Eggs, scorpions and kidneys: a recipe for biblical health

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    Eggs, scorpions and kidneys: a recipe for biblical health

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    By Barry Smith
    January 31, 2005

    It's been about a year since the Jehovah's Witnesses last stopped by, and I'm starting to worry that I might have offended them.

    I made an offhanded comment, one that has continued to reverberate in my life, and I think they may have taken it the wrong way.

    The woman asked me what I thought of the Bible as a book of guidance, and I replied, sure, if it works for you, but for me the phone book might prove to be a bit more useful. I was trying to make a joke, but instead of laughing, she responded like I'd just slapped her with my stigmata-ridden hand. In an attempt to smooth things over, I went on to say that I, personally, find guidance everywhere, always; a stop sign, a random passage from a random book, an overheard quote. If it's guidance you want, just look around, I said. Why limit yourself to some musty, irrelevant babblings from thousands of years ago?

    She packed up her pamphlets and left. Maybe I went too far with the "musty" part.

    But since that day I keep returning to the idea that guidance is everywhere - lately I've been getting a lot of it from the signs posted in my health club.

    So, let's do a little head-to-head competition.

    BIBLE: Jeremiah 22: 5,7 "But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.

    HEALTH CLUB SIGN: "Please Place Towels In The Blue Bins. Thank You."

    ANALYSIS: I don't want to tell God how to write His book, but a little "thank you" goes a long way. Not only do I put my towel in the blue bin, but I sometimes find myself putting OTHER people's towels there. Now, if the sign said, "Place Towels In Blue Bins Or I Will Prepare Destroyers Against Thee!" well, forget it. There's just no need to take that tone with me.

    HEALTH CLUB SIGN: "Keep Hands And Feet Clear While Machine Is In Use."

    ANALYSIS: I don't want to imply that Jesus is a liar, but I think that if my father had easy access to a scorpion, then yes, he WOULD give it to me instead of an egg. I know this because when I was 10 I asked for a motorcycle for Christmas and he got me a freakin' pair of roller skates instead. So, even though I'm into the whole seeketh and findeth concept, I have to be wary of anything that Jesus says from this point on.

    However, if the question on the table is, "Should I put my hands or feet where heavy objects are being repeatedly raised and dropped?" then the health club sign is your No. 1 source for no-nonsense guidance.

    HEALTH CLUB SIGN: "This Unit Must Be Bolted To The Floor Before Use."

    ANALYSIS: No contest. Health club takes this one for both practicality and sentence structure, though a slight nod to the Bible is in order for getting me excited about lunch.

    To be continued ...

    (Next time: Barry has another go at eternal damnation.)

    Barry Smith's column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is [email protected], and his very own Web page is at

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