The Slug Challenge
The Challengers: Paul Arensmeyer and Mayor Sandy Roumagoux
Grimy God has been fun, so far, but its been woefully east-coast centric, I think. Out here in the west, our dirt may not be as dirty, and our smog might be fog, but God has shared gross and grimy gifts with us as well. So, while I’ve got the baton, I’d liketo celebrate God’s presence (presents) in the damp and moldy underworld of the Pacific Northwest. After consulting with kindred spirit Sandy Roumagoux, artist, Mayor of Newport, Oregon, and good old rabble-rousing Lutheran, we challenge Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke to find God in an Oregon icon: the Slug. No, wait, we’re going straight for the “double dog dare” and challenging Dave to find God in the slug in a beer trap.
The Slug Response
Mysterious Theologian: Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke
“Shouldn’t someone say a prayer or something?”
“Move over, I can’t get any.”
“Hey, show some respect, will ya? I mean, she just down off the mountain. Died in 100% Full Sail Premium.”
“What a way to go!”
“This is the Feast, of victory for our God . . .”
“Can it, Carl!”
“You mean “Bottle it” don’t you?! Ha ha haaaaaaa.”
“No, really. She’s gone. Somebody should say a prayer.”
“Sally’s headed up the pot. She’ll say something.”
“Ahem. Dear God. We are gathered here today to remember our sister Gertrude. She just got down from skiing at Hoodoo and now she lays dead in a puddle of Full Sail …”
“Hey, did anybody notice that there are, like, 12 of us here? Sort of like the Last Supper or something!”
“Ooo, Ooo. Can I be Simon Peter?
“Shut it, Frank!”
“As I was saying. Dear God, you made us slugs which is sort of a one down position in the whole web of creation, food chain thing. That wasn’t cool. And we’re only mentioned in the Bible once, Psalm 58:8. Really, we dissolve into slug slime as we go along? That’s the best you could do?! At least somebody invented Snowboards for us because the whole skiing thing wasn’t working out too well otherwise. I mean, we’ve only got one foot. Again. That’s the best you could do? Everybody else got at least two, or four or something. And you wonder why we hang out at the pub so much.
But anyway. Gertrude went skiing today and now she’s gone. You could have told us we die in beer. Nobody else has that issue. Well, actually, a lot of people do. But still, it isn’t fair.”
“She looks so peaceful though, don’t you think?”
“I don’t know . . .”
“So, God, we commit Gertrude to the deep. . .”
“Hops to hops, barley in batches.”
“Knock it off you guys!”
“So, we commit Gertrude into your loving care, O God. She was just a regular slug like the rest of us. We give thanks that she was doing what she loved right up until the end. We thank you that she had leaves to climb, and was never short of lichen, fungi and the occasional earthworm to eat. (And come to think of it, earthworms don’t have any feet at all, so …)
Also Lord, talking about body parts, being a hermaphrodite really isn’t as exciting as it sounds. It’s kind of hard to know what you were actually thinking when you made us.
But here we are, Lord – gathered at your table once again. Life goes on, and with you all things have their meat and meaning. We ask not why, but only when. Yes Lord, we ask not why, but only when.”
“Amen, Amen . . . Amen.”