From a recently discovered manuscript – The Dead Sea Blog..
And they came to Him, wanting new rules. Even though their own rules, such as zero tolerance, three strikes – life sentence, and councilmanic courtesy really hadn’t worked out all that well, some people just flat need rules. So He said, ‘ok, if ya gotta have rules, here you go: love the divine spark, the thing that makes you special and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Now go away and live by those rules”. Some wanted more and others wanted details of the first two, because there have been OCD folks around since the mastodons, and sure enough they couldn’t leave well enough alone and they popped back to the mountain top where He was attempting to rest. ‘Sir, who really IS my neighbor. I have two people on either side of my house that are hard to get along with, but I suppose I could learn to love them, but thank YOU for not saying I had to actually like the
bastards vexing next-door folks.
So instead of trying to delineate each and every neighbor, He decided to tell a story. Some of the members groaned because they didn’t really GET the stories, but mostly the groaners were asked to keep the noise to themselves, and so the story began.
“You’re driving down an abandoned stretch of highway in your car when it starts to make a funny noise, a kind of ungodly clanking and then steam starts to pour out from under the hood. Oh yeah, it’s late at night. You pull over, and try to act like you know what you’re doing as you raise the hood and peer somewhat knowingly into the abyss of the modern engine. You realize you’re stuck. You’re in one of those dead spots where cell phones don’t work, and you realize you need to rely on the kindness of strangers..random pass-bys, random truckers, random bikers, and random old farts with their blinkers endlessly doing their job as they disappear from sight.
A church van approaches. You feel relief. These guys will stop, surely. They whiz by…this is a dangerous stretch and you NEVER know who is faking a car problem so they can conk you on the head and steal your purse. A church bus approaches loaded with golden agers returning from a retreat. Come on, they’ve GOT to stop, but of course they don’t. They’re scared. And then comes a tricked out Dodge Charger. It’s got NRA stickers, Pro-war stickers, George Bush stickers, skeleton stickers, and a big fat Don’t mess with Rednecks banner in the back window. Naturally they stop and give you a ride to your house and make sure you get inside safely, and they call AAA for you when you get to a place where the cell phones work, and it is of the good.
As the story ends, confusion reigns. “I don’t even know any rednecks or really very many Republicans…how can they be my neighbor?”. “Don’t eeeeeeven start”, He says and walked off down the mountain.
All of us have something to offer. We don’t need to be patronized or converted via blog comments. I’m not trash. Neither are my friends. We disagree, we agree, we don’t care, we swear, and we move on. We spout off and on. We’re neighbors.