Just a quick note to say I no longer believe in your Flying Spaghetti Monster. In fact, it’s been a long, long time since I believed, years since I stomped my feet to a Pastafarian beat. So, why am I telling you this now?
Because, where I live, there are people telling me that I must believe in Something — or, if I don’t believe, that I’d better shut up about it.
When I was a kid, everyone I knew believed — or so it seemed. They didn’t all believe in exactly the same Monster, though. I knew this, because on Wednesdays, after school, a few of the other kids were driven (off) to learn their lessons on the gospel according to Russell’s Teapot — the first in the triumvirate of monster-based belief systems. The second was, and remains, the Monster Majority — a splintered, bickering group of loosely-affiliated denominations including Fish-and-Chips-ers, Mac-and-Cheese-ers, Burgers-with-Fries-ers, Tuna-Melt-ers and a hundred other “Er”s, plus Pastafarians. The third didn’t come into it, not then. There were no followers of the Invisible Pink Unicorn in sight.
My family, among the few Pastafarians in my home town, were viewed suspiciously by the rest of the Monster Majority. Truth is, my mom wasn’t Pastafarian; she was raised Fish-and-Chips-er, but she had to promise to marinate her kids in His Noodly Sauce, to get my grandmother’s blessing to marry her precious boy. (It happens.) Together, my parents raised five little Meatballs in Sauce, all cradled in the sometimes-comforting, always-sticky, al dente arms of The Noodly One.
When I realized I no longer believed in Carbs with a capital “C”, I was pretty young — pre-teen, anyway — but I knew enough to clam up about it. Just in case I was wrong. Just in case there was a special place in Deep-fried Hell, where little Meatballs boiled in oil for all eternity. Even as I kept mum, I knew that if I was wrong, The Flying Spaghetti Monster knew of my Apastasy and He was cranking up the heat on the Deep Fat Fryer.
All for little old Me(atball).
I went cold turkey, anyway. Low carb. Did I first doubt His Noodly omniscience, his omnipotence, his omnipresence? All of the above? I only know that soon after I cut the Noodly Appendage, I stopped fearing His Starchy Wrath. And started fearing the wrath of man.
So I guess you could say that I do believe in Something. I believe in man — which is to say: I believe we exist. I just don’t always like us.