Category Archives: Interview

109. The End

Jeff looked like something was on his mind. “Paul, there’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to come out with it: I think it’s time for our interviews to end.”

I was shocked. “Seriously? But there are so many other things we need to discuss!”

“Like what?”

I held up my index finger. “First, did Joshua really bring down the walls of Jericho by having all his horn-blowers play a note?”

“It was more of a metaphor. His band was the best around. Kind of like how you may say that a band really blew the roof off of where they played; no roofs were actually harmed.”

I held up two fingers. “B: How do you feel about capital punishment?

“Not a fan of the killing.”

I held up a third finger. “Third, do suicide bombers really get 72 virgins when they die? Because honestly, that sounds like a shitty deal. So you get to sleep with a virgin a night for seventy-two nights. Then what happens? No more virgins for the rest of eternity?”

“Seriously, you expect me to keep churning out virgins for the rest of eternity? And I believe I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of the killing.”

I held up one more finger. “And D: Is there life on other planets?”

He looked at me with disdain. “Of course there is! Look at how many other planets there are. Just from a statistical point of view, it’s practically impossible that there wouldn’t be. Y’all think you’re SO special that you are the only intelligent life on all these billions of planets? Anything else?”

“Hmm. I can’t really think of anything. Why are you ending the interviews now?”

The Almighty thought about this. “I think we’ve put a lot of the ridiculous beliefs about me to bed. We’ve given all those Cwazy Cwistians lots to think about. We may even have made the world a better place (it COULD happen!). But I still like to leave a LITTLE mystery. Also, I really need to start acting like I’m in charge again; some of my managers have been slacking. You don’t even want to know what’s been happening in the Department of Climate Change and Genital Warts!”

“You’ve got that right. Really don’t want to know. So that’s it then? Any closing remarks?”

He paused. “Just one: For fuck’s sake, could you just try being nice to each other? Is that so hard?”

“Dude, it may be, but I appreciate the thought.”

The Lord begat a bottle of his home brew goat piss, and two glasses. “So we should have a last glass together.”

“If I’d known it was our last day together, I probably wouldn’t have kicked a door into your face, you know.”

He waved a hand at me. “Pah! No worries! I’m fine. How are you going to be?”

I mocked his wave. “Pah! No worries! I’m working on it.”

He looked at me sternly. “You’ll keep going to Dr. Schadenfreude?”

“But of course. It takes more than a year of hanging with a supreme being to clear up all my fuckeduppedness.”

He corrected me. “THE Supreme Being.”

“You know, more people might like you if you weren’t so full of yourself.”

The Supreme Being smiled. “Arsehole. Let’s kill this bottle.”

And so endeth the reading.

108. Action

The Lord came back into the room. He was accompanied by a petite woman in a business suit. She looked very happy with herself.

He put one hand on her shoulder. “Paul, I’d like you to meet our newest manager, Fauna. She has just been put in charge of the new Department of Animal Attacks and Eyebrow Piercings. We’re very proud to have her on board.”

I shook her hand. “Fauna! Congratulations. Are you excited to start your new job?”

“I am, thank you. I think I can get those animal attacks happening much more efficiently. There has been no thought put into them at all up to this point. It’s like it was all decided by the wild animals themselves!”

“Well I look forward to seeing your work – not personally, of course!”

“Thank you. Well, I’d better go get started. Those grizzlies can’t be trusted to maul hikers on their own.”

She turned and left. Jeff sat back down on his couch. “Lucifer’s idea. Says she’s the best lightning-striker in the Department of Weather and Closet Lint. We need that kind of precision in our animal attacks.”

“I bet she’ll do a great job. You know that promoting one woman to management doesn’t let you off the hook, right?”

The Almighty nodded emphatically. “Yes, yes. Of course. Lucifer has committed a sub-committee in HR to make sure we eventually have more women in responsible positions.”

“Most excellent.”

“I told him that he has my full support, just as long as none of them are French Canadian.”

Fuck. This could turn into a long day.

107. Managers

“Speaking of your managers, I’ve noticed a little something.”

