Lesser-Known Catholic Relics, Miracles, and Holy Sites

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The Coughing Statue of the Blessed Virgin: Situated in a public square in the village of Opatija, on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, this marble likeness of Mary is said to clear its throat loudly when people stop paying attention to it. Passersby have also reported hearing murmurs of “Hey! Over here,” “Stop fawning over that cheap Michelangelo knockoff,” and on crowded days, “Coupons! Free drink coupons!”

The Mostly Holy Rough Draft of the Sermon on the Mount: Contains seven previously unreleased Beatitudes, including “Blessed are those who speak softly in restaurants; they shall receive good service,” and “Blessed are the managers at Shlomo’s of Judea Hair Salon, for they readily accommodate walk-ins.”

The Immaculate Hot Tub at the Spokane Motel 6: Although the chlorination system has not functioned properly since 1987, thousands of guests have shared this Jacuzzi over the years without a single reported infection.

The Boning Knife of St. James the Greater: James was a fisherman by trade, and when Jesus fed the five thousand, this “original Miracle Blade” helped with the filleting. Since then it has been connected with several miracles, including the feeding of an entire Italian-American wedding from one stuffed flounder.

The Healing Spirit of St. Finbar’s Distillery: Made in County Kerry, Ireland, this 110-proof aged whiskey relieves pain and inspires ecstatic visions when consumed in sufficient quantities. Those who experience spiritual communion with Christ Himself are awarded a free T-shirt.

The Incorruptible Timex of St. Ignatius: Although this Benedictine martyr was buried alive, dug up again, drowned, boiled in fat, partially devoured by wolves, and then reburied in a peat bog, his wristwatch was still running when his remains were exhumed in 1931. This is doubly astounding, since Ignatius died several centuries before wristwatches were invented.

The Miraculous Lucky Strike of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Smoked continuously for thirty-one years by Monsignor John Carroll of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, this unfiltered cigarette burns perpetually but is never consumed.

The Tangentially Blessed Hotel Bar of Palermo: Located in the Marriott-owned Bellavista Suites, this casual nightspot is mildly revered because the weekend bartender, Carlito, has a sister-in-law whose great-aunt went to the same grade school as Saint Bernadette.

The Latent Stigmata of Glenn Taubes, Canadian Postal Clerk: Described by his Ottawa, Ontario friends and neighbors as a “very nice man,” Taubes suffers occasionally from medically inexplicable cramps in the hands and feet, accompanied by a “sharp, poking sensation” in his right side.

The Divine Message at Charles Schwab, LLC: On December 12, 1999, the figure of Christ appeared to Matthew Kartali, a senior partner in the Atlanta office of the international brokerage firm. “For My sake, do not invest further in telecommunications, for thy earnings shall be vanquished,” the Lord reportedly said. “Liquidate thy holdings from the NASDAQ and take refuge in real estate and government bonds, and you shall be spared the pain of the coming Apocalypse.” Kartali was later indicted for insider trading.

The Mystery of the Holy Intersection: Fifteen miles outside Lubbock, Texas lies the junction of Highway 631 and Old Dallas Pike, which, when viewed from overhead, uncannily resembles the sign of the Cross.

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Hot NYC Neighborhoods, 2013

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Dubuque

Time to midtown: 3 hour flight, then 1 hour on the M60 bus from LaGuardia

Favorite Haunt: Oky Doky Food Mart on West 1st Street

Rants and Raves: Loyalists love Dubuque’s “small-town feel,” sweetened by the “super-cheap rents” (a one-bedroom in a doorman building averages $525 per month); other pluses include “good public schools” and “awesome corn.” Naysayers lament the “homogenous, vaguely Midwestern population” and say “good luck finding a decent Sri Lankan restaurant.”

The East River

Time to midtown: 25 minutes swimming with the current, 45 against; longer in droughts

Favorite Haunt: Buoy #69452

Rants and Raves: “Astounding views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens” are yours for the taking in this “ultra-convenient” location, “less crowded than the Hudson” and without the direct impact of New Jersey’s sewage. And you can count on constant change here — one reader says “you’ll never step in the same river twice.” Drawbacks: residents complain of “damp” conditions and “constant flooding;” the E.R. also tops our list of ‘hoods that are “bad news for people in wheelchairs.”

