Warning: this post should be incomprehensible to some, but offensive to just about everyone. I am an equal opportunity offender. It’s been sitting in “drafts” for a month. Wasn’t sure what to do with it, but was pretty sure it should never see the light of day. Then yesterday my mother-in-law lectured me — out of the blue, and for the hundredth time — on just how lucky I am to be part of her magnificent family (I am!), how wonderful her son is (he is!) and that I’d better thank God for him (because, you know, I didn’t choose him, God picked him out for me). So what the hell:
There are two kinds of people in this world: people who have imaginary friends, and people who don’t. Do you have an imaginary friend? No? Would you like mine? Fair warning: she’s a monster.
(Take her. Take her now. I’ll just box her up for you.)
My imaginary friend is crafty, and she doesn’t “do” irony. She can’t draw or spell, but she can knit up a storm. It’s not her fault she’s intellectually challenged; she was made that way. You see, her maker isn’t just a Freethinker, she’s an insomniac; and she’s not just an insomniac, she’s lazy. She wanted someone fun to debate politics and religion with on long, sleepless nights. Someone not-so-smart. Someone whose facebook status didn’t word things like “… the dangers of moral relativism in seeking to dismiss the reality of hell as the consequence of an unrepentant life.”
What’s wrong with that? (Too many prepositions, for starters.)
I’m barely lucid on the subjects of politics and religion, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested. Not everyone can be Adam Lee, or Chris Rodda, or Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. I can’t convince real people not to believe in imaginary history, much less their own imaginary friends — not if they take comfort in them. Not even if they don’t take comfort in them. I don’t have the right… thought process to argue my case, but I do have the right to argue it. When folks says others aren’t qualified to debate the existence of god(s) because they don’t hold a theology degree, I snort, and say they aren’t qualified either, because Jesus never saw a Spinosaurus! So there!
See? Wrong thought process. Fish-believers vs fish-eating dinosaurs. And never the twain shall meet. If only I could have said this.
But I didn’t. And I didn’t want to lose my last remaining Christian and/or Conservative friends over prepositions, over Spinosaurus, over Tea Parties with Russell’s Teapot. Over dinner with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I figured: if I couldn’t / wouldn’t / didn’t-have-the-guts-to confront real people, how about imaginary ones? So I created a different kind of monster. A God-fearing, Ayn Rand-loving stereotype. Because, you know, there aren’t enough of those to go around.
No, I’m not talking about my mother-in-law.
Instead, meet “Koala.” She shows up from time to time in the posts. This is how she pictures herself:
After many sleepless nights, I’ve learned that Koala is more than a ditzy stereotype who can’t tell the difference between her namesake koala and a giant panda. She’s a fleshed-out monster, but she’s slimmer than her picture (the better to slide under the bed). Want to know what she does for a living? She has her own “Rand-y Brand” of hair-brained undergarments — a line of “Penitent Panties” for sinners of all ages. All Rand-y Wear products, including “Thongs of Praise,” are hand-knitted from the finest, hairiest American dryer lint money doesn’t need to buy.
Koala’s company pays homage to the immaculate concept of hair shirts. It also pays minimum wage, and no benefits, to its army of “Knit Pickers.” And while Koala doesn’t “do” irony, the thought of fluffy, spun-dry, high-pube-count thongs adorning the masses’ asses makes my heart swell with pride at the spirit of American enterprise.
It was Koala’s mom who got the “Let Them Wear Lint” idea in church, and thus the idea of a lint-based economy was born. “Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation” shares a wall with the local laundromat, where super-sized machines move the faithful to sing louder during the spin cycle. The idea of using dryer lint as the material for all her knitwear hit her like a “big ol’ beam of lite, rite between the eyes, rite through the netting of her lucky Easter hat.”
Now, you might think that itchy shirts and thongs wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t be best-sellers, even in the imaginary world of under-my-bed, but it’s all in the marketing. Rand-y Wear is not only tax-deductible, it is Almighty flammable. One sinful thought and POOF! No need to wait for the Rapture!
Not surprisingly, most folks buy them as gifts. And what a thoughtful gift, for those whose thoughts are held against them. (By their imaginary friend, by their fellow “perishoners” — and, to be fair, by me.)
Part of Koala’s peculiar marketing strategy is blogging. Thank goodness her “Pubic” Service Announcements aren’t as popular as she’d like — although one post, the unfortunately illustrated “You Can’t Shave a Vagina,” deserved clipping, and certainly got some buzz.
See what happens when I can’t sleep?
But what did I expect? Most of the ideas I get lying down just don’t stand up. Take my imaginary friend…
(Take her. Take her now. I’ll pay the shipping.)