funny stories, home

Repost: Unexpected search results…

Hello folks. It’s a cold, drizzly Sunday here in Germany. Bill and I talked more about the Duggar situation over breakfast. There’s a lot more I could write about it… and maybe I will later. However, it does occur to me that some people are tired of reading and hearing about the Duggars, and frankly, I am a little tired of writing about them, too. So here’s a quirky repost from January 2019. I wrote it just before I felt forced to shut down my old blog.

Zane (RIP) and Arran enjoying the futon when it was new, and didn’t smell like ass.

Something interesting happened the other day.  I was sitting on our yucky futon and noticed that it has kind of a nasty smell.  I also noticed that it was so uncomfortable that it made my butt go numb.  Looking at the futon, I realized that it’s served its purpose and needs to be re-homed or trashed.   That gave me the idea to search for a new couch.

We bought the futon in August 2014, when we first moved back to Germany.  I didn’t actually want a futon, but we were moving into our old house and had no furniture for several days.  I didn’t want to sleep on air mattresses because I usually end up with Charley horses.  Also, the box we sent our air mattresses in was delayed by the post office and we didn’t want to buy new ones.  The futon was just big enough for Bill and me to sleep semi comfortably.  Add the two dogs, who insisted on joining us, and it was definitely not so good.  But then our regular furniture came and we were able to use the futon in our old TV/office as more of a “couch” for TV watching.  It wasn’t perfect, but it served a function.

I figured we’d be moving back to the States after Stuttgart and decided I’d throw it out when the time came to move.  But then we moved to Wiesbaden.  We brought the futon with us, and now I want to trash it again.  One of the spokes broke when I sat down on it too hard.  The dogs regularly sleep on it and one puked all over the mattress.  It was impossible to get it very clean, so now the mattress and pillows faintly smell kind of like ass… or maybe the musty, ripe cheese smell that comes from an infection.  It definitely doesn’t make me want to use the TV room.

I went on Amazon.de to look for “couches”.  I entered the search term into the box.  Amazon.de usually translates English terms into German.  Sure enough, I got most of the expected results.  I started seeing the sofas I hoped to see.  And then I noticed something very different.

About two-thirds of the way down the second page, there was a very realistic picture of a dildo.  It appeared to be a French product and had veins, wrinkly “skin”, and everything.  The seller promised free delivery and, at less than 27 euros, it was a bargain.

I was rather surprised by that result.  I mentioned it to a German friend.  She happened to have studied French and explained that in French, the word “les couches” refers to layers.  Since I used the term “couch”, I guess Amazon.de figured I was looking for layers.  And this sex toy has double layers of silicone, which I guess doubles your pleasure.

I never studied French, so this was news to me.  To tell you the truth, as dirty as my mind can be, I don’t actually like looking at those kinds of… uh… playthings.  Especially when they’re very realistic looking.  The one pictured did NOT look like a toy.  It was kind of moist looking and someone’s hands were wrapped around it.  I guess I can now see why some people ban Amazon from computers where small children might be lurking.

I was reminded of another incident from years ago.  I was stalking a messageboard for fundamentalist women who wanted to buy “modest clothing”.  One of the women who posted referred users to this Web site.  She also warned people to be careful when searching for “culottes”, since that might bring pornographic results.  Another referred readers to this site (I removed the link in 2021, because the site is now defunct), where you can order handmade culottes that set the “right” Biblical example. 

It’s funny that Americans think of culottes as a very modest piece of clothing, but in France, culottes are underwear.  Consequently, if you search for culottes, it’s possible that you will find underwear when you really want an ugly pair of short pants that look like a skirt. Come to think of it, I used to have to wear culottes as part of my uniform when I worked at Busch Gardens Europe. I hated them, because they were ugly and gave me wedgies, plus they had a button and zip in the back, which made going to the bathroom more of a challenge.

One time, I actually made a pair of culottes.  I wasn’t even forced to make them, either.  I thought they looked “cool”.  I was in eighth grade, taking home economics, and we had to use a pattern to make clothes.  For some reason, I liked the illustrated culottes that appeared on the Simplicity pattern.  I thought they were fashionable.  Dopey me, what did I know?  They didn’t even use a real photograph of a model on that pattern.

