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5:21 a.m. - 2002-11-04


Jumpin' Jesus on a, do I HATE Mondays. weekend had a few moments of noteworthy fun and excitement.

Alright. No fun or excitement. I'm just trying to make this entry sound more interesting than it is. Blame it on the stinkin' Monday factor.

Friday we had Andrew's birthday party at daycare.

This was my first time to be in the company of three boys, ages one and a half to two and a half, with Andrew in the middle, turning two.

The only thing that can prepare you for an event such as this is probably Vietnam. Because after spending two hours with three young rambunctious boys, a gook with a bloody pitchfork in his hand would be a welcome sight.

Susie, in her dwindling wisdom, decided that it would be "fun" to "play games".

Games like "Ring Around the Rosie".

Apparently, this was a new game to all three boys. Because they didn't want to hold hands, they couldn't walk in a big circle and when it came time for "all fall DOWN!" they stood there like zombies, staring through my wife.

Musical Chairs turned into a toddler fist fight with everyone wanting to sit in chairs and nobody wanting to march around to the music.

I finally suggested that maybe we should just move on to the cake and ice cream.

As soon as we began singing "Happy Birthday To You", Andrew ran from the table in sheer fright and wouldn't come back until the cake was cut and his slice was put at his seat. He then took three bites and threw the rest on the floor, officially turning the soiree into a redneck toddler birthday party.

It then came time to open gifts. He only had three gifts to open, so this should have gone quicker. However, I made the mistake of showing him his musical chime which hadn't been wrapped. This was the same toy that he played with at Walmart a few weeks ago on the night that we were stranded there ... the one he pushed around the store for over an hour until he broke it.

You know...except this one worked.

So he went all apeshit over this musical chime and didn't WANT to open any other presents...he was pushing his musical chime and making wonderful music that sounded like people banging silverware together.

That's pretty embarrassing when you have parents sitting there who have spent $20 on a gift for your child and your child is totally shunning their gifts over a cheap piece of crap that you bought them minutes before you showed up for the party.

So the other boys played with the gifts that they bought Andrew while Andrew played with the Musical Chime. For the most part, everyone was happy.

The party ended and we took Andrew to church for the kids' Fall Festival.

There were maybe eight kids participating in the big Fall Festival which is designed to give kids lots of fun activities at Halloween time, rather than have them focus on the Pagan holiday itself.

Of course, it doesn't make sense to have the Fall Festival the day after Halloween, since the kids have already been tainted by the unholiest of holidays. But that's my church. More about that later.

Susie and I went to Copeland's for dinner while Andrew was throwing bean bags at pictures of Jesus and getting pencil erasers as rewards for his efforts.

I love Copeland's. I've never had a bad meal there. If you ever have the chance to eat at Copeland's, by all it.

(I do not get a kickback from them for that mention, although I should.)

The highlight of Saturday was mentioned in yesterday's entry. If you haven't read that then you're a complete slacker who deserves a salad fork jammed repeatedly in your eye.

Saturday night, we had the mother and brother-in-law over.

It really wasn't that bad other than two exceptions.

First, the "gift" they got Andrew. It's a shelf...three shelves in all. And the legs for the shelving unit look like big pencils. It's cute. But not so cute that I should have to listen to my mother-in-law say "how cute" the thing was over 100 times. Any time there was a lull in the conversation ... "Isn't that shelf I bought your son cute?"

"Yes's cute. Not as cute as an actual toy...but cute."

And to decorate the shelf, Grandma stopped at the Dollar Tree and bought him about ten dollars worth of complete and utter crap.

I can always tell Dollar Tree Shit(TM) from a mile away. It's all generic toys ... books with characters like "Al the Surly Janitor" and "Steve the Bored Traffic Cop".

He got a hard plastic football that looked like it had been run over and a Donald Duck comb with a few teeth missing. Plus the aforementioned books and a Post-It note pad.

Wheee! You're two now! It's time you found out that your relatives are dirtbags!!

The other thing that kinda bothered me...we were all in the den, talking.

Coke-Slurping, Playboy-Hoarding-But-Still-Might-Be-Gay Brother-in-Law gets up and walks out of the room.

