Saturday, December 30, 2017

Missing Buttons: Out With The Old

"Ten Things You Should Throw Away Right Now."

Sure! I'll click on that. I'll click on that because throwing things away is of personal theoretical interest to me. I'll click on that because I have too much stuff and it feels like a burden. In fact if you come to my house and admire something on my shelves I'll probably give it to you. No, not that thing, but maybe a different thing. I'll click on that because it's almost like really doing something, such as, for instance, throwing something away. I'll click on that because I have laundry to fold and email to answer.

I'll click on that even if it turns out not to be a nice enumerated list I can skim in a half a minute, one through ten, on one page. I'll click on that even it if turns out to be a slide show with the next-slide arrows buried halfway down the page past the first scroll in a muddle of ads and pop-ups that have to be swatted away.

I'll click on it because there might be a good point or two to be made that I hadn't thought of. I'll click on it because my life isn't dwindling away fast enough and if there's no more time to waste, I should find some, and waste it.

"Ten Things You Should Throw Away Right Now." Click.

All righty then. All the stuff on my refrigerator should go. Yeah, there's a point to that, but some of the infants displayed on our fridge aren't out of college yet, and they're not really taking up space. Number two: throw out your old cosmetics. Way ahead of you. Number three: ditch that box of buttons. Say what?

This list has officially lost all credibility. Why in the world would I get rid of my button box? Well, they explain, the odds of your ever needing any of those buttons are vanishingly small; you'll toss out your clothing before it needs a spare button, and the button you need isn't in that box anyway, and the box is taking up space. They have no idea what a button box is for. A button box represents the slim but enticing possibility that you will one day have the exact right thing that you need, yes, but that is the least of its powers. If you slip your hand in a button box you will feel the silky liquid movement of solid objects, all the wealth of coins without the stain of lucre: buttons are the tangible currency of an attentive soul. You can dip your fingers in the buttons and they'll tumble and slide around you like friendly minnows. Your own four-year-old self is in that box and you can visit her with your wrinkled hand any time you want.

What? This is our beer refrigerator.
Number four: Throw away your mattress. The hell! My mattress and I are an item. But, they explain urgently, your average mattress has ten pound of your dead skin cells in it.

So? I was done with those.

Evidently you not only have ten pounds of your dead skin cells in your mattress, but you have a legion of mites that feast on your dead skin cells, and although they will not do anything to you, the entire prospect should fill you with revulsion and a sharp urge to buy a new mattress, according to Mattress! Mattress! Mattress!

Also, puts in Extreme Mattresses Plus, it's not really ten pounds of dead skin cells, but more like double the weight of the original mattress. Mattress Universe suggests something in the middle range, but contributes a magnified photograph of a mite. You should throw out your mattress, is the point.

The hell. If my mattress is full of my deciduous portions and mites are going to town on my former self, that just makes me feel like a good hostess. Have a ball in there, and try to keep it down after ten p.m.

I still have laundry to fold and email to answer, but there's a limit. I'm clicking off. I may be missing a few buttons, but I'm not about to give them away.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Poot Too Far

Deep down, who doesn't like farts? The sheer variety of toots that can be emitted from the single instrument is a credit to our creativity. It's all about pressure, volume, and embouchure, but you can't discount practice. I myself have so much affection for the subject that I can still recall individual productions. As a mail carrier, I was accustomed to being on my own, which is helpful if you have performance anxiety. A few stand out.

There was the day I was stuck in an otherwise empty apartment mailroom with sweet old Mrs. Gilbride and a bellyful of burrito. She could not be persuaded to flee the impending blast. Finally I realized she was nearly stone deaf and I cut loose with a mighty boom. Mrs. Gilbride's arms sprang out and she jolted visibly and quacked "What the hell was that?"

In my defense, I believe she did not hear it, but was caught in the concussion.