I selected really ugly teal fabric.  It was cheap, thin, and tacky.  I remember buying it at AAFES, back in the days when they sold fabric.  It was awful stuff because it wrinkled super easily.  I made the culottes, but they looked terrible, with sloppy, irregular seams and constant rumples.  I got a “C” on my project; although, believe it or not, I did wear the ugly culottes around the house for awhile.  I was thirteen, and didn’t have any sense.

The following year, I made a tank style jumpsuit with pastel polka dotted fabric.  That time, I chose better fabric that didn’t wrinkle and I did a better job making the garment.  I actually wore it to school a few times.  It got an “A”, although now I kind of cringe at the idea of wearing it.  What the hell… I was fourteen.  I hate sewing, though, and that was the last time I made any clothes.

I’m actually pretty crappy at anything involving clothes or fashion.  When I was in college, I was a member of a music fraternity and I really struggled at making my Greek letters with puff paint.  I’m too much of a slob to do it properly.  My mom and my maternal grandmother were great at needle crafts, sewing, fashion, and anything involving looking like a lady.  I didn’t inherit those genes.

Anyway… I am hoping soon we can replace the futon and get a nice couch so we can enjoy our TV room and I won’t be tempted to lie in bed to watch all of those iTunes TV shows that are preventing me from updating my Apple apps.  But no, at this point, I don’t need any sex toys that I found while searching for couches.  Why is it that French words often end up translating to sexy stuff, anyway?

First world problems are such bitches.

Almost three years after I wrote this post, I still don’t have a couch for our TV room. I still want to get one. I just need to find one we can get up the stairs by ourselves and will fit through the door. I just searched Amazon.de and got many results for couches… and none for dildos. I guess they finally fixed their algorithms for English speakers.

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funny stories, karma, law, stupid people

“Guido” and “The Giving Tree”…

This morning’s news has been downright entertaining. It’s not too often that I start the morning off with a hearty laugh, but I sure have done that today.

First, I read about a woman who is going to go to prison for at least nine years because she used a bogus Web site called RentAHitman.com to try to get her ex-husband murdered. Then, I read about a man who has cleverly rewritten the ending to the awful children’s story, The Giving Tree. Tuesday has gotten off to a good start!

She fell into a “honeypot”, trying to get her ex “waxed”… now she’s headed for the jug!

In July 2020, Wendy Wein was resolved to take the ultimate revenge on her former spouse. She waited in a cafe in Michigan, preparing herself to talk business with a man she thought was a professional killer. She hoped to hire him to murder ex-husband. Unfortunately for Wendy, the supposed hitman was actually a Michigan state trooper who had been alerted to her diabolical and illegal plans when Wendy filled out a request form on RentAHitman.com.

Wein had been fooled by the fake Web site, which she thought was genuine business, run by a guy named “Guido Fanelli”. According to the Washington Post:

What Wein found was presumably reassuring. The website promised her confidentiality. It boasted of industry awards. It showed off testimonials of satisfied customers, including one from Laura S., who had “caught my husband cheating with the babysitter.” The website bragged about complying with HIPPA, which it said was “the Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964,” a nod to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, the law passed in 1996 to protect patients’ medical information.

Honestly, I don’t know why Wein wasn’t tipped off by the name “Guido”, but she obviously thought someone would be stupid enough to have a real Web site dedicated to murdering people. And she was… sorry… pretty stupid herself for actually filling out a request form with her real name, email address, and phone number so that a “field operator” (cop) could contact her about the deal. The form also required information about the person she wanted “taken out”.

Wein, who at 52 years old, hasn’t aged like fine wine, really thought the field operator she spoke to in her gray Ford EcoSport was a hitman. She accused her ex of being a “pedophile” and gave the cop his address, place of employment and the times he left for work and got home. Then she provided a down payment of $200 and promised to pay another $5000 when the job was done.

A few days later, Wein was arrested a few days later for seeking out an assassin. According to the Washington Post, she “pleaded guilty earlier this month to solicitation of murder and using a computer to commit a crime. Under her plea agreement, she faces at least nine years in prison when she is sentenced in January.”

RentAHitman.com was started in 2005 by a businessman in Northern California named Bob Innes. At the time he created his site, Innes was newly graduated from a network security program and thought he might like to start a business testing companies’ online infrastructures for vulnerabilities. “RentAHitman” was a play on words– Innes wasn’t thinking about “hitman” as a person who kills people for money. He was thinking of Internet hits. You know that word “hits”–which can refer to attacking a system as well as online views– not “hitting” a person and taking them out of commission.

