I'm not sure why y'all voted to send me to the Oregon Christian Home Education Conference instead of making me watch a nightmare stand-up set by Pauly Shore at Harvey's. You do realize the conference's registration fee—60 smackeroos!—is now sitting in the khaki pockets of right-wing folks who hate the women, the gays, and the Obamas, right? Meanwhile $60 would probably keep Pauly Shore afloat for three months, weezing the juice in straight-up style. But... shrug... you guys are the bosses—to a bland, fluorescent-soaked home-schooling convention I went. Maybe you got sucked in by the lecture description, in which it was implied there might be some God-mocking, or at least some strident denial of the mockability of their favorite imaginary friend:
"Be not deceived. God is not mocked...” (Gal. 6:7) God is not mocked! If we believe the heresy that comes from the White House, or the lies that are spewed from the liberal media, we may try to “give in” just to “get along.” Don’t!"
Oh, but God was sorely mocked... in my brain... during the sadly under-attended keynote lecture by Dick Karman. (For mocking reference: This is what I think God looks like.) Bonus mock: Ronald Reagan!
Hit the jump for my musings on fake husbands, children as chattel, dinosaurs, and Christian cosplay.
Before everyone lays into me for hating all that is holy, let me provide some background on my religious upbringing: none. I'm as godless as a motherless bastard in a whorehouse... and just as fun!
A 'Riting and 'Rithmatic Disclaimer
And some background on my primary schooling: the public schools of North Idaho. Make of that what you will. As a bookish, four-eyed studious sort, I too felt the sharp sting of mockery—see God, we can hang!—and yet, I wasn't teased nearly as much as those poor home-schooled fools who came in from the hills for awkward gym dances (and probably to judge the plethora of public-school teen moms).
I signed up for the conference on Friday once the Blogtown polls closed. As expected, the Oregon Convention Center was beset with frumpily dressed moms and their eerily quiet spawn. They were sitting in the halls and on the floors, glumly eating out of brown paper bags under the judging eyes of God, a dude who hates flattering lighting. But lo, with my registration and its oodles of propaganda, I could bring a free spouse. So I did. I enlisted my friend Jason as my fake husband. (Shhh! Don't worry, the spirit of Worst. Night. Ever. was strictly adhered to. I told Jason he could in no way make my experience any more fun than if I went alone.) Look, Jason even put on a fake splint to explain his suspicious lack of a wedding ring. We had elaborate stories to tell prying zealots about our interest in home-schooling our child, and then, when they asked how old Ezekiel was, I was going to tell them he wasn't even born yet and pat my stomach gingerly whilst making aggressive eye contact.
But here's the prob. Everyone was a dead-eyed convention zombie. No one cared why Jason had a terrible mummy wrap on his ring finger that made it look like he didn't believe in the conventions of Western medicine. No one wanted to hear my creepy fetus-baby home-schooling dreams. They just wanted to be angry at the gov'ment for bossing them around. That's their right, I suppose, but it was such a fine whopper that withered on the vine.
The two most "exciting" events were the aforementioned "Be Not Deceived" lecture and the exhibitor booths. The vast lecture hall had seating for 800. There were maybe 75 people there. God was mocked by the light attendance. Speaker Dick Karman tried to remain optimistic, by conducting a sad little giveaway that fell flat in the cavernous house of God (God was also housing a Ladies Day Out down the hallway). On his multimedia-bedecked stage, Karman went on to talk about saving unborn children—briefly—before getting into the meat of his talk, which boiled down to "Our Children Are Our Chattel, and Get Off My Lawn, Obama!" But with a lot more catches in his voice, and maybe one instance of actual tears. I don't know, the guy seemed to want to cry about everything, even when maybe vaguely dissing disabled kids. (It was a fuzzy metaphor about how you can't put handicap ramps in my house, damn you gov'ment. I SAID GET OFF MY LAWN!) What really got a reaction out of the crowd was Karman recounting the story of a Canadian girl who successfully sued her parents because they wouldn't let her go to a party. Many heads wagged over that ol' chestnut. Then there were about 1,000 instances of repetition, covering the following beats:
• “The hand that rocks the cradle.... something something..." that's when I lost interest and thought about whatever happened to Rebecca De Mornay?
• "It takes a village to raise an idiot." A point taken directly from a bumper sticker.
• The moms are the teachers and the dads should do occasional Bible lessons. Also, dads are to keep the house in order—oh silly, not to clean or anything—but to, you know, be men.
Well, that was dreary. Why does God like sitting around so much? But the exhibitor hall! Slightly less depressing! There, I saw kids dressed as Robin Hood (or maybe an elf?), cowboys, prairie dresses, Oregon Trail Pitchpipers, Little Red Riding Hood, cat-eared gals, tricorn-hatted patriots, and camo'd kids. I like these kids! Not so much their parents. There were also tons of toys and a science fair. I got to rub out a dinosaur. You heard me.
There were so many books! I liked this biography series that covered a lot of historical figures, like Laura Ingalls Wilder, but was quite puzzled why you would needed a godly spin on Half-Pint's books. You'd think the home-schoolers could just read the real deal—gal was pretty relij. Maybe they took out some of her lusting over Manly. Oh, but look, there's Ronald Reagan again!
In summation, Christian conferences are bland—in the future, please vote for Pauly Shore. Did we learn anything? Mock me if you must, but I learned that it's way more fun to go to a nudist camp and/or a sex club.
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