At the other end of the spectrum was the gentle raindrop plup I emitted one fine day, followed by another, and then the dawning realization that I had enough ammunition in the chamber to plup my way plup plup all the way to the next delivery, one plup by one, and no witnesses in sight, plup plup plup; a discovery that made me so happy I parceled them out plup one per footstep plup with enough in reserve to finish with a slide-whistle flourish plup plup peee-oooooooo-wiiiip! right at the destination mail slot. Where the meter reader stepped out from behind the shrubbery. Damn cheerful fellow, he was.

Then there was the time I got in the elevator in a small apartment building to deliver a package. This apartment was filled with working folk and I rarely saw anyone in there in the daytime. I entered the elevator and filled it with confidence and reminiscences of my most recent lunch. "Other people's farts are disgusting," I remember a comic observing once, "but your own are always kind of interesting."

Mine was. Notes of fennel, garlic-forward, with a structure of pork sausage, and a smooth navy-bean finish.


No one is ever home at that apartment building. Nevertheless the elevator slowed and the door opened and a handsome young man entered with his Labrador retriever. He smiled, moved to the back, and turned toward the door, following protocol. His nose wrinkled.

"Oh, man, I'm sorry. Duke, bad boy!"

"It happens," I smiled, vowing to buy a lottery ticket later.

But I am only a grade-B flatulist in comparison with Dave, the Maestro of Methane. Ever tuneful and creative, with an impressive repertoire, he is also capable of a world-class eruption when sound asleep, a titanic airhorn blast, causing zoo elephants across town to ripple their ears in solidarity, railroad crossing gates to close, and schoolchildren for miles around to file outside and wait for the all-clear. Startled house guests fret, once their heart rates come back down, that he must have injured himself, but they underestimate his stamina and years of training. What does your husband do? acquaintances query, and this is always the first thing that comes to mind.

Also, he's a great cook.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

In Oregon, It's "Rust To Rust"

Slipped away, left this world, lost her battle, entered eternal rest, died, went home, was called home, went  to be with his Lord, succumbed, passed away.  Those, in no order, are the top ten ways we Americans try to not say "died." Except for "died." "Passed away" is the most popular. ("Pissed away" refers to how we spend our lives.) There are regional differences in the words we use. "Died" is popular in North Dakota, for instance, where "bought the farm" isn't all that metaphorical.

Someone calculated the most characteristic death euphemisms for each state based on obituaries.  Here in Oregon I am led to understand we characteristically use "succumbed." I always, always read the obituaries (you know, just in case) and can't remember having seen that word even once. But I like it. "Succumbed" is succinct and apt. If you succumb, you have yielded to an inevitably greater power or force, such as death, which is currently batting a thousand against humanity, all rumors notwithstanding. Relatively few Oregonians are ever called home, or go to be with their Lord. (Oregon ranks first in the nation in churchlessness, beer, and strip joints. I think the strip-joint stat is old news from back before we had internet porn.)

If we get to choose our own verbiage, I'm going with "filled her eternity shorts." But "succumbed" might be the best way to refer to my friend Ruth, who just did it a few days ago. She was not interested in dying. She was a remarkable woman whose sweet face belied her strong convictions. For instance, she despised the medical establishment, and the pharmaceutical industry never sank a single claw in her. Which is unusual for a woman her age.

Generally speaking when a girl gets to be 102, she's kind of ready to go. She might not know how to accomplish it, but she's ready. Not Ruth. She had stacked up a nice neat pile of years and didn't see any reason they couldn't keep on coming. Ruth was about as bright as you can be when you're that old, though we might have lost her two years ago if Trump had been in office. She couldn't have survived getting a congratulatory 100th-birthday card from him, but she liked the Obama one, and promptly signed up for more birthdays. We were getting the idea she'd keep them coming out of sheer habit, but one morning she just succumbed. Or--even better--conceded.

