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Of late, there have been a few dozen personal, soul-baring, soul-searing tales of religious conversion/experience here, and, not wanting to be left out, I have decided to add my own tale to the heaping pile of dkos religiosity.

It all started when I was born.  Emerging from my mother's womb into the bright lights of the delivery room was my first religious experience.  Many people have described near-death experiences as heading down a long tunnel toward an intense, white light.

Well, I found that my birth experience was remarkably similar to that typical near-death experience.

You would think that since the experiences were so analagous, I would have had a "near-birth" experience.  But no.  I was actually born.

Anyway...

(more)

After emerging into this blinding white light, I immediately began speaking in tongues. My parents and the doctor thought it was simply some unusual baby gibberish, but a Haitian nurse recognized it as an obscure Caribbean/African dialect.  

And what I was saying (translated below) was startling...

"On the Thirteenth Day of the Thirteenth Month in the Thirteenth Year, a ball of flame will descend upon Earth and we will all touch the sun."

The Haitian nurse passed out, realizing the meaning of my words.  (Since that day, no one else has been able to figure out what exactly the words meant.  And the Haitian nurse would never speak about those words again.  In fact, during my time in the infant nursery, she would come in nightly and spinkle chicken blood on my forehead while placing chicken bones in the forms of little crosses around my body.)

As I grew up, I had a fairly normal religious life.  My family was Catholic and I attended Catholic school, having the requisite "attempted fondling" by a parish priest (now bounced from the priesthood).

Surprisingly, one day, at age 13, I was followed home from school by a squirrel.  Realizing that this was a sign from God, I immediately built a little home for this squirrel in my room (unbeknownst to my parents).  I began worshipping the squirrel and developed an entire catechism around my squirrel worship that included rites and ceremonies, including making a little crown for the squirrel from aluminum foil and my sister's bead collection.  

This went on for two years until one day my mother discovered my squirrel god in the back of my closet and called an exterminator to remove the creature.  I was at school that day and came home to find my Lord and Savior being dragged down the front steps with a little noose around his neck by a man with boils and warts on his face (a result of working with the deadly chemicals of extermination, no doubt).

Traumatized?  You bet.

My life of faith bounced around as a result of that experience.  I did not return to squirrel worship... or Catholicism, for that matter.  Instead, I went on a soul-searching journey that included Paganism (worhip of various inert objects, including, in my case, a carved "pirate" coconut head that a friend had picked up at a souvenir shop in Florida), Buddhism, Taoism, Soupism (worship of soup -- I was hooked on split pea with ham), Judaism (some things a guy does in a desperate attempt to get laid, though I later wed a different Jewish woman), Sunism (not a good religion for a lily-white Irish guy with a high risk of developing melanoma), Islam, Hinduism, Rastafarianism (can't remmeber a thing from that one), Sleepism (loved that one -- may revisit it one day), and, finally, Bikism (I ride my bike everywhere, totalling a couple of hundred miles a week).

I'm still on a spiritual quest.  Recently, during summer months, I practice Bell's Oberonism, the worship of Kalamazoo Brewing Company's summer brew, Bell's Oberon Ale.  If you love beer, you'd worship this gem, too.

So my religious experience has spanned the globe, so to speak.

I'm looking forward to my next adopted religion.  Not sure what it'll be, but I'm thinking if things keep going the way they are under the current regime, I may start looking into Gettingthefuckouttahereism.  But, then, I couldn't get Bell's Oberon... though I could still ride a bike everywhere.

I hope this diary spurs some deep thought -- some reflection -- for a few folks here.  I know it did for me.

Thank you for your understanding and interest.  And keep in mind that if you find yourself sailing down a long tunnel toward a bright, white light, you may be experiencing rebirth.

Originally posted to Bob Johnson on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:29 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your god-squirrel... (4.00)
    ...had a tin foil hat?:

    "...including making a little crown for the squirrel from aluminum foil..."

    Shades of things to come later in your life?  

