Monday, November 7, 2011

Don't Whup Me With Your Bible Belt

I would like to say at the outset that this post is probably going nowhere good and at an alarmingly fast rate. I will blame a few people during the course of it and they can call me out for a showdown if'n it will make them feel better. I realize that some of y'all don't cotton to these types of blog posts, so you can just move along. If you haven't yet figured out how to navigate away from an objectionable web page, then you might deserve this. (wink, wink)


The first two blame-ees are Jennifer and masked man who goes by the name of Radical Believer (or RB for short). It could very well be that we would not be here having this experience if these two had not crossed my path at about the same time today. And when I say "crossed my path" I do mean on Facebook (or FB for short). You should know by now that it is not in style to actually see people face-to-face these days. 

Many of you might know Jennifer from her blog "Getting Down With Jesus" (which you would think would mean that we have some video of her boogie moves, but alas, I have not seen any). She is also a Contributing Editor at The High Calling. There's also something about Iowa and corn going on in her life, if memory serves.

Now, RB - he may or may not be known to y'all. Depends on what patch of internet real estate you've been hanging out on, I suppose. He has a blog called "Grappling With Grace". You see, "grappling" is not a word that I hear all that often, unless it is followed by the word "hook". However, RB kindly gives us a definition of the word "grappling" in the header of his blog. It means "wrestling" or "coming to terms with". On a day like today, I can't make it much farther than the word "wrestling". And though it is a true story that I was once a body guard at a pro wrestling event (even met Lou Albano), what I first think about when I think of wrestling is this:

(I don't know if this fellow Jimmy Akin actually took this photo or not. It's been around for several years, but when I was looking for it today, I found it on his website, so he gets "credit".) 


So, RB and I are having a nice, inaugural FB chat when up in the corner of my vision, in that new ticker-ma-jigger thingy, I see "Jennifer" and "666". So of course I have to look. I mean, none of the Jennifers I know (eight on FB if you count one "Jeni") are currently wearing the Mark of the Beast, so I need to be IN THE KNOW about this. (Oh, and if you have not heard the song "27 Jennifers", you should listen. Pardon the toga party they seem to be having - this was the best sounding video I could find.) Where was I? Oh, yes. Jennifer was saying, "For a while today, I had a total of 666 'likes' on my Getting Down With Jesus Facebook page." (Why do any of us need a FB page for our blogs? I'm guilty too, but WHY?) So some of Jennifer's friends helped her bump the number up and get the Mark of the Beast off her page. (Big of them.) But then Jennifer comments to me, "You know what I'm wishing? That I'd taken a screen shot at 666. Is it bad that I saw humor in that?" NO! NO! NO! I am telling you now that there is not enough humor going on in this world. At least amongst Christians (and why does Google Chrome not know the word amongst?). God invented humor - I hear Him laugh at me all the time - so why are we not leading the way in the art of humor?

Wow. I must be worked up about this. I am double-fisted drinking 7.5oz cans of Coke.

At the same time this is going on, I am still trying to chat with RB. You need to know - he ain't from around these here parts. So things that I would say - let's call them what they are: Carolynisms - that you would totally just see as parts of speech are making him "lol". Yes, he seriously typed "lol". He was evidently trying NOT to "lol" so that he would not interrupt his wife's TV program. This being our first chat and all, I have no idea if that means his face didn't even change expressions or if he was trying not to spray his tea/coffee/fruit smoothie out of his nose. This is either a fortunate or unfortunate side-effect of the no-face-to-face thing, depending on your side of the fence. If we had even been Skyping, maybe I could have figured out what that meant, but if we were Skyping, surely he would not have needed to type "lol". 

Oh, I forgot to tell you what I said that made him want to "lol"! I simply told him that I used to tell Mama that I didn't want people to beat me with their Bible belts, and that she would roll her eyes at me. If you are from the South, that probably makes sense to you - the Bible belt part, as I'm sure maternal eye rolls are somewhat universal (and why do we say "universal" as if we know what happens in any other part of the universe except on earth?). While being "beat with a Bible belt" is obviously metaphorical (or is it? what does that word mean?), it feels quite real when you are getting a tongue lashing or blog-lashing or any other type of lashing for crossing the line of some fundamentalist's "Thou shalts" and "Thou shalt nots". I should know. I have crossed those lines many times with sins as simple as undue levity (why? If Christians would just own their humor, it would not be "undue levity". And when is there ever "due" levity?) to the more complicated sin of becoming a Catholic once a year so that I would feel better about taking up a seat in the Cathedral during Midnight Mass (seriously standing room only). 


