Episode 3: “Night Terrors”

“By night, an atheist half believes in God.”

–Edward Young, Night Thoughts

PREVIOUSLY ON “SUICIDE HOTLINE FOR DEPRESSED PIGS”:

God lives in a giant mushroom which my pet pig told me to destroy.

…AND NOW, THE THRILLING CONTINUATION!

I must say I’m a tad miffed at my pet pig, Julia The Pig. I know, I know — she had only the best of intentions when she instructed me to thwack apart God’s old house.

God’s former place of residence, for those of you just tuning in, *used to be* the world’s largest truffle. (These days, it’s more like two halves of what used to be the world’s largest truffle!) God’s new place of residence is, apparently, going to be… well, here’s a transcript of what went down immediately after I destroyed God’s quaint little mushroom-house:

God: [surveying the wreck of his erstwhile home] Oh my gosh, what a frightful mess!

Me: Oh, um, right, yeah, well, uh, sorry about that.

[Julia, too, conveyed her regret by means of a low, humble bow — one hoof extended daintily forward, as is the received custom among pigs — and a pair of eyebrows knit into deep, noble furrows of the most dignified appearance.]

God: My, my, but this simply won’t do — my goodness, no! But this shan’t do at all. My, my, but where am I to sleep tonight, I wonder?!?!?

Me: Oh, well, uh, so, like, don’t you have, like, friends and/or family you could stay with?

God: [sassily] Do I look like someone who has friends and/or family I could stay with?

To be honest, what He looked like was someone whose friends and/or family would consist of a plucky gang of cute, helpful, friendly forest-critters or maybe a family of woodland elves that spend their days baking gingerbread and singing about how nice it is to live in a tree instead of a house like normal people. But I felt that this might have been too “forward” a thing to say, so…

Me: [Not knowing what else to say, damn me to hell!!!] Well, I’m sure someone will be willing to take you in, God…

[Here God shifted his coy little eyes in my direction, as if playfully teasing my reluctance to accept His Salvation into my heart and His Doughy Little Body into my home.]

Suddenly realizing the great danger I was in, I waffled hard — like a politician at a midnight pancake fundraiser breakfast.

“…You know, God, we’d just love to have you over sometime,” I said. “Maybe sometime next week? You could come over, Julia’ll whip up a batch of her famous baba ghanoush, we’ll knock back a couple-a brewsk’s, maybe play a few rounds of Snatch, it’ll be a blast! Hey, You could even make a some cinnamon-rolls or something, we could have them for dessert!” (I felt certain that this appeal to God’s almost obsessive interest in the science and art of pastry-making would be sure to tickle His divine Fancy.)

But God would have none of it. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure the faux pas was suggesting to God that He make cinnamon-rolls; as I later learned from a former colleague of mine, cinnamon-rolls are considered, among the cognoscenti, to be roughly the pastry equivalent of wearing brown-paisley socks with black Velcro sandals. In other words, good enough for me, a lousy, worthless faggot, but not good enough for God.

Cinnamon-rolls?” God said condescendingly, as if I had just suggested He serve day-old sloppy joe’s to the Grand-High Bishkek of Samarkand. “Talk about pedestriansville!!”

Me: Oh, well, listen, God, if you’re not down for it–

God: [raising his hands in the “whoa, man, don’t blame me!” gesture] Nooooo-ho-ho-ho, far be it from me to turn down such a generous offer!

Me: But we didn’t–

God: [with *JAZZ-HANDS*] In fact, I will see your offer of dinner and raise you accommodations for the night. We can go Dutch!

Me: Yeah, so, uh, listen, er… Your, uh… Your Honor? [Somehow “Your Majesty” just didn’t feel right]

God: “God” will do just fine, thank you. Now let us be off! Where’s the limousine?

Me: Uh… we don’t have a car.

God: [Looking disappointed] Ah, I see… well then! I suppose we’ll just have to bum a ride off of Madame le Pig [this lattermost word He pronounced “PEEZH”] over there.

Julia scowl up at me as if to say, “Nuh-uh, Chaalie! Ain’t no way, ain’t no how this pig’s gonna play rickshaw to a lawn-gnome who don’t even know about ‘goin’ Dutch,’ so you can just take that idea and place it where the sun don’t shine!