Coincidentally, Dave and I had just taken care of his mom. I found him studying the contents of the dining room hutch, looking for something to evict--he's a neatnik--when his eyes lit on a garish golden box. The Mommie. Dave's mom always signed her cards "The Mommie."

"Let's stick her in the garden," Dave said.

"What? Now?"

Now. He opened the box and retrieved a shockingly large baggie of ashes and bone bits and headed to the back yard. Mom Flambe.

Dave's mom hasn't been around since 1989. In her case, we will say she "clocked out." I don't know what else you can call it when you find her sitting up in her chair with her coffee cup to one side and the newspaper in her lap and the Cubbies on the TV and otherwise lifeless. Her ashes went to live in Dave's sister's closet, where she could visit them when she needed advice, and then two years ago they were "passed on," as it were, to us.

We didn't want them. This kind of thing is not our thing.

What was supposed to happen was she was supposed to be surreptitiously sprinkled on Wrigley Field, but you really have to work at something like that, and we're not ambitious. So the garish golden box ended up in our hutch until now, when Dave took it out the back door.

"How about the compost pile?" I contributed. "That way she'll end up everywhere, if I ever get around to turning it."

We got our neighbor Anna to put on real shoes and come over to witness, because she's a caring soul and already knows we're nuts. I think we laughed a lot but didn't say anything noteworthy as Dave shook out the baggie over our compost pile and began turning it with the pitchfork we're saving for the Revolution. We empty the vacuum cleaner bag for the same reason and with as much ceremony.

We loved The Mommie. But she wasn't in that box.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Declining The Recliner

There are three authorized house mammals here, and only one of them wants my recliner to go away. It's not me or my cat. My recliner is, I am told, disreputable and embarrassing. That's sort of harsh, considering it's only about 34 years old and still works just fine. It's arguably a little worn, but who isn't? You don't abandon things because they're old. You don't just give them the heave-ho. Even the President won't get impeached merely for being massively ugly. The chair works just fine.

People of a certain fancy sensibility find it unattractive. It looks like it belongs in a mobile home four feet from a TV playing a Golden Girls marathon, and that was fifteen years ago. Now it looks like it got relegated to the front deck made of pallets under an awning of corrugated plastic. Our first cat (Saint) Larry loved this chair to ribbons. Our current cat Tater figured she'd finish the job. There is some double-sided tape that was pressed onto the fabric about 25 years ago to annoy the cat, but it's no longer sticky on the cat-side, due to the accumulation of mystery lint. It's plenty sticky on the chair side and I can't peel it off. Larry preferred to love the front end and Tater has picked up the slack on the back, sides, and top. There's wood poking out of the top corners. The top is particularly cushy and wide and she likes to drape herself on it. This is why we call her the Chair Leopard.

So there is also a stratum of cat fur in all the creases and the top. It resembles felt due to the binding effect of the millions of dead skin cells I have contributed. You lose 500 million skin cells a day, or eight billion trillion, depending on whether you believe the Mayo Clinic or the mattress industry. The skin cells are, however, already dead of natural causes, although there should be a small concentrated paste of thigh cells somewhere that were murdered on the spot the day Tater was on my lap and a German Shepherd walked in unannounced.

Additionally there is a sedimentary layer of crumbs and food items which bounced freely off my chest for the first twenty years or rolled straight down without impediment for the last ten. This chair has been with me through thick and not-quite-so-thick. It would be a treasure trove for archaeologists of the future. The actual living shape of the occupant couldn't be clearer if she were abruptly buried in soft sand and fossilized. Details of diet and clothing will be readily discernible. It's possible an antique flu virus could be reconstructed from the drool zone. Two extinct cats could be cloned and set up in an island park for Jeff Goldblum to admire himself next to. He'll still be around, he's always turning up somewhere.

You get rid of an item with this much legacy in it, you might just as well go tromp all over those pterodactyl eggs they found in China, is what I'm saying.

