Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Treatise on the True Story of December 25th

Over the years, traditions and holidays evolve. Even religious ones that are organized by people dead set against evolution and everything it stands for – they evolve too. When people are asked what “the true meaning of Christmas” is these days, respondents often focus too hard on trying to remember the details, like whether Scrooge owned the inn that turned Mary away, or the one that let her stay in the stable. Many worry themselves trying to remember which gift each wise man brought, and forget the real message, which is that giving expensive presents to a newborn is guaranteed to spoil him.

Some people lose sight of the bigger picture while watching straight-to-DVD movies, and forget all about treatises.

However, there is an altogether different message associated with December 25th, which predates the Christmas story, and even the film A Christmas Story. Arguably the event is all the more important as it actually happened on December 25th, unlike subsequent events which are wrongly and inexplicably commemorated on that day.

To Frodologists, December 25th is Fellowship Day. It commemorates that day when Frodo and his eight companions set off from Rivendell to destroy the Ring and deliver Middle Earth from evil. There are, I think, four lessons which can be drawn from the bold step taken on December 25th.

First, the mission to Mordor is symbolic of casting off the yoke of our material possessions. The ring which Frodo takes is a piece of jewelry highly evocative of Western materialism, and he swears on all that’s holy (himself) that he will cast it into the fires of the predictably named Mount Doom. As Robert Frost belatedly observed several millennia later, “nothing gold can stay”. Unless it wasn’t infused with preternatural evil at the time it was cast from hellfire and the ethereal souls of unbaptized children. Then it can stay.

The second message that Frodologists take from Fellowship Day is that on any arduous quest or journey, at the halfway point a tall elvish woman will give you queer gifts you likely have no use for. This is a device which literature calls deus ex machina, and it demonstrates the extreme and incredible good fortune which one should always expect and count on.

Third, Fellowship Day teaches us important lessons about cooperation in the face of faceless evil. Namely, it teaches us to judge others based on rumors and hearsay, and to accuse entire cultures of being paragons of evil, particularly if they lay far to the east. It teaches us to ignore the root causes of strife, and to expend countless lives sorting out a disagreement when a little dialogue may have been just as effective.



Finally, Fellowship Day teaches us about friendship. In particular we learn the lesson that, despite brave assurances of support from friends and strangers alike, no one will actually offer to do the hardest part for us, no matter how much more suited they are for the task. Ultimately, putting a miniature flag on your dashboard or uploading a series of JPEGs to the sidebar of your blog is much easier.

With so much to teach the rest of the world, however, we Frodologists must remember never to detract from other messages symbolized by the 25th of December. In particular, if you are heavily pregnant and desperately implore people for a room all the while maintaining your chastity and virginity, no one is going to let you in.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday (in)activity

Esteemed Frodologists,

Frodo's Prophet is going on holiday for a couple of weeks on Saturday and will hopefully be spending as little time as possible on the computer, as he hears that there is sunshine, nature and a qwertyless world out there somewhere which need to be experienced.

Nevertheless, two posts have been scheduled for Frodo's loyal followers should they find themselves unable to go cold turkey. Hah.

Until the good grace of Frodo hauls our planet into a new year, enjoy your holidays , and please - don't be tempted to pray to Thinky!


Yours faithfully,

FrodoSaves

In the know: should we just stop using our brains?

Perched atop of our bodies like a crown as it is, the brain has long fascinated man. That is until he lays down, at which point it’s no higher than anything else on his body and he can become fascinated with his sex organ. But for the most part, the brain is the pinnacle of our corporeal selves, and for this reason it is thought to be greatly deserving of study.

The brain was first discovered by cavemen in 12,116 BC in a game of “rock-head”, a primitive recreational activity which required participants to fling rocks of various sizes at each other’s heads. In actual fact, however, cavemen were previously unable to distinguish between rocks and heads, and so the game’s name is better translated as “rock-rock”, or “head-head”. Scientists believe it is this same basic misunderstanding of anatomy that causes rams to lock horns and butt heads.