I scrambled desperately for one last gambit to avoid taking responsibility for God’s newly troubling homelessness.

Me: You know, God, actually, well, unfortunately we don’t really have the space to put you up for the night — Julia and I have to share a bed as is…

God, however, was not deterred by the necessity of having to share a bed.

FLASH-FORWARD TO last night, which I spent fitfully trying to get some sleep with Julia the Pig snoring loudly on one side of me and God The Father talking loudly in his sleep on the other.

That’s right: God talks in his sleep. And what, precisely, issued forth from the Font of Wisdom? Well, I hate to put words in the mouth of Illius qui vos omnes servabit, but it sounded sorta like, “…When making a shortcrust pastry, care must be taken to blend the fat and flour thoroughly before adding any liquid… zzzz…”

What God said in his sleep didn’t make a lot of sense to me (and I continue to harbor lingering suspicions that God’s dreams may have been plagiarized wholesale from Wikipedia, “The Online Encyclopedia”), but I suppose someone must surely be interested in what He has to say, even if it’s just the Mormons, and even if He says it in His sleep with a rivulet of saliva trickling innocently from His slumbering pie-hole.

Contributing to my displeasure was the fact that God’s cute little hooves are as piercingly cold as a brace of frigid witch-teats, and that He seems to enjoy nothing so much as placing said extremities right on my leg in the middle of the night.

Yeeow!

In fact, it was upon being subjected to just such an unexpected exposure to said chilly little hind-hooves that I was rudely awoken last night.

YEEOW!” I ejaculated, ripped from the warm, hazy dreaminess of Slumberity and pulled, figuratively kicking and screaming, into the harsh, bitter bleakness of Awakenhood.

I BESEECH THEE, MRS. WILBERFORCE — OH GOD, NO, NOT THE CLAMPS!” screamed God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient and the Omnipresent. “SLAY ME NOT, I BEG OF THEE, FAIR MISTRESS!!!

Talk about a strange alarm to wake up to!

And the alarm was set to 3:51am!!!!

It was a few bewildered moments before I realized that God was sleep-screaming. Something about the idea of God the Creator having nightmares in which He is being tortured and killed by some lady named Mrs. Wilberforce struck me as a bit unsettling, so I nudged Julia The Pig.

Hey, wake up,” I whispered to her, “I think God’s having a nightmare.”

She startled awake mid-snore. She rolled over to face me, highly displeasured, and looked at me with a grogged-out, annoyed expression as if to say, If there ain’t a plate of bacon and eggs and a hot cuppa joe to go along with the awakening you just committed, den der goan’ beh sum grayv reppakushunz, Chaaleh!

I recounted to her what I had heard God say in his sleep — mainly what He had said about being terrified by a mysterious female entity by the name of “Wilberforce,” but also the fact that there is a very particular way that ingredients for a pie crust must be assembled, which topic also took up a great deal of God’s sleepy-time monologue.

This story spooked Julia somethin’ turrable (which is funny, because she’s not all that religious), and she made the brilliancy of a suggestion that we sneak into the kitchen and polish off the last of our good gin (which, frankly stated, is not that much better than our bad gin) “to take the edge off-a Fear Itself, Chaalie!” To this suggestion I immediately and heartily assented, and Julia and I spent the second half of last night getting schwasty-faced and discussing what we were going to do about the pudgy little sleep-talker currently hogging [oh, sorry, JTP: “monopolizing”] the covers in our bed.

Now, in a “situational comedy,” this kind of whack-a-doo mixed-up mayhem n’ shenaniganry would most likely lead to hilarity ensuing. This was not a “situational comedy,” however. This was “Real Life,” and as such all that ensued — or should I say “accrued” — was a massive amount of sleep-debt.

So I was not in rare-form the next day when I went to apply for a job at a nearby Wendy’s. Not exactly my dream-job, I admit, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I am an ugly, bitter, depressed loser without much in the way of job-prospects. But “bills is bills,” as they say, and, contrary to what you may have been told by people who lie all the time, bills do not pay for themselves; as such, I was left with little alternative but to see if I couldn’t get myself “gainfully employed”…

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