-clad ancestors, didn’t You?

Look, I don’t care if that’s all literal or biblical allegory; You’re supposed to be the Savior, not a sadist.

And finally, I AM ANGRY AT YOU!

Why?

Oh, you know why.

You know.

YOU. KNOW.

Asshole.

 

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

Still haven’t seen the political-satire music video, “DONNY, DONNY, DONNY!” by Unintentional Martyrs™? Check it out on my YouTube Channel at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2zVks-7nSI

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THERE’S INTELLIGENCE BEHIND THIS DESIGN?

Intelligent Design - Earth Eye

by Joe Buonfiglio

When did I start to look like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family?

It was this troubling thought as I glanced pre-coffee into the mirror this morning that sent me spiraling down the metaphoric rabbit hole until I arrived at this ultimate conclusion: God — if He/She/It exists — may be omnipotent, but cannot be omniscient.

I know. As soon as those of you who are of the religious-devout ilk pick yourself up off the floor, put a nice, cool wet-washcloth compress on your forehead and get the “blasphemous ringtone of the damned” out of your mind’s ear, let me make my case with evidence that goes beyond my disappointment in the loathsome physical features that seem to accompany my inevitable slide down the mortal coil … or at least seem as if authentic before my morning cup o’ joe kicks in.

Here is my proof — six simple observations — that there may be “Design,” but there is an utter lack of “Intelligence” behind it.

PRAISE FROM SPORTS HEROES AND HOLLYWOOD TYPES: So you’ve won the big game; maybe even the Super Bowl. Perhaps you’ve just added an Oscar or an Emmy to your long list of entertainment accolades. What do you do on national television in front of millions of viewers who cling to your every word?

Why, thank God, of course.

So the Big Guy in the Sky lets the Hutu majority engage in the genocidal butchering of the Tutsi en masse in Rwanda, seems to be too busy to stop the Ebola virus as it claimed thousands of lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and allows a devastating meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan without so much as lifting His celestial finger to abate the sweeping misery, yet he took the time to make sure you had enough speed to score the winning touchdown or the acting chops to deliver the year’s best performance. Do I have that right?

He’ll help a pimple-ridden teenager pass his driving test, but will allow madmen to fly planes into the World Trade Center towers?

Tell me again about Intelligent Design. Am I missing something here?

Is there a problem prioritizing in the Hotel Afterlife? Is that it? Does God have ADHD?

“What are those crazy humans doing now? They’re gonna blow the whole damn planet up by tomorrow if I don’t— Ooooooh. Pretty comet trail.”

INTERGALACTIC NARCISSISM: Our personal worlds don’t just center around us. The planetary world doesn’t just center around the collective “we.” No, most of us puffed-up humans believe this expanding universe in all its wonder and glory was created by The Alpha- and Omega-Man for the sole purpose of balancing out all the cosmic forces banging about out there in the astronomical absurdity of existence simply to sustain this insignificant blue planet for us in some benevolent, but probably misguided attempt to fulfill the promise of generational preservation of presence for we water-drinking air-breathing clan of the apes that got ahead of ourselves, evolutionarily speaking.

In other words, The Supreme Creator willed the universe — the ENTIRE fucking universe — into existence just for us. All of that Big Bang billions of galaxies planets stars black holes dark matter singularity comets solar flares orbits balancing act was done to make a house for us to live in.

The Big Brain Behind It All, in essence, builds the cosmic equivalent of Las Vegas to support the cosmic equivalent of one minibar-fridge to keep in it the cosmic equivalent of one “nips”-size bottle of peach schnapps so that it doesn’t get too warm.

You may call this Intelligent Design; but if I did this as a final project, I don’t think I’d get a passing grade for even “Intro to Engineering” at MIT. “Overkill” is an understatement. It’s like using a dump truck as a bowl in which to make a banana split for a toddler.  The kid is going to love it until she drowns in a melting mountain of lactose goo.

PERIOIDS: No, I don’t mean punctuation or eras of historical significance. I’m talking menstruation here. What Celestial Brain Trust could possibly have thought this one up?

Even after all those “Be fruitful and multiply” instructions, the female of the species didn’t get pregnant again? I know! Let’s have her discharge blood and other fun things from the lining of her uterus at intervals of about one lunar month from— Oh, I don’t know. Let’s say from puberty until menopause kicks in decades later. And for some of them, we’ll throw in Premenstrual Syndrome for good measure just to keep it fun. Sound good?

Intelligent Design?

A preschooler that eats his own crayons and still pisses the bed could come up with a more intelligent design than that one.

