Humor

Deconstruction of the Urination Situation

I was peed on. I can freely admit it. After a long day of set-up at the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis, I was unfortunately saturated while walking back to my automobile. And, yes, the offender was female. As a simple Tweet cannot properly explain this situation, and because many have doubted that this is a true story, I've decided to relate the story in detail with the assistance of visual aids. You see, as I waited for our moving truck at the end of the convention, I took the opportunity to return to the crime scene and snap some photos on my phone. Sometimes, seeing is believing. So journey back with me, won't you?

At approximately 4pm on Monday July 5th I was walking south from the Indianapolis Convention Center towards a parking lot adjacent to the Lucas Oil Stadium. This path took me underneath a set of train tracks. Image 1 will give you a view of the trek back to my Explorer.

Note the large building in the right side of the photograph. It is a power plant that is very loud, and passing underneath the bridge meant that I couldn't have heard my attacker even if they were brazen about their actions.

At the time, I was searching for directions on my iPhone; I was spending the night with my sister and her family and I've only been there a few times. Thus, I was both walking and typing in my phone and my eyes were focused downward. This is why when I felt some wetness on my arm, I originally thought nothing of it; all my city marathon training has ingrained in me the fact that underpasses usually drip water. But I noticed that I was no longer under a bridge, but at the separation point between two bridges, as you can see in Image 2.

It was at this moment that I was again sprinkled. Noticing that I was no longer under a bridge, and thinking it could actually be starting to rain, I glanced up.

And a saw a moon.

But it was the afternoon.

And therefore it wasn't THE moon.

No, it was a woman in her twenties using the bathroom.

On me.

I will refrain on going into further detail as to why I know this was a young woman. I'm just asking that you trust me on this one.

For the remainder of this retelling, I will refer to the woman as Cynthia Story—Cindy for short. Why, you ask? Because the following graffiti was etched into the bridge where the crime was committed. In my mind, this is Cindy's regular restroom spot and she has claimed it by engraving her name into the nearby steel.

The question that looms large here is why was Cindy using the bathroom in public and, specifically, on me? As I revisited the scene of the crime, I think I have figured this out.

Cindy really had to go. We've all been there, right? It's usually much easier for men to participate in public urination and Cindy was faced with a problem: where could she go where she wouldn't be seen? Somehow, she made her way to these railroad tracks and took solace in the space between two bridges. From ground level, she would have been obscured from sight. No one would have known. And to fully understand this, observe Image 4 and her perch:

Cindy was facing a concrete wall with barrier to the right and left on her. While she thought she was hidden, her rear end was fully exposed to the sidewalk below. I'm sure when she first began doing her business, she looked to the ground seeing only roadway. I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When I finally realized what was happening, all I could think to do was yell "HEY!" at Cindy. She was obviously startled and fled immediately. I didn't bother to chase her down; what would I have done anyway? I drove the entire trip to suburban Indianapolis with my arm extended. Upon arriving at her house, my sister insisted I take a shower immediately. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

Believe it or not, I wasn't that angry about the entire situation. Sure, there are moments in life where we feel like were getting . . . well . . . that we have our own personal Cindy's who are doing their business upon us. In the past few years of my life, I've felt this way many-a-time. So when this happened literally, all I could do was laugh. I've been milking this story for a week now.

It was just a good reminder for me not to take things too seriously. I tend to do that more than I usually admit. I'm not sure if I'm completely reformed, but I'm getting there.

And no matter how much some of you reading this dislike Cincinnati, I've never been peed on here. Thanks, Indianapolis.

Me VS Tiger [Rivalry Renewed]

As I have frequently admitted in the past couple of weeks, I have missed regular blogging. Transferring all of my old posts to the new blog reminded me of things I have overlooked during my writing famine. One of those was the gauntlet I threw down last year to one Eldrick Woods, known better to the general public as Tiger; as we were born on the exact same date, it's only logical that we compare our lives to see who's doing better. With the last scoreboard, it was a dead heat, but we now have to go back and tally things up to get the newest standings. Since last we checked in, Tiger had his second child. While I'm going to talk smack and say that my one child is better than his two combined, he still owns scoreboard. Congratulations, sir, you have procreated more.

