Sometimes, when you get your own Christian Radio Program, you will broadcast from studios that have giant metallic, disembodied police heads descending from the ceiling.
You will have to decide whether the giant, metallic, disembodied, descending police head will hinder, or -- as it did for me -- enhance your worship experience as you play another song by Chris Tomlin.
Okay, I'm fixin' to start writing again. I think. I'm not sure how it's going to work, but I really miss it. As I say, I spend a lot of time now with radio listener emails, and, like C.S. Lewis, I want to respond to each corresondent.
Also, like C.S. Lewis, I enjoy a good demolition derby. So, as Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings often did, my church/community/whatever friends and I went to Bithlo, Florida, last night to watch stuff get blowed up.
It was quite a scene when we got there. There was much drinking, smoking, and gambling. Fortunately, the other spectators were okay with it.
And lo, "Flyin'" Jimmy Elvis didst jump his car over one mobile home, landing in another. There ensued a high-speed boat-and-trailer race, barely visible through the particulate debris wafting from the track.
And they did have the first-ever (we're pretty sure) "Motorcycle Demolition Derby." We didn't know how this would actually shake out: How could you do a motorcycle demo derby? Well, turns out, it was exactly like the one with cars, except dumber.
I'd describe it, but I'm still processing.
The yelling P.A. kept cutting out, so we were never sure how to respond to the P.A. guy. "HOW MANY OF YOU ARE READY FOR SOME -- silence -- TONIGHT!!!!???" --and we, as crowd, didn't know how to react "TELL YOU WHAT, THAT LAST CRASH PROVES -- silence -- AND -- silence -- SO LET'S -- silence -- FOR 'EM!"
The P.A. guy told us, before it started, that without soldiers, "WE WOULDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO EAT TURKEY AND WATCH STUFF CRASH HERE OR THE RIGHT TO -- silence -- OF AMERICA." So they solemnly played a solemn song for the soldiers about this guy who's an American soldier. It was called "I'm an American Soldier".
And it was very solemn, but it kept cutting out, so the P.A. guy jumped in and said, "You get the idea." and then a Shriner did a wheelie on a golf cart.
There were thousands there. You can watch it on cable, on a show called "Carpocalypse" and some other show called "Carmaggeddon". I'm not going to pretend I can write the "Chronicles of Carnia", so don't ask.
Q: Any problems finding the ship for the Big Christian Cruise? Did you go to the wrong port?
A: Did I go to the wrong port? That's kind of a strange question. Did I go to the wrong port? Whatever.
Q: Did you go to the wrong port?
A: I don't get why this question is relevant, and --
Q: Did you go to the wrong port?
Q: When did you figure out that it wasn't the right port?
A: When there was no ship there.
Q: You didn't even find out before you left which port the cruise ship was leaving from?
A: I'm not a details guy. I'm up front about that.
Q: How Christian was the Christian cruise?
A: Well, the casino was open, and fully staffed, but no one went in there to gamble. There was a staff person at each table, all night, standing by him or herself. No one in there.
Q: What about drinking?
A: Very little drinking. We were told the bars would be open, but drinking might "confuse people" who see you do it, so don't do it. When Christians behave in ways that are unhealthy, it confuses people.
Q: Did you drink?
A: Can't answer. I don't want to confuse people.
Q: But doesn't maturity often confuse the immature? Shouldn't we welcome confusion if the dissonance yields eventual understanding and wisdom?
A: That's an insightful question. I have no answer for that.
Q: Well, maybe it's good to have a solid witness to avoid confusing people. Cruise ships have hundreds of staff, too, from other countries, who may be confused by seeing Christians using the bar.
A: The staff, it might be noted, weighed an average of 300 lbs less, per person, than the Christian passengers. Every staff person was slim. We passengers were even larger than the usual cruise crowd. I think they might find that confusing.
Q: But that's food. Jesus never said, "Don't eat food." He just told us, "Don't drink alcohol."