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.)

    by boran2 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

  •  Tee-Hee (4.00)

    ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

    by PhillyGal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:34:49 AM PDT

    •  zen judaism (4.00)
      ZEN JUDAISM
        
      • The Tao does not speak.  The Tao does not blame.  The Tao does not take sides.  The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.
      • Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems. What would we talk about?
      • To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: get rid of the motorcycle.  What were you thinking?
      • There is no escaping karma.  In a previous life, you never called,  you never wrote, you never visited.  And whose fault was that?
      • Let your mind be as a floating cloud.   Let your stillness be as the wooded glen.  And sit up straight. You'll never meet the  Buddha with such rounded shoulders.
      • To Find the Buddha, look within.  Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.  Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals.  You might want to see a specialist.
      • Be aware of your body.  Be aware of your perceptions.  Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.
      • The Torah says,"Love thy neighbor as thyself."  The Buddha says there is no "self."  So, maybe you are off the hook.
      • Though only your skin, sinews, and bones remain, though your blood and flesh dry up and wither away, yet shall you meditate and not stir until you have attained full Enlightenment.  But, first, a little nosh

      "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

      by hono lulu on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:40:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More isms (4.00)
      Republicanism: Let's grab as much shit as we can!

      Democratism: Hey that shit ain't fair!

      Liberalism: Everyone's shit smells the same.

      Conservatism: Shitting is forbidden. Hold it in and behave yourself.

      Capitalism: The invisible hands will fill with shit.

      Communism: From each, according to their diet.

      Skepticism: You're all full of shit.

      The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

      by peeder on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:05:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  mormonism (none)
      shit will be revealed

      The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt. - Ronnie Earle, Travis County DA, Texas

      by profmarcus on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:20:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Squirrelism (none)
      I can't find my nuts in all this shit!

      You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

      by imagine on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:23:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You forgot (none)

    "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

    by hono lulu on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:37:38 AM PDT

  •  I'm deeply moved (none)
    by this story of spiritual growth. I too am a seeker, your personal witness and testment has real meaning for me. Especially the squirrel.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:40:56 AM PDT

  •  Thank you (none)
    This was truly funny.

    But is it possible you have watched "Revelations" one time too many in the last week (since it has been run now on NBC, CNBC, TNN, the Food Network, Animal Planet and Speed)?  Sounds like you are starting to see everything in terms of a hidden meaning.

    Please keep us updated on how your quest is going.

  •  Sorry... (none)
    ...I unrecommended this by mistake! ARGHHH!!!

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.)

    by boran2 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:42:50 AM PDT

  •  Try Irfology (4.00)
    Our sole belief is that when you die you float weightless in utter darkess for eternity, with the sound of somebody laughing hysterically right in your ear.

    "The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we." - Kurtz

    by Irfo on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:43:41 AM PDT

  •  You'd laugh your ass off (4.00)
    . . . if you ever heard This Amercian Life's  Squirrel Cop.  See Act 2, which may be available through this link, but may not as much of their content is now for sale.

    Don't tell me you're a Christian; let me figure it out for myself.

    by GOTV on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Hey. (none)
    My father was an exterminator, I grew up around all those chemicals, and I turned out OK!

    Um.  Wait.  Scratch that.  I may not be the best example here.

  •  The Squirrel (none)
    I heard the Squirrel roseth from the dead and now is with all of us.  And he still wears the aluminimum foil crown.

    "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by pontificator on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:47:38 AM PDT

  •  LOL (4.00)
    Squirrel Catechism.  

    And I always knew you were the Anti-Christ, Bob.  

    Thirteenth Month?   Damn that Smarch weather.

    To find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.

    by Delaware Dem on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:47:45 AM PDT

  •  Pootie Worshipping a Squirrel :) (4.00)

    ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

    by PhillyGal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:48:10 AM PDT

  •  The Image (4.00)
    A furry little varmint sitting up on his haunches, his paunchy belly sagging to the ground, a muddy acorn clutched in his itty bitty hands, just resplendent in a beaded aluminum foil crown.  If I were inclined to worship anything at all, that'd have to rate high on the list just for the imagery alone.  