It was however not until the middle of the 18th Century that a use was finally discovered for the brain. For several weeks in the summer 1731 it became wildly popular among European monarchs to use gray matter compote as a primitive weather sealant. Though seasonal rains proved it expensive and ineffective, it was not until Thompson’s Water Seal became commercially available in the early 20th Century that this use of brains was finally discontinued.

By the early 19th Century, the actual use of the brain had been discovered. Early scientists were perplexed by its similarity to the walnut, leading many to think that trees were much smarter than us. When man returned to the surface from his burrow two generations later, civilization more or less returned to normal.

Only very recently has the more sinister purpose of the brain been discovered. Frodologist scientists have reason to believe that the brain is actually the principle medium by which atheists pray to their brain-god, Thinky. That this took so long to discover is somewhat embarrassing to scientists; in retrospect, atheists' appeals to “reason” and “logic” are transparent proselytizing on behalf of their deity. But most importantly, theologians wonder, are we angering Frodo every time we use our brains by appearing to worship Thinky?

Scientists are now scrambling around for an answer. After all, we can’t just remove our brains.

Can we?

No, it would seem we cannot. Frankenstein’s monster is misleading on that front and only goes to demonstrate the dangers of believing in fiction! So, if we can’t remove them, how can we turn them off?

Preliminary research suggests that it is possible and recommends the power of the mass synchronized chant: F… R… O-D-O, F… R… O-D-O … When it’s over, it’ll be hours later and chanters will remember nothing.

Frodologist scientists expect that through this program participants will soon become avid consumers of mass market t-shirts and bumper stickers.



Salvation rides a Wagoneer

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alarming “might as well” cult growing among nation’s youth

Parents with little better to do than be alarmed at scarcely credible trends amongst the nation’s youth are accordingly alarmed about the rapid growth of what is being dubbed as the “might as well” cult. The unimaginative name demonstrates the literary underachievement of the movement, but this threat is only secondary to its much more sinister purpose.

Most alarming is the cult’s membership, which is comprised nearly entirely of well-behaved, devout Christian university and high school students. It seems that the students have taken a popular evangelical message to heart, and drawn entirely the opposite conclusion of what the soapbox preachers intended.

“I’ve been telling people for years that in God’s eyes, hate is the same as murder and lust is as good as adultery,” explained moustache enthusiast, Roy Cozy. However, since many of these sins are so easily come by, the cult’s members argue that, far from deterring them, there is instead nothing stopping them from committing actual murder and adultery.

“I was about sixteen when I realized that I was as defiled as I was going to get in God’s eyes,” explained Will Boyce, neighbor to several MILFs. “I used to just lust after them, but now I get to sex them up, and it’s the same punishment.” When his parents discovered his crimesins, they were at first angry, but soon became placated by Will’s earnest claim to be a devout Christian.

Will explained that it was a case of hearing something so much it becomes true. “I really started to take home the message from church each Sunday that I’m a helpless sinner. One day I just turned around and asked myself, ‘yeah, I’m a sinner. What of it?’”

While outraged parent teacher associations across the country have moved to ban the movement, many of the “Might As Wells” argue it’s a phase they’ll eventually grow out of. “By far the biggest appeal is the ability to just ask for forgiveness after an night of murder and debauchery. But when I grow up and lose my sex drive, most of my crimesinning will probably just stop naturally,” explained a student member.

Shopkeepers are meanwhile trying to abort a law which would make loitering outside their stores a crimesin. They are worried that the guilty loiterers would decide they “might as well” shoplift. Clinical psychologists are also pressing for action, noting that the rate of suicide among people merely angry at themselves has trebled in recent weeks.

Finally, a Mormon pressure group campaigning to make erections a sin is being urged by legislators to proceed with caution. “Our birth rates are high enough already,” warned an anonymous source at the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reindeer serial killer on the rampage

Cries of anguish could be heard around the world today at the news that Christmas might have to be delayed. Police in the Northwest Territories reported their discovery of yet another dead reindeer from Santa Claus’ stables, bringing the total to four in just a single week.

While cynical parents bathed in the tears of their disappointed children, many better parents were perplexed as to how they were going to explain to their children that the imaginary Christmas characters that filled their hearts with delight actually existed, but were now mostly dead. A Mormon counselor has advised parents to be forthright and just keep their heads down. “It’s a necessary evil, like teaching your kids about the birds and the bees. You’ll feel dirty afterwards, but it’s a sign of good parenting.”

Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of the killings is the twisted way in which each reindeer has been dispatched in a manner prescribed by his name. The most recent victim, Cupid, was discovered with an arrow through his heart. Mounties initially believed it to be felled by a hunter, but then remembered that Canadians usually prefer to hunt with empty beer cans.

The slaying of the previous three was no less deranged. Vixen died from an advanced syphilitic infection, while Dasher was pierced by a giant hyphen. Santa Claus reportedly regrets not having named the reindeer Colon instead, but it is unlikely the creature's death would have been any less grisly. The first reindeer to die was Comet, after he was crushed by a rock falling from the upper atmosphere. Police suspect his death may be unrelated, however, as technically it would have been a meteorite.

Internet forums are already alight with speculation as to what, if anything, will befall Christmas’ most cherished reindeer, Rudolph. Will he be hanged like the Nazi commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hess, or merely die in prison like the other Nazi, Rudolph Hess? The North Pole is meanwhile keeping the remaining reindeer under a close watch, but Dancer is nevertheless insisting people just call him “Bill”.

The Catholic Church is apparently unconcerned about the delay. As a spokesman for the Pope explained, “December 25th was an arbitrary choice anyway. We’ll just shift Jesus’ birthday back a few weeks, remind everyone that the Pope is infallible, and advise them not to think about it too much.”

Answering criticism that the Church is unfairly insensitive to the crushed dreams of millions of children, the spokesman responded that “it would definitely be wrong to say that we enjoy ruining lives. I guess you could say we’re just indifferent.”

Before Christmas can go ahead, however, Santa will first have to discover a new method of powering his sleigh. It is thought he will look to Japan or possibly Korea for propulsion, as the United Elf Workers claim they are only being paid to make the same old toys over and over again. Despite the potential loss of their jobs and livelihoods should Christmas not occur, they are unwilling to invent or innovate, having spent their careers getting paid handsomely for decades’ worth of unoriginal ideas.


Santa's elves unveil the latest hybrid


Meanwhile, readers are encouraged to remain vigilant and write in with any reindeer deaths they witness.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prophecy wrongly predicts own fallibility

Frodologist scholars were flabbergasted yesterday, when, during a routine reexamination of a religious text for clues as to Frodo’s opinion on winter shorts, they happened upon a hidden prophetic warning. It appears that the Frodological prophecy foresees its own fallibility:

“And it shall come to pass that none of it shall come to pass.”

The discovery is alarming in that all of the text’s other predictions have so far panned out. For example, it predicted that when the sins of hobbits angered Frodo, a terrible storm should fall upon the land. And it did last summer, when seasonal rains flooded a few fields and delayed the corn harvest by several days. While no one is sure which sin in particular attracted the wrath of Frodo, whatever it was must have been bad, because the storm came. That kind of thing doesn’t just happen.

Prophecy also proclaims that the River Anduin shall dry up when Frodo’s return is imminent. And the great river did exactly that when a group of local hobbits dammed the Upper Anduin in order to fulfill the prophecy.


That's dam fine prophecy fulfillment, boys!


Yet another example is the widely recognized claim that Frodo will not return until His Hobbit Hole is rebuilt for the third time. It hasn’t, and he hasn’t.

I could give more examples, but I won’t, because prophecy predicts that I won’t. The problem provided by the erroneous passage is of course obvious, but in case it isn’t I’ll explain it for the sake of padding out this article.

Prophecy has so far been infallible, meaning that the prediction of its fallibility is wrong and renders it fallible. But when prophecy is wrong, the prophecy that it will be wrong will be vindicated and it will be proof that the Second Coming of Frodo is imminent. But how will scholars know when the prophecy is wrong, thereby proving that prophecy was right in predicting that it would be wrong? Most predictions are so widely worded that we could attribute anything to them, and the others we just ignore.

If prophecy is to be proved correct by it being wrong, Frodologist scholars will have to be more cautious in proclaiming fulfillment. Theologians are expected to start consulting religious skeptics to judge more accurately whether any given prophecy has been fulfilled, since after so many years of sycophantic agreement with scripture, they have apparently lost the ability to think critically.

Will atheists be the ones to save the Faith? That seems like an attention-seekingly implausible conclusion…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is our galaxy really a giant waffle?

It is no secret that Frodo was fond of food. Hobbits were known to eat several meals a day, including two breakfasts. They were champions of cooking, when the men of the world were content simply to gnaw on dirty root vegetables. Some Frodologists even suggested that Frodo was named after a dish which was a particular favorite of hobbits, just as Jesus was named after a type of sand found on the shores of Galilee.

As such, much of a Frodologist’s worldview is shaped by foods. In biology, we shirk kingdoms animal and plant, and embrace the kingdom edible. In art, we focus on those dishes most aesthetically appealing. In mathematics, we forego calculations in favor of a meal. Indeed, the single reason we don’t brand followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as heretics is because they worship a pasta dish. Why bicker about scripture when you can identify with a similarly enlightened soul?

However, recently our innocuous opinions have come under fire. In particular, the Frodologist belief that our galaxy is actually a giant waffle has attracted a trifle of criticism. Mindful of conciliating with places of learning, we agreed that our position was a little untenable, and were willing to change it such that we accepted it could also be an enormous waffle. Oddly, this didn’t placate the Royal Academy. Neither did gargantuan, colossal, or really really big.

It later became clear that the nature of the grievance against our belief is not the chosen adjective, but the waffle. Many scientists argue that it’s preposterous to believe that our galaxy is a waffle. If you were to believe that, they argue, you might as well believe in sasquatch, la chupacabra, and OJ Simpson, when everyone knows they’re just fairy tales made up to scare children.

Yes, you could believe all that, and we wouldn’t judge you for it in the slightest. Take note, atheists, appealing to a Frodologist’s sense of reality is like barking up the wrong horse.



Some exasperated scientists have taken a lazier tack and requested that we instead provide evidence that our galaxy is a giant waffle. Well, they asked for it. Frodo told us. He revealed it, in a document that has yet to be published, but that shouldn’t detract from its veracity as most certainly not written by people in positions of waffled interest.

In any case, who do scientists think they are to tell us that the galaxy isn’t a giant waffle? After all, situated in the very galaxy we’re trying to get a look at, it’s not like we can photograph ourselves. That would require some sort of huge mirror, just floating there in space besides our galaxy. What total nonsense!

Having catastrophically failed to disprove the Waffle Theory, secular busybodies are now imploring the state that its teaching in schools should not be allowed. That’s fair. It’s not really like belief in a giant waffle is going to help these kids get jobs. It’d probably just be a waste of time.

Finally, the reader may count himself surprised at having reached the end of the article and not having read a single pun about waffling. Frodo moves in mysterious, Jesus-like ways.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Atheist disappointed by own lack of belief

Still recovering from the trauma of recently getting stuck inside his own thought bubble, an outspoken local atheist spoke up for the first time today about his own disappointment in himself. As an atheist, Mr. Jennings is no stranger to criticism. From the disappearance of babies at the local orphanage to the disappearance of babies from local wombs, Mr. Jennings’ complete lack of belief is frequently derided as an agent of Satan’s will.

“Atheism is the worst thing since bread stopped coming pre-sliced from those fancy bakeries,” opined a smug local pun-maker.

However, Mr. Jennings now has another person to add to his list of people whom he feels he must daily put in their place: himself. It seems that his near-death experience has caused him to grow somewhat introspective, and, dare we say it, spiritual.

“I realized that if was a believer, particularly a Mormon or a Frodologist, I probably wouldn’t have been stuck in that thought bubble. I’d still be alive today,” explained Mr. Jennings. He went on to explain it better, but that portion of the interview has been excluded for comic effect.

Mr. Jennings is consequently disappointed by his own atheism, and believes that atheism will probably be stamped out by natural selection, due to the inherent danger posed by empty thought bubbles.

Until that happens, however, he simply wishes he had been born a believer. “I can’t really choose to believe in God. It’s hardly my fault He didn’t provide more evidence for His own existence,” moaned Mr. Jennings. What's more, Mr. Jennings is convinced he'd be an excellent believer if it wasn't for his lack of belief. "I don't eat babies or anything."

Mr. Jennings realizes he is just part of God’s plan to test the faithful. “I’m fully aware that I’m here to test believers and woo them into Satan’s arms,” he admits, but he doesn’t appreciate the constant criticism that comes with the job. “I’ve been called a tool of Satan, Satan’s tool, and even Satan’s stool once, but I’m pretty sure that was just a typo.”

It wasn't. Mr. Jennings was called a pile of devilish feces by a Hindu, who assured him he would be reincarnated as a hoary marmot as punishment for his lack of belief in Vishnu. "It's a hard blow, especially since I don't believe in any of it."


Thanks to conservation posters, the hoary marmot is now off the endangered species list


Asked whether he resents God’s use of him as a mere pawn in a greater game, Mr. Jennings declined to blaspheme. “It’s not really my prerogative to criticize the job He’s doing, since He has a greater purpose for me as a forsaken heathen, even though I don’t believe in Him either.”

Prompted to explain the apparent contradiction in his statement, Mr. Jennings simply shrugged and explained “I guess God just made me this way, even though He didn’t. But really He did.”

Truly a complex individual.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Frodo’s Story, Part II: Miracles 101

In case you missed it, here is Frodo’s Story, Part I

We last left off in Frodo’s story at his return from Mordor and elevation to demigod in the eyes of Middle Earth. Not all was roses, however, as we saw that from the early days of his omnipotence he was competing with his close friend Samwise for the adulation of worshipers, and struggled under the expectations of his followers. We now continue with Frodo’s story.

Almost as soon as Frodo became an object of divinity, he was under constant pressure to keep safe and take no risks. “I liked playing with swords,” remembers Frodo. “But they soon put a stop to that. At first they let me use a wooden one, then a flimsy reed, and finally I just had to make believe. People say leaders have great vision and imagination, but I’ve always thought followers were better at pretending.”

From the beginning, Frodo was pressured into performing miracles. Lepers and the crippled frequently lined up at his door, interspersed with the infertile and the inadvertently pregnant. “It was terrible,” remembers Frodo. “When one of the lepers’ legs fell off, a cripple accused him of taunting the legless and having ‘limbs to spare’. Then the sterile women became jealous of the pregnant, and vice versa. It was a bloodbath.” Indeed it was; one hemophiliacs would sooner forget.

Frodo wasn’t even aware he had performed his second miracle until the news filtered back to him. “’Frodo cures blind man!’ I remember them shouting, and I had no idea what they were talking about. Only later did I remember giving a passing beggar a carrot from my vegetable patch. They said I’d cured his blindness.” Frodo doubted the man had actually been blind, but even if he had been, Frodo still downplays his role in the alleged miracle. “Vitamin A. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. Carrots are full of it, and it's good for vision. Vitamin A, beta carotene, call it what you like, but other than the actual act of handing him the carrot, I can’t say I cured his blindness.”

Frodo would have one more brush with miracles before it all came apart. “Gandalf wanted to stage a resurrection at one point, but I hadn’t finished reading that chapter in the textbook, so he just killed someone and said I’d come back to life!” But when Frodo tried to leak the scandal to the news, no one would believe it. Conservative pundits called it an “incredible conspiracy theory” and a “dishonest attempt to discredit a genuine miracle.”

Facing a world growing ever more entrenched in their belief in him, Frodo found himself spiraling downwards into a seedy world of drugs, sex, and traditional panpipe ballads. “I was definitely living the cliché,” he remembers. “It was like the point in those movies where you see the protagonist stick a needle in their arm for the first time, and you think ‘ah, so that’s how they got AIDS’. There was no needle, but the descent into ruin was all a little predictable.”

At first his drug use was recreational, mostly Southfarthing weed, and it improved his panpipe playing if anything. “But one day, one of the North Downs hobbits brought round his lute and a wahwah pedal, and told us we needed to take some pills to really ‘get it’. It was like a journey, man, so intense. I definitely ‘got it’. I got other things too though. An addiction, and diseases mostly.”

Frodo would of course climb the long ladder of privilege out of his despondent drug dependency, and other things equally terrible all beginning with ‘d’. But that story will have to wait for next time.



The stuff dreams are made of?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa, sussed

Few holidays can claim an entire genre of music all their own, and it’s probably for the best, because tunes about turkeys would wear thin before the start of the first verse. However, Christmas more than makes up for this dearth by treating bemused listeners to a panoply of forced auditory festivity. 7-11s have a certain terminal cheer threshold, which, just as objects can never attain the speed of light, simply cannot be met by tinny holiday ditties.

Due to this principle, ears for whom Christmas is a holiday worldwide associate many such songs with memories of the depressingly uplifting. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is the crumbling veneer on an overstretched budget. “Jingle Bells” suggests the solution for pent up shopping frustration might be homicide, and “Frosty the Snowman” double homicide.

For these reasons it’s rare that listeners take the time to listen to the lyrics of the lo-fi songs they hear. And who can blame them? Many Christmas songs are deplorably inane. For example:

Here comes Santa Claus
Here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane


Every one knows Santa flies. There is no Santa Claus Lane. And:

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero Ano y Felicidad.


Complete gibberish.

But one song in particular is alarmingly revealing as to its sinister underlying purpose. It beguiles listeners with saccharine lyrics and bewitching stanzas. It is the musical equivalent to a paedophiliac old man taking candy from a baby.

But “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” fails the hand that wrote it. Its clever rhymes cannot but belie its intentions.

He's making a list,
He's checking it twice,
He's gonna find out
who's naughty or nice.


Santa’s brown nosing into the deeds and misdeeds of children is worrisome by itself, and his obsessive compulsive list-making does nothing to allay fears. The casual listener might ponder what could be the purpose of such devoted organization. The same listener may be placated by the assurance that Santa simply wants to deliver toys to the good children.

But hark! What’s this?

He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.


The listener should at once be alarmed at the overtones of espionage, which carry not the slightest hint of embarrassment. Are these just the harmless advances of a lonely stranger beckoning children thither through the school gates? The next line however only exacerbates the listener’s unease:

He knows when you've been bad or good

Who does that sound like? The obsession of Old Saint Nick with the morality of children too young to understand the word absolutely reeks of God’s constant interventions. Jehovah, the original condescending paternalist, co-opts what appears to be an honest folk myth by reaching his desiccated hand down Santa’s shirt to wield him as a puppet. Christians must have realized that Yahweh betrayed Himself in the Old Testament with His appalling displays of brutal malice. What child would trust and befriend Thanatos incarnate? Santa then is His stooge, His agent of deceit. Santa's disarming, cheery appearance is wholesome enough for Coca Cola, but the red of his suit should be the flag of distress to all children who meet him.

So be good for goodness sake!

It is this last line that dispels all doubt, if any remained. The lyrics implore the juvenile listener with an asenine alliteration, but bludgeon him with a hammer of circular reasoning. It should by now be obvious that the Mayor of the North Pole is none other than a mythical Dr. Mengele, torturing dreams on the rack of cynical dogma.

The tried and tested tool of Christianity has always been the hammer, not the carrot. While wordsmiths may have created a façade of jovial bonhomie with portly Father Christmas, inducing children to behave with promises of presents, it is the explicit threat of denied joy for misbehaviour that again resonates most strongly. Having failed before to win people over, Christianity falls short again when it betrays Santa as the wretched wrecker of childish innocence.


Would you work for Santa?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vatican heist sees millions of years’ worth of indulgences stolen

The latest round of the Catholic blame game kicked off earlier this week with the Holy See’s announcement that it had been robbed. Believers listened in horror as the Pope’s spokesmen reported how thieves had broken in during the night, and made off with several tons worth of paper indulgences. The rest of the world barely batted a collective eyelid when it later developed that nothing of actual value had been stolen.

Quite how the burglars entered the Pope’s vault is unclear, though Vatican authorities are reportedly meeting with their contractor, Honor System Security Ltd., to assess the breach. In the mean time, any obvious flaws will be addressed with candlelight vigilance.

Though neither Italian police nor the Carabinieri have released a list of suspects, the theft bears all the hallmarks of frequent sinners such as gays, and some of the hallmarks of casual sinners, such as Hallmark. The Vatican also suspects religious skeptics who aren’t quite skeptical enough to be sure there’s no God, but is skeptical that said skeptics are organized enough to pull of such a heist.

In simpler times, the stolen property itself would have pointed to the likely culprits. Mothers of unbaptized children were once the most prolific thieves of indulgences, but in recent years organized crime rings, some of them full of good Catholics, have been responsible for the biggest robberies.

Taken together, the indulgences amount to millions of years off time to be spent in purgatory, and as such represent about 5% of the global indulgence black market. Vatican authorities are confident that the majority of the stolen indulgences will wind up in the United States, particularly California and Arizona. Since the introduction of crimesin, illegal Mexican immigrants have all become sinners in the eyes of God. It is a setback they certainly could have done without.


Paco has to sell a lot of tacos to pay for his ill-gotten indulgence


Asked about their plans to retrieve the stolen indulgences, the Vatican said that its chief worry as always was that sinners would be cheating the system and not spending enough time being punished for their transgressions. Still, a spokesman reassured reporters that they “can always print more,” though he cautioned that recent cutbacks will mean future indulgences will be printed on A5 paper, rather than the standard A4.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Residents of Heaven sick of perpetual daylight

Christianity suffered another setback today when residents of Heaven filed a formal complaint against God for the perpetual daylight in which they have to live. Disenfranchised denizen Dale Keats told a reporter that he was “initially enchanted by Revelations 22:5, where it says that God is light and all. I didn’t realize that God really is light!

Many citizens of Heaven have since come forward and admitted to being similarly tired of eternal light. While newcomers are often thrilled at the prospect of endless soccer games and picnics at all hours, it seems that after a few months, most just want to catch a bit of sleep. “It’s not that I need it,” declared former manicurist Betty Jenkins, “but it is Heaven, and honey, I loves to sleep!”

Perpetual light is also quickly becoming a health concern, as residents of Heaven have been subjected to constant UV light ever since they arrived. Gabriel, Heaven’s surgeon general, admitted that while melanoma is on the rise, by far the biggest problem is that no one knows what happens to people who die in Heaven. “Perhaps there’s some sort of super heaven we don’t know about yet.”

Nor are the angels unaffected, as it is well known that winged creatures quickly succumb to dizziness and disorientation after prolonged exposure to unnatural light. Suffering from acute insomnia, St. Peter has not been properly checking credentials at the pearly gates, and has recently let in a panoply of sinners and Cuban immigrants. Worse, the archangel Michael inadvertently flew into the glass-sided HSBC building in Heaven’s financial district, severely breaking his neck.

As the light shows no sign of diminishing, the situation in Heaven is getting dire. Angels are desperately trying to track down and stamp out the makers of t-shirts reading "I came to Heaven and all I got was this lousy migraine", and "Kept in the dark about being in the light". Already, Christianity is feeling the effects of members fleeing for other faiths, and many argue that fitting manacles to churches across the country is not the answer. Until however Heaven can offer its sunkissed souls some shade, the flock would flee but for lock and key.