DEATH: So your idea of The Almighty Smarty-Pants comes up with a system of population control whereby not only are his beloved children hyper-cognizant of their eventual nonexistence from a very young age, they are painfully aware that most us don’t simply “not wake up” one chilly November morning, but will probably suffer at the hands of and eventually succumb to some unforgiving disease, debilitating circumstance or horribly violent incident. Yet, through all the ramifications of this mentally traumatic nightmare, we’re supposed to remain civil within polite society and be grateful to the One for providing what He must simply view as the definitive character-building exercise.

What a great idea! I wonder why Stephen Covey didn’t think of it. (Go ahead. Google him. I’ll wait.)

Intelligent? Be honest; even the most spiritually zealot amongst us wonders why we aren’t all running around naked, completely insane, engaging in all manner of experimental masturbatory technique-enhancement involving predatory reptiles and inanimate sundry products from the bowels of a tacky-tourist shop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

And speaking of that…

SEX: In the grand scheme of things, this is probably the big piece of the big puzzle for most of us when it comes to Intelligent Design since, as I’m sure a good number of you will agree, it occupies such a large amount of our cognitive activity on a nearly daily basis.

Whether you believe in the Theory of Evolution or the more biblical explanation for humankind’s appearance on the scene, there is no doubt that sexual tension is such a big driver for most of us, it must be part of the big picture of human existence.

Let’s use heterosexual men as our guidepost for understanding the sexual-blueprint factor imprinted upon — no — engraved into our DNA.

Now, if we straight guys catch the slightest glimpse, even shrouded in clothing, of the female body part whose sole purpose is to create, store and deliver nutrition to the babies of our species, we cannot function on the most rudimentary of levels for want of sticking our protruding, non-spherical genital into a woman’s copulatory “pocket of delight.”

This is supposed to be Intelligent Design in action here, mind you.

Additionally, men are determined to utilize their wanking-apparatus “Master of Ceremonies” by impaling it into the ladies’ orifice designed only for the removal of the most-foul end-product of the digestive system out of the body. The Heavenly Horticulturist made this completely absurd bucket-list desire vastly seductive and absolute in its devastating ability to overwhelm our better judgment, yet He seemed sincerely surprised that the Garden of Eden fell into utter chaos.

Remember, Big Man, this is YOUR Intelligent Design. Adam’s male descendants’ longing to stick it into anything from rotten watermelons to sleeping sheep is on your head, my friend. DNA is Your bailiwick, no?

And while this is probably a downright outrageous generalization, You created woman to appreciate romance, passion-stimulating ambience and the beauty of the courtship process, while infusing man with an appreciation of “There’s a hole! I’m gonna stick my dick in it!”

Intelligent Design? Yeah, if God is Batman’s archnemesis The Joker.

And speaking of anal…

POOP: Need I say more? Sustaining life is dependent upon consuming plants and fellow creatures sharing the Earth, saturating it all with high-fructose corn syrup, trailing their demise down our gullet with the liquid remnants of distilled potatoes and the like; and then bingo-bango, shitting the byproduct organic refuse out a hole in our ass.

A hole … … … in our ass.

Let’s reexamine that little tidbit of Intelligent Design, shall we?

The big plan — the very best a Supreme “Thy Will Be Done” Creator can come up with to sustain life — involves feces, defecation, assquake, the bad brownies, butsin’ a grumpie, a dookie howitzer, a loaf pinch, porcelain bus ride to the Browns’ win at the Super Bowl poo. This — as renowned physicist Stephen Hawking titled his book in relation to how the universe works and NOT human waste — is The Grand Design?

Seriously?

No matter what you think about the credibility of any of my other evidence or assertions, this — THIS — is the fucking deal-breaker for any uncertainty. Our reliance upon the ordure machinery affirms my position beyond a shadow of doubt.

With Mister All-Seeing All-Knowing running The Big Show, the Snake in the Garden must have felt as if it was all-too easy.

How ’bout them apples?

We’re all nothing but walking, talking poop factories who reach out to grope each other unto our deathbed, begging for it as if a perverse senior citizen in a Fellini film until we drop and are transported to whatever divine comedy laced with otherworldly indignities God has waiting in store for us on the next station platform of relative existence … or, we simply fade to black.

However, what the fuck do I know? If hipsters can turn cheap-ass Pabst Blue Ribbon beer into the ultra-cool PBR by the sheer force of their collective will, maybe all this raging bullshit we call life can be part of some Grand Plan of Intelligent Design.

Whether it’s knocking boots, making a deposit at Banco Baño, or the need for a Higher Power to be a part of our lives, there’s always some hole out there that needs fillin’.

 

© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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6 MINUTES WITH GOD

My Conversation with the Big Guy in the Sky

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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?!”

“No.”

“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?!  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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