ReLiTER (REar of the LIncoln Tunnel Electrical Room)

Time to midtown: 5 minutes

Favorite Haunt: Behind the fuse box

Rants and Raves: Look out, Dumbo and Nolita: Reliter is catching up fast, thanks in no small part to being “spitting distance from the theater district” and “completely impervious to weather in all its forms.” But don’t move here if you’re bothered by “round-the-clock pitch-darkness,” “frayed, illegibly labeled 1000-volt cables” and “hazardous levels of carbon monoxide.”

Rikers Island

Time to midtown: 15 years to life, with time off for good behavior

Favorite Haunt: Exercise Yard (open daily 10 a.m. — 11 a.m.)

Rants and Raves: “NYC’s best-kept secret,” R.I. is rapidly scoring points for its “central location” (equidistant from three boroughs), “spacious accommodations” (shared doubles are bigger than a studio in Chelsea) and — no kidding — “free room and board.” Now the cons: lifers warn that it’s “easier getting in than getting out;” the “cigarette-based currency” can be frustrating to newcomers, who should “avoid showing weakness at all times.” And bachelors take note: despite the “thriving underground sex scene” Rikers is still considered a “lousy place to meet women.”

UnMetExRamNeJeT (UNder the MEtuchen EXit RAMp off the NEw JErsey Turnpike)

Time to midtown: 25 minutes

Favorite Haunt: Leroy’s Burning Trash Can

Rants and Raves: Within a few years, Unexramnejet is poised to become the “next Unsecexramnejet” (under the Secaucus exit ramp) only “less snobby.” Home to a thriving native population of “rats” and “derelicts,” Unmetexramnejet scores points for being “nicer than Jersey City,” and “convenient to gas, food, and lodging,” although the “constant traffic noise” and “unfashionable Metuchen zip code” keep some would-be gentrifiers at bay.

The New York City Morgue

Time to midtown: 15 minutes

Favorite Haunt: The conscience of your murdering husband

Rants and Raves: “Cozy single accommodations” are the rule in this “dead-quiet” nook of Manhattan; one self-proclaimed “Morgue Mama” says she’s “never once been bothered by the neighbors.” Some are irked by the “meat-locker air conditioning,” and a “stiff” local population that “isn’t aging well;” squatters are advised to “switch drawers every two or three days” or risk being “dissected” or “incinerated.”

Betelgeuse

Time to midtown: 425 years at light speed

Favorite Haunts: Several “hot spots” of boiling potassium gas

Rants and Raves: Talk about “hot” — this “shining star” of the outer-outer boroughs “burns bright” with the force of 60,000 Suns! “Incredible views of the Milky Way” are yours at this “world-renowned” address, which remains largely “untouched by life as we know it.” Watch out for “commutes that far exceed the average human lifespan” unless your Honda can “defy Einsteinian physics” by outpacing the speed of light; be prepared to make peace with the “total lack of atmosphere.”

Hell

Time to midtown: Eternity

Favorite Haunt: The walled city of Dis (dress code strictly enforced)

Rants and Raves: “Primo celebrity sightings” and natural wonders like “boiling craters of sulphur” are two of the attractions at this “ultimate destination for many New Yorkers.” Opportunists have crowded out the fringe, but there’s plenty of room in the lower circles, whose denizens are uniformly “full of Pride.” “Infinite, unbearable suffering” and “permanent separation from the loving arms of God” are common gripes from new arrivals; old-timers grumble that “everything’s turning into a Starbucks.”

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Chore Whore

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Researchers from the University of California say that if men share household chores…their wives will find them more attractive.

— Yahoo! News release

Sure I sold myself. Who in our society doesn’t? Just like anyone else, I provided a valuable service. I made a lot of women very happy, if only for a couple of hours. I gave them a kind of satisfaction that their husbands and boyfriends just couldn’t provide. Trust me: if they were getting it at home, they wouldn’t be coming to me.

I started young. I was barely nineteen, halfway through a Comp Lit degree at Swarthmore and two semesters behind on my bookstore bill. I had lost my job at the 7-11; they had finally installed an automatic hot dog rotisserie, so they didn’t need anyone to turn the crank. Times were hard. Lucky for me, when your bedroom is more or less on public display and you share a co-ed bathroom, word about your potential eventually gets around. I was typing up a letter to Student Accounts about my ongoing and expensive struggle with dengue fever when my hall advisor, Reynaldo, dropped in. He told me there were some ladies out on the Main Line who would pay serious money for a little time with me — no questions asked. I was nervous, but I needed the dough, so how could I refuse?