    Deval Patrick for Governor of Massachusetts

    by lightiris on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:49:47 AM PDT

  •  A Nice Squirrel from Heaven (none)
    Many skwerlhuggers believe that, someday, a nice squirrel from Heaven will come to set everything "right." They say these are the final days before Skwerlaggedon. Thus, we must embrace Orthodox Skwerlhuggery and the false promises of squirrel world domination...

    But as one Patriot suggested, if there are bushytails in Heaven, it's because angels have to eat, too.

    Also see Crackin' Social Security's Nut

  •  Aha, the bunny satire! (none)
    My current observations include:

    Browniesm-The worship of triple chocolate brownies.

    Frenchbreadology and Brieism- The combining of two faiths with the ceremonial partaking of triple brie cheese spread upon on warmed French bread with a nice red wine on the side. Grapes optional.

    Yellattheannoyingparrotism - Curse words flung at the annoying Parrot God for being annoying.

    DailyKosology - Although my family proclaims as a cult. They talk of deprograming me.

    You are a brave man, Bob Johnson. Well-rounded, too.

  •  How about following Patty Smith's advice-- (4.00)
    I'm no Suffi, but I'll give it a whirl.

    The paranoids are after me.

    by hoosierspud on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:53:50 AM PDT

  •  The squirrel will come again (4.00)
    which should come as no surprise. The little bastards breed like rabbits. i suspect there may also be some rapture involved, but you'd have to ask the squirrel about that.

    jesus built my hotrod.

    by bopes on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:55:36 AM PDT

  •  Bob, if you had only (4.00)
    given the exterminator who seized and defiled your loard and saviour a swift kick in the nuts, we would all have been spared...

    TOM DELAY

    ...who's now busy exterminating everyone else's loard and saviour.

    (a lovely allegory btw...just brill)

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 11:56:59 AM PDT

  •  I think we know the exterminator's identity (none)
  •  I don't worship the same squirrel you do! (4.00)
    Who are you to tell me to worship your squirrel?

    Hell, I don't even believe in squirrels. There is no way My God would put a fluffy tail on a rat!

    Evolve That Bob!

    I was with my daughter this last fall in a park. She took a picture of a squirrel near my foot. Seconds after the picture: it ran up my leg, jumped at my hand, did this amazing nija squirrel move and while it was upside down, in mid-air, it scratched my hand about 576 times with the "paws of lightening" kung fu style.

    And what did my daughter do? Laughed of course.

    I got no respect for squirrels.

    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. - Harlan Ellison

    by SeattleLiberal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:09:09 PM PDT

    •  That is (none)
      n-i-n-j-a.

      The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. - Harlan Ellison

      by SeattleLiberal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:10:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been typified as a Squirrel Extremist (4.00)
      It's because I follow the exploits of Twisty the waterskiing squirrel and not Tufty , who is more moderate.

      I think the confusion comes from Twisty being involved in extreme sports. However that doesn't make me an extremist or even mildly nuts.

      This machine fights fascism - motto on Woody Guthrie's guitar

      by Peanut on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:31:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps you can help me with this (none)
        Why is it that on slow news days local stations always drag out footage of a water skiing squirrel? And then all of the talking heads sigh like it is the most adorable thing they have ever seen - even if they showed the same footage the day before.

        This happens way too much for me to believe there is not some dastardly plot behind all of it.

        May be it is the second coming of Bob's squirrel.

        The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. - Harlan Ellison

        by SeattleLiberal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:40:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CNN once LED with waterskiing squirrel footage (4.00)
          I shit you not. It wasn't even a slow news day.

          There were fresh developments in the War in Iraq, the hunt for bin Laden, disappointing economy and job news, Bush approval ratings dropping like a stone ...

          DOH! Now I know why they led with the squirrel. When in doubt, talk about religion.

          This machine fights fascism - motto on Woody Guthrie's guitar

          by Peanut on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:54:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Overheard in Prospect Park (none)
      A woman was walking with her 5-year-old son in Prospect Park, Brooklyn when the son saw a squirrel and happily exclaimed, "Look Mommy, a rat!"

      Ain't it wonderful when children worship nature?

