I had a little surprise in the YMCA sauna recently.

“Have you gotten to know Jesus Christ?” The nude, graying, woman asked me.

I liked her question…a lot! It was a kind of high for me; like that virgin sip of cheap syrupy wine I had when I was an adolescent. I wanted to tell that woman—whom I believed followed me into the sauna to properly introduce me to Jesus Christ---“No, I don’t know Jesus Christ that well; we’ve only gone out together a few times and he was high.” Or, “Yes, I know Jesus Christ very well. He’s been dating my brother for years.”

Instead I asked her “What do you mean?"

I don’t do so well turning silly questions around, but I’m working on it in order to get more writing material. My old response to such questions were: “No, I don’t know Jesus/God/Jehovah or Thor, I’m an atheist” which is a lame response for a wannabe satirical writer like me, and it gets me looks of pity from those whom I pity.

“Well, what do they teach you about Jesus at church?” she asks, assuming anyone who sits in a sauna is there to be asked about church.

“I don’t go to church, and I don’t believe in spirits”

“Why not?” she responds with the disbelief of a person who has just been told there is no such thing as bread.

“Don’t have to”

“Can I ask you a personal question?"

“Sure” Hmmm…She’s going to ask me to recommend a good Brazilian waxer?

“What will you do after you die? What about everlasting life?”

“When I die I won’t feel anything that’s why I enjoy life now. I’ve a wonderful life!” I should get an award for smugness.

“Really?” She questions as if a “wonderful life” is an oxymoron. Perhaps she missed that lesson on How to
Respond to Cheerful Atheists When Your Pubic Hair is Showing and you Ain’t Got Your Bible.”

“Oh yeah! I read lots of different books, travel the world, garden, paint, draw, hike. I love my life” I sound like a personal ad.

“A lot of people don’t enjoy their lives” she tells me.

“True, but I wouldn’t change a thing in mine.” Of course, that’s always a lie. I would have changed a lot of things in my life, if given the chance. For instance, I would not have shared a home and bed with that cross dresser with the bladder and erection problem.

“You wouldn’t change a thing?”

“Nope.” Yes I would. I’d start this conversation all over again and tell you that I know Jesus very well. He’s been dating my brother for years.

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Comment by Christopher Raiti on September 9, 2009 at 12:54pm
I'm really lame then. My battalion chaplain asked me if I'd like to go to church sometime, and I just said, "It's not my thing," hoping that he'd engage in further inquiries. I was sure that he must have read some personnel record with my bio proudly displaying atheism.
The US Army still looks down on atheists, but they know better than to discriminate against me. I was happy to discover later that, of the 10 soldiers with whom I regularly work, at least four of them are atheists. There is hope for the Army yet!
Comment by zeeman barzell on September 8, 2009 at 2:45pm
You should have scooted closer and started softly stroking her thigh.
Comment by gobbycoot on September 7, 2009 at 4:01pm
Love it. :)

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