I remember my first trick like it was yesterday. Mrs. Helene Goldman, forty-three years old, with a body that could easily pass for forty. Her husband was a thoracic surgeon, and they had a five-bedroom house in Bryn Mawr that was full of everything except the attention she desperately craved. I showed up on a Wednesday morning around ten, after the kids were in school. She led me into the kitchen and my heart started racing. She must have known I was green, but she played it cool. She laid a C-spot down on the table, stretched out across two chairs, kicked off her slippers and told me exactly what she wanted.

“Take out the garbage,” she said.

She spoke in a hungry, husky growl — kind of a cross between Marlene Dietrich and a broken air conditioner — and I knew right then that she would not be denied. Whether I could live up to her expectations was another question. Sure, I had taken out my share of trash, but usually just the little wastebasket from my dorm room. This was the real thing: a Hefty tall kitchen bag filled with coffee grounds and carrot peels and two empty Eggo boxes that had definitely not been pre-crushed. Remember, this was before the heyday of the Cinch-sack or any of your other modern conveniences. I had nothing but a flimsy twist-tie and a ten-year old memory of Boy Scout knots to help me bring this woman to the peak of satisfaction.

I tried to look professional, but I was sweating bullets. I had never done anything like that with somebody watching, let alone paying for the privilege. Let me tell you, it isn’t easy to perform under that kind of pressure. The bag was pretty full, so I used my foot to squash the trash down, and for a second I caught her wincing. Not a good start. But then something — inspiration? Desperation? The hand of God? — made me slip the dirty shoe off my foot, and set it upside-down on the linoleum, so I wouldn’t mess up her fresh mop job.

“Ooh, you’re good,” Mrs. Goldman moaned, squirming with pleasure. That kicked me into high gear. I yanked up the sides of the bag and started fumbling with the knot like I was defusing a bomb. Helene put her hand on mine. “Slower,” she said. She guided me along at her pace until I got the hang of it. From that point instinct pretty much took over. After I finished, I carried the bag out the back door with one hand cupped gently underneath it, and not only locked down the outdoor bin but took it out to the curb to boot. When I returned, I wiped off the sole of my dirty shoe with a paper towel and Fantastick before I put it back on. Unsophisticated, sure, but it sent the right message.

“Marv almost never takes out the trash, and when he does, there’s always a trail of bread crumbs or dental floss or some kind of liquefied vegetable slime all the way out to the door,” Helene said breathlessly, handing me a fresh bag and checking the windows for peeping Toms. She was avoiding eye contact now, and I think she was crying. “I just need someone to think about what I need every once in a while.”

I rolled the new liner gently over the lip of the can and said, “Of course, Mrs. Goldman. It’s the least you deserve.” She looked me straight in the eye with a white-hot desire, and for a second I thought she was going to ask me to scour her broiler pan, but then the postman rang and she shoved the Franklin in my hand and my butt out the back door.

Within six months I had more janes than I could handle. I cruised grocery stores, strip malls, Lord and Taylor’s. I could spot a potential client on sight. Mid-thirties to early forties, married five, ten, maybe twelve years, a couple of fidgety kids in tow, not quite enough makeup to hide the wear and tear of a thousand thankless little chores. If the husband was around, he was usually waylaid in the Electronics section, comparing the pictures of six identical TV sets. Poor schmucks. They didn’t know what they had — or what they had already lost.

I was always a pretty fastidious guy, but I never imagined that all my anal-retentive habits would pay off like this. A lot of the girls wanted me to clean the bathroom, and when I actually scrubbed the tile cracks with a toothbrush and soap scum remover, they went straight to heaven. I’ve made more than one grown woman squeal with joy just by dusting underneath her desk lamps. And if there are any men reading this, here’s some free advice: Learn your way around a few choice vacuum attachments, and you’ll never need marital counseling.

