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.”
“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.”