      •  Another NYC squirrel story (none)
        That reminds me of the time I was in NYC with a friend, in a small park. We were sitting on a bench, watching three squirrels not far from us. After a while, one of us said, "What's up with their tails? Were they in an accident or something?"

        Then the other said "RATS! They're RATS!" and we fled. I've never looked at cute little squirrels the same way since that fateful day in NYC.

  •  mistur jonsin (4.00)
    it is not fayr for u 2 not let rex chays skwerls. eevin if u had a skwerl god wen u wur a pupy. wat if u wurshipt a kat. wud u not let rex chays them catz? if rex had a shooo god iz it ohkay 4 him 2 byt yor aynkl if u put a shooo on? no. u shud let rex chays skwerls and catz but no skunks. chayseen skwerls and catz iz fun. rex did not say 4 me 2 ryt this. hee haznt bin on lyn at al. did u chanj yor paswerd? that suks. jet, kalbrayth rojrs dog.
  •  I'm available (4.00)
    for worship. :P

    Someday, the people who know how to use computers will rule over those who don't. And they will have a special name for us: Secretaries. - Dilbert

    by Frankenoid on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:28:24 PM PDT

  •  Squirrel is a jealous god (4.00)
    There I was in the little park watching the children play when lo, Squirrel appeared out of a burning BBQ, and he was pissed. I hastened to prostrate myself before him, but allowed mine eyes to momentarily stray in the direction of a Canada goose. I guess that was the last straw.

    Squirrel froze me with his awful stare and took advantage of my helplessness to direct a large stone missle at the most vulnerable part of my person. The pain was indescribable. I thought I might be having a near death experience. Writhing still, I beseeched Squirrel to prophesy as to what would befall me now.

    A message appeared in burning briquets:

    "The Rupture is coming."

  •  Your Lord and Master (none)
    Returned over the winter and took up residence in my attic. Scritch-scratch, scritch-scratch every freaking night, all winter long. I'd lay in bed wishing the bastard dead.

    Hopefully, Bob, he has found his way back to your closet (or attic), because if he returns to my home, I cannot vouch for his safety or the safety of his nuts.

    Hostage smiles on presidents, freedom scribbled in the subway. It's like night and day. - Joni Mitchell

    by jazzlover on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:33:21 PM PDT

    •  Where's cousin Eddie? (none)
      He eats these things.

      Catherine: Not anymore Clark, he found out they're high in cholesterol.

      Or something like that.

      "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

      by mrboma on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  His lord and master keeps reappearing (none)
      in our garden and eating our corn and sunflowers. We keep dispatching him back to the other side with the Holy Pellet Gun.
  •  Thanks for the laughs, I needed... (4.00)
    ...them this morning.

    My cats have never let me forget that they were gods in ancient Egypt. Just this morning I stepped on a fur ball in the dark, and came back to bed to find my pillow occupied by the former owner of said furball. Then I got online and every time I got up said god/cat parked himself on my chair. Finally in revenge for being moved, he went and pooped in the tub.

    Much like Jehovah, he's a jealous god...at least where pillow and chairs are involved.

    -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

    by Eleftheria on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:36:54 PM PDT

    •  I too have served the cat-god (none)
      from whom I have learned humility and forebearance (spelling not being a strong point).  And to cover the yarn well.
      •  Once I was mending a nightgown... (4.00)
        ...for my mother, a piece of purple lace about 12 inches long had come loose so I took it all off to sew it back on better. The phone rang and when I came back from answering it I could not find the lace ANYWHERE. I looked at my cat who was sitting nearby, but thought, Nah, he couldn't eat that much lace. But I figured he'd been playing with it and hid it somewhere, so I just went out and bought more lace.

        A day later, he urped a furball in which there was a foot of purple lace. He was none the worse for wear.

        They are amazing creatures. The older I get, the more I prefer them to humans!

        -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

        by Eleftheria on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:00:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A fellow slave to cats (none)
        Our eldest, who is in somewhat fragile health, earned himself some extra attention this morning by, first, peeing on the bed (including my pillow), and second, peeing on the bathroom door. And still we love him so.