You might think someone like me would wind up in a lot of nasty scrapes with jealous meatheads, but it’s actually pretty easy to stay below the radar. The husbands see what they want to see. They’ll come home at the end of the day, and the entire dining room will be cleaned top to bottom — including the blades of the ceiling fan — and there’s a brand new tablecloth and it’s been pre-washed and ironed, and if they notice at all they think this is the sort of the thing their wives do in their leisure time, like pottery or canasta. I remember one time I actually left an old pair of my boxers in Phyllis Whistler’s silver chest — I was using them to polish up her sugar bowls — and apparently when her husband found them, he said “Why did you have to go and ruin these shorts, Phyllis? They’ve only got three holes!”

Of course sometimes you just get caught. Once I was elbow-deep in Kate Berman’s utility drawer, lubricating her rollers to massage away a stubborn squeak, when her fiancé walked in. There was no covering it up; the entire kitchen was littered with spatulas, wooden spoons, and potato mashers that she had tossed aside in a fit of reckless passion. I stood there, slackjawed, while he stared at us with a mixture of shock and betrayal. Finally, he just blurts out: “I was going to do that on Saturday!” Next thing you know they were throwing plates, and I was already halfway over the backyard fence, with a spooked-out Rottweiler chomping at my heels.

Would I ever go back? I don’t think so. It’s a young man’s game; I just don’t have the stamina for it anymore. Besides, after a while the girls start taking you for granted. I’ll never forget the day I scrubbed down every last window in Ginny Chamberlain’s house. Those windows were filthy. For all Ginny knew, Mount Pinatubo could have erupted right on her front lawn, and it wouldn’t look any different. I shined and polished that glass until I had a tennis elbow like Andre Agassi’s, and when Ginny came home all she said was “Who the hell left all the blinds open?”

It’s a good thing I got paid to put up with that crap. Otherwise I’d really have gone crazy.

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The Greatest Story Ever Sold

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Constellation Pictures

A Division of Beatrice Foods, Inc.

Sherman Oaks, California

Dear Mark:

Just looked over your treatment for “The Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God” (needs a new title; we’ll talk later). I think Bob and Gordon are close to greenlighting this one; it’s got action, it’s got drama, it’s original (“what if God had a son?” — brilliant!), and the ending practically guarantees a strong buzz.

I’ve made a few notes (outlined below) that I hope you’ll take as helpful suggestions from a voice of experience. None of these are big changes. They’re just little tweaks and adjustments that might help you get this thing out of your desk drawer. If you can shoot me a full draft (taking these issues into account) by Monday the 23rd, I’ll make sure it’s on Gordon’s desk before he leaves for Portugal on Tuesday.

* * * * * * *

Opening/Prologue: Love the baptism scene. I have a problem with the Holy Spirit coming down as a dove. Doves are a bitch to train and they crap all over everything. Don’t bring up digital animation; it costs a fortune and Gordon won’t sign off on it unless we get Burton or Schumacher to direct. Can the Holy Spirit appear in the form of a dog? We have a great Irish setter named Churchill who just got done shooting The Boy from Hope Street. You’d like him; he’s very austere. If it has to be a bird, consider a parrot or a macaw. They’re a lot smarter than doves, and you could even teach them to say “This is my beloved Son; in Him I am well pleased.” (Great trailer material!)

The “temptation in the desert:” Forty days and forty nights is a heck of a long detour in the first act. I’d lose it, or do the whole thing as a two-minute montage (possible soundtrack: “Highway to Hell” or “Horse With No Name” — listen for the thematic connections).

Calling of the Disciples: I understand what you’re getting at, but the whole “fishers of men” theme won’t play outside the Village. Here’s an alternative: have Jesus choose his disciples in a pickup basketball game. Set it in the inner city, give Jesus some street cred and open it up to a multi-ethnic cast. I can get Will Smith attached as James, son of Zebedee. (Don’t worry, white audiences will accept black disciples, as long as Jesus is white.)

Love the miracles. I have a problem with the one about the quadriplegic. In your outline, this guy wants to see Jesus, can’t get past the crowds, so his friends “stripped off the roof where Jesus was, and, having made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.” Nice idea, kind of tedious in the execution. Consider this: Jesus is healing people up on the roof of an old building (think the Beatles in Let it Be). The quadriplegic guy gets his friends to shoot him up to Jesus in a cannon. In any other movie, it’s a horrible idea — but here, Jesus heals him anyway, so a rough landing is actually a bonus. (Note: When he lands on the roof, the handicapped guy should make a comment like “Sorry, the elevator wasn’t wheelchair accessible.”)