The Lord nestled in on his couch. “Ask away, sister.”

“Okay. Well now, every time you mention one of your managers, I’ve noticed it’s always a male. Are there any female managers?”

He sat up straight. “Um … no. I guess there aren’t any, now that you mention it.”

“But you told me that women are just as capable as men, I’m assuming that applies to beings on the heavenly administrative end of things, doesn’t it?”

“Well, yes. Of course it does, but…”

I interrupted. “So is there a glass ceiling at work here, Jeff? Is there only so high that you’ll allow females to rise among the ranks?”

He started to bluster. “Well, of course not. Women have just as many opportunities in the organization as men. It’s just that when the management positions became available, the most qualified candidate happened to be a man!”

I rested my face in my hand. “Dude? Every single time?”

“I know it’s hard to believe, but it has to be either a man or a woman. The probability of it being one or the other is just 50%. That’s not so hard to believe, is it?”

“So there has never been a woman who is more qualified than the men you chose?”

He tried to sound confident. “Never!”

I kept pushing. “And why do you think that is?”

“Well … … … there are other jobs that the women are better at that the men just can’t do. You know, clerical stuff, cleaning the offices.”

My face was back in my hand. “Oh, dude!”

“No, really. You can’t expect the men to do that stuff! And the women are just so much better at it.”

“Seriously, dude. Do you hear the things you’re saying?”

And the back-pedalling began. “No. Wait! See, there didn’t used to be any female staff. They were all at home raising the kids. Now that they’re just starting into the work force, they’re just not qualified for the management positions. But they are really good at the jobs they have.”

I shook my head. “Please tell me this isn’t the official word. Please tell me there is something else to say on the topic.”

“I need to talk to Lucifer about it. He’s the HR Manager, after all. I’m sure he knows the official policy reasons behind these hirings. Can I get back to you on that?”

“I wish you would.”

106. Babel

Another hungover morning after hanging out with Jeff. Being a prophet was hard work. The name on his door was V.R. Dammt.

I reached for the knob. As I saw it begin to turn, I kicked the door. It opened a few inches before stopping suddenly, and then falling shut again.

“Fuck! Son of a bitch! That hurts!”

I reached for the knob again, and – for the first time – opened the door myself. I take the small victories where I can. “Oh hey, Jeff. How’s your monkey?”

The Creator glared at me over his hands that were trying to stop the blood gushing from his nose. “You’re an arsehole! Why’n fuck would you want to do that?”

I shrugged and sat down on my usual couch. I knew I’d probably feel guilty about this before long – guilty is what I do. I figured I owed him an explanation, and couldn’t think of a good one. “I always get pissed off when someone makes me think in German?”

“Noted.”

He pulled a tissue from his sleeve and held his nose while he sat down. Yep, the guilt was setting in. “Speaking of languages, mind if we talk about the Tower of Babel?”

In a pinched, nasal voice, “Be my guest.”

I flipped open my glittery Elvis bible to a marked page. “I remember in Sunday School, they told us that the people of earth tried to build a tower to reach Heaven. This pissed you off so much (pardon my paraphrasing) because you saw it as a false idol. That’s what Mrs. Tailor, my Sunday School teacher, told me.”

The Almighty raised one eyebrow, tried removing the tissue from his nose. More blood gushed, so he clapped the tissue back to his nose. “Mrs. Tailor is a liar.”

I pictured kindly old Mrs. Tailor, and thought that was a little harsh. Of course, I had just kicked a door into his face. A little harshness may be expected. “Here’s what the Good Book says your reaction was: Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

He smiled a little sheepishly through the tissue and said nothing.

I continued. “You were worried about what the people might accomplish if they worked together, so you ‘confounded their language’ and ‘scattered them abroad upon the face of the earth’. Does that sound like what you did?”

Another smile. “It kind of sounds like an arsehole thing to do when you put it that way.”

“I’m not sure what other way to put it. Sounds like you were scared of what we might do, so you fucked up everyone’s life, and made it harder for us to communicate. Think of all the unnecessary wars that may have caused!”