I think that maybe he's gone to the bathroom. Usually when guests get up and walk out of your den, they just don't want to have to announce "I've gotta go piss". As neanderthal as my brother-in-law can be, he has enough couth to not announce his restroom habits.

So he's gone for about 20 minutes.

I get up and go to the kitchen to kinda check on him.

He's on my computer, doing God knows what.

Maybe...MAYBE I'm too sensitive about this issue. But if a guest wants to use my computer, I feel a whole lot better when that guest says "May I get on your computer to surf porn sites?"

At least give me the chance to say "Keep your sleazy ass off my computer, dude."

I checked the history after they left and saw that he had only been checking and sending emails. Still...he's emailing little boys and begging for them to send him pictures of them in their tighty whiteys on MY computer, which gives me the willies.

So they left and the night was over.

Sunday, I made the revelation that come January, I didn't want to attend church anymore.

This didn't go over well with the Mrs.

Our service was based around the fact that everyone needs to start coughing up a few more bucks each week for the church. The minister knows that we've all experienced an economic crunch recently ... but God needs our money.

I felt like I was listening to the sleaziest of sleazy ministers. The whole reason I quit going to church for 30 years in the first place.

We give between $150 and $200 EACH WEEK to the church.

Meanwhile, we've had series of checks bounce recently because the wife has completely abandoned the concept of balancing the checkbook and doesn't want me involved with the process because I would then find this fact out for myself. She thinks she's hid it fairly well and that I'm an idiot who doesn't notice such things.

Then, after church, they figured they could give everyone a free BBQ sandwich to pacify them after saying "Give God more money."

"Give God more bucks. And if you do, you can have a cheap-assed BBQ sandwich."

After this "lunch", the kids of the church were all going to entertain us by playing bells to a tune that slightly resembles something like "Jesus Loves Me".

Andrew LOVES these bells. They're cheap assed bells...all colorful though and it's the colors that appeal to him. That and the fact that they make noise.

So Andrew goes over to the bells, picks one up and walks around, lightly ringing the bell.

A girl about six years old comes up, picks up a bell and starts ringing it like her life depends on the fact that everyone in the hall must hear it.

The Choir Director comes over and tells them both to put the bells down. The six year old does this. Andrew's sitting on the floor, inspecting his bell quietly.

"Give me the bell, Andrew," she says sternly.

Andrew doesn't budge.

She then grabs the bell out of Andrew's hand and it turns into a tug-of-war that she inevitably wins.

Andrew bursts into fake tears.

I picked Andrew up and said "How can you deny this little boy a bell?"

"I just did," the choir director snapped.


After being told that Jesus needs more money...being fed a leftover BBQ sandwich to make that news go down better, and having a bitter old woman snatch a toy out of my child's hands...I wasn't in the best of spirits.

So, I said simply "You have NO heart".

And I walked away with Andrew crying in my arms.

We went and sat in the nursery where he played with other toys while the stupid kids rang their stupid bells and the stupid audience clapped their stupid hands, pretending that they recognized the stupid "songs" the kids were struggling to play.

Susie bounded into the nursery with a big successful grin because she and the Choir Director are also the Children's Choir/Bell Team leaders and anytime the kids perform in front of an audience, it leaves Susie with a euphoric high.

We get in the car and I explain how the "Sermon" rubbed me the wrong way and how religion shouldn't be about "giving more money". How I could easily sit at home each Sunday morning, say a few prayers and get the same results that I do from going to church. How we don't really have "friends" from none of them have anything to do with us outside of church. How we give up so much of our free time in services to the church such as her leading Children's Choir and me being the Webmaster for the website once a week and we don't get paid jack for that....but by God...Jesus needs more money.

She sat there silently while I ranted. I told her that I would fulfill my obligations through the end of the year, but when the snakes started coming around wanting more efforts out of me for 2003, they could kiss my ass. I'm through with it all.

We uhhhhh....we haven't spoken much in the last 18 hours.

All because I've been reminded of the ugly underbelly of religion.

The whole "If you REALLY want God to love you, you must ask your boss for a raise so that you can give it to us" shit.

Piss on that.

I'm going into hock for this church already and am up there for more than just an hour each week offering my services free of charge to help the church along.

I'm a bit sour on my church today.

Can you tell??

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