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes: Why just loaves and fishes? This is a great chance for a party scene. Remember the old Bud commercials (was it Bud or Michelob?) — we cross-fade from a barren desert to the Hefner mansion in five seconds. Also, we can get some serious backing with a little innocuous product placement. I happen to know the guys at Mountain Dew and Doritos would give their left nuts to be part of this miracle.

Jesus Walks on Water: I don’t understand his motivation here. “Hey, it’s a nice day, I think I’ll go for a little stroll across the Sea of Galilee!” I don’t care if he’s the Son of God, you don’t want your main character to look like a show-off. And once again, I think your solution lies in a basketball game. Have Jesus jog past a playground in the “hood” alongside a reservoir. Some kids are playing a half-court game (I can get Lil’ Bow Wow attached). One kid misses a free throw, and it bounces off the backboard toward the water. His buddy says: “You lost our ball, you big loser.” Jesus says: “I don’t think so.” The rest writes itself.

Re: the Pharisees — unsympathetic clergy are a BIG RED FLAG to backers and distributors. You’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you pick another punching bag. What if the Pharisees were all executives at some big, corrupt chemical company? They sure wouldn’t take kindly to Jesus’ “Blessed are the poor” schtick. So they conspire to eliminate the troublemaker. It’s basically the same story, just told from a different perspective with a different situation and different characters and without all the religious implications. Another thought: If the Pharisees are in bed with the public utilities, they could co-opt Jesus’ slogan “Let your light shine” without paying royalties. Then when Jesus turns the other cheek, they turn around and sue him for trademark infringement. Just try it; I think you’ll like it better.

Peter’s Denial: I like it, although I see a funnier alternative if we can get Chris Rock attached. Instead of Peter denying he knows Jesus, Chris the apostle tries to convince everyone that he knows Jesus, but nobody believes him! (Again, this is a kind of black humor that most whites can appreciate.)

Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss: Too risky. But what we could try, if we can convince them it’s good publicity, is betrayal with a Hershey’s Kiss. We’d have to put a positive spin on it; Jesus could say something like “Judas, must you betray me with something so rich and chocolatey?” Also, if Jesus throws the Kiss in anger, the Roman centurions should dive and fight over it. Other possibilities: betrayal with Butterfingers, Hot Pockets, Zima.

The scene before Pilate is terrific. Great courtroom drama. (I see Malkovich or Quentin Tarantino as Pilate; I’ll have Lisa call their agents.) The only thing that’s missing is Jesus’ point of view. He’s kind of tight-lipped, and understandably so, but the audience is going to feel cheated if no one so much as puts up a defense. What you need is a battle-worn but principled public defender to give one final impassioned speech on Jesus’ behalf. Suggestions: Anthony Hopkins (too British?), Wilford Brimley (living??? need to check), Morgan Freeman (only if Chris Rock, Will Smith unavailable for other black roles).

Golgotha (“Skull Place”)…very evocative. I’ll ask Gene if we can rig up an actual skull with jaws that open and shut. Again, great trailer material.

The death scene: This is going to be a tough one, but hear me out. I don’t think we can do a crucifixion. It’s disgusting. We’ll lose our female audience. Plus the three days in the tomb, the resurrection and ascension into Heaven, it’s all a little slow and airy-fairy for a summer release. Imagine this: Jesus is strapped to the electric chair. The guards throw the switch; Jesus starts convulsing (very tastefully; no eyes popping or hair frying), and then his body goes still. Everyone watches. Then, through the power of God (or whatever; Bob thinks we may have to lose the God stuff eventually), the current actually reverses direction, sending the electricity back through the switch and into the hands of the executioners! Jesus stands up, vindicated, and his persecutors are killed — and yet Jesus never harms them directly. That is a satisfying ending, my friend. We can talk about the ascension.

I hope these aren’t too overwhelming. Bob, Gordon and I all really believe in this script. And we believe that you are the man to write it. (Although we may call in Matt and Luke for some punching up — but don’t worry, your contract guarantees at least Story By.)

Talk to you soon,

Russ Redfern

Vice President for Script Development

Constellation Pictures

P. S. Minor note on Jesus: Does he have to be Jewish?

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AskGod.com

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Moderator: Welcome to another live online chat with The Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Lord, welcome back.