        I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

        by Sandia Blanca on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:15:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It must be love, (none)
          because if I had a cat that did that it would soon be an outdoor cat.  
        •  How old is he? (none)
          My 16 year old peed once and pooped once on my pillow last month.

          I thought it was an editorial comment though as both times I had run out of food and gone out to the store, and he made his 'comment' while I was gone.

          Now I have to spritz my bedspread with aromatherapy citrus oil each time I go out so I don't come back and find another 'comment' ;).

          -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

          by Eleftheria on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 07:49:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  17-plus, and just too sweet to stay mad at (none)
            This cat has had "issues" ever since he was a tiny little kitten, so we've just learned to expect very little from him in the way of good behavior. But he is sweet beyond compare-- kind of like a pissy little idiot savant.

            I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

            by Sandia Blanca on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:12:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had one like that. (none)
              From the time he was little he only hit the box often enough to be utterly random, and sometimes he'd stand IN the box but his dupa would hang out and his business would decorate the side or the floor.

              But he was a magnificent cat and ten years later I still miss him.

              Give your old sweetie a hug for me and my Manx.

              -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

              by Eleftheria on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 08:57:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Can't believe no one has brought up (4.00)
    Foamy The Squirrel -- my son worship's him (and I can't believe he gets away with wearing the "soon you will feel the fury of my nuts" t-shirt to middle school; they so touchy about the vaguest reference to genitals or violence).

    Someday, the people who know how to use computers will rule over those who don't. And they will have a special name for us: Secretaries. - Dilbert

    by Frankenoid on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:39:00 PM PDT

    •  Great (4.00)
      Now I am going to spend the next few hours of my life watching a squirrel respond to fan mail.

      I hadn't seen this before. Thanks. I think.

      The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. - Harlan Ellison

      by SeattleLiberal on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:47:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most Foamy episodes (none)
        are best left to the middles school set (gawd, I've gotten old).  But I really liked the haunted toaster....

        Someday, the people who know how to use computers will rule over those who don't. And they will have a special name for us: Secretaries. - Dilbert

        by Frankenoid on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:37:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please master, tell me if I have seen the (none)
    anti-squirrel.  There were two squirrels chasing up a tree and one caught the other and then bit off his nuts!!!
  •  Well (none)
    since the squirrel didn't return by the 3rd day, it's probably just as well that you moved on.

    But, if you keep a few bucks in your pocket, I'm sure Bell's Oberon Ale will always be there for you.

  •  13th day of 13th month (none)
    Well, the word month is derived from the word moon. A moon cycle is approx. 28 days. There are 13 moon cycles in a year (365 divided by 28 equals 13 remainder 1- which is why we should have 13 months and not 12). Of course, this math only works out if the first moon cycle begins on January first or second (or third in a leap year). But what is the first day of a moon cycle? Is it the new moon or full moon? Or somewhere in between? If we can figure all this out, we may be able to pinpoint your 13th day of the 13th month.

    "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

    by mrboma on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:49:50 PM PDT

  •  Fishing Is Good For The Soul... (none)
    so, you might try squirrel fishing.

    Kinda brings you back full circle.

    "I could be cold. I could be ruthless. You know I could be just like you." -Three Days Grace

    by prophet on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 12:50:41 PM PDT

  •  There Is One True God (4.00)
    and Rocky the Flying Squirrel is his name.  Thou shalt not place any other squirrel before him.

    And Bullwinkle is his prophet.

  •  Heathen. (4.00)
    You blaspheme.  For there is only one God, and he is a prairie dog.

    ...Or maybe he's a squirrel, OK, but he's a BETTER squirrel than your squirrel.

    (Hi-larious, thank you.)

  •  Huh (none)
    What the hell happens to this place on the weekends?  There seems to be a disproportionately high number of hand-wringing, soul-searching, and in-your-face-satire diaries on Mondays.

    "I feel your scorn and I accept it." - Jon Stewart

    by starkness on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:06:27 PM PDT

  •  squirrels (4.00)
    I admit it. I once worshipped a great squirrel and laid myself in front of the altar of Rocky. But then I found my real god until that very late Saturday nite of surfing when I discovered his true character. (Not safe for work). After that horrifying experience, I promptly moved to a cave in South Dakota and pondered the stalagmites for many years. Upon emerging, I had a really, really long shower, got a hair cut, and never watched cartoons again.