It doesn't bother me to sit around in a pan of skin cells that I was done with. They're not useless; they're feeding an army of dust mites. All told, there are a lot of us who count on this particular recliner. Billions. Anytime I know I am vastly outnumbered I like to sit quietly and blend in, and this chair is the perfect place to do it. There doesn't seem to be any call for getting a new one as long as I continue to have a cat and we both continue to be deciduous.

Besides, Archie Bunker and Frasier's Dad don't have to get rid of their chairs. Is this a gender thing? If I make a stink can I get someone fired?

Tater hangs on.
Do I trade in the chair just because it has a patina and has been exfoliated and one person is scandalized by it? Assuming I love him? Yeah. Shit. I guess so. Goodbye, old friend.

The chair, not the person.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

One Way To Screw

When it comes to screwing, I like to stick with what works. The problem is there are way too many ways to do it.

It's just another sign I should have been born in the 19th century when life was simple and no one wore underpants and everybody screwed the same way. I've said it before. Too many choices do not make a person happier. Too many choices just make you feel like an idiot.

You start out with God's own screw, the slot-head, and  it makes perfect sense. No need to get all fancy. Then you run into your first Phillips screw and everything you thought you knew about the world flies out the window, but you adjust. You even get to like it. Your screwdriver doesn't slide around. You feel super competent. "What have we here?" you might say, calmly. "Why, it's a Phillips-head screw. I shall fetch my Phillips screwdriver." It's like you're in a special club.

But recently I needed a screw for something and I looked around the basement, which Dave has stocked with all sorts of metallic mystery items, and all I could find were screws that weren't slotted or Phillips, but had little asterisks in them instead, and I couldn't think of any reason that should be unless someone was deliberately trying to mess with me. Trick screws. There you are in the 19th century and you go to plink away at your parlor piano, and all of a sudden it won't work without the special mittens you don't have any of. Why? Why?

Righty tighty, lefty loosey. So far, at least, that's still universal. Those of us with sieves for brain-pans need a mnemonic like this. I use it every single time. Say I'm trying to screw in a screw and it won't bite: I wonder if I'm turning it correctly. Maybe it's backwards when I'm upside down, which I arguably am, from the standpoint of people in the contrary hemisphere. And because I have no ability to manipulate objects spatially in my head (this is why I still don't understand the phases of the moon), I have to actually act it out. I make a twiddly motion with my finger as though I am turning a screw and then stick my head under my hand and look up, and sure enough the screw is going left when I'm going right, so no wonder the sucker won't budge. It's just one of those things I'm not meant to understand, like how somewhere in the world it's yesterday, or like how toilets at the equator are too confused to flush. Righty tighty, I repeat to myself with conviction, and the screw still won't move, and then I start looking for nails and glue. Screw screws.

There have been screws since the Middle Ages. No one ever found any screwdrivers, but their existence was inferred from the presence of the screws. We still don't know where all the screwdrivers are. But the screws were simple slots.

I complain to Dave about his asterisk screws. There is bitterness in my voice.

Calm down. It's just a Torx screw. You need a different bit.

Where does this end?

There are hexagons and clutches and Robertson Square Sockets and Allens and fluted sockets and Frearsons and Pozidrivs and Bristol Splines and Tri-Wings and Thunderbolt Grease-Slappers and this, all of this, is clearly the work of hostile forces indifferent to my self-esteem or my desire to become a handy-citizen.

Calm down now. It's not always about you. Each of these has a perfectly good reason for existing.

Like what?

Like this one can be engaged at more frequent angles by the driver bit, and that one allows more torque to be applied before the screw cams out.

I suspect I'm being deliberately brainswoggled but after a while I'm able to accept that it is implausible there is a world-wide conspiracy to target my insecurities, and eventually I've recovered sufficiently to attempt to fix the coffeemaker. If it can't make coffee, it's just another big piece of plastic that's going to end up in an albatross some day. Fortunately, according to the Googles, it's a simple fix. The water tube needs to be cleaned out. You access it from the bottom. There will be two screws to undo and then it's all presto reamo.