A: Yes, I remember that. I heard there would be some huge Christian music fans on board, and there sure were.
Q: Did you play any mini-golf in 100 MPH winds?
A: Funny you should mention that. Yes, yes, I did. The course was atop the ship, and it got stormy. No actual putting necessary. I just set the ball down, and watched it roll uphill. I may be the first-ever golfer, at any level, to score a hole-in-none.
Q; Wow. That sounds like a funny story, but it's really not.
A: I know.
Q: When you got your luggage delivered to your room, was anyone's underwear stuck to it?
A: Why...yes. Freaky. I got my luggage, and some guy's gray underwear was adhered to the outside of my suitcase.
A: I know. It confused me, so he shouldn't have done it.
Q: What did you do?
A: A bellhop-guy said he would take it, but first I wanted a picture with it, so Carolyn took a picture of me with it. Then I turned around and tried to get the bellhop's attention, since he was now facing the other way. I kept saying, "Here's the underwear. Here's the underwear. Excuse me, here's the underwear," and I was holding it out to him. "Here's the underwear." And he turned around, and it was a different guy.
Q: What was your favorite part of the boat?
A: They had a library! I like libraries a lot.
Q: That's neat! I guess the idea that our culture is completely intellectually lazy is defeated by the presence of a library on board! Sure, there were large crowds hovering over the ice-cream machine 24 hours a day, but at least they had a library! Long live the life of the mind!
A: The library was open from 11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Q: So was the whole thing a huge celebration of food?
A: There were some good concerts. "Tobymac" always puts on a good show, and Ayeisha Woods is really talented, among others. But food seemed to be the star, yes. When people weren't eating, they were talking about eating.
Q: What was the last thing you heard while leaving the boat?
A: Well, as we were walking through the hall on the way out, one lady was leaning in a cabin doorway, talking to someone inside the room whom I couldn't see. She was mad, and she said, "I thought you was gonna eat that on the deck."
Q: Was the cruise enjoyable?
A: I love being with my wife, and I get to work with some very, very cool people who were aboard. It's sure a neat job perk to be able to do that.
Q: What about the net affect of being around all that food, and the sight of all those people eating all the time, non-stop?
NO, I'm not going to show my abs on this blog. I resent even having to address this. It's beneath us, folks. What is this, MySpace?
"Chris from Kentucky" is challenging me to post a pic of my abs. (He wrote this in the thread on the new George Barna book. This is a thread that apparently veered somewhat from the new George Barna book.)
Point is,I never said I had ripped abs. This whole thing is out of line, and undignified. It simply doesn't matter whether my abs really are ripped or not, and my cut-from-marble abs are no one's business here.
I don't have to prove anything. I wanted to work on an entry regarding ancient Assyrian cultural hegemony, but nooooo...now I have to talk about my incredible abs. Humiliating.
Does anyone ask Richard John Neuhaus about his abs? Nobody talks about George Will's abs, or Chesterton's abs. Okay, they do go on about Chesterton's abs, but my point is valid. You'll never know whether my crazy-cut abs are ripped or not.
Final analysis? In the Kingdom, one's abs don't matter. Sure, people with lean-muscle-ridden abs are held in high honor in this culture, and maybe we should be, but in Kingdom terms, awesomely-chiseled abs don't make one's ideas "superior" to anyone else's.
So no one need talk about abs here. Not mine, or, conversely, someone whose abs are not off-the-hook jacked. There's room for all of us in this big tent. It's not a priority to me what you think about my abs. I spend time focusing on priorities daily during my Quiet Time, as I pray during my vigorous 1,000 crunch regimen.
So quit it. Seriously. Embarrassing. I'm not going to say whether my ripped abs are ripped. None one's business but mine, except for my awestruck family.
Because there's nothing more fun than forcing people to look at your own photo albums, here's an online version.
I can't force you to look at it. I can't even force myself to think you'd want to. But here it is.
Oh, the places you'll go!