Ahi, Rama

Written by Lord Lansdowne

The other night I was heading home, coming from the video store, and this guy coming from the opposite direction, stops me. After quickly introducing himself to me, he asks me if I knew that Jesus died for my sins. He did? What a sucker! First of all, if I didn't know that he sacrificed himself for the good of humanity (did I call him a sucker yet? Oh, I did), I would by now. I think one of the amazing things about Toronto is that there is always some generous soul, standing in some corner, trying to save mine, eager to remind me of Jeeeee-zus.

Has anyone else noticed that you never see some guy from another religion come up to tell you that Vishnu, Rama or Allah did something special for me, and that I should follow like a sheep? No. It's just those Jesus-flavoured other religions that seem to sprout from the ground and capture a few weak-brained individuals. To make things worse, then there is the Pope saying that gay marriage is, well, gay. These people make it embarrassing to be Roman Catholic at times.

But back to our freak: what got to me the most was the fact that he passed four people ahead of me and decided to ask me. Was there nothing wrong with the previous four? Or perhaps I looked like someone who needed salvation? I checked in the mirror that night and on my face I couldn't see anything that said, "must be saved!" I don't get it.

I believe that my mistake was to look at him as he was walking towards me. He must've thought, "Oh, that poor man needs to be saved! He looks at me in search of a companion! Like a lost sheep searching for his shepherd!" I on the other hand had a more succinct thought formulating in my head, "What the fuck is he looking at?"

So I tell him, that no, I did not know, and honestly I couldn't care, since I was a Communist, and that a true Communist did not believe in such heresy as God over the State.

I was expecting him to pull out a cross and start chanting in Latin, but instead he said "Oh, I see that you work at No Frills!" with the same big smile. It just so happened that I was coming from work and had left with the store's company shirt. I guess the fact that he can read makes him clever. I'm impressed.

"You must know John! Hasn't he talked to you about the ways of the Lord and how he will save us all?"

Obviously this guy wasn't too up-to-date with the events. John was a religious zealot that had the unfortunate faith to work with us at the store. He was the kind of guy that would try to convert you to his God, while claiming that your beliefs were superficial, fake and childish. John hated gay people lots, too, but never could explain why. Because John busted everyone's balls with his religious tantrums, he got beat up a lot, and if not that, locked in the freezer at times for hours. It was refreshing.

I think the stunning thing about John wasn't his conviction, but the inability any of us had to communicate with him. He could not grasp the concept that someone else could think differently and would never agree to disagree because he was right in the first place, how could you disagree? Sometimes I feared that being next to him for too long would've turned me into some brain dead amoeba like him.

One day we were all standing in one aisle checking out this girl and John began giving us a lecture on how fantasizing sexually over a girl was a sin and that we'd be punished. Seriously, dude, fuck right off, please? We decided to all turn gay on John. We'd walk behind him and pinch his ass, walk hands in hands next to him, telling him how cute he was and that his butt was nice and firm. Basically we acted as stereotypical as a homosexual could be. A few weeks of this and John quit gave his two weeks notice. His last comment to us was "God doesn't like queers!" to which we answered "See you in Hell, John!"

He was not amused.Heh heh, ah, God put religious zealots on Earth so we could have a good laugh. So yeah, that was John.

A few days later after being stopped by the religious wanna-be, I had another close encounter of this type. I was coming back from work, minding my own business when I noticed a young woman walking towards me. Walking is a strong word in this case. More like trembling towards me. To put it nicely, she looked like someone who got hit by a bus, didn't do too well in that brain surgery and was a heavy heroin user. I am not exactly charismatic myself, but when people see me they don't automatically arrive to the conclusion that something is majorly fucked up in me.

"Excuse me?" she said.I look at her. She's looking at me. Sort of.I could assume, if I was more gullible, that she was reading my soul for any discrepancies, but it's a safe bet to say that probably her brain was just processing what to do next.

"Did you know that Jesus died for your sins?"

I am beginning to wonder if I should seriously change neighbourhood to one with less religious zealots roaming in the area. This is the second person in this month alone that questioned my faith.

First of all what fucking sins have I committed? I don't even have enough money to buy a gun and go blow someone off, or go into a life of materialistic possessions. The only girls other than my girlfriend that seem to have any interest in me are the ones that a) you honestly don't care about and b) you wouldn't touch them with a ten feet pole, so for sure you can't scream adultery. And lastly, is this the only fucking line you people have? I'd like to get stopped once and hear "Hey, did you know that Jesus' dad was a carpenter?"

But I guess they must be doing something right. I've seen a few party animals that I used to hang out with turn zealot-like on me. While their liver must be grateful, I was stunned more of how gullible they were.

Religion is a guiding light that some people need in order to know what to do. It's like a dog's leash. Without it, some dogs feel lost and don't know what to do and need a good yank. Others know the way home, and stop occasionally to sniff a tree. One thing people fail to understand is to respect other's beliefs. You can still live a perfectly sane and healthy life, being a respectful human being, and still not give a rat's ass of what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. Beside, slacker that I am, and how easily I get bored, why should I even join a religion that limits me? I think I've pissed off one God already, I don't need to join some other cult and piss another one off.