UNDERGROUND VOICES: 2013 PRINT ANTHOLOGY
EVAN W. STONER
JESUS CAN'T SWIM
In 2013, Jesus returned to Earth. He opened a Twitter account with the handle @SonOfGodForReal. He tweeted, “People of Earth, there's no Wi-Fi in Heaven, so I've returned to answer your questions. Please tweet me any and all inquiries.” The good people at Twitter quickly verified the account was genuine, and @SonOfGodForReal received a white checkmark in a blue circle. In 140 characters or less, the people of Earth started tweeting questions.
“@SonOfGodForReal, who got it right, the Protestants or the Catholics?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, does this mean all other religions are a sham?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, what about Mary Magdalene? Did you ever hit that?"
“@SonOfGodForReal, if there’s no Wi-Fi in Heaven, is there cell reception? I’d like to be buried with my smart phone.”
“@SonOfGodForReal, are there taxes in Heaven? Who’s responsible for maintaining the gold-paved roads? Should we tip these people?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, are you a socialist? You are, aren’t you. I knew it!”
“@SonOfGodForReal, has your dad mellowed at all since the Old Testament? He certainly did some crazy shit back in the day.”
“@SonOfGodForReal, are you single?”
After a few days, Jesus tweeted, “Enough. From now on, I will only take questions from children.”
Children across the globe began tweeting Jesus questions.
“@SonOfGodForReal, what’s your favorite color?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, can you really walk on water?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, do aliens exist?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, what about my dog, Ginger? Is she in Heaven like my mom says?”
“@SonOfGodForReal, what’s it like in Hell?”
Jesus responded, “My favorite color is blue. I can walk on water, but only because I never learned how to swim.” The next tweet read, “I’ll get back to you on the aliens.” This was followed by, “Hell is just like standing in a long line at the post office, and when it’s finally your turn they’re out of stamps.” In the last tweet, Jesus wrote, “As for Ginger, she and Shadow don’t get along, but other than that she is in Heaven and doing just fine.”
Soon an unruly adult tweeted Jesus asking, “@SonOfGodForReal, so should we read these tweets as parables or what?” In a move that is still hotly debated in theological circles, Jesus retweeted the question without any explanation.
The media blew up in response to what CNN dubbed “The Jesus Tweets.” The newspaper and blog headlines read:
“JESUS SPEAKS! IN PARABLE?”
“JESUS ADMITS: I CAN’T SWIM.”
“MICHAEL PHELPS TO JESUS: I CAN TEACH YOU.”
“HELL IS REAL AND JUST LIKE THE POST OFFICE.”
“POSTAL WORKERS STRIKE, DEMAND HOLY APOLOGY.”
“POST MASTER GENERAL COMMITS SUICIDE, PRESUMABLY TO GO TO HELL AND STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT.”
“WHO IS SHADOW?”
Frustrated, Jesus prayed, “Father, how can I make the people of Earth understand me?”
God sent him an email saying, “This was your idea, not mine. Ask the Holy Spirit. I’m late for a tee time with John the Baptist.”
At a loss, Jesus gave up on the Internet and started working for a landscaping service under the name Jose Delsol. However, it wasn’t long before Lindsay Lohan tweeted, “Due to Jesus’s return to Earth I can no longer hide. I am the Whore of Babylon!” Everyone agreed that explained a lot.
That night, TMZ aired a special called, “Lindsay Lohan: What We Know Now.”
Jesus accepted his failure and returned to Heaven. When he arrived at the Pearly Gates he said to God, “Father, they aren’t ready.”
“Shh,” God said. “Things are just getting good down there. One of the Kardashian girls is claiming she’s the real Whore of Babylon, and now she and Lindsay Lohan are having it out.”
“Not sure, I can never tell those girls apart. Popcorn?”Evan W. Stoner recently received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He studied creative writing and literature as an undergraduate, and he has been writing for several years. He currently works as a part-time freelance writer in Chicago. Some of his work has appeared in small literary and arts magazines, including SAGA, published at Augustana College, and The Red Shoes Review, published at UIC.
© 2004-2013 Underground Voices