Genesis 2010:01

Posted February 10, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Bible Parody

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And God said, let the Earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. He even created bacteria and viruses, to attack and kill these living creatures. God was kind of a douche back then.

After finishing his perfect creation, the dolphin, he decided to have some fun.  He took some spare parts that were lying around his garden, and he made himself a pet—two pets, to be precise.

And just for shits and giggles, God said: let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Note: God talked about himself in the plural back then. Too much weed, I bet.  But he was still a young God. Cut him some slack, for his sake!

So, anyway, God created humans last.  He told them they were “in charge” of all the other creatures. He just wanted to make them feel good. He told them they were the most specialest ever.  Yes, even though the other creatures were stronger, more agile, and even smarter [Viola! The Dolphin!]—it was his little monkey-like pets that he favored. At least, that’s what he told them. He wasn’t always a douche.

In fact, in this case, he had very wise intentions.  He knew that the humans could never be given any real power. They would just fuck  up the Earth. So he created certain limitations and obstacles for them. He suppressed their knowledge and self-awareness with a magical spell. So long as they didn’t eat from his magical tree—the tree of knowledge—they would remain his adorable ignorant pets forever, just the way he liked them. They were so cute.

But God screwed up, of course. He was boastful back then. He told them about the tree. He forbade them from ever eating the fruit from it. Never ever eat those Me Damned Apples, he told them. Then he left them alone.

Apparently, God never took Psych 101. He probably should have taken a parenting class, because, obviously, as soon as his back was turned, the human’s noshed on Apples. They’re mammals. It’s their nature.

And then all hell broke loose. God lost his temper. I mean, he completely flipped out. He was so enraged, in fact, that he never considered just resetting his creatures. I mean, come on, I can reset my computer to its default state, and Steve Jobs created that.  Surely God had the power to fix this error.

But, instead, God cursed his pets. The female would bleed every month from her most sensitive places, and the poor male would have to work. ::groan:: He would have to work the land for survival. She would hemorrhage…every month…for five days. Oh, and she would have to endure the agonizing reproductive process. How’s that for gender bias? God was a rampant sexist back then, too.

So, just like that, and without so much as a trial, God told his stupid humans that they were on their own, and he threw them out of his garden.

And just as God had predicted, they fucked up the Earth.

Dear Jesus: I’m sorry.

Posted February 10, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Letters to Jesus

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Jesus:

This is a difficult letter to write. It’s difficult because I generally like you. Everything you’ve ever said made perfect sense to me—except for the whole Son of God thing. That was just nuts. I think it was all that wine you drank at Cana. Hahaha. Good times.

Anyway, my point: I’m sorry, Jesus, but I think we should end our friendship.

I know you aren’t used to rejection, but you know I’m right.  I mean, we’re very different people, Jesus. We come from very different worlds. You’re a carpenter in the Middle East. You live at the turn of the last millennium. I’m a writer living in the United States in the year 2010. You don’t even know what the United States is. A microwave would flummox you. I wonder if you can even tie shoelaces. How can we be friends? Think about it. We have nothing in common!

And another thing, I don’t really like your other friends. I find them to be very limited people. I mean, I get it. They love you. They love Jesus. But that’s all they ever talk about. They’re always telling me how great you are. They want me to go find you and talk to you. They tell me the same stories about you over and over and over. Some of them even scream out your name in ecstasy. I’ve seen this with my own eyes! They’re obsessed with you, man. It’s creepy.

I know. I know. You’re very protective of your flock. I’m sorry. I did like some of your past acquaintances. Leo DaVinci was chill and that Dante guy was awesome, but this new bunch you’ve gathered, I don’t know. I’ve never had a stimulating conversation with any of them, and I’ve really tried. Jesus, you know I’ve tried.

I’ve tried very hard to work things out with you and your group, but I’ve had enough. It’s pointless. We both know it. And, quite frankly, I’m emotionally exhausted from having you in my life. We’re just wrong for each other. It’s not going to work. We’re through. Don’t contact me anymore.

