Grumpy Young Man: God is the J.D. Salinger of his generation

I’ve been trying to read lately. I mean, I can read, I’ve just been trying to read more. I asked a friend for some book suggestions and he said “You know what’s actually a good book? THE BIBLE.”

Really, the Bible? I don’t know. I guess it could be a good book, but I’ve never seen any reviews. Whenever I’m on I never see “The Bible, three stars out of five.” What would the reviews say? I imagine things like “Well, it was a tad too long” and “I didn’t like it when the main character died.” Whoops, spoiler alert.

You know when you search something on Amazon and it says “customers who viewed this item also viewed” such and such. When you search “The Bible”, the suggested reads are The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Really. Not really.

Where do you even get a Bible? I mean you could steal it from a church, but that seems counterproductive. Do they have Bibles at McNally or Chapters? If so, in what section? Non-fiction? Fiction? True Crime?

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Besides not being able to find it, I guess I don’t have any real reasons not to read The Bible; I just find it hard to trust a guy who only wrote one book. God is the J.D. Salinger of his generation. I mean, when you IMDB “God”, it doesn’t say “The Bible. SNL, 11 episodes.” Or maybe it does. Is that God? Nope, it’s just Joe Piscopo.

What I’m saying is that God’s a bit of a one-hit wonder. And not even a good one as he was nowhere on MuchMore’s list of the Top 100 one-hit wonders. Well, unless God was in Right Said Fred.

I actually was going to read The Bible once. That was until somebody told me about the story of Jonah and the Whale. Basically, it’s about a guy who gets swallowed by a whale. I’ve already read that story, it’s called Pinocchio. Get your own ideas God.

OK, OK, I know God didn’t write the Bible himself. He had a couple ghost writers. Anyway, that being said, I grew up with God. Well not with him, we weren’t in the same chemistry class or anything like that. Anyway, God isn’t much for science.

Seriously though, I grew up going to church. Now, I consider myself an atheist (or a realist, whichever you prefer), but religion still creeps into my life almost every day. A lot of times, it comes out in my language. Like when I stub my toe, it’s all “Goddammit!” or “Jesus Christ!” or “Holy Moses!” I throw in the latter one just for variety.

Come to think of it, this runs in the family. My grandpa wasn’t a god-fearing man either, but when something upset him he’d always say “Judas Priest!” Then I’d say “Breaking the Law!” and throw him the horns. He never got that.

Even though I don’t believe in God, that doesn’t stop people from believing in God for me. I was sick with a mystery illness for a couple of years and people would often say to me “I’ll pray for you.” It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s kind of like saying “Yeah, I’m going to do nothing.” Really, because I have some books, some medical literature you could skim over, maybe a little Internet research. “No, I’ll just pray.”

Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t exist, he/she/it very well could. But, people’s proof of God is always a bit flawed. Sometimes they’ll say “I had a personal experience with God.” Wow, really, you met God? What was he like? Did he have a moustache? I’ve always pictured him with a moustache.

Turns out, when somebody’s had a personal experience with God, it’s usually because God came to them in a dream. That presents a problem because, well, dreams aren’t real. If dreams were real, there’d be a secret room in my apartment, I’d have no teeth, I’d accidently show up for school naked and I’d be getting laid regularly. I’ve had some crazy dreams, but God’s never came to me in one. I’ve came. That’s gross.

Pinocchio? Judas Priest? Nocturnal emissions? You’re probably asking yourself, what is he trying to say? Well, I guess if I’m saying anything, it’s mostly that I’m probably not going to read The Bible. I’ll just wait for the movie.


Jared Story is a stand-up comedian and freelance writer. Yes, it’s a pen name. His real name is Dave, Dave Story. Follow him on Twitter at @jrockarolla.