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BREATHE ON US, OH GOD!

May 31st, 2002 by

BREATHE ON US, OH GOD!
By John Dolan

Praying for America
By Dutch Sheets
Regal Books, 2001

There’s a scene in the fourth “Living Dead” movie, Day of the Dead, where they capture a zombie and pen him in a subterranean lab. They want to examine a specimen in order to understand this mindless cannibal breed that has taken over the United States.

It’s a haunting scene, deeply sad in the way those Romero films are. It turns out that you can’t teach a zombie much. “Bud” the zombie learns to answer a phone, but that’s about it. Beyond that, there’s not much to him but pus and fangs. Something almost human looks out of his eyes now and then, especially when he sees an Army uniform– Bud was a soldier once, and he still remembers to salute. But it turns out you can’t trust those flickering vestiges of humanity. The only way to deal with the beasts is to kill them all.

And that pretty much sums up the findings of my recent experiment in trying to understand the Christians. I thought it might be interesting to read an American Christian response to the WTC attacks, see what the drooling zombies who have taken over my country have to say about this calamity striking God’s favorite country. I picked Praying for America off the Amazon lists because it looked relatively literate. This glossy pamphlet is the work of one “Dutch Sheets.” (I know, I know: nobody could be named “Dutch Sheets;” it sounds more like the punchline to a pubescent joke– and in a sense, it is– but it’s also the name of the author, pastor of a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

Praying for America wasn’t very literate, actually; Dutch has a prose style even a social scientist would be ashamed to own. But it was informative. Above all, I learned that the rightist American Christians have mutated, gotten a lot better organized than they used to be. Dutch says many times that he speaks for “the Church in America.” This confused me at first, because I was raised to think “the Church” meant the Vatican; the Protestants were a disorganized rabble, a chaos of feuding sects. But that was long ago. The Bible-thumpers got smart and formed up. When Dutch talks about “the Church in America,” he means it. They march in step now. Dutch doesn’t even bother naming the particular sect he fronts for, because the militant Protestants are a single body now, far more united and a thousand times more powerful than the senescent Church of Rome ever was.

The Christians snuck up on us. We used to laugh at them– and then suddenly they were on us, hordes of grinning zombies. I used to prate about Whitman and the cadences of the King James Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress and Horatio Alger, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jim Swaggart, the Evangelical tradition in American literature, Stonewall Jackson, dying, delirious, murmuring “Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees….” I used to refuse to indulge in Christian-baiting at Berkeley because it was, as I used to say, “unsporting.”

All that seems like self-indulgent campy idiocy now. “Unsporting”? What does “sport” have to do with it? It’s Romero time: hole up on the roof of a mall with a hunting rifle and pick them off one by one… you have to get them in the head, remember. They don’t go down unless you hit them in the head.

And when you read their tracts, and find out what goes on in those heads– believe me, shooting them is a mercy.

Where to begin? Well, take a deep breath, hold your nose, and dive with me into the rotting insides of Praying for America. It’s a slick little pamphlet, with good graphics and a good sense of strategy. It borrows many technique from that venerable American literary genre, the salesman’s handbook– but that’s nothing new. American evangelists and pep-talking sales guys have always slipped easily between their respective callings (e.g., Norman Vincent Peale).

Dutch is fond of epithets sales guys love: “Are you a history maker?” he asks. Along with “history maker,” you might want to be “cause-minded,” a “boat rocker,” a “crossing-over guy,” or “a life-changer, a rearranger, a cause producer.” He wants us all to be “circumcised”– but as he explains to his wincing gentile audience, “Our circumcision in the new covenant is, of course, of the heart.” A circumcised heart– not sure I’d like that, actually. One snip and the room gets an arterial spraying.