Please respect my decision and don’t become some creepy stalker. You’re better than that, Jesus. Please move on.

I wish you the best.


Yours in Self-Reliance,


Charles Bivona

P.S. Please tell your friends to leave me alone, too. Thank you.

The Ignoramus Library of Father Max

Posted January 29, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Working as a Janitor in a Church

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I believe you can tell a lot about people from the books they display in their homes. Anyone who browses my home library will learn a lot about me–my interests, my politics, my values, and morals, my tastes and idiosyncrasies, my curiosities and the mysteries I ponder–all from browsing a thousand or so titles.

I love to browse people’s home libraries. I get to know so many people, so deeply.

So, when I was sent to the second floor to wipe down all the door moldings, I started in Father Max’s new room. He had unpacked all his books. They were neatly arranged in two book cases next to the couch.

I was excited. If I could read Father Max by his titles, maybe I could find out what this creepy idiot was up to. I just didn’t trust him.

I had to work fast. If I got caught browsing, I would be fired, no questions asked. The priests must never feel bothered. It’s an unspoken rule.

What I found on Father Max’s shelf was nothing—no King Lear, no Divine Comedy, no Chaucer or Paradise Lost. He had no copies of Homer, Plato or Aristotle—the bedrock of Western thought. There was no Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Einstein, or Darwin—the makers of modern thought. There were no novels, no poetry, and no drama from any period.

Max had a Roget’s Thesaurus. He had a beat up copy of The Catholic Enclylopedia. He had several Saint Directories with titles like Modern Martyrs. There were fourteen different Bible translations. There were several books about each Bible translation.

But I saw no political science, sociology or psychology. There were no books about human emotions or mental illness, and I know for a fact that Father Max counsels people.

But there is no copy of the DSM-IV, I thought. How does he know when people need psychiatric care? Is this motherfucker telling depressives, and bipolars, and trauma patients to pray it all away? Could that really be going on in this place?

This was getting offensive. I backed away from the shelves, slowly. I had started this misadventure to poke fun at Max’s stupidity. But confirming his incompetence only made me feel sick with pity for the people he was “counseling.”

This man has no understanding of the modern world or modern thought, and he is guiding people’s lives, I thought. This man is dangerous. He has completely lost touch with reality. And he is woefully misguiding people.

I peripherally caught other titles, as I turned for the door. Some of them eluded to hearing God talk or deciphering God’s language.

He can hear God talk? Oh shit! Is Max Schizophrenic?
Is there an actual Schizophrenic priest living in this house?!
What if he’s violent?
I thought.

Then I saw Max’s crucifix. He had just hung it over his bed. My hands started shaking. My mind fell and landed on one thought:

Maybe I should call somebody about this.



Jesus Christ, Why?

Posted January 26, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Working as a Janitor in a Church

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m surrounded by crucifixion images all day long. While vacuuming the Church, the writhing and suffering Jesus hovers over the alter. The images on the stain glass windows tell the story of his torture. They call it “The Stages of the Cross.”

I know this because I once performed in a staging of “The Stages of the Cross.” Do you know the dude who questions J’s divinity on the cross? He was one of the two criminals that were crucified with Jesus. He asked a very reasonable question:

Luke 23: 39-41 says, “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’”

I played that guy in the play. And I take umbrage with that phrase “hurled insults,” by the way. I mean, my guy is hanging on a fucking cross with nails through his wrists, and, suddenly, he sees that guy Jesus he’s been hearing about: performer of miracles, healing the sick, walking on water. Jesus is our savior. That’s what he’s heard. So he did what anyone would do. He called out for help.

Hey! You!! Aren’t you that savior everyone is talking about? You are!! Oh thank God. Save yourself! Save me! Please.

Wait, what? What’s that other guy rebuking me about in Luke 23:40-42?

Dost not thou fear God,
seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly;
for we receive the due reward of our deeds:

but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord,

remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.


What a fucking kiss ass. Dude, this is Jesus. Ok? Haven’t you heard about Jesus? He’s like mad chill. He hangs out with his twelve boys. They drink a lot of wine and help people. They just do it to make people happy. They’re poor and they don’t mind it.

