74. Prayer and wish chips

I remembered a question that Mojo and Freak had wanted me to ask. Now that their faith in JC had been shaken, their questions were getting a little pointier.

“Hey, Jeff, since you brought up the whole prayer thing: Do all of the prayers really get heard?”

The Creator looked uncomfortable. “Well, sure. Of course they all get heard – eventually.”

“Hmm. And do they all get equal consideration?”

He seemed to be uneasy with where this was going. “Ye-es. My staff and I love you all equally, so everybody gets equal consideration.”

“But do you really answer prayers? I mean, according to this book,” I held up my glittery bible, “you are infallible, but aren’t prayers really just asking you to change your … um … ‘divine will’?”

The Lord of All shifted in his seat. “Okay, now, it’s like this. One person prays for rain to help her garden; the guy next door prays for sunshine on the same day so he can barbecue for his friends. Who should we listen to? The truth is, we listen to both, and then do whatever was in the annual weather plan anyhow. There would have to be a pretty compelling, unanimous reason for us to divert from the plan.”

“So praying is really just like farting in the wind after all?”

“Farting in the wind?”

“Dude, I really have to explain that to you? Farting in the wind: A little sound, but the substance gets carried away, unnoticed.”

“Ha! What a great expression! I swear, dude, you say the best shit.”

I wasn’t going to let him away that easily. “You’re avoiding the question, Jeff.”

A heavy sigh. “Okay. Prayer rarely results in action. With how many – 7 billion people on the planet – there are just too many conflicting prayers: ‘God please help my country win this war.’ ‘No, God, please help MY country win this war.’ I can’t make everyone happy.”

“So you choose to help make nobody happy?”

He didn’t seem to love that. “Seriously, dude? You know one thing you may want to try? Wish chips.”

“Wish chips?”

“Yeah, man, remember when you were a kid? Every time you found a potato chip that was folded double, you made a wish. Those often come true.”

I stopped writing. “Wish chips? So you listen to wish chips, but not the prayers of your devout followers?”

“Oh no. I don’t have anything to do with wish chips. Frangible, one of my ex-managers, had a bit of an entrepreneurial bent. He quit and started his own thing. Usually people wish for easier stuff with the chips: A birthday gift, a few dollars, a smile from a pretty girl. Frangible is often able to grant these wishes without infringing on the wishes of others – or on any divine annual plan.”

“Wish chips, eh? And what about birthday candle wishes?”

“Of course those don’t work. What are you: Frigging eight years old?”