In Dutch’s theology, God is a sort of travelling salesman, impregnating farmers’ daughters (of either gender) as the mood takes him. Using the laughably bad attempts at Classical etymology which are another feature of his rhetoric, he underlines the fact that he really does mean “penetration” when he talks of God’s way with us sinners:

“Because ‘abar’ is a transition word, it also means ‘to penetrate,’ as in penetrating territory, or even the human heart. [Note the repeated switch from genital to cardiac zone, as in 'circumcision' above.] And not trying to be overly dramatic or graphic, it is indeed a word used to designate the physical relations between a husband and wife that results in pregnancy [Sometimes, Dutch, they don't even have to be "husband and wife"!]. Yes, ‘abar’ does mean to impregnate.”

Now we know what Dutch means when he says, “Several months ago, God began to grip me….” These divine rapes are confessed with pride, of course; to be so “penetrated” is a point of honor with the devout. Like a great deal of American Evangelical discourse, it begs a medical, rather than theological interpretation. There’s a name for people who talk to god and feel Him gripping them: “schizophrenics.”

And the match between Evangelical theology and schizophrenic symptoms is perfect. When a word comes into Dutch’s head, it’s from God. Take “Shechem,” the name of some town mentioned in the Old Testament– the ramblings, in other words, of an unmedicated Levantine schizophrenic two millennia dead. This is how Dutch explains the way “Shechem” came into his head: “… During that… October evening, the Lord deeply impressed into my heart the thought, ‘I am calling this nation to Shechem.’”

“But Dutch,” you ask in that annoying way of yours, “how can we know it was a truly Divine inspiration?” Dutch has an answer ready for such doubters: “Since everything else I felt during that encounter with the Lord has proved to be very accurate, I have great confidence that this thought is accurate as well.” And if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

So Dutch is not at all shy of passing on his neurotransmitter-depleted epiphanies. Every time he has a dream; every time a place-name or set of numbers comes into his head; every time there’s a coincidence in his daily schedule; he takes it as a sign of God’s direct intervention in his mental processes. Sometimes Dutch’s sense of God’s tinkering with his mind (using the term loosely) is so much like textbook schizophrenic reasoning that you’re amazed the guy’s still walking around. He spends three pages detailing the series of coincidences involving the number sequence “222″:

“It began on a cross-country flight. I noticed that my departure time was 2:22, I was seated in row number 22 and the total travel time was 2 hours and 22 minutes.”

Well, if that doesn’t smack of direct divine intervention in the flight schedule of one Dutch Sheets, D.D., I don’t know what does. The only thing that worries me is that 222 is exactly one-third of 666. So if Dutch buys three tickets, does the plane go down?

Laughable as it sounds, this sort of paranoiac drama gives you a sense of why Christianity appeals to so many lonely Americans. Unlike the Catholicism I knew, this religion makes the worshippers the center of the universe. God, no less, is manipulating your very flight-times to give you the word about Satchmo, or Shinbone, or whatever it was. The Protestants are nice that way: they coddle their worshippers, set them up with plain, chubby, equally devout dates, and bring food around– Protestant food, with lots of casseroles and marshmallow things– when they’re sick. They make you feel important, in a pitiful sort of way. The Catholics had a simpler attitude: “You owe the Church everything; the Church owes you nothing.” And they wonder what went wrong!

One thing that went wrong for the Catholics is very clear from Dutch’s tract: the militant Evangelicals stole the best bits from the Catholic agenda. Tops on the list is abortion. Thirty years ago, abortion was a Catholic obsession. The Protestants didn’t give a damn about it, and associated it with Rome’s mad drive to swamp the Anglo-Saxon lands in a tide of brown babies. But the Evangelicals grabbed the issue somewhere along the line. Dutch can’t shut up about it. It’s perfect: a guaranteed source of sin, at which he and his fellow pastors can rail forever, licking their chops as they get the calculators out to tote up the ever-rising total of dead babies which can be laid against the sinners’ tab: “We have now killed over 40 million babies in what was supposed to be their safe haven of nourishment….”

