Hey God, itís me, your old friend, remember? The one who was cool and cocky, until you made me humble by putting me in the hospital with chest pains. The one who thought I could do whatever I wanted in life without consequences, until you sent that oncoming car my way.
I might not even have believed that you exist, except I made it through my teenage years in one piece, and without being thrown in prison.
Still, Iíve got some tough questions for you:
Why do we kill people we love? Why do we kill people we donít even know? Wouldnít it be a better world if we just ďtook careĒ of a few people within our inner circle who really annoy us, such as in-laws or that moody, drug-addicted relative who always ruins Thanksgiving dinner? You know, just the troublemakers?
Tell me, Almighty, why are there so many religions? I believe that people fight over faith because they think their beliefs are the only true religion. God, wonít you just fly over all the cities of the world and yell down, ďBelieve in me or Iíll stomp you into the ground with my big-ass sandal?Ē Then, everyone will be scared and believe in you, and, who knows, might even obey you.
It could happen.
This brings me to another point: Why did you have to fence us in with rules? Donít you want us to be happy? I mean, why canít you covet your neighborís wifeóespecially if sheís hot? You were the one who made her hot. OkayÖ I can hear you coming in loud and clear:
Would you like someone to covet your wife?
Wait, Iíve been asking the questions around here, and if you donít mindóIíve still got a few more to go. So anyway, how bad could it really be if you just let us run crazy and do whatever we wanted?
Okay, good point.
God, they say praying is supposed to be helpful, but Iím still up in the air on that one. Maybe the types of things I ask for would be considered miracles, and I know you donít just hand those out like Burger King coupons. For instance, Nicole Richie is a celebrity? Tell me thatís not a miracle. If you can give her that, maybe you can give me a few small things, like a cool car. God, youíre my bestest friend in the world, you could pull a Hyundai out of your hat. FYI, I prefer the hybrid. Come on, whoís even going to know you intervened? Help me out here.
Tell me again why you want us in relationships? I know itís supposed to teach us a deeper love or to keep us from going astray, especially with the neighborís wife. But relationships are a constant tug-of-war. One partner never wants to do what the other wants to do. Couldnít you have made half the population the kind of people who always do what everyone tells them to doówith no attitude? Then the rest of us could date or marry these meek cats and live happily ever after, as we watch them take out the garbage and pay the bills. No, you had to go and give everyone self-esteem.
And another thing: Some people are lucky as hell. Me, Lord, I couldnít hit a bull in the rump with a snow shovel. I couldnít buy luckóeven if I had money, which I donítóbecause Iím unlucky. Canít you just throw a brother a bone, once? Like, when Iím sleeping, you put a slip of paper under my pillow with the winning lotto numbers. Some good stock picks? The Kentucky Derby winner? Iíll take whatever you got. Iíll be good with the money. Iíll buy a ham and cheese sandwich for a bum, I promise. I know you donít believe me. I guess you know my record against temptation and selfishness. But donít give up on me, God. Some day, Iíll get you one win.
So tell me more about temptationÖWhatís that all about? You donít want us to do certain things so You tempt us. Is that really fair, God? Wait, why are You laughing? You think itís easy being human? Itís not, because everything thatís fun is a sin. You gave us the Sabbath, a day of rest. How about a new day in the week called the Ravageóa day once a week when we have your permission to go hog wild and break the rules. This would certainly alleviate a lot of the guilt. Smoking, drinking, sex, dessert, gambling, maybe a little shoplifting... Come on, give us some leeway.
Another thing: Why do we always want more than we have? I know it has to do with greed, jealousy and envy, but I didnít ask for those traitsóYou gave them to me. You should have made it where the pleasure of a yo-yo and a talking parrot were enough to get me through the day. But without all this new crap they have out hereó cell phones, Blackberrys, Ipodsóyouíre virtually a nobody. Sure, I know I should be thankful for what I have, but how can I think of how much better off I am, when The Joneses just got the iPhone?
Hey God, something else is bothering me. We recently had a family friend die of canceróa mother with three boys. What was your thinking on that one? I realize people have to die, but come on, surely You had other candidates: Child molesters, murderers and, of course, the in-lawsÖ to name a few. Might have been an opportunity to take out some of the garbage.
God, a lot people wonder what heaven is like. Iím sure itís 15 times better than my best day on earth. (That would be Christmas Day 1969, when I got a Big Wheel.) But what do you do up there for an eternity? Even if you get to hang out with your favorite person from history, say Benjamin Franklin, after 40 or 50 years, heís probably going to get on your nerves. ďYeah, yeah, Ben, so you tied a key to a kite and got shocked. Youíve told me that story 130 times already! Iím gonna go talk to Socrates.Ē
Sure, it gets boring down here, but at least thereís television to kill the time. Please tell me you have big-screen TV up there, because I couldnít fathom an eternity without The Simpsons.
Finally, why do we live only to die? I sincerely hope you have a purpose in mind because I gotta tell you, this life hasnít been all candy and roses. For one thing, we have to work most of the time. Whatís up with that? I thought you got all your anger at us out during that great flood. I guess what Iím saying is, Canít you float me a couple million Ďtil I get to heaven, because the working thing is not working for me.
So, come on God, you can tell me. Did you intend for life to be one big joke? What did you say, God? What was that?
Wait Ďtil you hear the punchline!
by Jeff Charlebois
More excerpts from the Ron Livingston issue: