Thursday, December 02, 2004


A Mighty Fortress

Bill and I climb back into the car, sliding the skillet up onto the dashboard. It was like an eschatoblogical scavenger hunt, with butter. Or, well, margarine. Bill and I had had a little tiff over that--I kept insisting that Blog had said butter, and sweet, unsalted butter means sweet, unsalted butter, but Bill said I Can't Believe It's Not Butter was so close that he for one couldn't believe it wasn't butter. Reluctantly, I'd given in, finally. I didn't want to risk our friendship over a little thing like that.

Bill's in the passenger seat, with one hand on the skillet, making sure it doesn't topple down with the weight of the breaded turtle-dove chunks; I'm behind the wheel. But when I go to turn the ignition key, something's wrong. The key slot is elongated. It hangs down like an old woman's labia. When I stick the key in, though, it turns, and apparently connects, because the engine turns over, sluggishly.

"What kind of gas did you put in this last time?" I ask Bill. He had insisted on working the pump. Bumped me away with his big ass. He can be such a baby sometimes.

"I dunno," he says. "The usual."

"Wait a second," I say. "That gas station looked strange, didn't it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Bill says. Face it: the guy is useless.

"Come on," I say, "think. This is Mullah Billdoug we're talking about here."

"The station?" he says, glancing over at me dully.

"No, stupid," I hiss, "not the station. The car."


"The station," I say. "Didn't it look like a--"

"I thought you said he was the car. Now you're saying he's the station."

"Wake up, you druggie," I say. "The station: didn't it look like a church?"

"I didn't notice anything," he says, and the image comes to me: the gas nozzle was shaped like a cross. The pump was shaped like a pulpit. And--

"Let's listen to the radio," Bill says, and switches it on.

Some fundamentalist preacher comes on, imploring us, practically in tears, to give our lives to Blog.

"Blog?" Bill frowns, and punches the scan button. Another fundamentalist preacher rants for two seconds before the radio scans again, bringing up yet another fundamentalist preacher, all preaching on fundamentally the same topic: the mighty power of Blog.

"What the hell?" I say, as the radio scans through half a dozen more religious stations. As the words come out of my mouth, though, the butter in the skillet on the dashboard melts suddenly and starts boiling furiously around the breaded turtle doves, which line up like chorus girls and start singing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our Blog!"

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