What hits you when you read these denunciations is that Dutch’s churchgoing people loathe America, if only so that they can redeem and love it once more. It’s the whore they can’t resist, and that bipolar orientation makes for them an endlessly exciting ride. It’s like marrying a cocktail waitress: at least you won’t be bored.

But no other American sins are invoked in these lists. None of the horrors perpetrated in SE Asia, Latin America, or for that matter Chicago, show up on the lists. America must be denounced and despised for her sins, but only from the inside; America, when juxtaposed to any other country on earth, is right, period. All America needs is a president who stands with “the Church.”

And that, finally, turned out to be what this odd little tract was about: the election of George W. Bush. Little anti-Clinton jibes pop up from the start: “And speaking of partying, our former president did a lot of it.” It infuriates Dutch that no divinely directed lightning bolt slithered under the presidential desk to zap the presidential dick, as it tickled the Mon’s uvula. “God is capable of dealing with… wicked, ungodly politicians,” Dutch says. “When he doesn’t, we need to ask why.”

Well, not to give away the plot, but it turns out God inflicted Clinton upon us because there was a curse on the nation. Something about those McDonald’s-like abortion figures: “Over 40 million fetuses hosed!” Or was Clinton the cause, rather than the effect, of the curse? It’s not always easy to follow the logic of these people, but at any rate: there was a curse, OK? And there was only one magical cure: electing George W. Bush.

So when “God shared his passion for America with [Dutch]” in October 2000– just before the election– he, or rather He, told Dutch to start a “prayer alert for the upcoming election.” I’ll let Dutch himself tell it from there:

“This alert ultimately went to millions of people, resulting in a great mobilization of prayer for God’s person to be placed in office…. And then, even when the election was finished, the identity of the next president had not yet been determined. The high level of spiritual warfare was very apparent… we desperately needed a president through whom God could work.”

And with whom God could deal. See, you thought that slimy Florida banana-republic vote-scamming was all about payoffs and lawyers, but it was actually “spiritual warfare.” Well, that’s why we need people like Dutch, to explain the higher implications of these things.

Luckily, God’s candidate won:

“At that pivotal moment in our nation’s history, God’s people made a choice to cross over. As a result, God gave us a sincere, humble man who loves God and through whom He [God, that is] can work to accomplish His purposes.” This walker-in-righteousness being, y’unnerstan’, one G. W. Bush. Dutch goes on to recount his trip to the Inaugural. It was a great occasion, he explains– it was literally the lifting of a curse which had been upon the land:

“I watched and heard [GWB] end his swearing-in by saying with great conviction, ‘So help me God.’ Upon the uttering of these words, one well-known minister in attendance was heard to say, ‘The curse is broken off of America.’”

This is where the dates get interesting. See, if God had gone and lifted the curse on America when GWB was inaugurated, how come those planes slammed into the towers only eight months later? Dutch wrote this tract while still strutting with pride over getting out the vote for his God-endorsed candidate. The inaugural was held on January 20, 2001. At that moment, according to the unnamed “well-known minister,” “the curse [was] broken off of America.” Now, leaving aside the minister’s somewhat demotic phrasing, let us do the math. After all, Dutch has taught us all to look out for those zany little numerological omens the puzzle-addicted Deity so frequently lobs into our schedules.

And Dutch has also taught us to think of God as the great Penetrator, who when the mood takes him impregnates his followers– male, female, or otherwise. Now, the Lord has put a great and terrible thought in my head. For lo, I realized that the Lord had counted the days, and the days between January 20, 2001 and September 11, 2001, that terrible day of wrath when the Curse was very definitely reimposed on America, amounted to eight months, the length of a (slightly preemie) pregnancy.

Yes, when God gripped America from behind on that Inaugural day, he begot a spirit of destruction; and that spirit was born on September 11, and it took the form of swarthy men with boxcutters, who rode in planes numbered 676– only TEN NUMBERS AWAY from the very number of the Beast!

And the 676 times two struck the two towers, and subtracted them from two to zero, and caused to be burnt many a believer.