The two screws are slotted-spanner tamper proof. We do not have a screwdriver to do a simple fix on a $20 coffeemaker. No one does. The manufacturers of coffee makers hate me, and also albatrosses.  Our screwdrivers are good for nothing.

Stabbing. They're good for stabbing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

And We Shall Purify

Boy howdy, some year, huh? We women are getting us some justice after a lifetime of abuse, or possibly the whole of human history--anyway we're finally holding the boys to account, and it's exhilarating. We got 'em by the balls and we're dribbling down the court for the score. Seems like the good guys were due for some kind of win, since it didn't work out for Colin Kaepernick and the gang when they tried to respectfully point out that the police were getting away with murdering them. You could sort of see why they might be aggrieved, what with all the death, not to mention the previous three hundred years of dehumanization, but unfortunately for them it turned out they were just overpaid niggers who hated America, as the President clarified, and they didn't get much traction. Maybe some other year. Maybe more death. Maybe it's not quite their time yet.

But it's sure our time now, right, ladies? We are done with being groped and cat-called and having to keep quiet lest we lose our jobs and the whole bit, which we get to call the Rape Culture because there's nothing that can be said that hyperbole doesn't say even better and louder. Women are refusing to remain silent in the face of oppression and men are finally learning how pervasive it has been. This is a good thing. Many men were unaware of what we've been going through, especially the ones who up till now had labored under the delusion they were innocent even though they are clearly equipped to be on the rapist side of the rape culture ledger.

This is particularly fun for me because I've never been in a mob. I was only one year old when Joe McCarthy was in his heyday, so my memory of it is patchy, although I certainly remember "the Commies" serving as the bad guys for decades. (We call them Muslims now.) Of course this is different. All those people accused weren't actual Commies and it shouldn't have mattered if they were, whereas now we know who's truly guilty on account of all the penises. It's wonderful to see men getting what they deserve. From off-color jokes to rape, it's all the same. We're through.

Show you just how much we mean it: we'll take down good ol' Al Franken. He's been an effective senator on the right side of durn near everything when we don't have any good senators to spare, but he engaged in shenanigans. Sometime. Probably. Ha ha! Take that, Al! Bet you're sorry you allegedly did all that stuff you probably might have done! Sure, it's the kind of stuff I've done myself, like butt-grabbing without permission, and if you'd done it to me it probably wouldn't have offended me or the next fifteen women, but it offended at least a few, and that should be that. It's our time now, baby. We've got a big net and we're fixing to catch a lot of men in it. We've all been groped and leered at but we ourselves are pure and we're taking you down. Zero tolerance, baby. It's the very definition of principled.

Maybe another day we'll have time to take aim at some other principles. Maybe we'll take a hatchet to radical capitalism and the party that primarily promotes it, the politicians who serve none but the rich and have seen no commons that shouldn't be privatized for profit, no resource that shouldn't be mined or harvested for profit, no population that shouldn't be demonized or destabilized or destroyed to smooth the way for more profit, no warmaking that can't be turned to profit. Who feel no shame about stumping for guns and against abortion whether they care about those things or not, because it will fool so many people into voting for them, so they can continue to wreck everything for profit. Who will happily devastate the living earth. For profit.

Talk about your rape culture.

[Author's note: today is International Margaret Day! You all know what to do!]

Saturday, December 9, 2017

86 The 86

Squirrels are all around us in the environment, occasionally seeping into our houses, where they manufacture mayhem in the form of gnawing on things that do not belong to them, such as electrical wiring, with the ultimate goal of setting us on fire or otherwise demolishing our bank accounts, and you can't always see them, but you know where they've been because they leave behind little piles of masticated figs, in season. And that's how you can tell them from radon.