This one point lead will be stretched because last week Tiger had a traffic accident. No biggie, as I had an accident in 1992 when my Ford Escort got in the way of a Camaro, and I was t-boned on Tylersville Road in 2004, but I did not hit both a tree and a fire hydrant. Nor did I have to go to the hospital. Again, El Tigre pads his lead, now up by two. So the current scoreboard:

ME = 1

TIGER = 3

But now we have to take account of the events that have transpired since this accident. The facts surrounding the issue are hazy at best, because none of it seems to make sense. Why are you leaving your house at 2:30am the night after thanksgiving (I'm suspecting the Woods don't need to shop Black Friday)? If you're not drunk, how do you hit both a tree and a fire hydrant? And, seeing the pictures of the accident, why does the wife have to bust out the windows of your vehicle with a nine-iron? Apparently, it's all due to the fact that our opponent has a girl at every port; as Glen Frey lyrically shared, "you can't hide those lyin' eyes."

I'm not taking pot shots here, because I know there's now pain surrounding this family, and the innocent (his wife and children) will have to bear the burden. But it's yet another reminder why we need to keep things in perspective. Sure, celebrity life has it's perks, but I wouldn't trade it for the beautiful simplicity of the life I own. When things are so bad that you have to cheat on your supermodel spouse, something is jacked up. Now for the rest of his professional career, this episode will always be remembered. It's truly sad.

I'm hoping this whole situation will be a warning to spouses everywhere: no matter how crafty you are, you're going to get caught. If you don't think you have it in you to be faithful, then why get married in the first place?

Look, it can be done. For eleven plus years I've found full contentment in my spouse. She's been there through thick and thin, and has constantly supported all of my endeavors. She's absolutely amazing. Why would I ever think of screwing it up with a fling? Believe it or not, there's more to satisfaction than sex. What we have is worth far more than anything I could ever imagine. So my free advice, specifically to the gents, is to love your wife. Respect her. Make her feel beautiful. If you do that, you'll never have the need to search for anything else.

But we must revisit the game. In the category of fidelity, I'm going to claim victory. And since I will neither have to buy jewelry to compensate for my cheating ways, nor will voicemails to my mistresses make national websites, the point totals should skyrocket. It might sound arbitrary, but I'm going to say that this is a five-point category, and I'm taking them all to the bank. The current scoreboard now reads:

ME = 6

TIGER = 3

Tiger has a lot of making up to do.

The Shack Book Review [Part One]

One of the blessings of my previous class at Xavier was the freedom to choose our own subjects for papers. Fortunately, my class was on views of the Trinity, so I tailor-made one of my papers so that I could read and examine The Shack.

As I mentioned here before, The Shack is a piece of fiction that is quickly becoming a best-seller and is said to be transforming the way that people are viewing their relationship with God. Originally I was skeptical, but I knew some good Christian people who enjoyed the book so I decided I would refrain from commenting any further until I read it myself. Well I have read it and studied it thoroughly. And after finally taking the time to type out my response, I am ready to unveil the following conclusion:

I do not like this book at all.

In my previous post on The Shack I gave a quick synopsis on the book. So as I continue here, I'm assuming you at least have a cursory understanding of what it's about. Quickly, The Shack is about a guy [named Mack] who is angry with God because his daughter was killed by a serial killer. So God chooses the location of her murder [the aforementioned shack] to be the site of His reconciliation with Mack. Mack spends the weekend with the Trinity [described as a black woman, an Arab man, and an Asian woman] who try to tell them "the truth" about God.

As I begin to critique, let me start here: to be fair, I don't know William Young [the book's author]. I don't fully understand the circumstances surrounding his life [which were apparently somewhat hellish] and I am not judging him directly. As I understand it, the book was supposed to be a therapeutic gesture written for his children, but Young later sought for the book to be published; from there it gained widespread popularity. So it's no longer a personal matter, but a public one, and people are going to this book for spiritual guidance, then it is then fair game for me to deconstruct its contents.

I'm assuming that Young had good intentions in getting this work out there to the masses, but there is objectionable content in it. And while some suggest that it's just an innocently written fictional book that shouldn't be over-examined, I disagree. There is power in the written word. And just because something was done with good intentions does not excuse it from scrutiny if it is, in fact, harmful.

As for its artistic merits, I found it lacking. I've admitted before that I'm not very big on fiction. That said, I can easily recognize good writing and The Shack isn't it. For example, while I disagreed with practically all of the "factual concepts" found in The DaVinci Code, I could definitely see why it is so popular— Dan Brown was a good storyteller. The Shack was not at all similar. Young vacillates between humor and seriousness to the point that it is uncomfortable. And much of the dialogue seemed forced, completely unnatural. It isn't good fiction.