LG_Almighty: Thank you. It’s good to be here. I’d like to send a special shout-out to everyone at First United Congregational in Milford, NH. Happy sesquicentennial!

Moderator: The Lord has only a few minutes today, so send in your questions! Let’s get started:

Aggie57: hi god u rock

LG_Almighty: Thanks. It’s hard to rock when you’re my age. 😉

Aggie57: thanks 4 the nice day on wed. I went camping

Moderator: Aggie57, what is your question?

Aggie57: my brother got divorced last year and now he is going out with his ex-wife’s mom! she is like 15 years older than he is. I don’t think it’s a good idea but should I say anything?

LG_Almighty: Check out Leviticus 20:14. “If any man after marrying the daughter, marry her mother… he shall be burnt alive with them.”

Aggie57: so they will be burned alive?

LG_Almighty: Depends on my mood. But let’s put it this way: I wouldn’t sit near them at a barbecue.

Moderator: Thanks, Aggie57! rokindokken, you’re up.

rokindokken: Hello Lord, my name is Carl and I’m from Kansas City.

LG_Almighty: I know who you are.

rokindokken: Of course. Apologies. Anyway, here’s the situation: My dad is in his late fifties. He’s always been fairly gregarious but lately he’s become sullen and withdrawn. I can’t even get him to play badminton — a favorite pastime. He recently had minor back surgery. Do you think he’s afraid of losing control of his body? How can I show him that he can still be active?

LG_Almighty: The back issue is a red herring. Your dad is feeling guilt over assassinations he performed in the eighties for the Russian Mafia. Leave him alone and whatever you do, don’t open the basement freezer.

Moderator: LOL! Talk about skeletons in the closet. Here’s our next question.

izzkarryot : Hello I have a friend named Bob who is a really nice guy and he has a friend named JC who is also a really nice guy and JC did a lot of good things for people but he seemed a little manic and he was starting to say some crazy things and Bob was worried so he told some people who he thought would help JC but they arrested him and did bad things to him but Bob didn’t know they would do them so shouldn’t JC forgive Bob because he was just trying to do the right thing?

LG_Almighty: Judas, is that you?

izzkaryot: I don’t know who you are talking about. I’m Bob

izzkaryot: I mean my friend is Bob. I’m Albert

LG_Almighty: Judas, I’ve told you a thousand times, you had your chance. You should have asked forgiveness while you were still alive. I would have been happy to give it to you.

izzkaryot: you’re mean!!!!! Everyone here says I was robbed

LG_Almighty: I told Satan not to give him a DSL line.

Moderator: Sorry, Lord. I’ll put a block on him. Next question:

mo3293: who does the land of Israel rightfully belong to?

LG_Almighty: The Tibetans. And they’re going to come over and kick some serious butt after the Chinese Civil War of 2015.

Hector1nyc: HI GOD MY NAME IS HECTOR I HAVE 4 KIDS AM ON PUBLIC ASSISSTINCE NEED CASH WHO WILL WIN TIRD RACE AT PIMLCO THANXX!!

LG_Almighty: Cornhusker to win, Off-Peak Ticket to place, Jamaican Bobsled to show.

Hector1nyc: THANK U!!!! I WILL GO 2 CHURCH TOMAROW I SWARE! J J

Moderator: Confidential to greyfox4: You want the Living with Masculine Dysfunctions chat at 1 p.m., not the AskGod chat. For those of you staying on, Dr. Greg Sarukhanian will be right here live at the top of the hour; today’s theme is Prostate Complications. Back to God:

John2310: Hello Lord. I have been faithful to You all my life and have three beautiful children thanks to your Providence. Our youngest, Amy, has an extremely rare blood disorder called Kannerstein-Holzapfel Syndrome. She is having a bone marrow transplant on Monday and I was hoping that you would bless her and make the operation a success.

LG_Almighty: Gee, that’s a tough one. You’d be surprised how many prayers I get about Kannerstein-Holzapfel. I try to limit myself to one miracle cure a month and I’m already past my quota — if I do too many of them, they can’t really be miracles, can they?

John2310: But I’m only asking for this one thing…

LG_Almighty: Look, if it makes you feel better, little Amy can make the callbacks for the school production of Annie, although she’ll wind up playing Molly or Pepper.

Moderator: Thanks for your question, John2310! Tell Amy we said “break a leg!”