The business venture failed, so when Innes finished his network security course, he put the domain up for auction. It didn’t sell, so he just let it go dormant and forgot all about it. Then in 2008, Innes evidently rediscovered the site and decided to check all of the emails. He was amazed by the number of messages he got asking how much he charged for services rendered. He was absolutely flabbergasted that people thought the site was really offering murder for hire and people not only wanted to hire a hitman, but some were looking for employment as hitmen!

Innes didn’t act at the time, since none of the queries he’d received seemed real. But then in 2010, he got a message from a British woman in Canada named Helen who wanted three family members murdered because she claimed they had “bilked her out of her father’s inheritance.” Innes didn’t take the request seriously at first, but when she wrote to him again, he decided to check out the people she wanted axed. He could tell that she was very serious about having them murdered.

Since the British woman in Canada was so serious about intending to kill her relatives, Innes forwarded the information to a cop friend of his, who then called the authorities in Canada. The Canadian cops found Helen, arrested her, and she wound up spending four months locked up for soliciting to commit murder. Then, once she was released from the jug, she was deported back to Britain.

The requests kept coming, so Innes decided to make the site into something that would actually do some good and save lives. He added the service request form in 2014. Seven years later, the site is still going, and still attracting “business” from the clueless. Innes even tries to give people an out before he turns them in. He sends each serious inquirer an email with two questions: Do you still require our services? And do you want me to place you in contact with a field operator? If they answer “yes”, he forwards the information to the cops.

One might think that this article about RentAHitman.com will render the site obsolete, since savvy people will know it’s a bogus site. However, it’s my experience that a lot of people are really stupid… and a lot of people don’t bother to read. And even more people don’t want to pay for newspaper subscriptions. So, it’s my guess that Innes will stay in business for awhile longer.

Moving on… someone has finally done something about the GODAWFUL children’s story, The Giving Tree

In the past, I’ve written a couple of times about how my husband’s ex wife ruined a number of children’s stories and albums with her toxic bullshit. One story that Ex really ruined for Bill was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Ex had a habit of comparing herself to the tree, and Bill to the selfish boy who keeps taking and taking until the tree is reduced to nothing. This is, of course, classic projection, as Bill is one of the least selfish and most decent people I know. But anyway, she used that story to mindfuck Bill, as well as at least one of her children (and really, probably all of them).

This morning, I read that an enterprising playwright and writer named Topher Payne has rewritten the terrible ending to The Giving Tree so that it’s less toxic and fucked up. Payne has a series called Topher Fixed It, and he’s redone a number of children’s stories with questionable messages. I read Topher’s rewrite to Bill and, sure enough, he got all verklempt. He said Ex has also compared their daughter to the Boy in the story.

I remember that she used another children’s book called The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children’s Parable to shame Bill before he deployed to Iraq, and she actually sent the book to him before he left. I got really pissed off because she was, once again, using children’s literature to promote her false toxic agenda. It was very inappropriate for her to do that before he went to war, too. Especially since she refused to let him speak to their daughters. I told him to get rid of the book so I didn’t have to see it, because every time I saw it, I felt the urge to throw it away. So he sent the book back to her with a note that read, “I’m not the one who needs this.”

I’m not actually familiar with the book Ex sent, since it wasn’t one from my childhood. I think it’s about forgiveness. Bill was very hurt that she sent it to him. Anyway, there’s no reason why Bill should not have been allowed to speak to his daughters before he went to war. At the time, one of them was 16, and the other was 13. He could have died over there.

I just want to offer many kudos and congratulations to Topher Payne for his epic project, fixing the more fucked up children’s stories. In our case, it’s personal. Now, Bill might be able to enjoy what should have been an enjoyable and healthy story for children instead of thinking of his mentally ill Ex. I see on Amazon that The Little Soul and the Sun mostly gets good ratings. I suspect that as is the case with The Giving Tree, a lot of people fail to see the damaging message and how it can be used to hurt, rather than heal. One reviewer gets it, though, and posted this:

I found Conversation with God inspirational, but this children’s book is wrong. It gives an example of hurting another being as an act of great love. From “Conversations with God” I understood that hurtful acts are never prearranged agreements, but acts of free choice based on a level of “remembrance of who we are” on a physical plane.

The children’s book went astray. It sends an awfully dangerous message.

Yep. And another person wrote:

The premise of this book is that you wanted to experience individuality, and decided to incarnate with someone else who “loves” you so much they will be cruel to you, so that you can learn how to forgive them.

