Friday, September 21, 2007

Eucharistic humor?

If you're looking for some very light and very funny reading, I might suggest Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations, which was published earlier this year by Random House and is written by Simon Rich, the son of New York Times columnist Frank Rich. (He was also one of my classmates at Harvard.)

The book consists of 57 little vignettes, each about a page or two long. In my opinion, the pieces are hit and miss as far as humor goes, but the hits are well worth the price tag, and they get funnier with repeated reading.

One interesting piece is entitled, simply, "Jesus." It's not one of the funnier pieces in the book, but I like it because Rich, though he is not a Catholic, at least understands the radically literal meaning of Jesus' discourse in chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, even if he doesn't believe it. Here's the piece, in its entirety:

JESUS: Love each other, for love conquers all.
THOMAS: Praise the Lord!
JESUS: If someone attacks you, turn the other cheek.
THOMAS: Praise the Lord!
JESUS: Eat my body and my blood.
THOMAS: Praise the-- Wait. What was that last thing?
JESUS: Eat my body and my blood.
THOMAS: You mean ... symbolically?
JESUS: Honor thy father and thy mother.
THOMAS: Wait, hold on. Can we talk about that other thing for a second?
JESUS: What other thing? Turning the other cheek?
THOMAS: No, the thing you said after. About eating your body ... and ... your blood.
JESUS: What's there to talk about?

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