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:07:46 PM PDT

    •  I adored Rocky so much I forgot (none)
      he was a squirrel - a flying squirrel. Would that be like an angel squirrel?

      "My wings are like a shield of steel, nothing can harm me." Rocky, the Flying Squirrel

      To thine own self be true - W.S.

      by Agathena on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:34:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I was a kid... (4.00)
    in our nice secular public school, our teacher asked us to write a paper on our personal experiences with God.

    So, I wrote a story about how my bunny rabbit got hit by a car, and I was so sad that my bunny was dying that I prayed and prayed and sure enough that bunny rabbit got better.

    And ever since then, I have been a believer in Hare Krishna.

    Well, the teacher didn't like that so much and gave me a D.

    And I didn't like that so much and took it to the principal and told him my father was an attorney.

    And, wouldn't you know it, my grade got reversed, and my teacher got disciplined, and that shit just didn't happen anymore at that school.

    Of course this was years and years ago, and who knows if there's some other crazy out there wanting to separate the believers from the nons, but, at least I did my part.

    Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

    by ultrageek on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:08:17 PM PDT

  •  Rather than Gettingthefuckouttahereism... (4.00)
    you could try Bell's Oblivionism. In which case the "sailing down a long tunnel toward a bright, white light" would be experiencing re-consciousness.

    You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

    by imagine on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:18:41 PM PDT

  •  that doesn't happen to everyone? (4.00)
  •  I found other disciples (4.00)
    at Scary Squirrel World.

    They might worship the Squirrel of Justice.


  •  Damn (none)
    That's some funny shit. Nice.
  •  New bumper sticker (none)
    Keep the faith, pickle the squirrel.

    We are all neutrons, looking for a nucleus to disrupt.

    by NeutralObserver on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:33:53 PM PDT

  •  Bright eyed... (4.00)
    This is all too Bushy for me

    If our brains were simple enough to understand, we'd be too stupid to know what a brain was.

    by sven triloqvist on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:47:13 PM PDT

  •  Casualties from this post (none)
    1 Keyboard - doused in coffee from a spit take

    "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

    by Thor Heyerdahl on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 01:50:29 PM PDT

  •  The only part that doesn't ring true (none)
    is that the priest who fondled you lost his job.

    None of my brethren who may have found themselves in similar positions have ever endured such a punishment. After all, children are God's vessels and by brothers and I are God's messengers (sans brown outfits with patches and hats).

    Incidentally, what was the size of your settlement? We're kicking a few dollar figures around regarding a pending case, and would welcome any outside guidance for those who've been through it already.

    •  Actually, that part is true. (none)
      It took decades, but I finally embarrassed the Church enough that the guy resigned the priesthood.  He had multiple cases in his files.

      I din't file suit.  I just put my name on a quote in the paper so he knew where it was coming from.

      The asshole.  He better hope he never runs into me on the street.

  •  My Coon Cat (none)
    was obviously an agnostic; all we ever found in the yard were bushy squirrel tails!  He thought squirrels were nature's nachos.

    Bob: I enjoyed your anti-establistarian theological revelations of squirrliness; made me squirrelm a little but also to admit we are all nuts here!

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:14:16 PM PDT

  •  Squirrel Cop (none)
    This American Life show with Squirrel Cop on it.  I don't know how to link directly to the piece but if you open the audio, it's about halfway through.  Well worth a listen.  

    Squirrel Cop

    Not to disparage your religion in any way, Bob.   Just any talk of squirrels reminds me of Squirrel Cop.   It could have been much worse than just the exterminator.  

    Best of Luck with all that,  

    just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming

    by confusedintexas on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:18:42 PM PDT

  •  Chip-monk (none)
    I once tried living the life of a chipmonk, but it was too hard for me.

    Say, isn't it ironic that the exterminator of your
    squirrel is now being worshiped himself, but could be in hell by 2006?

  •  This has been an experience in deep thought (none)
    Would Squirrelism be a sect of Animism?