Isn’t it actually the other way around?

When your loved ones incarnated, somehow along the way they forgot that this reality is supposed to be loving, playful, and creative. So you decided to incarnate and remind them, even if doing so might hurt you, and then you’d go on to live that better reality for yourself and others.

Yeah… real cool of Ex to send this crap to Bill before he went to a war zone. What a bitch. There are so many beloved relics from childhood that Ex has ruined, because she’s used it to promote her toxic agenda and quest to control everyone.

Sorry… anyway, it’s time to close this post. The sun is out, and the boys need a walk, and my mouse needs to recharge… and I need to stop thinking about things that are upsetting. I do love what Topher Payne is doing, though.

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funny stories, memories, nostalgia

Repost: “You want a bun with that?”

Here’s a repost from August 2018 as I wait for my stomach to settle.

Today, I think I’ll write something silly as opposed to something depressing or controversial.  It may not seem like it in most of my posts, but I actually have a pretty great sense of humor.  When I was younger, I had a male friend in college with whom I used to spend a lot of time.  His name is Chris.

I’m still friends with this guy, by the way.  I just don’t get to see him anymore because he’s in Virginia and I’m in Germany.  When we were in college, though, we were kind of inseparable.  We spent hours hanging out and, when he was a drinker, we often got drunk together.  He quit drinking when we were juniors in college.

Anyway…  located right next to our campus was a McDonald’s.  I didn’t eat there very often because I never had any money.  But one night, my friend went there with some of his buddies.  I believe they were all inebriated and likely pretty obnoxious, too.

This wasn’t Chris and his crew… but the idea is kind of the same.

Chris went up to the counter and ordered a cheeseburger.  The guy who took his order apparently got an attitude and said, “You want a bun with that?”

Chris, who was likely feeling no pain, said, “What kind of a question is THAT?  Of course I want a BUN with that!  Who the hell orders a burger without a bun?”

The guys who were with Chris were gently trying to extricate him from the situation, but he was still cussing as the dude handed him his order.

Actually, I can think of a few funny situations involving Chris and fast food.  One of his favorite things to do when we were in college was act like he was going to throw up.  He’d make a fist and sort of hesitantly place it to his mouth, then start fake hurling.  He said he’d always wanted to try that at a fast food restaurant.  He wanted to go up to the counter and act like he was going to puke, then sort of settle down and say, “Can I have another burger, please?”

The funny part of this scenario is that he’d then revert to acting like the no nonsense female worker behind the counter.  Her eyebrows would be raised, unbelieving, and her eyes would be downcast.  And she’d say, her voice laced with attitude, “Do you know how to work a mop?”

Then Chris would revert back to his fake puking self and say, “I just want another burger, please.”

Chris, acting as the female worker, would say, “Do you see anyone else standing back here?  Who you think gonna clean up the mess if you toss your cookies all over my clean floor?”  With a wag of her head, she’d continue, “Now, you know how to work a mop, I’ll give you another burger.”

The little scenario would usually kind of end at that point.  Sometimes, I’d join in and play the fast food worker.

Chris also told me once about how he and his mom went to a McDonald’s once and saw some woman cleaning with a toothbrush.  Chris’s mom, who died in 2009, said, “Chris, I think that woman is a halfwit.  Why is she cleaning like that?”

This isn’t to say, by the way, that I think people who work in fast food are halfwits.  I don’t think that at all.  There is no such thing as truly unskilled labor.  I just laugh when I remember the way my old friend would do these imitations and act out these scenarios, especially in places like McDonald’s, where you’re liable to run into anyone…

This topic comes up thanks to the hamburger meat in our refrigerator that needs to be consumed.  I probably ought to go vegan, but I don’t see it happening at this point in my life.

LOL… that woman says what my mom used to say to me all the time when I was growing up.

Yes, kids, this is what we did in the 1990s, when Internet for everyone was still just a pipe dream.  I kind of miss those days.

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funny stories, memories, nostalgia

The harsh reality and trauma of 70s and 80s era toys that didn’t live up to the hype…

I woke up in a silly mood. Then I got up and cleaned the bathroom, which is what I do on Tuesdays. Maybe it was the fumes from the detergent, but I was positively giddy this morning. In fact, I was so giddy that Bill shot me a dirty look at the breakfast table. It’s his fault I’m like this, though. Before we were married, I usually slept until the sun was up. Thanks to being married to an Army guy for the past almost 19 years, I wake up at about 5:00am every day. A lot of times during the work week, I’ll lay down to try to read during the afternoon. Then I fall asleep. I guess I do need to sleep more during the night, but I wake up early because of Bill and the dogs.

