Gimme, gimme, gimmePosted: April 11, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, my brother, his girlfriend, and I took a short trip with Mom through LaSalle Parish. She showed off an estate sitting right off Highway 84 that recently went on the market. It consists of a picturesque two story house, a shop building, and a massive garage. All of that is perched atop a fairly steep hill, which overlooks several acres of oak and pine. It’s quite lovely. I never pry Mom about her finances but I hope she and her husband can acquire it, provided that the price is reasonable.
After taking a look at the property, we drove into Jena and had lunch. We passed by the estate as we drove back to Mom’s home in Whitehall. Mom interrupted her conversation with the rest of us and said a quick prayer out loud, which I will roughly paraphrase as, “Lord, please deliver us this home if it is according to Your will. Amen.”
“Geez, Mom! Isn’t that kind of selfish?” I asked. I was only halfway teasing.
“Hey! I made sure to ask for only something that He will deliver by His will! Besides, our house is tiny and our yard floods every time it rains! It will be nice to have a bigger house and a hill that lets the water run off!”
“But that still seems like a copout,” I retorted. “If I follow your logic, I can pray for anything as long as I drop in the ‘by Your will be done’ disclaimer. Doesn’t that add a lot of clutter to God’s day planner?”
“This sounds like one of your oddball thoughts. I don’t follow you,” Mom sighed.
“Check it out. I’ll give you a slightly more exaggerated example. ‘Dear Lord, please allow me to marry a Playboy Playmate with more curves than Horseshoe Drive and legs longer than the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway. But don’t deliver me just any bubble-headed blonde bimbo. Give me one with brains, personality, and a soul. By Your will be done. Amen.’”
“Okay, that’s just silly,” she muttered.
My brother piped in. “Is it? Maybe there is a girl just like that who’s waiting for Wayne. He’s smart. He’s been around the world. He’s not like most of those cheesy guys who usually marry those broads.”
At this point, I turned around in my seat and told him, “You and I rarely agree on anything, but that is a damn good point. It might be the most salient point you’ve ever made.”
“Thanks!” he gushed.
“You two boys are just silly,” Mom snapped. “I can’t believe you’re making light of this.”
“C’mon, Mom,” I pleaded. “That’s all I know!”
Well, not really. But I figured that wasn’t the time or place to argue about it. And Mom is (somewhat) justified in praying for this deal to come to fruition. Her home is small and the yard does flood every time there’s a heavy rain. It would be nice if they could acquire that big house on 84. I just know that I’d be uneasy about requesting divine intervention when it comes to real estate transactions. Like I noted earlier, on a good day I tend to view God as a deity with a pretty full plate. On a bad day, I feel like we’re an abandoned science project. This planet is chockfull of ugly and selfish people who won’t stop hurting themselves and each other, and we use the flimsiest pretexts to justify our awfulness. Tell me how we’re any nobler than a terrarium that went neglected during Spring Break.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jesus and Buddha and Shakespeare and Einstein and Hulk Hogan and all of that jazz. Nevertheless, most of us stink.
ANYWAY, I do know that I rarely pray for myself these days. Whenever I do, it’s pretty brief. My most fervent praying/begging/bargaining with God has always been for other people, like when my best friend was deployed to Iraq in ’04, which was an absolutely bloody and terrible time over there. Then there were my dealings with a soldier in Iraq last year. He was standing right next to his battle buddy, who was vaporized by a mortar. He looked like he was about to become unhinged, possibly suicidal. I didn’t eat for a week; I was so scared for that kid’s soul. As far as I know, he’s okay now…as much as one can be when you deal that type of horror.
And then there are my recent petitions for my grandfather, which most of y’all are well aware of by now. They’re putting a feeding tube in him today. I’m highly ambivalent about that, but it’s not my call and I’m not fighting the people who made that decision. More than anything, I just want an end to his agony.
Now that’s not to say I haven’t made exceptions. When I first got to Iraq, I prayed for strength to endure whatever came my way. I guess those were answered. And I did last week when I was vomiting with the force and speed of a shotgun blast, and then when I had a nasty blackened funk hanging over me. I’m much better now, so thank you Tiny Baby Jeebus.
Most people are surprised when I tell them that I didn’t do a lot of praying in the bunkers, when I had a scary near-miss with a mortar out in the open, or when I was in a chopper taking incoming fire. It was too late for absolution when those types of things happened.
You never knew when it was coming. If it was your time, then your ticket would get punched JUST. LIKE. THAT. At least that’s what I hoped for. I didn’t want to bleed out while I tried to cram my guts back in. That would have been the worst. But you couldn’t spend every waking minute worrying about it, so I just pushed it to the back of my mind. I honestly spent more time worrying about how KBR would screw us over on a daily basis and if LSU would ever get a competent quarterback than I did worrying about death and damnation.
So I’m not holding my breath waiting for God to answer my latest smartassed prayer request. And besides, I have a general rule of thumb when it comes to meeting hot babes. If she’s an 8.5 or higher, I’m probably not even going to bother. She’s either already taken or she’s heard it all before. And most babes who are considered to be “most beautiful” have no personality or humor whatsoever. They never needed to develop it. Their whole identity and worldview hinges on their physical beauty, which is ephemeral. And most women are already insane for the most part, so reality doesn’t matter to them most of the time. So why in God’s name would I want to deal with some hot neurotic mess?
Tiffany, I think we shared “a moment” at Comic-Con. Have your people contact my people and we’ll do lunch.