But not nearly enough of them.

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Bledsoe Vs. Johnson

May 31st, 2002 by

Bledsoe vs. Johnson

According to FCC statistics, approximately 4,386 hours have already been spent on talk radio in Buffalo in the month since The Trade debating this city’s new Eternal Question – who’s Better, Drew or Rob? The FCC also reports that not a single new point has been made since the 411th hour of the debate. From where we stand, it seems like the hometown crowd is failing to grasp the real issues… Maybe the reason we’re all at an impasse is that we’ve got the wrong Johnson. So the BEAST decided to ask: how does the Patriot Missile stack up against the star-crossed 17th President?

Drew Bledsoe Andrew Johnson

DREW

ANDREW

  • Benched by New England
  • Impeached by Northern Republicans
  • A “class act” whose teammates just didn’t respond to him
  • Considered an “honest and honorable man” who lacked political savvy
  • Self-described “trailer trash”
  • Grew up in a shack in North Carolina
  • Drop-back passer with great arm
  • Jacksonian Democrat with alcoholism problem
  • Fit, sober and professional for speech at Buffalo welcoming rally
  • Stone drunk and completely incoherent for Vice-Presidential inaugural address in 1864
  • Set single-game records for attempts and completions by going 45-70 in 26-20 win over Minnesota in 1994
  • Sponsored the Homestead Act as a Senator; privately hated black people
  • No. 1 overall pick in 1993 draft; passed for seven straight 3,000-yard seasons
  • Notorious for wandering the White House drunk, crashing into busts and portraits
  • After trade to Bills, took out ads in Boston papers thanking New England fans for their support
  • Lived out his days racked with guilt over the fact that he had secretly desired Lincoln’s death; privately thought Lincoln was overrated
  • Happily married to charming wife Maura, with whom he held hands throughout first visit to Buffalo
  • Impotent in marriage and reportedly vomited on wedding night; known for leering at children of both sexes from Oval Office window
  • Led Patriots to victory in 2002 AFC championship game with inspiring off-the-bench performance against Steelers
  • Presided over the restoration; shortly before death, went insane and began eating own feces
  • Had a cameo in “Jerry Maguire”
  • Corpse had an erection; was our “most maligned president”
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ARTVOICE DEATH TOLL AT 7

May 31st, 2002 by

 

We here at THE BEAST feel we should be honest. When we started scouting the competition here in Buffalo, we couldn’t be totally dismissive of ArtVoice. Sure, it’s duller than a Jet Blue in-flight magazine. Sure, it shamelessly blows all of its advertisers, and publishes poetry so awful you could use it to torture terrorist suspects at camp X-Ray. And sure, its publisher looks like a midget vampire, and sings agonizing covers of “No Woman, No Cry” in local bars.

artvoice ? save the childrenBut ArtVoice has one thing going for it: a nifty-looking full-color cover. No doubt about it: from a commercial standpoint, the full-color ArtVoice cover is definitely an advantage over the no less earnest, but certainly more modest 2-color Beast design. Advertisers like full-color papers, and we even hear that girls are impressed by the way they look.

But is full color really an advantage, from a moral standpoint? We called the Canadian press that prints ArtVoice, and asked for price estimates that would give us some idea of just how much extra money we’d have to spend in order to have a cover that looks like ArtVoice‘s. The sum we came up with, per issue, was $180.

It took just a few phone calls to find out that what ArtVoice wasn’t only buying a competitive advantage with that extra money. It was also, it turns out, buying the premature deaths of 15 children a month.

Here’s a partial transcript of our phone call to the Save The Children headquarters in Westport, Connecticut (203-221-4000), about the ArtVoice cover problem:

BEAST:   So in order to sponsor a child, we’d have to spend how much?

Save the Children:   It’s $24 a month.

BEAST:   Does that go directly to one child?