So anyway… this morning, as I was sitting there feeling giddy, I noticed a post on a Facebook page called “Do you remember the 60s, 70s, & 80s”. It was about a doll called “Baby Alive”. I think I might have had one of these dolls when I was a child, but it was probably picked up from a yard sale or something. I don’t remember having the food or diapers that came with it. That was the doll’s gimmick. You could feed her baby food and she would “crap” it out in a diaper. I was laughing at the photo, because the diapers were called “Dampies”. But because of my crappy aging eyesight, I thought the box read “Dumpies”, which to me seemed like a better name. It’s time for me to get bifocals, but I couldn’t help but laugh about the mistake.

Actually, looking at this commercial, maybe I didn’t have one of these. I don’t remember having a baby that had a lever on the back like that.
Here’s a demo. Yuck! This woman speaks with a sing-song cadence. Maybe I had this particular version of the doll. I remember it being “well loved”, but not by me.

Now I’m reading the comments about this doll. It seems that many people were traumatized because of Baby Alive, whose life was apparently shortened when kids played with her as intended. Many people reported that Baby Alive didn’t last very long in their homes, because she would get maggots or mold from the “food”. It seems like that would be bound to happen. I wonder how it was that the toy manufacturers didn’t realize that putting a “food stuff” into a plastic and rubber toy that can’t be thoroughly cleaned was going to lead to trauma and tragedy.

Consider that the doll came with the food and diapers, but actually playing with this doll would mean using the special food and diapers, and that would mean having to buy more. I’m sure the toy makers were counting on that, and the money it might bring in… but they didn’t count on the doll getting infested with maggots and smelling putrid after only a few months. I watched the second video, with the lady demonstrating the doll. She shows the packet of “food” that came with this doll, and I can’t help but laugh at how sexist we still were in the 70s. The instructions say to use the bottle to measure out water, or Mom’s measuring spoon. What if it’s Dad’s measuring spoon?

I think I was a lot happier with Baby-That-A-Way. I remember getting her at a flea market. I think I might have even bought her myself, back in Gloucester, Virginia… Carter’s Flea Market, which used to be a lot of fun on the weekends. I could walk there from my house, although that meant crossing four busy lanes of traffic.

This “baby” crawls.

The trouble with Baby-That-A-Way, though, was that she ran on batteries. That meant you couldn’t bathe her or you’d ruin her. I was pretty rough on my toys. They actually got played with pretty well. I don’t know why I would have wanted this doll, other than the fact that she could crawl. I didn’t like playing with doll babies that much. I preferred Barbies, which had long hair and could be dressed in evening gowns and such. I guess I never had much of a maternal instinct, even when I was a child.

The other day, a friend from high school shared this on her Facebook page…

Actually, if you had a “cheap” Barbie– say one of the older Malibu dolls that didn’t have bent arms, you could pull the head off and reattach it. But the more expensive dolls, say Pink and Pretty or Golden Dream Barbies, would be ruined if you pulled off her head.
I used to have a friend who had this doll. I never got her, because pink wasn’t my favorite color.
She had this one, too. I was jealous, because I was fascinated by perms. But the doll was, in fact, kind of ugly.
We both had this one. Her doll had a different face than mine did, and her golden outfits were different looking. The “curl” was totally bogus. It was just copper strands that didn’t really stay curled.
We both also had Beauty Secrets Barbie. I ruined her by cutting off her bangs. I had bangs and hated them.

I inherited a bunch of my sisters’ 60s era Barbies. I abused the hell out of those dolls, which makes me sad now. Those poor dolls were actually prettier than my 80s era ones, even if they weren’t as functional. They were probably worth some money, too, before I fucked them up by playing with them. I like how pretty the girls are in these ads. I was never “pretty” as a girl. I was more “cute”, I guess. I always wanted long hair, but my mom would never let me grow it out. She’d get it cut short. I wore boys’ jeans and cords, because they fit me better than girls’ jeans did. I never got tall and slim. Instead, I stayed short and squatty.

I also had a Tiffany Taylor doll. I loved her, but was kind of traumatized when she didn’t live up to the hype, either.