Another person I would like to call out while I'm doin' the calling is Truman Capote. Yes, I realize he has been dead for 27 years now, but that makes him no less guilty of shattering my belief system. He wrote the self-darning words (I realize that does not sound right, but there might be children around) before I was even born, but I only found them this weekend. So it might be a bit like Schrodinger's cat. Was the cat already dead in the box or did it only die when the box was opened? I do not know enough about quantum theory to answer that question, but I do know enough about my own broken dreams to blame Mr. Capote.

I think we might be up to 8 or even 9 loyal readers now. And I am sure that one of them is asking what dastardly deed Truman Capote has visited upon me from the grave. I was sure hoping you were going to ask that! You see, it has to do with my Yankee husband. Him being from the north and all already means he's going to talk different than most people in these parts. However, there are quiet a few of us - my husband included - who sometimes wonder if he did not make up his own sets of rules and definitions for the English language. I could write a book on Hubby's overall speaking habits, but as it relates to Mr. Truman Capote, there is just one thing I have in mind.

My dear husband will often tell me that he "does not disagree" with me. If you know him well enough, you might think this is a purposeful way to avoid actually admitting that he agrees with me. I do see it as outright prevaricating. Why the double negative? Why not say, "I agree with you, honey"? I wish I had a dime for every time he told me he doesn't disagree with me. We would have no debt at all! And he's retired from the military, so the Army Macho Club would not be able to dock his pay for agreeing out loud with a woman. 

So this past weekend I was skim reading through Capote's In Cold Blood. True crime is not my usual genre of choice, but the crimes he details took place in Holcomb, Kansas, a town that my brother used to live in and that I have visited before. I was mildly interested to know the effect such brutality had on such a small (still) town. Towards the back of the book, Capote is writing in detail about the opinion of a psychiatrist that was not allowed to be heard at trial. He compares that opinion with the findings of a more experienced criminal psychiatrist. And then, he commits his own crime against Carolyn when he says, "So it would appear that by independent paths, both the professional and the amateur analyst reached conclusions not dissimilar." 

Augh! Why? Why can he not just say they are similar? Are they not similar enough, therefore they remain "not dissimilar"? 

You are wondering why this is such a huge deal, right? It is a huge deal because it validates the way my husband "does not disagree" with me. If Truman Capote wrote like that back in 1966, it is completely possible that there are whole groups of people who speak like that! Mr. Capote is a respected author, and I have not read anywhere that he was well-liked "except for his double negatives". I cannot really yell at my spouse for being contrarious as a set-down jackass if I am not going to accuse Truman Capote of the same thing. Which I just might...


This post is getting long and my Chihuahuas are getting hungry, so I won't go on much longer. There is one last person that needs calling out, though. Unfortunately, that person is unknown to me. The crime? Creating the phrase "smack dab in the middle". What does that mean?  Can you even be "dab in the middle" without the "smack"? Now I do love me some Southernisms, but many of them make sense to me. (Scary, isn't it?) However, "smack" and "dab" just don't go together like french fries and mayo, you know? (a combination I hate but that Hubby loves - trying to give in to him on something here) 


As usual on Monday nights, I'm linking with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. After reading this rubbish, Jen might not ever let me link up again, so enjoy it while it lasts! There is bound to be a post linked up over there that you will actually get something good from!


  1. Truman Capote was a genius. You're right to consider that your husband is perhaps not incorrect. :)

  2. @Brandee Shafer I'm only letting you get away with that because you are one of the loyal 8 or 9! ;)

  3. I tell Chad that I don't disagree with him all the time. Must be a northern thing.

    French fries and mayo are a combination that should never have been invented.

  4. "Contrarious as a set-down jackass"? I'm not sure what that truly means, but it made me smile anyway.

    I think the main thing that bothered me when dealing with my own "do not disagree" user is that I knew it usually meant that he didn't agree with me, either.

  5. Guilty as charged. I sometimes find myself saying, "I don't disagree with you" which generally means that I don't entirely agree either.

    As for that book on your husband's use of language, you'd probably best hold off or he might have to disagree with you after all :-)

  6. smack dab in the middle of your post, i found myself wondering why i haven't been here more often. i will make sure to correct that error :-)
    and the "666" thing must be a trend, for my 11-year-old, who i was sure was full of the devil the other day, was proudly touting her score on some Wii game, screaming through the house, "Mom, my score was 666!!!" (and she has no reference point for that, so had no clue what she was saying) all i could think on that particular day was. . . . "of course." :-)
    enjoyed your post!

  7. My son caught me saying "it's not unlike" the other day.

    I don't disagree with the way your husband speaks...

  8. I think you might need help. Maybe.

  9. I think I'm just going to "lol" at this one and leave it at that. Thank you for bringing a little "due levity" to my day. :)

  10. You're hilarious, Carolyn! Enjoyed this post.


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