Beth: My name is Beth Levey. I am 8 years old. Can I have a pony?

LG_Almighty: What the heck. Sure.

Beth: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LG_Almightly: I was feeling bad about the bone marrow kid.

Moderator: I think that balances out your karma. Here’s another question.

J_I_Hadeez: Hi I have a friend named Bill and he’s a really nice guy and his friend Joe was a really nice guy

LG_Almighty: I’m not biting, Judas.

Moderator: Apologies again, Lord. Judas, I’ll remind you of the terms of your restraining order. As for the rest of you lurkers, send in your questions for God!

goveganSFO: Is it true that humanity was made in Your image?

LG_Almighty: Only Danny DeVito. Everyone else is just an approximation.

Cindysuperlips: why is there evil in the world?

LG_Almighty: Define “evil.”

Cindysuperlips: like when a kid puts a hamster in the microwave

LG_Almighty: I find that rather entertaining. In fact I designed hamsters specifically for that purpose.

Cindysuperlips:

Moderator: Cindy, are you there?

LG_Almighty: Sometimes I crack myself up.

Moderator: Just a reminder, folks, at 2 p.m. we’ll be chatting with Sea World otter trainer Kathy Kerrigan. Now more from our Heavenly Father:

RubaiWhat: why in the Koran does it say “Take not the Jews and Christians for friends?”

LG_Almighty: That’s a typo.

RubaiWhat: so what is it supposed to say

LG_Almighty: “Avoid the lamb chops at Akbar’s.”

RubaiWhat: that’s not even close

LG_Almighty: It is in Arabic.

Hector1nyc: I BET $500 DOLARS ON CORNHUSKER IN THE THRD AND HE CAME IN LAST!!! WHAT HAPPENNED???????

LG_Almighty: Oh, did you say the THIRD race? I was thinking of the second.

Hector1nyc: THAT WUZ MY RENT $$$$!!! NOW I GOT NOTHING

LG_Almighty: Pardon me! I should have been more careful to help a man who’s betting his family’s rent money at the horse track! Why don’t you spend your next $500 on some spelling lessons? Then maybe you’ll be able to write yourself a resume and land a decent job! Jeez Louise!

Hector1nyc: OK SORRY I NO I’M BAD

LG_Almighty: You’re not bad, Hector. You just need to get your priorities straight. Listen to the still small voice in the night; that voice is Mine, guiding your conscience. Open your heart and mind to Me, and I will never leave your side.

Hector1nyc: I HAVE $3 DOLARS LEFT TELL ME WHO WINS FORTH RACE I WILL USE IT FOR BUS $$$$ I SWARE

LG_Almighty: Screw him. Let’s move on.

Moderator: DaisyPop, you’re live with God:

DaisyPop: Hi my name is Daisy and I have a friend named Alice and she’s a good guy and her friend Jenny is a really good guy

LG_Almighty: All right already, Judas! Call my assistant, schedule an appointment for next Friday, we’ll talk.

DaisyPop: Awesome!!! Sorry I said you were mean — no offense 🙂

LG_Almighty: None taken.

Moderator: We have time for two more.

tigerlady: Hi God. I’m getting married in September. My fiancé and I wanted to elope but we decided to go with a small wedding — immediate family only. My parents are fine with it, but his parents want a really big wedding. I just don’t think it’s worth the expense. Thoughts?

LG_Almighty: Agree to the big wedding. You’re going to be hit by a bus in July so it’s all going to come out in the wash anyway.

Moderator: Enjoy it while you can, tigerlady! Remember, God is here live every Friday at noon, except on major religious holidays. Here’s our final question.

Janelevey: Why is there a pony in my daughter’s bedroom?

LG_Almighty: No comment.

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This Week on the Law & Order Network

By:

Monday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

Parking Adjudication

A Manhattan shiatsu therapist receives a bogus $200 ticket. Fifteen consecutive written appeals are denied automatically by computer. He contemplates suicide on the Queensboro Bridge, where he receives another ticket for parking in a “loading zone.”

Monday, 9 p.m. – Law & Order:

Suburban Township Board Meeting

(Part 5 of 12) Re-zoning the 4400 block of Fairfax Avenue for multi-unit non-commercial dwellings. As himself: Rep. Jim Byer (at-large alternate delegate, Rappahannock County Council, VA).

