TEoD: Chapter 24: Lunch with a WOMAN
Murphy humblebrags to himself as he stands in line at the Student Center for lunch. He runs over his phenomenal workout routine in his own mind, then tells himself that…
I deserve a reward for doing my ninety pushups a day.
Ooooh, we’re all sooooo impressed, Murphy!
But ultimately, Murphy settles for Good Christian Self-Denial, and gets a tuna salad sandwich instead of a burger and fries. Which, yes, is healthier in some ways, but manly man Murphy is denying himself quite a bit of protein and fiber. But it’s okay—surely he has the Manliest Christian Shits of all.
I kinda feel like he might regret not getting the Manly Burger, because Summer Van Doren comes to sit with him for lunch. They make small talk and Summer mentions that she’s originally from San Diego and enjoys surfing, like any “southern California beauty with blond hair” (Murphy’s thought) should.
Wow, a sexy blonde volleyball player from California who is also a surfer. Could they possibly have carried this stereotype any further?
Summer also points out that good ole Pastor Bob has been talking about demons and the occult and presumably the evil of D&D and Marvel movies. Which, again, I am sure Dean Fallworth will be delighted to hear—that their archaeology professor’s lectures are mirroring the sermons of the local asshat preacher.
And perhaps Murphy is subconsciously afraid of this, as he spontaneously brings Fallworth up in this conversation. Like I’ve said in the past, for someone who seems to think he’s above it all, Murphy certainly thinks about Fallworth’s opinion a lot.
Murphy then notices Summer clocking his ring finger, which is bare now.
If she noticed [that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring], she did not mention it.
Well, yeah, Murphy, because women don’t do that. “Ah, guy I am talking to! I have observed that you are not wearing a wedding band! We’ll bang, okay?”
(Speaking of, Murphy is surprisingly nonchalant about dining with a human of the opposite sex. I mean, I don’t care if he does, in some kind of weird Mike Pence-kinda way. I’m just saying that for a man who claims to be in love, he sure is opening himself to temptation from this one-dimensional blonde volleyball/surfing goddess.)
Well, perhaps in a sick attempt to diffuse the RTC sexual tension, Murphy brings up the BTK Killer as an example of demonic activity. (Brainy Summer, btw, hears only the very faintest of tiny bells ring at the phrase “BTK Killer.” But then again, if there’s one kind of person Murphy loves, it’s someone he can lecture on any and every topic.) See, Dennis Rader once said that demons in his head told him to kill. Then again, he also blamed his own victims, so I guess I just wouldn’t look to a vicious serial killer for religious knowledge like Michael Murphy does. But that’s just me.
But we’re back in familiar territory now, with Murphy lecturing his poor victim on whatever cockamamie thoughts enter his head. Yanno, serial killers, depression, voodoo, the usual.
“A number of Bible scholars believe that most demonic activity takes on more subtle forms [than becoming a serial killer]. Things like extended depression, suicidal thoughts, debilitating anxiety, and doubts about God.”
Yes, folks, if you have depression or even the slightest doubt about God, don’t worry about it, because IT’S PROBABLY JUST DEMONIC POSSESSION.
Wait, that didn’t come out right.
Actually, Murphy immediately backpedals and says that not all emotional problems (like, say having doubts about God), are actually caused by demons, but that demonic activity “just exacerbates” the problems, which “makes it very hard for counselors to distinguish between demonic attacks and psychological problems.”
Boy, yeah, that is a challenge. Here, let me see if I can help you: THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS DEMONS.
Then Murphy whines for a minute about voodoo that missionaries have to deal with, then he’s off to the races about Loye Pourner, USAF, who has petitioned for official recognition of Wicca in the military and is a lay leader and high priest.
Oh, sorry. According to Murphy, he “claimed that he was a high priest.” (Emphasis mine.) ‘Cause you know those non-Christians! Always claiming that they’re high priests or rabbis or monks or whatevers, in their fake made-up religions. Totally different from really real things like DEMONS.
Apart from claiming to be a high priest of Wicca, Murphy doesn’t have much on this man, except for the vague accusation that “demons are smart enough to work within a culture to capture the thinking of people.”
(By the way, sure is classy (and loving!) of LaPhillips to use a real, living person, who was just minding his own business and trying to practice his faith, as an example of demonic activity in the United States.)
All of this leads Summer to ask a very important question:
“Michael, have you ever had to face a demon?”
Murphy says he hasn’t, though how would he know for certain, since a big part of his bit is that demons can show up anywhere and be disguised?
Anyway, Summer leaves for a convenient class, and Murphy thinks that not only is she hot, but she’s also “warm and well spoken and intelligent.” How would you know, Murph? You didn’t let her get a word in! He then thinks about how Isis and Summer both share these qualities, but that Summer is RTC, so “they could connect on a deeper level.” Again, deeper level, Murph? You didn’t let her get a word in!
I’ll add that it’s an odd (yet appropriate for Murphy) way to assess romantic love. Murphy seems to think it’s like a table of pros and cons. And now Summer has one more point than Isis, so she wins! Gee, I’m just shocked that the idea of falling in love with the whole person has no place in this world.
Are you SURE you haven’t met any demons, Murph?