Normal Bob Seal God Ate My Balls
Part 7, Dec 12th, '04
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God Ate My Balls

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Normal Bob Smith goes to Church!
What's that you say?
You don't believe it?
What for, you ask?
Does that mean the Network Of Prayers won?!?
Where was my Network Of Wishers?!?
Who prevailed?
Perhaps that question has yet to be answered.

The invitation came shortly after the Network Of Prayers Foundation formed a relentless Prayer Crusade against yours truly. Of course I understood that this invitation to attend church was a bad sign, having come so soon after a Prayer vigil in my name. I was clearly being beckoned to the front lines.

To back down was not an option. In fact, I had a duty to my Wishing Warriors to fulfill.

Me at Amy's Church in the East Village, NYC, Dec. 10th, 04
Weeks prior to all of this, even before the very first Wishing Hat was a glimmer in my eye, I had been asked by a sweet, pretty Christian girl, who had enjoyed my site, to attend church with her. She said I could dress as Satan and she would dress as an angel. I never suspected that this could be God working mysteriously behind the scenes preparing for that night of prayers.

Knowing what a squirrelly and unrelenting bunch these Christians could sometimes be I told Amy we'd have to meet before I agreed to any kind of deal. It was just a few days before Thanksgiving so we'd have to to meet up in a week or so after the holiday had passed.

Unbeknownst to me at this very same time, Ma Thompson (a longtime nemesis of Normal Bob Smith) and Eric Johnson (another Complaint Dept. clown-about) formed a Network Of Prayers Coalition to combat me and my innocent, baby-faced cult following.

Thanksgiving week came and went, and everything for me went back to normal. I went and met Amy and after seeing what a bright and honest girl she was agreed to attend church with her upon getting her pastor's permission to do so.

Then, curiously, I received an email from Eric Johnson informing me that there was going to be a Network Of Prayer for me the following Sunday and I'd better watch out! So, as a lark, I established the first ever Network Of Wishers to combat these imbeciles. I asked my readers to construct silly paper hats to decorate and wear so as to preform birthday style wishes to counter this scheduled prayer attack. I should have known better than to let my guard down and treat this multi-prayer offense as though it were just some crazy, superstitious ritual of the meek.

At 8 o'clock that Sunday evening I could be found lying in my bed with my eyes clenched shut, fingers in my ears humming (quite loudly) the theme song to Row-row-row your Boat. An hour later, as the clock struck nine, I thought that Id successfully thwarted off The Prayer Networks attempt to sway me, and I merrily went about my way. I was delighted that I had defeated God once again and that my Network Of Wishers had been victorious in their first ever battle in the outer realms of super-reality.

Sample Wishing Hat

Monday morning, still on a victory high, I got on my computer and went through the previous night's emails as usual, and there it was, Amy's invitation from both her and her pastor to attend a Christian-God-worship service on Friday. A chill went down my spine. Could it be? What are the chances of something like this happening after a prayer vigil in my name? Okay, sure, there's probably been a prayer vigil in my name happening somewhere on planet earth since my Jesus magnets made the news, but still. What are the chances that the following day I'd get an invitation to do some kooky dress-up-as-Satan-&-attend-something-inappropriate spree? All right, that's another bad example. But this was different. "There's something happening," is exactly what I whispered to myself in the mirror as I put on my makeup for church.

I met Amy down the street from her church and she was as cute as ever. She looked like an angel sent straight from the heavens to save my lost soul. My god, it was all happening too quickly. I was being set up! It all seemed to be falling into place for them! Together, Amy and I made what to me felt like a death march towards the church of her Christian God.

What was I doing? What was I trying to prove?!? Why were these people all smiling at me so confidently, welcoming me as if they had already won?! I was Daniel walking into the lion's den! Oh no! It's happening! I'm already making bible references during regular conversation! Who could save me now?!?
"C'mon Wishers! Wish like you've never wished before! I need you now!" I thought to myself, as my own wishing hat lay crumpled on the other side of the East River beside my desk.
"Oh God. What have I gotten myself into this time?"

Welcome to Amy's Church
They were all so kind. No name calling, misspellings, slurred speech or flicks to the back of my ear like the past four years of hate mail had led me to believe them to be. Just polite, friendly and inviting. I was doomed.

