If you have come to this space hoping to find glib observations on contemporary life, I fear you shall be disappointed. If you come here in search of the "quipster" who has long and weekly felt the need to solicit your precious approval through his cynical Sarcas-O-Grams, he no longer dwells here. If you come looking for your umbrella, I have not seen it; check with the movie reviewer a few pages forward.
But do not leave just yet. For I have a message you must hear. It is a message from God. And you know how He gets if you don't listen.
That the message I have for you is indeed from God, there can be no doubt. It was delivered to me by a mail carrier made in the image of Roma Downey, and in the upper left-hand corner of the Sacred Envelope in which it was sealed, the return address read simply, "Heaven" followed by a nine-digit zip code not of this world.
Within the Envelope, I discovered two compact discs and a cocktail napkin. The first CD was a blessing from on high: 100 free hours with AOL, which I joyfully accepted into my life. On the second CD was the voice of God Himself (the liner notes identified "St. Tupac" as producer). He filled the room with tones so deep, so resonant, so mellifluous, I had but one thought: God makes James Earl Jones sound like a castrato on helium.
"Bob," God said unto me (and here I trembled, having never before been spoken "unto"), "the millennium approaches, and with it Armageddon. This Profound Unpleasantness — which is costing Me plenty, let Me tell you — shall be triggered by the installation of Luke Perry as the new president of Iraq, shall be propelled by a Plague of Halitosis caused by a Dearth of Tic Tacs and shall end in Conflagration when a Y2K-frazzled computer electrocutes an extraterrestrial in the Holy City of Jerusalem before he can divert the meteor that is falling toward Earth.
"Thou, My son, shalt be my earthly emissary. Thou shalt guide the minions into the Rapture — which includes unlimited trips to My famous Celestial Salad & Manna Bar and save the righteous from CNN's feeble attempts at post-apocalyptic news coverage. Along with thine increased duties thou shalt ascendeth to the position of Messiah and be known among men as 'The King of Kings Especially Don King.' I have enclosed a rough design thou mightst wish to consider when ordering your new business cards. (The cocktail napkin!)
"Now, Bob, go. Spread the Good News. Convert the doubters, sustain the devoted and, please, keep any receipts. Then lead your flock. Maybe to a remote compound. Nothing expensive, a nice fixer-upper. Be sure to horde some Tic Tacs. And when the time comes — I'll get back to you with an exact date — you and your order shall enter the Pearly Gates. Once in, turn right, then right again and go single file through the metal detector and, finally, you'll see The Sign that lets you know you're in My Kingdom."
Thy will be done, I thought. And that's pretty much the last thought I had. ©