I’ve struggled with this post for quite some time. I am generally not one to cast dispersions or throw stones at innocents. I don’t appreciate cynicism or mean-spiritedness and don’t tolerate intolerance.
Ah shit – I’m just kidding. Bring on the fire! It’s time for a flame-broiled minister of the lord, baby!
The date – Oct of last year. I was in Tokyo for a meeting and was on my way home on my second-favorite flight – UA876 from NRT to SEA. Many of you may know that I tend to fly – a lot – and thus accumulate "assloads" of frequent flyer miles. I use these miles to upgrade myself to First class when I fly because 1) i’m tall, 2) i don’t like people and people in first generally don’t talk as much, 3) i dont like people.
In any case, flying International First is super nice. An entire suite – no one next to you, a flat bed, two desks, lots of storage, and – a kick-ass lounge at Narita. This is where our story begins – the United International First Lounge, 4th Floor, NRT. I arrived to be greeted by the usual gaggle of Japanese attendants at the elevator and headed over to the sushi bar for my beer and fish before getting work done. With plate in hand, I headed back to my usual spot – a row of cubes in the back of the lounge where you can hide, work, and generally feel alone until the flight leaves. Across from the cubes is a long desk with workstations aplenty, looking over the NRT runway.
As I’m sitting down in my cube, I notice a young-ish kid at the table. He is blonde, has long hair, and ‘tats’ on his upper arms. He is looking forlorn and dispassionate. Ahh, jeez. Your life must SUCK – a ticket from NRT to SEA on UA in F class is about $10k. That is about four times what my friend’s middle-class father makes in India per year, and he looks a fuckload lot happier than this sap.
I notice him browsing the "Mars Hill" website. For those of you don’t know, Mars Hill is a fake church in Seattle that is opening up branches faster than Howard Schultz. Except they are branches of the Lord. Some weird Lord, tho, who tells the preacher that women should be subservient to their mens and everyone else to wear khakis at all times. It’s also the fastest growing church in the nation – in Seattle of all places. Read this book if you want some more background.
Suddenly, I see a shock of bright red hair drift on over to the clearly oppressed blonde guy. I can’t see his face, but I can hear him talking to the youngin’. They are talking trash about the Mars Hill website. Hey – maybe I can hang out with these guys – I can relate. Except: they aren’t talking my kind of trash (you know, "yeah, throw a rockband into church and now you’re making the hellfire go down easier! or I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t have misogyny in mind when he was tapping the harlots at his feet!"). No, they were talking competitive church trash: "Look at that – so amateurish. Ha ha – they don’t even have more than one service on Sunday!" Etcetera, etcetera.
Who is this red headed devil and apathetic Brad Pitt wannabe? Find out – next post.