STC:   No, it’s pooled. It goes to the community the child lives in. But you get reports about the progress of the programs in the community, as well as information about the individual child. And you get a report once a year about the child’s progress.

BEAST:   Okay, so does that mean that the $24 figure corresponds to some real calculation as to how much it costs to actually feed a starving child? Or is it just a random figure?

STC:   It… I’d have to say it’s an actual figure. You know, we get audited. Yes, it’s an actual figure.

BEAST:   Okay, so the thing is, I work for a newspaper. We want to sponsor a child.

STC:   Oh!

BEAST:   Yeah, actually, we’re going to try to pressure other newspapers into cutting back on non-essential expenditures, so that there would be more money to send to worthy charities like yours.

STC:   That’s a wonderful idea!

BEAST:   Yeah. So for instance, you take a newspaper that has a full-color cover, it could easily go two-color, you know, and save some money. I mean, we’re saving like 180 bucks every two weeks.

STC:   Right!

BEAST:   The way we see it, that… Save the Children: That’s seven children a month!

BEAST:   No, it’s 15 children a month. The $180 figure is every two weeks.

STC:   Right.

BEAST:   But our competitors, you see, they’re spending that money. I mean, who cares if a newspaper has two colors or four? In the grand scheme of things.

STC:   Exactly. Exactly.

BEAST:   That’s like 15 children that will go starving. For a color cover.

STC:   Uh… I guess.

BEAST:   So how do we sponsor a child?

STC:   Just go online at savethechildren.com and fill out the form… Or you can send us a check. We’ll send you a photo right away.

BEAST:   We’ll be sure to do that.

STC:   Well, thank you. I think you’ve got a great idea there.

BEAST:   Thanks. What’s your name again?

STC:   My name is Greer.

BEAST:   Like Greer Garson?

STC:   Uh huh!

BEAST:   Thanks, Greer. Goodbye.

STC:   Goodbye!

We sponsored a child for this issue and will be receiving information in the mail about him before next issue. When we get updates on his progress, we’ll share them with U, the BEAST reader. As time passes, we will ask you to bear in mind that he is only alive, and well-fed, because we decided to forego a wasteful full-color cover.

Minor Celebrity MathArtVoice, meanwhile, can’t make that claim. Until they follow our lead, we’ll be publishing a weekly death toll. After two weeks, the body count is seven. Seven tiny little babies, starving to death. Imagine that the next time you catch yourself thinking, “Gosh, what a great ‘Reinventing the Bus Stop’ cover!”

SAVE HUMAN LIFE.
READ THE BEAST.

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A BEAST PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

May 31st, 2002 by

A BEAST PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
What do I do if I find an Anthrax album in my collection?
Questions and Answers

In light of the new wave of terrorist attacks sweeping our great nation, the Beast has taken time out to gather some of the information our readers might need to protect themselves in the upcoming months.The following Frequently Asked Questions, with answers, were compiled following a series of interviews we did with the Surgeon General’s Office of the United States government:

 

Q:   What should I do if I find an Anthrax album in my collection?

Beast:   The most important thing is not to touch it. It’s been determined that the best strategy in this situation is to take two other albums from your collection, say, Queensryche’s “Operation: Mindcrime” and Van Halen’s “5150,” and use them, as one might use a set of oven mitts, to handle your Anthrax album. As soon as you’re able, put all three albums in a rubberized envelope, and rush them to your local album disposal center.

 

Q:   Is there anything I can do to prevent the Columbia House Record Club from sending me more Anthrax albums?

A:   No. Until the U.S. military action is completed, all Americans should assume that Columbia House might send them an Anthrax album at any time. Various avenues for canceling memberships have been explored by our security organs, but none have proved reliable to date.

 

Q:   Is it safe to handle Beavis and Butthead’s This Album Sucks or Public Enemy’s The Enemy Strikes Black? Both albums feature Anthrax tracks.