I’ve been meaning to look you up Jesus. My boy Judas wanted me to chill with your group—you know, lucky number thirteen. Hahaha.

Don’t you worry, my rebuker. Jesus will get both of us out of this. He has super powers. Tell him Jesus. Tell him we’re going home after all. :::sobbing with relief:::

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto, thee
To day shalt thou be with me in paradise, says Luke 23:43.

Wait. What does that mean, J? Come on, use your magic, man! Get us down from here! Come on!

Ok, look, I’ll join your fan club. I mean it. I do not believe in God, nor do I believe that you are the son of said creator, but you had some good things to say, and everyone says you have cool powers. So, if you want to believe that you are God’s kid—well, whatever makes you happy, man. You’re the Son of God. I believe you. Ok? I’m in! Praise Jesus. Now, please, use your powers to get me down.

Wait, what? Die for my sins? What  the hell are you talking about? What have I done? I probably robbed some money from this corrupt fucking Roman government, or exerted my personal freedom in a way that rattled my Fascist Dictator—hail Caesar. Other than that, how am I a sinner?

Original Sin? What’s that, Jesus?

Hey, man, wake up! Come on, cut the shit. You can’t be dying already. Crucifixion is supposed to take days to kill us. What is original sin? Will your dying get me down from here? Is that how your magic works?

Ok, it’s not funny anymore. Hey asshole! Wake up and use your powers to save our lives!!

Oh, you have got to be kidding me. They’re taking his body and shrouding it already? What have we been up here for—fifteen minutes? He can’t be dead already. That’s impossible. I mean, look! I think I see him breathing.

Hey, somebody stop them. You, Roman conquerers, stop those idiots! Jesus passed out and they think he’s dead. They’re going to bury him alive. Oh ,this is just fucked up. Jesus!!

Catholic Office Politics

Posted January 24, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Working as a Janitor in a Church

Tags: , , , , , ,

I have worked in several dysfunctional offices. Most of my office jobs were mismanaged by a community college drop out who listened to Tony Robbins CDs. College just wasn’t for them. They wanted to make real money. They were ignorant, ruthless assholes that wanted to die with the most toys and win! Those were my bosses. My coworkers were the passive aggressive minions of these tyrants. I was the guy who used to laugh at it all. I got fired a lot.

I offer this mini history to emphasize my point: I have never worked in an environment as schizophrenic as this Catholic church. Case in point: my boss. He is several different people all wrapped into one person. One day he’s the world-weary sage. He offers stories about his life like little parables. He is raw and rational, has common sense and is practical.  He has his hands on knowledge he wants to share. The next day, he throws temper tantrums like a child. He barks aggression over imagined indiscretions. Why are you trying to fuck me over? On day three, he’s my buddy! Hey buddy! What’s going on? He tells funny stories, and we laugh. He talks to me about smoking pot. Fifteen minutes later, he’s screaming at me for closing a door too hard, or for asking him what to do next, or for not asking him what to do next, or for leaving at 2:30 when I was scheduled until 3:00, or for staying until 3:00 when he clearly told me to leave at 2:30. Actually, he never remembers telling me to leave early. The very next day:

Why did you leave a half hour early yesterday?

You told me to.

No, I did not.

Ok, then.

For the first week, I took this very seriously. I was offended. I considered quitting the job. This was an abusive environment. Then I noticed the pattern—one day of mania, one for anger and depression. Whee! Back and forth he goes. It’s like watching a sideshow attraction. Lean forward when he’s harmless; retreat when he turns vicious. Note: it helps to remind oneself that there is no real danger from a broken sixty-year-old man. He’s just barking. I don’t have to take him seriously. And once the threat of physical violence is rationalized away, the temper tantrums become amusing. At first, it’s like a four-hour show. After two weeks though, it’s just sad to watch a grown man being emotionally whacked around by life. I feel compassion. I’m grateful I’m not like him.

