By: Marty Leipzig Re: Well, I'm back...(for a short time), Part 1. Hello, all. To quote Je
By: Marty Leipzig
Re: Well, I'm back...(for a short time), Part 1.
To quote Jerry Garcia and company, "What a long, strange
trip it's been."
But first, the highlights:
In slightly more than six weeks, I've traveled over 100,000
kilometers; and most of that was on Aeroflot. I've visited 6
countries and traversed so damn many time zones, I'm still
not sure what the hell day it is today.
But all has not been just for the pursuit of filthy lucre,
oh no! Many tales of fundamentalism in it's many and wearied
forms shall soon be regaled. Really, it all started
innocently enough at Houston Intergalactic and the duty free
bar/shop. Seems that there's an inordinate number of fellow
travelers from Oil City that head east on a similar
bimonthly schedule. Best part is, they're all rather convivial
and all on expense accounts. The best booze is free booze
(even if it is _only_ scotch).
After a quick few rounds of "Who can run up their expense
account the fastest", KLM announced the departure of
Flight 666 (I am _NOT_ making this up!) from Houston to
Amsterdam. As luck would have it, dame fortune smiles upon
tipplers and the gonzo, so that we were assuredly doubly
blessed, and the 747-400 had only a mere 120 souls for the
trip. Strange thing, it seems that virtually everyone opts
for the front of the big bird, yet the assorted and sordid
oil field trash immediately heads tailward.
Closer to the heads and the dispensary, don'tchaknow. (This
travel tip supplied free with your subscription to
"'HolySmoke'; now an international fundy frying forum".)
Soon, we're winging our way east, through the stratosphere
(still damned few fossils there...) and well on our
collective way to a colossal hangover. Someone produced a
deck of cards, and an impromptu poker game (on company
dinero) got underway. I had my trusty laptop, PIM, CD
player and collection of fine dance tunes when I noted that
one of our number had a set of small speakers (the kind that
attach to Walkman type players). Soon, the poker game
was going full tilt, as were the various liquor bottles, to
the refined tunes of Pink Floyd, Mussorgsky and Tangerine
Dream. Even the stewards sat in for a few hands.
All too soon, the liquor ran out (Shame...) and we we're
getting gear down and ready to invade Amsterdam. (Another
important travel note: Schiphol Airport has the most
wonderful Duty Free shops this side of Shannon, a simply
wonderful casino and the absolute worst telephone system in
the known world.) After infiltrating Netherlands customs,
the Duty Free areas and the far too few heads; we, as a
person, sallied forth to kill a few hours and errant brain
cells at the Schiphol Casino.
Let us draw the curtain on this sordid scene and pick up on
the action some few hours later on the next KLM flight from
Amsterdam to Moscow. About 15 of us had the same flight as
previous and wrangled our way to the rear of the aircraft.
It seemed rather strange that we were the only Caucasians
inhabiting this part of the plane, and we alone we lacking
the single monochromatic dot smack in the center of the
forehead. Suffice to say, the stewards ran out of orange
juice, apple juice and other non EtOh laced lovelies on this
bunch of like minded world citizens. Pity. It saved all
those nasty potables for the infidels, of which I was but
one. I was relaxing in 14G, popping another goat damned
Heiniken (one of the very few things I hate about KLM, their
lack of beers OTHER than Dutch ditch juice...ah, well. we
all must make concessions...)
I was working my way through a 6 pack when I heard the
little olive skinned lovely in 14B say to her smallish, and
equally bedotted offspring; "Look, dear. Over there. A
heathen." I looked up to see 4 ocular orbs quite transfixed
upon yours truly. In true HolySmokian fashion (we'd just
been served what passes for in airlinese) "lunch", which,
surprisingly, contained a couple of slices of ham. I tilted
my beer in their direction, smiled, took a swig and chomped
a hunk of ham, obviously to my relish and their abhorrence,
and said to them, rather sweetly, "And not only that, I'm
an atheist! We've come for your children, my
Mere words cannot describe the aghast look and the physical
imposition she put between her child and the bebearded and
rather outsized apparition now asking for a double vodka and
Bitter Lemon in the seat a mere armslength away.