A:   The position of the U.S. Surgeon General’s office is that any album with an Anthrax track on it is an Anthrax album. There have been no ill effects to date from the remake of “Bring Tha Noize,” but then again, this might be mainly a result of it not selling nearly as well as the archetypal crossover rap single, Run-DMC/Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”

 

Q:   Did “Walk This Way” do better on the charts because it was a black band doing a white band’s song, as opposed to “Bring Tha Noize,” which was the opposite?

A:   It is the position of the U.S. government that “Bring Tha Noize” was one of the greatest rap songs of all time, but that it lost something when Anthrax’s metal accompaniment was added. “Walk This Way,” on the other hand, definitely gained something when the street sound and crisp vocals of Russell Simmons and Daryl McDaniels were added to the familiar Steven Tyler chorus.

 

Stomp 442 CoverQ:   Is there anything
I can do to protect my children from the Stomp 442 album?

A:   Yes, certainly. As with any other public health crisis, education is the key. “Stomp 442,” as most of us know by now, is the only Anthrax album that does not contain the band’s name on the cover. It features instead a giant sphere of industrial wreckage, set against a desert landscape. The cover vaguely recalls both Joe Walsh’s “The Confessor” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” and children, particularly those in early puberty, can easily mistake it for the work of another band. Kids should be shown photos of the album in both a family setting and in the organized educational environment of school. [The Beast is republishing a photo of the album here]. Once they’re familiar with the cover, they’ll know to keep away just as they naturally do from better-known albums like “Spreading the Disease” and “Among the Living.”

 

Q:   Is Among the Living Anthrax’s tour de force album?

A:   Yes. “Among the Living” is a pioneering work in the thrash/speed metal genre. There almost isn’t a weak track on it. It’s indisputably the group’s masterpiece.

 

Q:   Are the albums from the John Bush era any less dangerous than the Joey Belladonna-era albums?

A:   There are many purists out there who do not consider the albums on which John Bush was the lead singer “real” Anthrax. But the Surgeon General’s office considers the John Bush albums to be every bit as dangerous as the albums that featured Belladonna, the original lead singer. Just because it doesn’t sound like the old Anthrax doesn’t mean it isn’t Anthrax.

 

Q:   Are my Metallica albums contaminated because Anthrax helped out the band in its early days by giving them the gift of a refrigerator?

A:   No. Metallica has been fully cleared by the Surgeon General’s office, although Reload has been found to be as carcinogenic as strawberries.

 

Q:   Will Anthrax ever find its niche?

A:   The U.S. government has studied this question and determined that, at least in the short term, there is no serious threat that Anthrax will find a true niche in American society. At its best, Anthrax was content to call itself “heavy groove-laden power-thrash with industrial undertones,” but it was obvious that the band had pretentions to the “serious metal” that eventually became the province of self-consciously ponderous bands like Metallica. But Anthrax was never quite able to pull off the “thinking man’s metal” act, even though it tried valiantly with such tracks as “Skeleton in the Closet,” a meditation on the Steven King short story Apt Pupil, and “I Am the Law,” a celebration of the comic book hero Judge Dredd. The band’s concept albums floundered; the quantum-physics-inspired Persistence of Time was undoubtedly one of the group’s low points. Meanwhile, the group was all the time ceding its original turf to the classic head-banging working-class metal bands like Megadeth and Slayer. By the mid-1990s, Anthrax was basically a curiosity, a sort of historical relic of the speed-metal era, and not a serious commercial phenomenon.

 

Q:   So the chance that I either already own or will own an Anthrax album is not very high?

A:   Relatively speaking, no. It’s possible that you bought one out of curiosity sometime in the early nineties, say just after the release of State of Euphoria, but the likelihood that you listened to that album frequently is, statistics show, very, very low. The probability that you own an Anthrax T-shirt, however, is fairly high.

 

Q:   Why?

A:   The T-shirts were much cooler than the actual band. In fact, the band might have been specifically created to justify the T-shirts.

 

Q:   What do I do if I find an Anthrax T-shirt in my home?