Then there’s my boss’s woman. The fresh-off-the-boat Sicilian that knows Catholicism is the truth. You can’t get a divorce. You’ll go to hell. There is no debating. She’s right. You’re wrong. Because God says so.

She does the laundry and the grocery shopping. She smiles when she judges me. It’s very sweet and condescending. She always wants to feed me.

The other two women—in the rectory office—are polar opposites. The first, the secretary, Hope, swings like an awkward pendulum. Sometimes she’s cheery and tells some crazy story about the history of the town she was born and plans to die in. Other times, she’s dismissive and cold.

Oh, hello, Hope.

Yeah, hello.

The other woman, Bev, is a genuinely nice person. I haven’t had a negative experience with her yet. She sits in the back office by herself all day. She smiles when she sees me and says hello. [Note: Don’t necessarily trust the friendly religious people. They tend to be trying to save you.]

That’s the entire staff. It’s me, my boss, and the woman of my boss, Rose, the secretaries—Hope and Bev—the Monsignor, and Father Max. That’s eight total people working in one house. That sounds tense enough, but consider this: my boss is at least three people—maybe more. His woman has at least two sides—probably more. The one secretary has two sides.  And the Monsignor is just plain shady.  Bev seems friendly but with an agenda, and Father Max is hiding something. I just know it.

More about that later.

For now, I just want to set the stage and present all the characters. Thank karma for the weekends so I can get my head together and shake off the dust of stale dogma. The expectation to Love Jesus hangs heavy in the house.

Stay tuned.

Training Memo: Archdiocesan Code of Ethics: with notes

Posted January 22, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Working as a Janitor in a Church

Tags: , , , , , ,
  • Church personnel shall exhibit the highest Christian ethical standards and personal integrity.

Note: As far as I know, the only place you can find a description of Christian ethical standards is in the Bible. So, I have to read and adhere to the Bible in order to work here? (Keep this question to yourself. They don’t know you’re a Buddhist. Shut up. Need money.)

  • Church personnel shall conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the discipline, norms, and teaching of the Catholic Church.

NOTE: Isn’t that the Catechism? Now I have to dredge up traumatic CCD memories? Awesome! (sarcasm)

  • Church personnel shall provide an environment that is free from harassment.

JOKE: I feel harassed by this document. Nah, that’s not that funny.

  • Church personnel shall not take advantage of a counseling, supervisory and/or authoritative relationship for their own benefit.

NOTE: In other words, don’t order kids to jerk you off. Got it.

  • Church personnel shall not abuse or neglect a minor or adult.

NOTE: I said I got it. Don’t belabor the fucking point. I watched the News in the 90s. I get it. No more kiddy porn in the Catholic Church. Don’t worry. That’s not my scene anyway. I fuck grown up ladies–who consent to it, of course.

  • Church Personnel shall share concerns about suspicious or inappropriate behavior with their pastor, their principal, or the Archdiocesan Chancellor.

NOTE: POLICE FIRST! CALL THE POLICE FIRST!!

  • Church personnel shall adhere to the law of the State of __ and the Memorandum of Understanding, described in SectionVIII.D. of the Policies of Professional and Ministerial Conduct, regarding the reporting any any suspected abuse of a minor.

NOTE: a.) It’s interesting that the Church doesn’t mention the exact crime they were guilty of until this point in their “Code of Ethics.” b.) It’s even more interesting that it’s delivered as a blurb at the end of this terrible sentence. c.) It’s also interesting that this is the first mention of the actual law. d.) Personal Note: Get a copy of this law. Read it and adhere to it. Forget the rest of this list.

  • Church Personnel shall accept their personal responsibility in the protection of minors and adults from all forms of abuse.

Note: One more time, I like Adult Ladies–deliciously sexy adult ladies with experience and style who really know how to make love to a man. I love women and sex. And I am very satisfied. And besides, I’m just a janitor. Has there been an outbreak of Catholic Church janitors diddling the children? Hmmmm…Wait a Moment: maybe you should send this memo to some of the more sexually frustrated among you. Perhaps that’s where your problem lies. Like Sigmund Freud said “The only abnormal sex is no sex at all.”