Monday, 10 p.m. – Law & Order:

L.A. Police Brutality (Celebrity Edition)

Controversial white rapper Eminem fails to amortize the value of his Humvee on his state income tax return, and is mercilessly flagellated with a socket wrench. Officer O’Donnell: Rodney King.

Tuesday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

Orthodox Kosher

Talmudic scholars debate whether platypus may be served during Passover. Rabbi Judah Friedman: Martin Mull.

Tuesday, 9 p.m. – Law & Order:

Infield Fly Rule

Part One: An umpire defends a controversial call before a jury of agitated, nosebleed-seat Philadelphia fans. Part Two: Foreman Rich Leardi defends his verdict at a Camden, NJ, ESPN Zone before a jury consisting of his alcoholic Uncle Paul. Part Three: Uncle Paul defends himself in court against ESPN Zone, Inc., for unspecified damages to a foosball table. Uncle Paul: Billy Bob Thornton. Philadelphia: Baltimore.

Tuesday, 10 p.m. – Law & Order:

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

A fifth-level Paladin half-elf (12 Strength, 14 Dexterity) attempts to lift the +3 mace in his right hand in order to strike the first of 42 marauding Orcs. (6 _ hours)

Wednesday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

Catholic Girls’ School Dress Code

Seniors at Notre Dame Academy in Worcester, MA, circumvent the 5″ hemline rule with floor-length skirts made entirely of Saran Wrap.

Wednesday, 9 p.m. – Law & Order:

Your Mom’s House

You are grounded for flushing broccoli down the toilet, but your younger sister receives only mild reprobation for tie-dying the cat.

Wednesday, 10 p.m. – Law & Order:

Small Liberal Arts College

A freshman from the Midwest makes an offhand remark that a wealthy, white, heterosexual Protestant upperclassman perceives as prejudiced. The incident is exhaustively analyzed in 287 separate threads on the school’s Internet newsgroup. The Rev. Al Sharpton: Don King. Don King: The Rev. Al Sharpton. Cornel West: Martin Mull.

Thursday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

Australian Parliament

Details of Aboriginal land grants in New South Wales are resolved through elocution and drunken fistfights. Prime Minister: Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (18 Strength, 16 Dexterity, 8 Wisdom).

Thursday, 9 p.m. – Law & Order:

AFTRA Eligible

A man is shot in Grand Central Station, where 200 underemployed New York-area actors are given one-line walk-ons as witnesses. Corpse: Ted McGinley.

Thursday, 10 p.m. – Law & Order:

Occam’s Razor

(4 minutes) A woman is found stabbed in an alley. Her ex-husband is caught running from the scene with a bloody-knife. He is arrested and convicted. (Followed immediately by Law & Order: 55 Minutes of Target Commercials. Man Building Bookshelf/Street Mime/Komodo Dragon: Ben Vereen.)

Friday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

End-User License Agreement

(2-hour, back to back premiere) “Surprise” clauses are slipped into the licensing agreements for downloadable software, and then immediately enforced. Episode One: “The user agrees, in perpetuity throughout the known universe, to affect the physical likeness, manner, and vocal quality of the popular McDonaldland™ character of Grimace®.” Episode Two: “The user agrees, under penalty of immediate and irrevocable decapitation, never again to use words containing the letter ‘S’.”

Friday, 10 p.m. – Murphy’s Law & Order

The pilot should have been done by now, but it got held up by the directors’ strike, and then there was a fire at the garage where they were shooting, and last night the editor’s copy of FinalCut Pro crashed three time. Three freakin’ times!

Saturday, 8 p.m. – Law & Order:

Second Thermodynamics Division

(Time indeterminate.) At the top of the episode, the crime is solved, the perpetrator is behind the bars, and justice is served. Eventually, all the lawyers, police officers, and suspects, along with the New York Superior Court and the entire island of Manhattan, have spontaneously disassociated into a homogeneous mixture of free-floating constituent atoms. Nitrogen gas: Barium gas. The Yawning Void of Infinite Chaos: Keanu reeves. Shiatsu therapist: Martin Mull.

*****

From May Contain Nuts by Michael J. Rosen. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

To order the book, click here: May Contain Nuts at Amazon.com

To learn more about the Mirth of a Nation anthologies, click here: Mirth of a Nation

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