He pulled the tissue from his nose. “I wasn’t scared!” A squirt of blood went down the front of his jacket. “Be right back.”

When he returned, his nose wasn’t bleeding, and his jacket was clean. He crossed his feet, stuck his arms straight out to the sides, and said, “You are forgiven, my son.”

Between you and me, I have to admit to finding it a little funny, but I didn’t want to encourage him. “Cut that shit out. So you were saying you weren’t REALLY scared of humankind.”

“Yeah, man. I just didn’t want y’all making a mess. After Adam and Eve had buggered up my apple tree, I was keeping everyone on a pretty short leash. So actually, I turned to Malediction, the Manager in charge of the Department of Language and Nose Hairs (he wasn’t very busy back in those days), and I asked him to make sure the humans didn’t get up to this kind of mischief anymore.”

“Christ! And so he chose the solution that would guarantee him some job security?”

“Now that you mention it, his department suddenly did get much busier.”

105. Goat piss

I ran down to my friendly neighbourhood liquor store, and straight to my usual section, to grab my usual cheap Merlot.

Holy shit! This had never happened before. They were out of my Merlot! I just stood there for a moment, contemplating this newest development in my life.

Before I knew it, a young guy was at my elbow. “Excuse me, sir. Can I help you?”

“Christ, I hope so.” I told him my usual brand name, and showed him the shelf where my Merlot was not.

He smiled. “We’re temporarily out of the Merlot, but we do have the Cabernet in your brand.”

I don’t like change. “Please tell me the difference between a Merlot and a Cab.”

“Well, a Cabernet usually has a more savoury flavour. In the more … um … expensive bottles, you can really taste the black currants. The Merlot is more of a dinner wine, while the Cabernet can stand alone.”

“Okay, dude. Here’s the thing: I am a wine buffoon, but love the stuff. If I happen to think that this brand of Merlot is fantastic stuff, will I like the Cab?”

The guy got a look on his face like he was smelling a bad fart. “Sir, if you think THAT Merlot is fantastic, then you won’t even notice a difference in the Cabernet. I’m sorry.”

I smiled. “Don’t be sorry, my friend. That is the best answer I could have hoped for!”

I grabbed a couple bottles and happily walked toward the checkouts.

104. One year

My call display said I was getting a call from 555-THE-LORD. I decided to pick up.

Before I could even say hello: “Paul! Do you know what date is approaching?”

“Canada Day? Independence Day? Some seemingly random holy day?”

“Dude! Really? The anniversary of our first interview!” It’s been a year since we started this thing.”

“A year, eh? It sure does fly past.”

Hesitation. “I can never tell when you’re being sarcastic. We need to develop hand signals.”

“Um … we’re on the phone.”

“What? Oh, right. Anyhow, we need to have cake. Cake is good for anniversaries, right? Chocolate is okay with you?”

He seemed so excited. I decided to stop being a prick about it. “Chocolate cake would be lovely, thank you.”

“Cool! And don’t worry, I’m a stickler for the cake-to-ice-cream ratio. I will make sure you don’t run out of ice cream before you finish your cake.”

“Wow! You are the Supreme Being.” Oops! Was going to NOT be sarcastic. “That sounds great. When should we celebrate?”

“Soon! I thought we could go to a picnic table at that park near your building, if that’s okay with you. Do you mind having a little goat piss with your cake and ice cream?”

“Sounds great. I’ll pick up some goat piss and meet you there.”

Jeff tittered. “This is so exciting!”

103. Broken

Dr. Schadenfreude had a new pair of shoes on today. I’m not even sure if he wears glasses, but I know every pair of his shoes.

“So how have things been going lately?”

As usual, I was thinking WAY too hard about how to answer this question. I mean, things are mostly okay, especially during the day when I’m busy. It sometimes gets a little shitty at night when I have more time to think; that’s when I can hear The Hamster Wheel of Depressive Pessimism spinning away. Fuck, I hate hamsters.

“Well, I’ve been worrying. Now that we’ve established that I’m broken, does that mean I’ll only ever attract broken women?”