Radon is even sneakier. Radon cannot be seen or felt, and nevertheless can cause great harm, just like squirrels or the plutocracy. It is a colorless and odorless gas and has such a strong invisibility component that it can make an entire high school disappear, as it did not too long ago right here in Northeast Portland. As the sad case of the disappearing high school demonstrates, radon is not a problem at all until it's detected, and then all hell breaks loose, in spite of which people are now working on more detection instead of less.

Formerly Adams High School
Radon was discovered initially over a hundred years ago and was often found to be lurking in coal mines and causing lung cancer in miners, which led to a demand for more ventilation in mines, thus rendering them safe as hell except for the coal dust, explosions, and the possibility of imminent mountain collapse. Once the mines were taken care of, nobody gave a shit about radon for a good 85 years, until a nuclear power plant worker named Stanley showed up at work glowing eerily. He, alone among his coworkers, tested high for radiation, so someone followed him home and discovered his house packed with radon. This led to job growth and a healthy boom time for radon detection and mitigation.

The gas seeps up naturally from the ground, chiefly in County Cork, Ireland and Iowa, but also in random locations all over the world, possibly including your house. Look around: can you see or smell anything? If not, you may have radon. The gas is light enough to get into your house but heavy enough to hang out primarily in your basement. It is so sneaky and particular it can even register in one room of your house but not another, and the only way to determine this without a radon detector is to place a middle-aged person in each room, with cable TV and snacks, and wait to see which one gets lung cancer.

There are various ways to mitigate radon in the home. One can punch holes in the house sufficient to let the radon out and keep the cat in, or, better yet, lift the home up on stilts and throw a rubber sheet under it over a ventilation system to coax the radon out from under the sheet and into your neighbor's house. Both options are a pain in the ass that would never have been necessary before that nuclear power plant worker messed things up for us. Gone are the golden days when people just up and died natural and nobody said boo about it. Clearly there is no upside to detecting radon in your home unless you're a smoker, in which case you can take a high radon reading as a reason to say well fuck it and go ahead and smoke inside like you always wanted to.

You'll still need a BB gun for the squirrels.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ecclesiastes 5:10

An editor in our local rag put in a nice Thanksgiving piece saying how grateful she is to rich people for paying all our taxes for us. Most of us don't contribute much at all, says she, and it is the very wealthy who are supplying the bulk of our revenue. (Thank you, rich people, and please accept our outsized contribution of sacrificial humans for the war machine you make money on.)

It never occurs to her to think there's anything wrong with the fact that a slim sliver of the population has so goddamn much money that they can pretty much fund the government they're trying to shrink, or the interest on the swelling national debt, and yet they're still rich. But there is something wrong here. It's unconscionable. It's immoral. You can take the Pope's word on that, or Jesus's, even though only one of them is a Christian.

There are a few ways to get filthy rich, but they don't track real well with merit. Some of the folks who got hold of a good idea and had decent entrepreneurial skills managed to accumulate a lot of money, and they are busy trying to give it away as fast as they can, which is what any mentally healthy person with too much money would do. Others are just buying warehouses to stash their money in and giving away only so much as it takes to buy off Congress and get them even more money. These people don't need more money. They need therapy.

Most of the truly wealthy have stolen it. You don't need a gun. We're all stealing. When we consume palm oil, which is in everything, we steal land and livelihood from indigenous peoples. We steal our children's future by dumping carbon from deforestation into our atmosphere. We're able to buy stuff cheap because our slave class is in another country. We murder people in the Congo to acquire the minerals for our cell phones. Everything has a cost, even if we prefer to ignore it.

The rich people's money is not theirs. It's stolen too. We used to have living-wage jobs in this country. We used to have pensions. We were doing all right. Then came the campaign to eviscerate the labor unions. Wages stagnated or tumbled and the increased profits that resulted went to the investor class. Our plodding but reliable pensions gave way to the "ownership society." We could do so much better on our own if we just hand over our reduced wages to the financial sector. Only we didn't do better. We gambled it on a game we didn't understand and someone else got the big pot. And it's gone. It's stolen. It trickled straight uphill and we won't see it again. And if anyone truly believed this concentrated wealth was earned or deserved, there would be no talk of repealing the estate tax.