    Does your present religion require you to wear things or have facial hair or shaven head or ear rings?

    I didn't know I had a religion until I read your diary which has been an epiphany for me. I am a Bikist. I love my bike. It is a perfect vehicle and I preach about it whenever I can.

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:25:07 PM PDT

  •  Sectarian fighting (the Squirrel Troubles) in UK (none)
    This has been going on over a hundred years. Why can't we all just get a nut?

    The battle between Red Squirrels and Grey Squirrels continues at Borders estate [Duke of Buccleuch's Bowhill estate, near Selkirk].

    HOPES for the survival of the red squirrel in Scotland are rising after an increase in sightings at a Borders estate for the first time in five years. Its numbers have been declining for nearly a century due to the spread of its larger grey cousin ...

    But a dramatic rise in sightings at the Duke of Buccleuch's Bowhill estate, near Selkirk, has given conservationists the first sign the endangered rodents are fighting back. [...]

    The grey squirrel has been listed in the top 100 worst alien invasion species by the World Conservation Union. [...] (04/13/05 ARROW The Herald)

    This machine fights fascism - motto on Woody Guthrie's guitar

    by Peanut on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

  •  who needs religion when you're a superhero? (4.00)
  •  Brotherly Love (4.00)
    This is how gray squirrels got started:

  •  Squirrel worshipping... (none)
    A fine long-standing tradition...

    Though I have to admit, I prefer my small furry tailed gods and goddesses alive...and outside for all to worship...

    Keep it up <g>

  •  Thanks, Bob (none)
    Now I see the light. Think I'll have a beer.

    Subvert the dominant paradigm--play accordion.

    by millennialpaine on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:18:54 PM PDT

  •  ISOMism... (none)
    going on right now in my temple...goes nicely with McNiel Stoutism...

    "You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan/ Designed and directed by his red right hand" Nick Cave.

    by Mxwll on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:43:56 PM PDT

  •  Of course (none)
    there's always squirrelfishing

    "If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction." George Orwell

    by justme on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 03:58:43 PM PDT

  •  The week before 9/11 (4.00)
    two newborn baby squirrels got knocked out of their nest by a marauder/criminal squirrel in my side yard.  One quickly died, but the other survived against all odds (it was quite a fall!), and I named him Jackie, then took care of him for a couple of months until he was old enough to let go.  When 9/11 happened, he was my little beacon of hope, a constant reminder that life persists in spite of great tragedy--I would listen to all the awful news on NPR while feeding him his kitten milk from a little eye-dropper.  I didn't realize what a symbol (read: object of worship) he had become until he was about 6 weeks old, when he began keeling over on a regular basis to have really dramatic grand mal seizures--as he lay there seizing away that first time I suddenly realized I had placed my faith in a somewhat dubious (read: graven)
    image--my little metaphor for hope was not doing well.  Anyway, many, many seizures later Jackie was big enough to let go, and during a warm spell in late November I let him go in the back yard.  He did a little ritual dance, flashed his tail, chirped goodbye, and then climbed up into a little tree, swaying away up there in the sunshine, fat and happy.  I still miss him--and will always worship The Squirrel.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 04:23:14 PM PDT

  •  Who is the Patron Saint (4.00)
    of Immaculate Self-Absorption?  I ask as several individuals today were clearly honoring this saint's legacy when I was at grocery store, and in line at the Post Office.  Not being so-well-versed in the canon of modern-day saints, I am now quite sure I crossed a tolerance boundary especially at the grocery store.

    I made the unforgiveable error of suggesting to these individuals expressing their devotion to this protector of the heavenly-bestowed right to live a life fully-informed by Immaculate Self-Absorption that "15 Items or Less" was neither a suggestion nor did it speak to items in the aggregate (three frozen TV dinners and 2 pints of ice cream being 5 items, not 1 "because they are all frozen foods, that makes them 1 item").