THE END

Thesis: Every point after the first, would be, if your way wasn’t so full of shit, redundant.

My conclusion: Fuck off!! ::Raspberry:: Hahahaha I’m an Atheistic Buddhist! Hahahahahahahaha!!


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

___________________________________________

My signature below indicates that I have received a copy of these Policies and that I have read them and understand these Policies.

Sign Here:____________________________

NOTE: Get a new copy of this form.

My First Holy Lunching

Posted January 22, 2010 by Charles Bivona
Categories: Working as a Janitor in a Church

Tags: , , , , , ,

And suddenly I’m being invited to lunch with the Monsignor and Father Max. My boss and his woman decide it was time.

Hmmm. Do I want to have lunch with Father Max? Let’s consider: My co-workers and I have been building Father Max’s suite on the second floor. It’s taken three weeks of labor. We have assembled all of his brand new oak furniture. We painted the apartment the color of his choice—bright yellow, isn’t that psychotic? We carried his new couch up the stairs. The parish pays for it, what does he care, my co-worker remarked.

And what’s my pay-off? After all of the hype, and preparation, who do I meet? This bored looking primate who doesn’t speak in complete sentences? Father Max is beyond unimpressive. The man is anti-impressive. I’m not feeling festive. No lunch for me.

My co-workers were smart. They went home early. I had to think fast. Oh, I have a toothache. I really did. I was going to the dentist after work. I can’t really eat anything, really. Yes, I said really twice. I just wanted to go to the church and sit in silence. Please. Please. Please let it go, I thought. Hell I almost prayed for it.

Oh that’s ok, we’ll order you something soft. Soup! One of them exclaimed. They both got excited. They stood there, smiling at me. I was cornered.

I was sent to pick up the lunch—and my fucking cup of soup—at the bar across the street. The Monsignor got a burger and fries with extra onions. He sat directly next to me. Now Father Max will lead us in prayer. Oh fuck! I went to a happy place. I told myself  a joke.

Dear Lord…

What’s the difference between a Catholic Priest and a dead tree stump? What? About ten IQ points. Hahahahahaha. Thank you! I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitresses. They’re all pregnant…sorry… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

…For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Oh, Amen. Shit, I missed it. Um, sorry.

The Monsignor bit away a third of his burger. I could smell the onion juice in the air. He leaned over to talk to me. Do you know that you smile very wide when you pray? I saw you. It was really quite inspiring.

Make that a five IQ point difference, you tree stump. No, I never realized, is that…

The Monsignor was done with me. He turned to Father Max. Max, did you know that Rose [woman of my boss] came over from Sicily on the Andrea Doria in June of 1956?

Max chewed his sandwich. Really?

The Monsignor turned back to me. Do you know why that’s significant?

Because the Andrea Doria sank in July of 1956, I said through a mouthful of soup. The table went silent. The Monsignor was beaming. That’s right! How did you know that?

Um, I’m a historian, I answered, my PhD program is in Modern Literature and Hist… He cut me off. Oh, that reminds me of a funny story about Father Simon….

How fucking boring. I thought about something else, anything else, I pulled quotes from your memory, just to ignore this bloated asshole.

So, Father Peter and Father Paul were blabby blabby blabby

“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” – Lenny Bruce

…and Father Simon is a Saint…every one says so…bless him, Father. Bless him.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” –Mohandas Gandhi

..and then father Simon yelled ‘Get the hell out of my way! I can’t see the TV!’ Hahaha. I had heard so much about how saintly this man was, and when I met him, and introduced myself,  he screamed at me. Hahaha. It was so funny.

Hee hee hee, the Monsignor chuckled, Father Simon does have a very good sense of humor.

What the fuck? My mind went haywire. Holy Fuck! It’s a dysfunctional family! Retreat! Happy place! Silence…

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. – T.S. Eliot

I had to get out of there. I’m sorry, my dentist appointment, I have to go. I thanked them for a lovely lunch and hurried out the door.

These people are fucking crazy.