This was like a Barbie on steroids.

Tiffany Taylor’s gimmick was that you could rotate her scalp and change her hair color. I always left her hair set to blonde, though, probably because I was a blonde myself. Consequently, when I turned the hair to brunette, it would stick straight up in the air. I think this doll was also subjected to one of my disastrous attempts at hair cutting. I somehow didn’t realize the hair wouldn’t grow back if I cut it. There was also a “Tuesday Taylor” doll, but I think she was supposed to be a Barbie sized version. Tiffany was a lot bigger than Tuesday.

I liked Tiffany’s clothes. You can see that when she’s a brunette, her hair sticks up.

But… my least favorite doll of all time was this one…

I HATED this doll.
I didn’t have this one… but I probably would have hated it, too.

I remember actually taking a hammer to my Talk Up Doll, because I hated the annoying voice. Too bad… she probably would have been worth some money today. I suck at selling things, though, and like I said, I actually played with my toys. I was never one to keep something around just to look at and allow to collect dust. My former friend would do that. Not me… I had less impulse control, and I hate dusting.

Wow… I really fell down the rabbit hole with this topic. I suppose I could have written about something more important, like Afghanistan, but I really felt like writing something fun. And I did annoy Bill by laughing at “Dumpies” diapers. I guess my lack of interest in baby dolls wasn’t such a bad thing, though, since I never grew up to have any kids, anyway. Perhaps my “Barbie” life was a reflection of what my real life was going to end up being.

Mood music. I didn’t have this album. I remember the ad for it, though, and this song… how annoying!
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funny stories, religion

Partial repost: Unsuccessfully making fun of Jack T. Chick with Pensacola Christian College alums…

A few days ago, I reposted a couple of book reviews about author Frank Schaeffer. As I was looking up those reviews on the old version of my blog, I noticed that I included Schaeffer in a post I wrote about cartoon religious tract artist Jack T. Chick. It so happens that Fundie Fridays also recently did a video about Jack Chick.

I enjoyed this video. I went through a Jack Chick phase myself about twenty years ago.

There is something fresh I’d like to write about this morning, but I’m not quite ready to put it into words yet. I think I need to talk to Bill a bit more before I’m ready to compose. But Jack Chick is always a fun topic and it IS Sunday, so here’s a partial repost of an article I wrote in February 2016.

When I was a graduate student, I had a surprising amount of free time on my hands.  Though I did not have as much free time in those days as I do now, as The Overeducated Housewife, I did have plenty of time for messing around.  I bought my very first personal computer in 1999.  I felt I needed to have it, even though the University of South Carolina had computer labs.  It was a good investment, especially since it ultimately led me to Bill.  Of course, I’ve already written that shocking story (which I will probably repost on 9/11).

Today, I want to write about the Christian evangelical comic book artist Jack T. Chick and how I came to learn of his existence.  I had never heard of him until 1999 or so, when I bought that first Gateway machine for $999.  I spent hours on the Internet, looking at everything that was available in cyberspace.  At one point, I landed on The Student Voice, a site for former students at Pensacola Christian College.  The site used to be http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com, but it’s now defunct.  The school sued to get the URL released to them, but they lost. It looks like the guy who had the domain finally released it and now if you go to http://www.pensacolachristiancollege.com, you end up on the school’s official Web site.  I see a lot of the stuff that used to be on The Student Voice has been taken down.  That’s a real pity, though it’s still worth looking around if you’re interested in how weird PCC really is.  Here’s an article written by someone who experienced PCC and didn’t like it.

Apparently, the people who run PCC are extremely uptight folks.  They are very quick to give students the boot for not measuring up to standards.  If you choose to attend this college, you will be paying to be treated like you’re on house arrest.  Pensacola is near beaches.  PCC students are allowed to go to the beach, but they have to go to gender segregated ones… or, at least they did back in the early 00s.  Students were not allowed to be in mixed company and had to travel in groups.  They had to scan off campus and were only allowed to go to certain places.  They were only allowed to see G rated films.  And ladies, you can forget about wearing pants.  Indeed, women have to wear dresses and skirts of an appropriate length along with pantyhose.  Imagine how pleasant that is in Florida heat!  And guys are to wear ties, which are not allowed to be removed until the afternoon.