The pastor, it seems, already knew who I was. He'd met me a year or so ago at Union Square and had since become familiar with my site, the magnets and my mission. He told me I impressed him with how open, honest and willing to discuss I was. And the uniqueness of what I was doing had struck him as well, being the Atheist Evangelist that I was. The bastard! Compliments are my biggest weakness! I was clearly in big BIG trouble!

Me, the pastor and Amy
Amy and I took our seats and I prepared myself for what would be the first Church service I'd attended in well over a decade.

The first 30 to 40 minutes was strictly song singing. Songs like "God Is Awesome" & "I Can't wait to go to Heaven" had the crowd waving their hands in the air, laughing and crying for no reason that was obvious to me. So I sat quietly and took in the show, both onstage and off.

The girl who was singing was very attractive, in tight jeans, even showing off some midriff when her hands were reaching up into the air, for what I found out later was The Holy Spirit. What sort of church was this? Was I actually being tempted into their faith by its alluring seductresses? What was happening to me? I was feeling something inside me growing, that's for sure. No, that's something else. Nevermind. Can we change the subject?

So, as she sang song's to delight the ear of her God she began to laugh, and cry, grabbing at her stomach and the air. It was as if the Holy Spirit had found its way into her most ticklish of areas and was throwing a party there.

The pastor took the stage and told us all that God was most certainly there this evening filling the room, piercing hearts, and touching souls. I looked around and saw nothing. But to everyone else it was all too obvious. They were still laughing, crying and holding their hands up over their heads grabbing at this Holy Spirit creature.

And everyone says I'm the one who isn't normal.

This evening's service centered around tithing and the responsibility a person with faith has to give their money away. He spoke of being specific with God when asking for things. He told how he was very specific four years ago when he asked God for a BMW, and it was delivered (given to him by a businessman, he told me later). He also spoke of how he'd be giving that BMW away to someone who needed it more the following week.

He told of a time when God appeared regularly in the sky and miracles were not of short supply. Chariots could be seen racing through the clouds and yet, people still did not believe. This was the explanation he gave as to why God does not perform such miracles anymore, because it convinced no one back then so surly it'd get the same reaction today. And even when these miracles did happen today, like speaking in tongues or miracle BMW's people we're just as skeptical as they'd ever been.

Patiently I sat there waiting to see one of these miracles that the Bible-time characters used to ignore. But besides the outpouring of emotion for no reason that I could see, I saw no unexplainable miracles. Then, before I knew it the service ended. No rush of The Spirit through my spine. No gush of emotion. No knees buckling. Just regular, logical, unaffected, normal Bob.

God had disappointed me again. What a sucker He was proving me to be.

Maybe I lack the carefree attitude that Holy Spirits are so drawn to, and because of this I will burn eternally in hell? Maybe I'm too logical, and God steers clear of my type like how psychics steer clear of scientists? Whatever the reason may be I did not repent that evening. There was nothing to repent to, as far as I could tell. Honest!

Afterwards, the pastor and I talked on the sofa for awhile. He asked about my motivation, how I could decipher right from wrong without God, and if I was gay.

Everyone looked so weird to me.
The pastor and I have a meaningful discussion after the sermon.

I questioned his methods of preaching about money, showboating his generous acts of giving, and the general forum of preaching instead of debating when it comes to finding the truth. I told him that I appreciated seeing people gathered together in such a nice and friendly atmosphere (something I miss), but also expressed disappointment that most of everyone's energy was wasted directed to the ceiling.

I told him how I felt that this was one of the worst aspects of this religion, so much energy and emotion wasted towards "God" when there'd be so much more to be gained if those emotions were directed at each other. I told him that even in this warm atmosphere everyone seemed so disconnected from each other and what a shame it is that people are this way.

Both Amy and the pastor expressed much surprise that in all my years I'd never once experienced the unexplainable Glory of God.

So I walked Amy home and headed to the subway by myself. I have to admit though, I had an unfamiliar feeling in me that I was not alone. It was hard to explain. As I sat there on the train I couldn't shake the feeling that there was in fact somebody up above watching my every move with an ever present recording eye. A being who is very much alive. Was this the beginnings of a feeling that they were all speaking of? Is this how it happens? Maybe I am NOT alone and everything I do DOES matter because I am being kept track of for later viewing at some post death playback of my life?!?! Is this what God is? Is that the feeling I've been searching for?!?

Oh wait. It's just this douche bag. Never mind.

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