Friday, August 17, 2007

Waiting for Gid?

(Written 8-13-07)

So tonight?

Earlier today I was browsing one of my usual haunts for bizarre news tidbits, and I came across a clip about another one of those food-related "miracles." Of course you know I giggled about the Dumbledore toast that sold on eBay a couple years back, and I'd gleefully pay a visit to the Shrine of the Miracle Tortilla; but this one is just kind of sad. The story goes (poor punctuation so not mine):

Holy Eggplant!: Local Woman Finds "GOD" in Eggplant
Felicia T. of Boothwyn says she was preparing fried eggplant for dinner Sunday evening and . . . upon slicing the eggplant she noticed that the seeds contained within one slice appeared to spell out the word "GOD". Felicia told Action News that she recently had family members pass away and it is comforting that "GOD" appeared.

Please feel free to disagree, but right out of the box we have a problem: that eggplant pretty clearly says "Gid," not "God." Am I wrong? It's practically a heart-shaped dot there, hovering over a plump little 7th grade bubble "i."

And it was such a dippy little piece of filler -- the reporter even stooped to note that the dish Mrs. T cooked with the remainder of the eggplant was "simply divine" -- gaaaaaah!

But it found a niche in my brain and it stuck around.

The thing is, while I'm certainly as sorry as a total stranger who will never meet her can be for Mrs. Tesk's recent losses (and stop to wonder momentarily at the plural), I fail to see why this particular seed arrangement might represent comfort to anyone. What does it have to do with the late spate of family funerals? What is the "message" meant to impart to the viewer? And what if it wasn't meant for Mrs. T, but that other hausfrau who decided on veal rather than eggplant parmesan that day? Are there really people who imagine a vegetable might offer them, in their time of grief, a personal condolence card from Jesus? (He was always a poor speller, I hear.) Do these folks spend their days looking for signs and wonders in nose-smudges on bus windows? And the coming apocalypse in coffee-stains on their ties? Are they the same people who expect God to back their business deals and football teams and music careers? How does this happen? And isn't it all just a little weird and solipsistic?

(Hey! What if you found the Virgin Mary in a coffee stain on your tie . . . how could you ever be 100% sure it was a miracle since it wasn't spontaneously generated, but the result of your own clumsy actions? Did Gid inspire you? Or just jostle your elbow on the elevator? Sorry, I digress.)

Anyway, lately I'm thinking a lot about humankind's epic capacity for self-serving irrationality. It's a thing.

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