Man almighty, if I ever thought the rules were strict at Bob Jones University, BYU, or Liberty University, they were nothing compared to PCC.  Men and women had to use different stairwells and sidewalks and avoid touching or staring at each other for too long (making “eye babies”).  At night, everyone had to draw their blinds in a particular way to prevent peeping.  Books, magazines, and the Internet were strictly regulated and filtered.  Anything remotely suggestive was censored.  If you got sick, you had to check yourself into the infirmary.  And almost every student was required to live on campus, where, if they broke the rules, they could be grounded (campused).

I’m not sure if the rules are as strict today as they were twenty years ago, but back then, they were almost unbelievably strict.  What was really crazy in my view is that the students were all legal adults paying for this experience.  And the degrees they were paying for weren’t even accredited.  It’s my understanding that PCC now has some sort of accreditation designated for Christian schools, but I don’t think it’s the kind that is universally respected.  I, of course, found the whole thing fascinating and used to hang out on the Student Voice’s messageboard to get the dirt.  The stories were crazy and positively addictive.

Anyway, not being a particularly devout Christian, I had never heard of Christian tract artist Jack T. Chick.  Chick makes Bible tracts that many Christians pass out to others, leave in lieu of tips at restaurants, or litter with in parks and public restrooms.  They can be entertaining to read, even if some of the messages within them are hateful.  Basically, according to Chick, everyone who doesn’t live their lives in accordance with Biblical principles is going to go straight to Hell.

The PCC crowd had heard plenty about Jack T. Chick.  Some of them had handed out his tracts to innocent people.  Once I found out about Chick, I felt the insatiable need to find out more about him, so I continued my sleuthing and eventually came across a Web site called Weird Crap.  A guy named Psycho Dave had created several  parodies of Jack Chick’s tracts.  Most of the parodies are hilarious, even if they are also quite sacrilegious.  If you have an irreverent sense of humor and are not offended by blasphemy or extremely off color humor or language, I recommend having a look, especially after comparing them with Chick’s originals.  If you are at all sensitive about such humor, I recommend simply taking my word for it.  Also, be aware that the site is a bit wonky because it hasn’t been updated in ages.  Your patience will likely be required.

Psycho Dave wrote that he got a ration of shit from Jack Chick after he created his parodies.  He got phone calls and emails demanding that he take down his parodies because they were copyrighted.  I can’t help but get a huge kick out of the fact that the people at Weird Crap had loads of fun poking fun at Chick.  Their Web site kept me entertained for hours when I was in grad school and not able to chat with Bill.  And, as you can see, despite Chick’s saber shaking and harassment, Psycho Dave’s parodies are still online.  He says he’s ready to pass the Web site on to someone else, though.

A Chick tract in Dutch I found in Amsterdam.

I made the mistake of sharing the parodies with the folks on the PCC board.  I got quite the dressing down for that because even though a lot of them seemed to think Jack Chick is an asshole and they were a bit on the rebellious side, they didn’t like how Psycho Dave made fun of their holy book. I got chastised for being blasphemous.  Aside from that, they were pretty accepting of me, even though one person said I reminded them of Janine Garofalo (really?!).  I guess to them, I really was super liberal.  I’m definitely even more liberal now than I was back then.  

I can credit PCC folks for introducing me to the writer Frank Schaeffer, who was himself raised by famous Christian evangelists in Switzerland.  Schaeffer has written several very entertaining novels as well as a few non fiction books that I’ve enjoyed.  His son, John, joined the Marines against his parents’ wishes.  Schaeffer had never been exposed to the military and was against John’s enlistment, but later educated himself and wrote a few excellent books about different aspects of the military experience, including his experience as the father of a Marine.  When Bill came home from Iraq, I passed on Schaeffer’s novel Baby Jack to him.  That book really resonated with Bill on many levels and I probably never would have known about it if the PCC folks hadn’t turned me on to Frank Schaeffer’s writing.  So I offer them thanks for that.  And, I also see from Amazon.com, that I’ve missed a couple of Schaeffer’s latest books.  He’s very prolific and, if you write to him, he will write back.

Mood music for this post. It’s profane, so don’t listen to it if cursing offends you. I can play this on the guitar.

I don’t really hang out with PCC folks anymore, though I am still a member of their relocated forum.  Every year on my birthday, I get an automated birthday greeting from them and I remember how much fun I had learning about the wacky world of PCC and fundie Christians.   I only wish I could find a similarly entertaining community so I could pry myself off of Facebook. 

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