Soon: Chapter 34: The Manifesto and Jae
Carl’s manifesto is a marvel of idiocy and threats, the flailing of a desperate, wounded animal.
I am SO ticked that this horrible plan is going to work.
This thing…it’s just…
Okay, here we go:
Paul read Carl’s daring manifesto over Barton’s shoulder. It boldly stated that the Christian men and women of greater Los Angeles were praying that God would dry up the water supply…
I’ve asked this before: is it really all that daring and/or bold to ask God to be your thug?
Here’s the BOLD manifesto itself:
We know that the fervent prayer of the righteous avails much, and if the killing of the innocents does not immediately cease, we’re trusting God to answer this prayer and send this judgment on our tormentors.
Well, on our tormentors and on everyone else, since we are praying that the water will go away from everyone, not just the army and the NPO.
If the army does not immediately withdraw and leave us to worship in peace, we believe this will come to pass.
What, EXACTLY, does Carl expect the average atheist on the street to do about this threat? I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t really have the power to stop the army from doing jack shit.
When it happens—and it will happen—you will know God has acted.
Can’t really imagine any atheist in Atheistopia NOT laughing at this part. At this point, Carl has all the emotional maturity of a five-year-old.
“Oh, it’ll happen. MY DAD SAID SO.”
To prevent it, we call on all affected citizens to rise up and force the powers that be to change their cruel and unjust laws against people of faith.
“Okay, atheists, you hereby have twelve hours to force world-altering social and legal change on a global scale, or we’ll kill you all. Good luck—we know you’ll all accept this as the fair bargain it is.”
“This is great,” Barton said. “I wouldn’t change a word. Get this onto the Internet to all the groups we know and urge them to pass it on to everyone they can. We’ll be laughed at and ridiculed, but God will act; then the laughing—and the killing—will stop.”
“Or, God won’t do it and the laughing will continue. Or God will do it, and it’ll just piss off the atheists even more and the killing will continue. So, I suppose there are several possible scenarios…”
Also, does it seem to anyone else that Barton is more concerned about the laughing than the killing? I mean, sure, HE had an angel hanging out there, just waiting to save his life, but Specs wasn’t so lucky…
So, off they go to post the manifesto on their blogs or something. Paul, worried that Ranold will be “annoyed,” heads back to Tiny’s.
(I keep typing “Tony” and having to correct myself…)
On the drive back, Paul prays:
“And thank You too for giving me the idea of how You can show Yourself to the people of Sunterra.”
“Thank you, God, for once again making it all about me.”
(Also, capitalizing all the Ys makes that sentence look really weird, but I’m just going with Jenkins, here.)
SUDDENLY OMG JAE CALLS PAUL ON HIS SKULL PHONE
Jae! You remember her? Paul’s estranged wife, who left his sorry, lying ass when he cheated on her for the eighty-seventh consecutive time, except that it was the one time he hadn’t TECHNICALLY cheated, so it was all her fault???
Anyway, she left the kids in the care of their grandma, and flew out to L.A.. and now she wants Paul to come and get her.
DAMMIT, WOMAN, CAN YOU NOT JUST GIVE PAUL A MOMENT’S PEACE?
Honestly, it is just one thing after another with Jae. Oooo, pick me up at the airport, spend time with your children, don’t cheat on me for eight straight years.
Typical nagging, demanding woman.
She held him fiercely and kissed him deeply. “I don’t ever want to be apart from you again, Paul.”
…ten minutes later…
What about my father’s letter? Did you take it? Paul strained to detect anything unusual in Jae’s tone. What is this visit about?
I kinda love Paul’s suspicion. It’s almost as though he’s acknowledging that there is absolutely no reason on Earth for Jae to tolerate his presence even for a moment.
She took both his hands in hers. “Paul, I am so sorry. I didn’t trust you. I was convinced you were cheating on me.”
Liar. You had every damn intention of sleeping with Angela from the moment you met her, and you still consider working it out with Jae to be a chore, so don’t give me that crap, Paul. You ass.
“I was tormented by that letter from Angela. I couldn’t believe it was innocent–not after the last time.”
“And the time before that. And the time before that. And then the one before that. And the other sixty-eight times before that…”
“FINE, Jae. Get back to the apologizing to me.”
“Still, I didn’t really want to leave you. If I had, I would have filed for divorce, not just moved to D.C.”
“That’s what I kept telling myself.”
Stockholm Syndrome. Always tragic.
“I knew Angela Pass Barger had to be Andy Pass’s daughter. … I knew the NPO had taken pictures at the funeral, so I begged Daddy to get me one.”
“And he did? That’s way out of line.”
Oh, so now it’s RANOLD’S fault you wanted to bang Angela? Stay classy, Paul.
“When I saw how young and beautiful and vivacious she was, I thought our marriage was over.”
What, so did Jae keep track on all the dozens of other woman Paul’s slept with, and turns out they were all old, ugly, and dull?
“And then she was with you on TV after that Las Vegas bust.”
“This is all circumstantial, Jae.”
“Even though I was plotting and planning to bed her for months, this is all just silliness in your silly woman head, Jae.”
So get this. Jae flew to Las Vegas to confront Angela. (I guess because it was all her fault, because we certainly know it wasn’t Paul’s fault, right?) She didn’t find Angela, but she did find some woman who told her that Angela was working with prostitutes.
Then it just gets damn confusing:
“I figured you met her at the funeral and realized she could be a great source. Even if she wasn’t a zealot herself, she might know her father’s associates.”
Um, okay. FINE. I guess…
“For the sake of the kids, can we put the past six months behind us? Can we try to make each other happy again?”
Isn’t that more asking to put the past EIGHT YEARS behind them? Just sayin’.
“Jae, that would mean the world to me.”
But Paul couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a little too tidy.
“I’m just…just not used to my wife not justifiably hating me. Does…not…compute…”
I just want to smack Paul several times, and then quote Penny from The Big Bang Theory:
“All right, Howard Wolowitz, listen up! You sign anything she puts in front of you. Because you are the luckiest man alive. If you let her go there is no way you can find anyone else. Speaking on behalf of all women, it’s not going to happen—we had a meeting.”
-“The Vacation Solution,” The Big Bang Theory
And that’s being kind to Paul. Because Howard, despite his faults and foibles and quirks, is actually a good man who loves his wife.
Paul could take a page or twenty from Howard’s book.