Thomas Hunt + Joel Wright

Recession is the Mother of his Prayers

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

¬    “Hallelujah, God’s back,” Larry read on a cardboard sign on the back of the register where he had just bought a lottery ticket. An arrow pointed towards a giant tipi near the exit of Dash-Mart. Larry stuffed the ticket into the front pocket of his blue jeans while he walked over and lifted the tipi flap.
“Excuse me, I’m looking for God. Do you have any in stock?”
“We got plenty a them all right,” Lucky, the clerk thought, looking at Larry’s well-worn flannel shirt, that recession was the mother of his prayers.
The tipi flap closed behind Larry. “I want the vengeful one.”
“Sure, got a reference number or something then?”
“Well, if I had a reference number I would have gone and pulled God off the shelf myself.”
“In that case, we got some Kali in stock. Our limited edition ten arm Kali comes in black with protruding fangs and intoxicating, venomous red eyes.” What Larry didn’t know was that the clerk had written the stock descriptions himself. The clerk considered himself an artist of description; two parts internet, one part eavesdropping. He splashed them inside his laptop and minutes later he had a description, a name, and a price tag.
“Ahh, no, no. I didn’t ask for the devil! How would I explain that to my wife?”
“How about a Buddha? You’d be a slick look’n fella with a Buddha.”
“Is Buddha a vengeful God?” Larry’s ears caught the low hum of an electric motor and his eyes followed the empty shelves away from the counter until they disappeared into a thick, milky fog.
“Well, what you’re gonna get with your standard Buddha is a set of four noble truths. We also carry an expansion pack at twenty percent off regular price with the purchase of a Buddha. Anyway, if you’re as interesting a fella as I think, you’ll find the Buddha’s included set just fine. When you open up the box you get the ability for suffering contained within existence and then suffering from ignorance having symptoms of attachment and craving.”
Larry slapped his hands on the counter, “Does he punish the wicked?”
“See, this is the beauty of a Buddha, he gives you the ropes, my man. You don’t need Buddha for anything once you’re up and roll’n. When activated, the first truth alone makes someone suffer just for living. Imagine the possibilities when you activate the other three truths.” The clerk adjusted his name badge, which read only ‘clerk’ not so incidentally.
“That’s fine and all, but I want to be God-fearing. Do you have any with fear in the description?”
“Sure, sure, I guess you’re not a Buddha man like I thought.” The clerk turned his face towards the screen, punched some keys, and pulled a description up on his laptop screen.
“We do carry a Shhhiva. Plenty of people are scared a this one.”
“Is she vengeful?”
“Vengeful, our Shhhiva comes in blue with a black venomous snake and a trident. Put that out on your lawn and see if your neighbour’s still stealing your Sunday paper. ”
“No, no. Can’t do a Shhhiva. My family won’t take to a snake and trident, or blue skin for that matter.”
“Well, we also carry the Christian God. Some people find him vengeful enough for their taste,” the clerk snapped his face into a sharp, cold smile after he placed a square red box on the counter.
Larry cracked the lid just enough to peek inside. He looked for only a moment and said, “All right, how much?”