Puzzled face. “We’ve established that you’re broken?”

I sighed. “Of course we have. Let’s not forget that we’re in a psychiatrist’s office – that means one of us is crazy – and it ain’t MY name on the door. All the dating I’ve done since my separation (and most of my life!) has been with people who were just as broken as I am.”

“So you think that your history determines your destiny?”

“Of course I don’t believe in Destiny. But I think you can often predict the future based on your past. I have a pattern of dating – and marrying, for that matter – women who are approaching the red zone on the crazy meter. That seems to be how it goes.”

He waited, to see if I had anything to add. “How many women have you dated in your life?”

“Shit, I don’t know.”

“We’ll say fewer than 10,000?”

He was on his way to make a point. I hated when he did this shit. “Yes, fewer than 10,000.”

“And how many women are there in the world?”

“I don’t know. 3 billion-ish? I see your point: I’m sure there are plenty of non-crazy women out there, they’re just not the ones I hook up with.”

He paused. “Have you ever been to a party where there are more than 100 people?”

I answered tentatively. “Sure.”

“And how many ‘crazy’ people did you bump into there?”

“I don’t know. One or two.”

“So there could be approximately one to two percent of the population that is ‘broken’. That leaves approximately 2.9 billion women who aren’t ‘crazy’.”

I could tell he didn’t like saying the C-word, but he tends to speak in whatever language I’m speaking. I get a little pleasure out of making him say ‘fuck’ once in a while. “I guess so.”

“Maybe you could learn how to avoid those people, and your history won’t necessarily be your destiny?”

Or maybe monkeys could fly out of my arse? I went back to staring at the new shoes.

102. Relish

Patty’s was crowded, so we tried a new place. Despite his mood, Jeff ordered with his usual gusto. “We’d like a bottle of goat piss, please.”

The waitress turned to me. “What does he mean?”

I smiled. “Your cheapest red wine – and menus, please.”

After a couple glasses, Jeff perked up. “Should we trust their burgers?”

“Dude, I trust everyone’s burgers. Burgers make Baby Jesus happy.”

He laughed. “I suppose we could do worse than bringing that little bastard some joy.”

Our waitress returned to take our order. I ordered first. “I’d like a burger with nothing on it please.”

She nodded. “Nothing at all?”

“Just meat and a bun, with fries, please.”

Jeff’s turn. “I want everything on my burger, please. Like everything. Like a trip around the kitchen.”

She looked at me for approval. “Really?”

I shrugged.

We had time for a couple more glasses of goat piss before the burgers arrived. I doused everything in ketchup, of course. Jeff lifted the bun on his burger, and started picking things off.

“Dude, why did you order it with everything, if you were just going to pick it all off?”

He looked disappointed. “These ingredients are all so ordinary. I was hoping for some magic beans or something, and … OH MY GOD!”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“RELISH! They put relish on my burger! Who’n fuck likes relish?”

“Well there are companies that make and sell the stuff, so there must be a certain percentage of the population.”

Jeff had the meat patty in his hand, and was scraping the relish off with a knife. “Well that percentage of the population is wrong! Foul shit! And it’s almost impossible to get it all off. I’ll be needing extra ketchup to bury the taste.”

Our waitress came by, and looked at all the ingredients scraped off Jeff’s burger. “Everything okay here?”

Jeff responded. “Delicious, thanks. Can we get more ketchup please? I seem to have emptied this bottle.” Then after she left. “Relish! There ought to be a fucking law!”

I had to ask. “So when you say ‘Oh my God’ who are you talking about?”

He stopped spanking the ketchup bottle. “What? Oh, I don’t really know. I guess I’ve always just hoped there would be someone else who is REALLY running things. Someone who would have the sense to eradicate relish. A Supremer Being.”

Un-fucking-believable. Even The Almighty wants to believe in a higher power. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only atheist. I finally couldn’t stand it any longer, and showed God the most efficient way to get ketchup out of a bottle.

He thanked me, and then tore into his burger.

101. Creepy

As I was packing up to go, I thought of something. “Dude. Have you done anything about the librarian of interest yet?”

The Almighty looked miserable. “I was hoping you wouldn’t ask.”

I sat back down. “Sounds like a story to me. Spill it, sister.”

He sighed. “I swear I’m not a stalker!”

“Ah yes! The winning opening line in ANY feel good tale.”

“I just thought that if I spent a little more time at the library, she would get to know me. You know, that way it wouldn’t be like a stranger asking her out.”

“Hmm. Initially a good plan, but I have a feeling it’s about to go bad.”

The Lord looked down at his hands in his lap. “So I went back every day to get a new book. I’m not a freak or nothing: I actually read each book. And I always asked her for help picking out the next book. It wasn’t long before I knew her work schedule. That way, I was able to make sure I was always there for her shift.”

“And there it is.”

“It seemed reasonable. I finally plucked up the courage, and said, ‘Hey, babe. How’d you like to go for coffee with The Supreme Being?’”

I waited for him to say that was a joke. And waited. “Please tell me you didn’t actually say that.”

“It wasn’t the winning line I had expected.”

“Shocking.”

He looked even more despondent. “She was very polite. She just smiled and said, ‘Sorry, dude. You are kind of creepy.’”

“Dude, that sucks. Now what have you learned from this?”

He lowered his head some more. “Don’t be creepy? Don’t say ‘babe’? Don’t hang around too much? Don’t try to come up with an impressive opening line?”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “A star pupil. Feel like joining me for some goat piss?”

100. Healing

“Hey Jeff. Have you ever watched any faith-healers?”

He sat back and looked wistful. “Ah, faith-healers. Now those dudes knew how to put on a show. It’s a shame there aren’t more of them around anymore.”

“Dude, seriously? They were the real deal?”

The Lord waved his hand at me. “Oh no! Total horseshit. But they were charismatic motherfuckers. Who wouldn’t enjoy the show?”

“Um. Maybe the person who believed they would be healed, and then was surprised when it didn’t work out?”

“Ah-ha. Okay now, I can see how that might not be so cool.”

“And what do you think of these religions that deny themselves medical treatment? Like how the Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t accept a transfusion – even if they desperately need it!”

He slapped his forehead. “Unbelievable. They read one of the crazy verses in Leviticus – and let’s face it, they’re ALL crazy in that book – and they decide that they shouldn’t accept the help they may need in a medical emergency.”

I opened my Elvis bible to a page I had folded down. “‘I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood.’ That’s hardly specific. Were there even such things as transfusions back when you spoke these holy words?”

He held up a hand. “Whoa. Stop right there, dude! Those ain’t MY holy words.”

“And really, it sounds to me more like a condemnation of vampires and zombies. Not sure I would ever equate a transfusion with ‘eating’ blood.”

His face clouded. “Fuck me, I hate vampires. If I HAD spoken these holy words, vampires would totally have been the intended target. Zombies are cool though.”

I set down my glittery bible. “Wait a minute. Just hold the fucking phone. Are you telling me that vampires and zombies are real things? Why hasn’t someone documented this?”

“What are you? A fucking child? Of course they’re not real! I’m talking about movies. ’30 Days of Night’ was the scariest movie EVER. Zombie movies are cool-ass though. Did you see the 1990 remake of ‘Night of the Living Dead’? WAY cooler than the original!”

“Two things: Number one, until recently, I didn’t know there were such things as gods and angels, so I think I can be forgiven for allowing that there may be other beings I’ve never known about. And B, if you like that movie, then you really need to watch the 2004 remake of ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Fantastic shit!”

The Lord pulled out his notebook and scratched down a note. “I’ve gotta write that down, otherwise this conversation never took place, with my fucking memory.”

“So back to the main topic, you don’t recommend people forego medical treatment in favour of prayer? They shouldn’t just ‘leave it to God’s will’?”

He looked disgusted. “She-itt! My will was to encourage all these medical breakthroughs that can improve your lives. It’s not the frigging dark ages anymore!”