Fundies. Silly in any stripe (or dot).
We arrive in Moscow (almost trampled by the True Believers
trying to, as quickly as possible, exit the plane (hmm...I
wonder why?...) and trundle off to passport control (Hell)
and Russian entry customs (Hell^2). The only redeeming thing
about Shermeteyvo-2 is the Irish Bar that is immediately to
your left once you pass customs. After waving off hoards of
taksee drivers, we collectively gather at the Irish Bar for
the traditional Mulligan Stew (say adios to western cuisine)
and a few pounders of Guinness. Here, the cadre of
westerners broke, each heading their separate way. Me? I'm
off to the Moscow Marco Polo Palace and dip in the jacuzzi.
The next 43 days were rather uneventful, being spent in
Siberia and what with it being winter and all. Apart from
the banya excursions, ice fishing trips, vodka and beer; it
was a fairly quiet hitch. One instance of note: we're
shooting a 3-D seismic grid out in the outback. The only way
around the countryside (now nestled serenely under a 2 m
thick blanket of snow) is through the use of old Soviet
armored personnel carriers (graciously donated by the
military to the local Neftegaz groups after their stint in
Afghanistan). The smaller recon vehicles (the GAZ 11) weighs
in at only 6 tons, and, being a tracked vehicle, is the very
height of fun to drive. The larger GAZ 20's tip in at around
11 or so metric tons, and are used by the seismic crews to
drag around the skid-mounted drill rigs to prepare the 15 m
deep shotholes. APV's, drilling rigs and explosives...what
could be better?
The Biblical errors and contradictions I see mentioned here are getting a
little worn out. So I thought I'd offer up a few "new" ones. These, of
course don't begin to exhaust the list:
Why would a perfect garden (Eden) require tending and cultivation? (Gen.
Gen. 2:17 says Adam or would die the day he ate the fruit. Adam lived for
930 years (Gen. 5:5).
God tells Cain he will be a vagrant and a wanderer (Gen. 4:12). Yet Cain
settled down and founded a city (Gen. 4:16-17).
Abraham took Keturah for a wife (Gen. 25:1). Later we are told Keturah was
only a concubine (1 Chron. 1:32).
Isaac was Abraham's only begotten son (according to Gen. 22:2 & Heb.
11:17). Gen. 16:16 and Gal. 4:22 says he also had a son Ishmael.
God promised Abraham the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession.
(Gen. 17:8). Yet he got nothing he was promised (Acts 7:5, Heb.
Many places in the Bible say that all have sinned (I Kings 8:46, 2 Chron
6:36, Proverbs 20:9, etc etc). Yet according to Gen. 6:29 and 7:1 Noah was
righteous and blameless, as were Job (Job 1:1, 1:8, 2:3), Zacharias, and
Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-6).
Joshua 19:2-6 reports Simeon as inheriting "13" cities (and their
villages) and names them - all 14.
Apparently Joshua can't count since he does the same thing in naming the
"14" cities of the lowland Judah - and lists 15. (Joshua 15:33-36)
Job 21:7-9 says the wicked live long. Psalms 55:23 & Proverbs 10:27 say
the wicked die young.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 says God deceives unbelievers to make them believe
falsehoods (even thought God supposedly hates lying - Proverbs 12:22). 1
Tim. 2:3-4 says God wants all to know the truth.
Isaiah 17:1 prophesied that Damascus "is about to be removed as a city,
and it will become a fallen ruin." Today, as one of the oldest cities in
the world, Damascus is the ONLY city in Palestine that has never been
Ezekiel prophesied that Egypt will be laid to waste, its cities
uninhabited for 40 years. (Ez. 29:9-12) Never happened.
Jesus's final words are different in three of the four Gospels, Matthew,
and Mark being the only accounts that agree with each other. (Matt. 27:46,
Mark 15:34, Luke 23:46, John 19:30)
Jesus says "and if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she
commits adultery." (Mark 10:12) Women of that time and place had NO right
or ability to divorce their husbands.
The KJV says: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the SON OF MAN, in
whom there is no help" (Psalms 146:3, emphasis added). Other versions of
the Bible often try to alter this passage.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank