Plain crazy

Incidental portrait

Incidental portrait

Continuing from my last post…

On a different occasion when I was looking at some street art (the photo in an earlier post), an older gentleman who happened to be walking by, watched me take a photo (and in case you are wondering, he was nothing like the man in the photo above who looks more like the kind of old geezer I imagine myself looking like some day; badass attitude and all, and looking kind of plain crazy).

As soon as I had taken the photo he started talking about “those damn vandals who think it’s fun to deface private property.” The fact that this particular “vandalism” was approved by the owner of the wall seemed to elude him. To be fair he was probably generalising about graffiti and tagging in other places around the city and I agreed with him that I too, wasn’t particularly fond of unauthorised, wanton defacing of public property.

We talked for a while and then he turned it around by condemning all vandals to “rot in Hell”.

“I’m fairly certain that’s all propaganda”, I said.

“What are you talking about?” he asked.

“That whole fire-and-brimstone thing about Hell.”

“What?”

“You know, it’s just the Church giving it a bad rap to get more people on their side.”

“You’re having me on right?” he said, confident that I was joking.

“Not at all,” I replied. “I mean think about it. This fallen angel called Satan gets kicked out of Heaven so he goes off to start his own club and he starts recruiting members by temping them to do bad stuff knowing that God won’t want them in Heaven. So he goes around tempting people and some people resit the temptations but others do his bidding without a second thought. So you have to ask yourself: why in the world would he punish these people when God sends them to Hell? He’d be like, ‘Dude, well done with all that music pirating and that coveting your neighbour’s wife. Nice touch wearing her underwear you stole off her clothesline you perv. High five!’

By this stage, the old chap was looking at me like I was crazy and it was quite apparent that he didn’t know what to make of what I was saying.

Undeterred, I continued.

“So in Hell they’re all having a pretty wild time, while in Heaven, well you know, it’s kind of lame: clouds, harps, family members you never really liked hanging around all the time; it’s kind of hard to sell the benefits so it’s easier to make Hell sound scary. I mean we can’t know for sure right? But that would make sense don’t you reckon?”

He looked at me, disbelieving, perhaps still wondering if I wasn’t just pulling his leg but all he said was: “Son, that’s just plain crazy.”

And with that he walked off. I didn’t even get a “God bless.”

7 thoughts on “Plain crazy

  1. I have to say that if this little story is true it’s one of the best (and most humorous) I’ve heard in a very long time. Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. And it’s definitely a different slant on the general conception of “hell”. If you tried to pitch that idea to some of the fundamentalist fire and brimstone knuckleheads in the U. S., they’d probably burn you at the stake! More people would opt for going to hell, right? I think I would……..

    Now that’s a wonderful image. As you say, he looks just a little bit nuts. And is he really giving the photographer the finger? And what’s he got in his other hand?

    • Cheers Paul. I like making people think about the things they say. In turn it makes me think about the things I believe. I just try not to be too mean about it.
      The old dude in the photo hangs on a wall of a pizza restaurant and bar where the beer is cold and the pizza is average and overpriced. It’s frequented by mostly young, loud people so at least it has a pretty good atmosphere when it’s packed which is quite regularly I believe. And yes, that old geezer is giving us the finger while eating a slice of pizza. Hmm… the things I aspire to be. I must have a bit of crazy in me for sure ;)

  2. I like this future image of you. :-) Probably need to add a couple of days beard growth. Your story made me smile this morning. I was raised in a fundamental church and have had those exact same questions. Although there are a few relatives I would like to see again. I would loved to have seen his facial expressions.

    • Cheers Monte. I’m glad it made you smile. I was a little worried that I might offend some people because that is definitely not my intent. I think it’s useful to examine our beliefs and injecting a bit of humour in our contemplations doesn’t hurt.

  3. What a fantastic story, Cedric. I had a good laugh at that one, especially picturing his befuddlement. I’m sure that he went home, or perhaps to his friends, and told the story of the crazy man that he met whilst looking at graffiti – who knows, he might have even said that you looked like the guy on the wall! :D

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