I thought it kind of impersonal to be writing an e-Pistle addressed simply to Galoshes.com, so I’ve decided to address each Galosh in a separate post. (This may be the dumbest idea I’ve ever had.)
So Bob, did you know it’s easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a camel than to get into heaven? That tune has been getting some heavy play in the blogs up here, but look, if you don’t own a camel, I wouldn’t sweat it. In fact, try this less complicated parable.
In the days before I was St. Paul, I was just another dude named Saul going nowhere on an outdated donkey at two miles a day. I decided to apply for a job as a scribe.
Well, instead of becoming Saul the Scribe they wanted to make me Saul the Content Provider. I said hello? Is anyone home? No. So I went across the street and joined the Pharisees. They gave me a late model donkey, some nice cuff links and a tee shirt that said “I’m a Pharisee and you’re not.”
I admit I threw my weight around like a sumo wrestler in a hula hoop. If there was a neck, I stepped on it. If there was a heart I broke it. If there was lasagna I snorked every bit of it like a vacuum cleaner.
One day I’m out on my donkey, Pontius, and it starts to rain. The next thing I know there’s a bright light and a voice crying out in the wilderness. I tumble off my ass onto my ass, recognizing the crying voice as my own.
Then a new voice says “Paulie, Paulie, Paulie. I mean, what is up with you dog?”
I say “Uh, my name’s Saul…”
“Your name is Paulie,” says the voice. “Get used to it. And tell me why I shouldn’t throw you into a burning bush for the way you’ve been treating people.”
I thought fast. “Because it’s raining?”
“Nice try. Burning bushes are waterproof.”
Before I can reply the voice says “Lemme ask you, Paulie. How would you feel if you’d spent six days building a very fancy sailing ship with your Legos and you put in all the rigging and sails and poop decks it’s supposed to have. But then on the seventh day your friend floats the boat in his bathtub where it sinks like a rock.”
“Wow. I’d feel like my friend really harshed my mellow.”
A long pause. I’m getting nervous. And very wet. “Can you stop the rain for a sec?”
“Paulie,” says the voice. “I’m not sure you’re getting the concept. So here’s the deal. For starters, stop standing on people’s necks. Stop breaking hearts. Start chewing with your mouth closed. And BE NICE!
“I am nice. In my own way. Sort of.”
“And tell people to stop sinking my boat. Because it burns my buzzer, if you’re smelling my after shave.”
“Um,” I said thoughtfully. “Can I keep the cuff links?”
Well, Bob, I quit the Pharisees and spent years spreading the “Be nice” message. I did it so many times that even I became nice. I mean, you know, nicer than I was. I’m a Saint now. It’s a good gig. They have a nice shuffleboard table here, a little wobbly, but nice.
So what does it mean to be nice? Start with a smile, even if it’s just gas. Share your lasagna. There’s enough for everyone, trust me. Laugh at other people’s jokes. Pass the salt and pepper every now and then. Think pleasant thoughts that aren’t always about women. Listen to people. With both ears. Pick up the tab for a pizza once in a while.
Avoid bathtubs (if you’re smelling me). Stay out of the fast lane and if you ever ask yourself “What Would Paulie Do?” whatever answer you get, don’t do that.
One last word of advice, Bob. Don’t overdo it. Nobody likes a show off. And remember, to be a saint—and this is what they don’t tell you—you have to be dead.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013, all rights reserved.
I could see it now: “SCRIPTURE FOR DUMMIES” by the Banjo Machine.
My ticket to golden gates.