Monday, December 14, 2009

Exit 93, to Hell in a handbasket, recalculating

Patty and I saw an old friend yesterday. We were headed home from the Trizophrenia book-signing at Kinetic Systems (it was wonderful, thanks), on I-75 just this side of where it crosses over Dixie Highway, and there He was: No-Pest-Strip Jesus. It’s a giant portrait, the familiar version of him, all Aryan and earth tones and neatly trimmed beard and long, flowing hair, as if he were modeling for an advertisement promoting the new, myrrh-scented product from Bath & Body Works. The portrait is suspended from a curiously Islamic-looking arch, below a glowing, red, elongated cube that’s probably supposed to be a lamp but looks for all the world like a No-Pest-Strip; and above the neatly lettered, sans serif (and ironically Roman) boldface query, “Are you on the right road?”.

It’s a legitimate question. Sure, you’re viewing it from one of the busiest, best-marked stretches of limited-access Interstate in the Midwest, but you’re also a half-hour from Flint, so you can’t be blamed for having your doubts. And as far as evangelism goes, it’s refreshingly non-pushy. Note that the sign frames it as a polite question, compared to the vaguely bitchy “recalculating” remark I’m forever hearing from the GPS navigator on my dashboard. If the owners of the sign were to ask me for advice – and I’m a little insulted by how rarely the religious world does – I’d suggest they update their technology just a little and replace that lowermost sign with the kind that lets you change the message, so that “Are you on the right road?” might alternate airtime with “Should you really be on the phone right now?” and, say, “What’s with the tailgating, there, Dr. Procto?”.

If this author-cartoonist-illustrator thing doesn’t work out, I might have to think about the evangelism consulting business. I wouldn’t need to put my address on my business card. Prospective clients would need only to follow the lightning bolt.


veloben said...

Wow. Is this a hint of a deeply snarky side to our esteemed renderer of a philosophical janitor?

If so, it bodes well for my enjoyment of this blog.

By the way was the reference on Sunday to the Chicago Field Museum?

John said...

The very route we take on the way back from visiting the 'rents in Clarkston. I've always wondered if the sign has ever caused any accidents, what with traffic merging from Dixie highway into the passing lane just as you crest the hill to Him. I find myself hoping (and praying) that a moment of faith reflection might just be the proper incentive for the other drivers to put their &$#@ cell phones down.

By the way, you are in fact evil. Based on an earlier post, I got "Nobody's Fool" from the library and am currently crack-addicted to finishing it. This is December, Jef. I got things to do!

Jim Smith II said...

Too funny!