Did you hear Senator Chuck Grassley (age 134, plus or minus fifty years) the other day? He was asked why we should reward the already-wealthy by repealing the estate tax. Why, says he, that's to show a little appreciation to the people who sweated and saved their pennies and invested and contributed to society. Senator Grassley says the rest of us working stiffs spent our money on booze and women and movies.

Booze, and women, and movies.

Oh, Senator Grassley, I do declare! Thank you for standing up for all us little ladies at home in our calico frocks who would be in the catbird seat right now if our worthless husbands wasn't squandering our butter money on booze and broads. Please go right after our Medicare next so the sons of bitches will realize whut they done and mend their ways! But Senator, suh? We do love us some movin' pitchers and a little sarsaparilla now and then. Is that so bad?

Seriously, little senator dude? If you believe a wealthy man--let's assume it's a man, since you do--should be rewarded for his thrift and foresight and hard work, over and above the reward of his own wealth, whyever would you want to dump a ton of money on his kids' heads? Let them scrimp and save, if that's what you truly admire. Let us all start out equal. Heh heh. Just kidding. We ain't at the same starting line. We ain't even in the same race.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

We Heard It From On High

Fake news angel. Angels aren't girls.
Did you know Angelology is a thing? The study of angels? I'm going to admit right up front: I suspicioned that, stacked up against the other sciences, it might lack rigor. But I was wrong. It's got rigor out the wazoo.

My primary source is an article by a gentleman who graduated from seminary school fifty years ago, became a pastor, died, and went home to be with the Lord, so he's got credentials. Dr. Keathley pointed out that just as there are many forms of life lower than Us, we should expect that there are forms superior to us, if not quite as fancy as God. If there was nothing between us and God, that would be like a vacuum. In space. Which would be silly. So dollars to doughnuts it's filled up with angels.

Not only that, but almost all of the heathen mythologies posit the existence of lesser deities. We generally ignore heathen mythologies, but they had to have gotten the idea from somewhere, even if they got everything else wrong, like God's first name.

But the possibility of angels becomes a certainty when we realize that the Bible told us so. Because the Bible is God's word. We know this because God himself told us, and God wouldn't lie outright, although he was not above messing with Job just for fun. Even the weird bits in the Bible that contradict each other are proof that it must be God's word, on account of He is mysterious. Slam dunk, in the can, mortal lock, shut the front door.

As supporting evidence for the existence of angels, we can start with the fact that God is Spirit; and there's a material kingdom, and an animal kingdom, and a human kingdom, so it stands to reason--I believe it's reason it stands to--that there is a spiritual kingdom also, with angels in it. (Dr. Keathley leaves out the viral kingdom and the phlegmish kingdom but those should remain below us, unless there is a terrible reckoning down the line.) Also there is the undisputed fact that a significant portion of Americans believe they have felt the presence of one or more angels, although not as many as believe in aliens and trickle-down economics.

Now THIS is an angel.
What a lot of people don't know is that eventually, if we play our cards right, we will surpass the angels and even be in a position to judge them, and wouldn't that be awesome. Our ace in the hole is that we were created in the image of God and the angels weren't. Yes, we just learned the angels are not physical but spiritual just like God, but if God weren't spirit he'd totally look like us. So once we're redeemed, we'll slide right by them into the end zone and score. Nanner nanner, angels.

I'm willing to go along with this up to a point, even the biblical fact that angels were created before the earth (so, over 6,000 years ago), but when humans arrange that convenient end run around the angels I surmise God's Word has undergone some editing. This is a suspiciously fine result for ourselves. I'm not anticipating it myself. I don't suppose if anyone were to redeem me they'd even get so much as a toaster out of the deal.