    Now I feel such remorse.  My insensitivity could have been attributed to my mercury in retrograde, because it was at some point and will be again, but even that is no explanation for my behavior at the Post Office.  Had I but known that the person in-front of me -- who wasn't there for the 35 minutes I was standing in the long line (just so I could get a package with a diabetes lancet kit) -- had reserved their place, I would not have been so unwavering in my stance that he needed to wait in lne, just like everyone else.  My own myopia in not seeing what was so plainly the truth when this other worshipper said "yeah but dude, I just need to get this one letter sent so it's not like I'm going to take all that much time so just hang tight."

    What finally broke through my denial (even as incident 2 was unfolding I still had no inkling that I clearly was out of synch with these folks' religious calendar) was that sound.  I can't explain it well, but it goes sounds like they are articulating the word "hhhhuh" only more nasal and righteously indignant.  This ejaculation I am ceertain is in the same family as the snicker sound when one clacks their tongue off the roof of their mouth and at the same time crinkles up and furls the eye and brow of only one side of the face.  The latter ejaculation is a common one for these worshippers; the former I am certain is reserved for special religious days.  

    And as I said, when I was subject to this guy's ejaculation at the Post Offce, that's when it all became clear to me.  His ejaculation opened my eys.  There I was being the veritable shoe stepping on the veritable crack; my veritable entitlement breaking someone's veritable back.  And I was ashamed.  But my obvious lack of awareness as to the religious holiday's namesake kept me from apologizing.  Double-shamed is a rotten way to begin a week.

    But for the life of me I can not remember who is the Patron Saint of Immaculate Self-Absorption.  But I digress.

    "i have forgotten your face since i never hear your voice." (my mom)

    by dadanation on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:08:03 PM PDT

  •  bikism is the shit (none)
    i wish it would befall all of society to keep the cars off the road.  two lane highways would quickly become ten, and we wouldn't have to take roundabout ways everywhere.  i guess semis can have the left lane on the interstates for deliveries, but they can't go over 45 because it'd be too hazardous what with them all in the same lane.  on second thought, how about producing things locally?  how about that for a while?  the products getting replenished the most are likely the products we need the least (i'm thinking fast/junk food, soda, booze, gasoline, consumer goods from china).

    "It says in the Bible that the morning-after pill is wrong. I believe the passage is Pharmaceuticals 3:16." -Adrian Roy, Systems Analyst

    by mediaprisoner on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:12:57 PM PDT

  •  Come on, Bob! (none)
    The term is steaming heap, not "heaping pile."  I thought everybody knew that.

    I subscribe to the teachings of The Reverend Deuteronomy Fairchild and his Church of The Gooey Death and Discount House.  

    The great thing about his church is that it makes the Fundies seem almost normal.  Almost.

    There's power and there's money...and then there's everybody else.

    by redcloud54 on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 05:38:32 PM PDT

  •  </joke> (4.00)
    Surprisingly, one day, at age 13, I was followed home from school by a squirrel.  

    What's so surprising about that?  Most squirrels know a nut when they see one...... ;-)

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 06:24:24 PM PDT

  •  The fearless squirrels of LA Valley College (none)
    I'm finishing up my classes at LA Valley College in preparation to transfer to Woodbury University in Burbank. The school has a colony of very tame, almost brazen squirrels. Only cats and the golf-cart vehicles the maintenance guys drive faze them in the slightest. If they sense you have food on you, they will sit up on their haunches and literally beg for it.

    I admit it: I'm guilty of encouraging them. As a snack, I tend to get trail mix, and I share it with the squirrels. I have even been able to hand-feed them almonds or walnuts or anything else sizeable enough to keep me at safe distance from their mighty incisors.

    I am not the only one inspired by our bright-eyed and bushy-tailed schoolmates. Tiffany Farmakis, the LA Valley Star's editorial cartoonist, has paid tribute to the fearless squirrels of LAVC in her strip "Fight Like A Squirrel." A superhero squirrel and his female sidekick fight crime and get into trouble. Really, it's better than it sounds...

    \

    Welcome to Planet Baka. Enjoy your stay.

    by MamasGun on Mon Apr 18, 2005 at 06:46:27 PM PDT

  •  Okay you pervs (none)
    I damn you all to hell and am going to bed.

    Thanks for the best laughs of my day!

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