September 6, 2000
(Off-Kilter is updated every Wednesday night -- or Thursday if we're busy painting flames on our Geo Storm.)

Just who is Off-Kilter and what planet is he from?

Surf To Our Archive
Our Favorite Sites
Gadgets for God
and other religious
The Edge
Humor served up
Pacific Northwest-style,
whatever that means.
Quick Takes
Our favorite
Chicago columnist
since Mike Royko.
A warehouse
of clever
TV commercials.
Logo and Icons by
Reuben Munoz

Web Design by

Dental Distortions
(In case you're joining the Witness Protection Program or need new teeth to star in a remake of "Deliverance.")
Urban Legend Almanac
Find out whether that weird story you received via e-mail (or read in Off-Kilter) is true or false.
Would the DMV
Make HimWait Too?
By Roy Rivenburg

Heaven on Wheels: Most people assume WWJD stands for "What would Jesus do?" But according to Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, the initials are shorthand for "What would Jesus drive?"

For centuries, theologians have squabbled over the type of transportation the Lord would use: Public transit or private car? Stick shift or automatic? A sport-utility vehicle roomy enough for all 12 apostles or an economy model?

One of Ostler's readers theorized that Jesus would tool around in an old Plymouth because "the Bible says God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden in a Fury.''

But our research department found several other scenarios. In Psalm 83, for example,

the Almighty clearly owns a Pontiac and a Geo. The passage urges the Lord to "pursue your enemies with your Tempest and terrify them with your Storm."

(We're not sure how a Geo Storm could be considered terrifying, unless it had those scary shooting flames painted on the sides.)

Another scripture indicates that Yahweh favored Dodge pickup trucks. Moses' followers are warned not to go up a mountain until "the Ram's horn sounds a long blast."

Some scholars insist that Jesus drove a Honda, but didn't like to talk about it. As proof, they cite a verse in St. John's gospel where Christ tells a crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say.'"

However, there is debate over whether the vehicle had bumper stickers such as "Save the Humans," "My other car is a flaming chariot" or "Honk if you love me."

Meanwhile, Ostler has uncovered several other religious theories:

  • Moses rode an old British motorcycle, as evidenced by a Bible passage declaring that "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the hills.''

  • The first mention of tennis is in the Book of Genesis, when Joseph served in Pharaoh's court.

  • Operators Aren't Standing By: The music world is in big trouble. Deregulation of the telecommunications industry has made it nearly impossible to write decent lyrics that refer to phone calls.

    For example, in the Tommy Tutone song "867-5309 (Jenny)," the line that says "For the price of a dime I can always turn to you" is now obsolete. To comply with current pricing structures, the word "dime" would have to be updated. The revised lyric would be: "For the price of 35 cents (or free if I'm using my cell phone and calling on a weekend, in which case I have 500 minutes included, unless you're outside my service area and then roaming charges apply), I can always turn to you."

    As you can see, it's somewhat less poetic.

    Another problem is the increased automation of directory assistance. Consider Jim Croce's classic tune "Operator," which would now go something like this:

    Croce: Operator, oh could you help me place this call?

    Automated voice: Welcome to Pacific Bell directory assistance. City and state, please.

    Croce: 'Cause I can't read the number that you just gave me.

    Automated voice: For automatic dialing of this listing, press 1. An additional charge of 50 cents will apply.

    Phone industry changes would also necessitate revamped lyrics for Blondie's "Call Me,'' as follows: "Call me on the line, call me, call me any anytime -- except please use 1-800-COLLECT, because it'll save me a buck or two.''

    Bumper Sticker Patrol: The San Francisco Chronicle spotted this Green Party presidential sticker: "Bush and Gore make me Ralph"

    Weird Polls Bureau: The pet that Al Gore most resembles is a fish or reptile, according to a survey by George W. Bush reminds voters of a dog, a reptile or a ferret.

    Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: "Astronauts Want to Take Hookers on Space Flights!'' (Weekly World News)

    Unpaid Informants: Bible Gateway, Ann Harrison, Leah Garchik.

    Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
    Distributed by Creators Syndicate