My mom gets mad at me. The nuns get mad at me — one in particular calls me up to remind me my soul is perched precipitously between heaven and hell and that God will not tolerate much more of my hanky panky.
John in Noyac gets really mad. I shudder to think he has stopped praying for me. Being a Catholic school kid, I grew up believing I could ask God for help in my time of need, but I’ve become jaded. Maybe I expect too much.
That’s why I’m turning over a new leaf. Yes, I used to blame the guy upstairs when things didn’t go my way. Who among us hasn’t? How do you think the Big Guy feels when we incessantly yell, “Goddamn it!” at him? Does it hurt his feelings? Who then, does he yell at to let off steam? I would guess Jesus.
God: Jesus Christ In Heaven!
Jesus: “What’s up, Dad?”
God: “Murphy called. He bet on the wrong team again Sunday and lost all his mortgage money and now it’s all my fault. I told you not to go down there. I begged you: Forget those 12 goofy friends of yours, and stay home. Don’t go out on Earth. I warned you they would get you in trouble, but NOOOOOOO! Now I have to take crap from everyone because you got liquored up and made wine out of bread!”
Jesus: I made, um wine out of water, Pop.
God: Let me straighten you out, Mr. Know-It-All.
Jesus: I inherited that from you.
Jesus: You know. The know it all thing.
God: You told them you would die for their sins and they figured that meant everything would go their way. Who in God’s name told you to tell them that?
Jesus: Um, you did.
God: Are you sure it wasn’t your brother?
Jesus (laughing): You mean Fredo?
God: The Holy Ghost.
Jesus: Come on Pop, look at him. He dresses like Dracula. No one pays attention to him. You’re the one who told me to go live on Earth for a while. You said it would be good to spend some time with my mother.
God: She’s very clingy.
Jesus: May God forgive her.
God: I do. Almighty!
Jesus: Yes? I’m listening.
God: Okay, here is what I want you to do. Go see Murphy. Tell him we’re sorry about the Ram’s game. Tell him we’ll have a nice parlay for him this Sunday — but only if he goes to church. Understand?
God: OK, bring the car around and tell your brother we’re going to the game.
Jesus: Does he have to come? Can’t my friends come instead?
God: Like who?
Jesus: James, son of Zebedee.
God: Never liked that kid. I didn’t like the old man, either. I hate Rap music.
Jesus: How about Saint Peter?
God: He’s NOT a saint! He’s a saint when I say he’s a saint! I know St. Francis of Assisi! He was a saint! I know St. John the Baptist! Now HE was a saint! In fact, you tell Peter if you see him, tell him STAY AWAY FROM MY GATE!!! God damn him!
Jesus: Awright already. Don’t blow a gasket.
God: Like Judas? Everyone saw you kiss him, you know. Friends don’t kiss other friends in front of the emperor.
Jesus: It’s a new dawn, pop.
God: Heaven help us.
Jesus: One question, dad. Can we really fix the football games?
God: We’re omnipresent. We’re infallible. We can walk on water. But we can’t fix football games for Murphy. It will turn into greed, and avarice, and he’ll make unwise career choices.
Jesus: Like kissing Judas?
God: Like writing this stupid column.
Rick Murphy is a six-time winner of the New York Press Association Best Column award as well as the winner of first place awards from the National Newspaper Association and the Suburban Newspaper Association of America and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.