So if I were merely a book critic, this would be reason enough alone for me not to recommend it. But even more than its literary attributes, this book attempts to speak authoritatively on theological issues. Again, Young can claim that it was never his intention to do so, but he does make statements about God and Christianity that are presented as fact, not opinion. So it must be examined from a theological perspective as well.

A roadblock to examining The Shack theologically is the fact that it speaks authoritatively under the veil of a rather emotional narrative. The catalyst behind Mack's weekend conversation with the Trinity is the brutal sexual assault and murder of his daughter. I would suggest that Young's use of the worst possible crime in our society [the violation/death of an innocent child] as a backdrop to this story is a method of deflecting any criticism towards his more controversial statements. Bolstering this observation, Young gives the illusion that this story could possibly be true by inserting himself into the story as narrator. While all of this might seem like no big deal, it creates a barrier for those who dare to criticize the content of the story; so if I question Young's assertions, I'm a heartless person who is unsympathetic towards parents who have lost their children. But the inclusion of such a horrific back-story works for Young by giving his statements strength. So if you are going to truly assess The Shack for what it is, you must immediately divorce the narrative from the given statements about God.

Like I said in my earlier post on The Shack, I am always skeptical of the theological fiction genre. One might counter that that's exactly what C.S. Lewis' classical writings were, but there is a distinct difference. Notice how Lewis worked theology into fiction— He never directly spoke through the Trinity, but always used different representations: The Screwtape Letters is very theological, but it is a conversation conducted between demons; in The Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan was certainly a Christ-like character, but it was in a completely different world; in The Great Divorce, the heaven seen does not specifically involve the Three Persons. This is advantageous because if Lewis' theology [like all humans] isn't perfect, it does not suffer from putting definitive statements into the mouth of God.

And this is exactly where Young makes his initial [and crucial] mistake— he puts words into God's mouth. Fiction or not, that makes huge statements and you must ensure that you make no mistakes. And I'm afraid Young is mistaken.

In the next part of this review, I'll give specific instance from the book that I find problematic.

PART TWO OF THIS REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE

Me VS Tiger [How quickly things change]

Just after Tiger took the initial lead in our head-to-head challenge, news breaks thathe'll have to hang it up for the rest of the year because of his knee.

Although I've tweaked my ankle a time or two, and bought a knee brace for the half-marathon because of some soreness, my knees are in good, functioning condition. Therefore, I win in the category of functioning knees. So the revised scoreboard is now:

ME = 1

TIGER = 1

I would predict that, with Tiger on the mend, he's not going to want to answer my challenge this year. That's fine. It'll give me plenty of time to bust out a big lead on him.

I Like Wendy's

It's not my favorite restaurant but Wendy's is an Ohio company with a rather diverse fast food menu, so you gotta support it. That said, I'm not really feeling their new ad campaign, featuring the cartoon Wendy telling us about their food. I found one particular commercial a bit comical. The ad begins with Wendy telling us something like this:

"The saying goes, 'if you don't know what it is, don't eat it . . . '"

Seriously? That's a saying? I thought it was more like a rule for life like, "don't french kiss a pit-bull."

Regardless, I'm not sure that starting a commercial with that statement makes me feel like buying your food. It just makes me begin to think about what's actually in your burgers.

For You To Find Funnies With

By far, one of my favorite comedy troops was The State. MTV ran a series by the group in the early 1990's. Some of those performers are now featured in Comedy Central's Reno 9-1-1. Ironically, I've never really watched Reno. I'm sure it has to be somewhat funny, but I've never bought in. I've been bummed because I have a VHS tape of the best skits by The State but no longer have a VCR so I thought I'd never see them again.

For some reason I was thinking of one of their skits this morning, and it inspired my Facebook update this morning. I took a trip to YouTube and found the skit there. Take sometime to discover what one does with $240 worth of pudding.

Might I also suggest watching any one of these clips for some PG-rated entertainment [every word a different link there]. Not the best quality, but you get the gist.

Also, the rumors are that Comedy Central will air a new special by The State sometime in the next year or so. Just thought you should know.

Don't Drown Your Food

The past few weeks I've been thinking about this PSA from the 1980's telling kids not to abuse condiments [I guess it was epidemic then]. Everyone I asked couldn't remember it. Do you remember this? And if so, what was the point? Later I remembered . . . why I've been thinking about this PSA. Kaelyn has been watching Kelly and I eat and now needs to dip here food whenever the opportunity presents itself. Tonight she dipped her carrot in salsa. So I guess we're teaching her to drown her food. Tragic.

The Iraq And The Maps

I know I'm late to the party, a week of vacation will do that to you, but did you catch the brilliance bestowed upon us by Miss Teen South Carolina? During the Q&A at the Miss Teen USA pageant, she was asked about why many people can't locate their own country on a world map. Here is her response [and he's the video too].

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the US should help the U.S., um, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for our children."

This, friends, was brutal.

People don't have maps. I guess that makes sense. But how South Africa figures into the equation, I'm still unsure. And I'm not sure the Asian countries need our help, but I will go to the grave advocating our need to help the Iraq.

Wouldn't It Be Funny . . .

. . . in light of this wall-to-wall iPhone coverage if, at 5:59pm EST this evening, Jesus came back to earth to signal the end of the world? Spending the last day of your life waiting in line would be . . . well, hell, I guess. It would make for some interesting Judgement Day conversations:

St Peter: So what you been up to, buddy?

iPhone Customer: Not much, just waiting in line all week to be the first to get a new iPhone.

St Peter: Yeah, I heard about those things. They're supposed to be pretty nice.

iPhone Customer: Dude, you have no idea: iPod, video, internet, phone, all in one. It's awesome. I just couldn't live without it.

St Peter: True that. When I was being crucified upside-down I was thinking, "Boy, this is a raw deal, but it's cool. Who would want to live in a world without the iPhone, anyway."

iPhone Customer: See, now I think you're mocking me.

St Peter: Oh, I am. But you know what really sucks?

iPhone Customer: What's that?

St Peter: The only place where you can get AT&T's coverage in the afterlife is in hell.

iPhone Customer: Son of A . . .

St Peter: Excuse me?

iPhone Customer: Um, nothing.

St Peter: I thought so.

H-O-M-E-S-C-H-O-O-L-E-D?

Yeah, I went there. Here's a CNN interview for you that explains that title. So please, wonderful friends who lovingly homeschool your blessed children, I have two requests: 1) understand that I'm not ripping on you, however, 2) do not, under any circumstances, let your kids end up like this kid. Normally it would be wrong to laugh at a kid like this but he did win the National Spelling Bee, meaning that he will probably go on to attend M.I.T college, design software that will take over the world, and force me into indentured servitude.

So he'll get the last laugh.

"I'll Kill A Snitch"

It's not that I hate Peyton Manning, but I can't stand the Colts [nor could I stomach Tennessee]. But as a regular Saturday Night Live viewer, I was interested to see how he would do hosting this past week. I would claim that he was one of the best actor among all the athletes they've had on the show in recent years. Unfortunately, the writing was hideous this past week, even compared to recent standards. It was almost as if the material was below him.

There was one shinning moment, however. This fake United Way commercial still makes me laugh a few days later.

Was That Your Auntie?

Killed a bug tonight. Killed it real good.

Normally I wouldn't boast about killing a bug. It is one of my assigned family responsibilities. We had a slew of bugs at our previous house so, whenever Kelly spotted one, I knew I needed to transition to Terminator mode.

We haven't had too many bugs here but about three weeks ago a cricket started to chirp in the basement. At first, I think we thought it was cute: a little bit of a country feel in the big city. We were out of town last week, so we were sorta hoping that he'd die or get laryngitis or something (I said "he" because only male crickets can chirp). But when we returned home, that bugger was still chirping for love in all the wrong places. And the tiled floor downstairs made it all the louder. It wasn't so cute anymore.

He was well hidden, maneuvering between our laundry room and under the refrigerator. I've spent a couple of minutes the past few nights searching him out to no avail. But after watching 24 tonight and seeing how nice guy Rick[y] Schroeder went into hardcore interrogation mode, I knew I had to catch the cricket.

Usually getting close to the cricket causes him to shut-up, but tonight he kept at it. I discovered that he was hiding underneath the drywall between the laundry room and kitchen. Clever boy, but not clever enough. I won't go any further into the details, suffice to say, the bug is no more. Victory is mine.

He was a worthy adversary.