A:   There’s a specific procedure. You give it to your girlfriend. Usually, she ends up sleeping in it. Studies show that this is harmless.

 

Q:   If I’m over 15, should I be listening to heavy metal at all?

A:   Absolutely. Anthrax notwithstanding, heavy metal can and should be an important part of any adult’s life. It’s especially valuable as road music and as something to put on to send yourself off to work in the morning. The Surgeon General even recommends that every adult male keep at least one Iron Maiden T-shirt in his active weekend rotation until the age of 35. Studies show that this has a salutary effect on the male self-image. Just be careful and responsible, and you should be just fine.

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ADELPHIA COLLECTIONS: VOL. 1

May 31st, 2002 by

ADELPHIA COLLECTIONS: VOL. 1

It must be tough to have a job answering phones at the Adelphia corporate office in Coudersport, PA these days. Creditors from Kansas to Kuala Lumpur must be lining up to give the company a piece of their tele-minds… Curious to see what the mood is like in the town often mentioned as the inspiration for “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we decided to give a call to the Coudersport customer service line (814) 260-6848 with a complaint of our own:

Adelphia:   (matronly old woman’s voice) Adelphia. How may I help you?

BEAST:   Yes, I was wondering if you can help me. My name is Ron Goldstein. I work for Citibank. And I’m really sort of at my wits’ end. I have a problem. I played golf a couple of weeks ago with Tim Rigas at Shinnecock, in Long Island. And he borrowed a set of clubs from me, and hasn’t returned them. And all of his numbers have changed in the last few weeks. I really don’t know what to do. They won’t answer my calls at the corporate office.

Adelphia:   Well, no one’s here today except us pukes. There’s a few of us. [Eds. note: The call was made on Memorial Day.]

BEAST:   Is there any way to get a message to him? Is he still at the company?

Adelphia:   Uh…

BEAST:   They were really nice clubs. Calloway, Big Berthas. Like 900 bucks.

Adelphia:   Huh. Okay. Can I have your name, please?

BEAST:   That’s Ron Goldstein. G-O-L-D-S-T-E-I-N.

Adelphia:   Okay. And can I have a phone number to reach you?

BEAST:   Sure. It’s (gives random phone number with 212 area code.)

Adelphia:   And this is for Tim?

BEAST:   Yeah. Tim Rigas… He may not even remember the incident. But he came to the course without his clubs, and I lent mine to him. Next thing I know he’s walking out to the parking lot with them, and throwing them into his Range Rover!

Adelphia:   Gosh.

BEAST:   You know, so I chased him out into the parking lot, but he didn’t hear me as he drove off…. I mean, with the bag, it’s almost a thousand dollars.

Adelphia:   (obviously taking notes) Mmm… Okay. And he borrowed these where?

BEAST:   At Shinnecock, Long Island. You know, where they played the Open a few years ago?

Adelphia:   Shit–?

BEAST:   SHINN-e-cock.

Adelphia:   (laughing) Shin!

BEAST:   (laughing) No, not shittecock!

Adelphia:   (still laughing) That’s why I had you repeat it! Would you like to, uh, spell that for me?

BEAST:   Sure. S-H-I-N-N-E-C-O-C-K.

Adelphia:   And that’s New York, right?

BEAST:   Right. Well, Long Island. Don’t forget to write down the black-and-white checkered Ping Golf bag, too.

Adelphia:   Okay.

BEAST:   And Calloway Big Berthas. I’m sure he’s got a lot of sets, but, you know.

Adelphia:   What I’ll do is I’ll take this, and I’ll take it up to one of the secretaries upstairs, and pass along the message. See if we can get your clubs back for you. Get him to give you a call.

BEAST:   Great. Thanks very much.

Adelphia:   No problem!

BEAST:   Goodbye.

Adelphia:   Goodbye.

Hmm… Sounds like these kinds of calls come in all the time. Tune in next issue for the next installment of Adelphia Collections!

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