Monday, January 30, 2006
Has Anyone Else Noticed?
...Paris Hilton doesn't actually talk in her real voice?
The girl consistently talks like she's a five-year-old girl. But once in a while, she slips, and we find out she's actually pretty much a baritone, if not bass.
Your secret's out, Paris. We know you're a man.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
What Jesus Did
Last night I gave a talk on sex and chastity at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. It was a remarkable experience – I enjoyed meeting many fabulous students, who asked great, great questions. One questions went something like “What do you have to say about a virgin marrying someone who is not a virgin?” I stumbled through an answer as best I could, and then went on to the next question. Later, while I was signing books and mingling with students, a young woman came up to me and, very casually, offered this amazing insight: “You know, about that question someone asked you about a virgin marrying someone who isn’t a virgin? Well, when I heard that question, I thought, That’s exactly what Jesus did.”
(Lauren Winner, via Alisa Smith)
Saturday, January 28, 2006
More Interesting Conversations
I really should have known. By now, I can often spot a Brit a mile away, just as I could spot an American – from perhaps two miles – in Scotland.
The couple stood before me at the register, looking quite…well, different. He did, anyway. They were both in their 50’s I’d guess. He dressed in what could only be called “British smart” (as sort of masculine metrosexual, if you can imagine), and while she was a bit more homely, she had a sense of cheer about her that made the two of them match. He wore glasses that I’ve never, ever seen an older man wear – a sort of light orange, turtle brown, very square, with thick arms that thinned as they got to his ears. I have to admit I loved them and wouldn’t mind them for myself.
He first gave his order, and he sounded American to me. But his voice was low, and I have to admit I couldn’t hear him
well. But when she spoke, I could tell she was English. I was marking the cups as my coworker was ringing them up.
“May I ask where you’re from?”
“England”, the woman said with a smile. We have a fair number of Brits and Aussies around that come in a few times a week. Whenever I ask, this is the answer I get. It’s easier, really, for the same reason I answered “The States” when asked that back in Scotland. People here don’t know where Coventry is, or Southampton, or Devon.
“Where in England?”
“Well…um…south of London.”
I had to gauge whether they’d be annoyed if I asked more. Perhaps they were on some government witness protection program, and they picked short straw and ended up in St Louis, Missouri. I took a chance on the fact they seemed nice enough.
“…Where….in England? I might just know it.”
“Hampshire”, her husband interjected. “Do you know it?”
“I do. I spent a week there once last summer, though I can’t remember what villiage it was in…”
“Probably our village! Quite forgettable, I wouldn’t blame you!”
(It was only after they left that I remembered. LISS! Of course.)
“I lived in Edinburgh for three years for uni, I just came back a few months ago.”
“Oh?! Lovely! Edinburgh is quite lovely, very pretty there.”
“Well England is pretty nice too. Do you miss it at all?”
“We do, yes. We don’t get to get back to visit much, my husband works here, he’s an engineer.”
Around this time, they got their drinks, and since there was a line behind them I had to get back to work.
About 20 minutes later, I went on a café check, to pick up used plates and tidy up the joint. They’d gotten a cake, and so I asked if I could take it for them. They interpreted this as asking for a conversation. I was happy to comply. For a few minutes, I was lost in a world that was much more familiar to me than the one I am currently in.
“Do you miss ‘bonnie Scotland’ at all?,” the husband kicks off with.
“Very much. My family is here, but I didn’t grow up in St Louis, I grew up in Kansas City. So it feels more like home in Scotland than anywhere else.”
“It’s been a few years since we’ve been to Edinburgh”, the woman said. “Our nephew was getting married up there, in St Giles, do you know it?”
“Yes! Of course, on the Royal Mile. Was he military?”
“No…no, I’m not sure how they were able to get married there, but it was stunning.”
More than a few memories came rushing back for me.
“You know, I lived quite close to the Royal Mile, so I was there often, and so many times you’d see a wedding procession, with the bagpipes and all that, at one of the churches…St Giles, or the Canongate, they’d be all walking up to a reception somewhere, at the Hub, this church that is up near the castle that they’ve turned into a venue…Me and friends often thought how easy it would be to just dress up one day and join the party, pretend like you know a few people!”
The woman gave a good laugh. “Like the Wedding Crashers! Of course! And you’d get free drinks! You should!”
“Maybe one day…!”
“Well I must say I really loved our trip up there. We took the car and drove up, and saw our son, who went to uni in Leeds at the time, in the North you know, and we took a few days to drive around. We have a relative up in the Orkneys….”
“I honestly believe that Scotland has some of the most underrated scenery in all of Europe”, the husband says. “ It’s just amazing up there, especially in the Highlands and Islands. We got to go up and spend a holiday there in the Orkneys, and went to Shetland, and the Isle of Jura…”
“Yeah, I did love Skye, even though it was much darker and rockier than I expected. I’d like to see some of the other islands eventually. I’ve been told to go to Rum,” I said.
“I’ve heard that as well…” says the wife. “Now…did you ever feel unsafe in Edinburgh? They say now that Scotland's one of the most dangerous places in Europe!”
“You know…I didn’t, really…”
“Well, you’re unlikely to get shot there at least!” says the husband.
“Just stabbed!” We said together, almost in unison.
“I lived in the city centre, but I probably lived in one of the nicer parts. It wasn’t far from Lothian Road, which is where a lot of pubs and bars are, and it’s probably not the safest at closing time, but you learn where to go and where not to go, and when not to go. You just adjust, if you live there. But I mean, they say that most of Scotland’s crime is alcohol related, so…”
“And with those new 24-hour licencing laws! Good grief, it’s ridiculous. That’s one thing you don’t find here in America, a bunch of drunks out on the street staggering home…”
“Well the flip side to that is that they can’t walk home, because it’s too far away, so they have to DRIVE home, which can be worse, really.”
“That’s very true, actually. But it will be interesting to see what happens with these new laws over there.”
“Well apparently not many places are applying for it. And if they are, it’s only for a few hours, til 12 or 1. So it may not be as bad as they say it could be.”
“Yes, all the politicians were weighing in on it. But it’s all about money, too, isn’t it?"
(Thus began a long part of the conversation that involved the Conservatives, New Labour, the Lib Dems, the Scottish Socialist Party, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Michael Howard, Bush, and religion in American politics. It would bore you to tears. But I was quite proud of myself for being able to hold my own in it, I’ll tell you that. I even remembered Camerons’ name – the new Conservative leader, who has been elected since I’ve left the UK. Not bad, if I say so myself. And I can’t even vote over there.)
After over 10 minutes, going long past even the conversation of politics, I figured I should probably get back to work. I told them they should come in again, and we’ll reminisce about the motherland some more. (Actually, I didn’t tell them that. But I did say they should come back more often.) They were such a great couple. I wanted to have them over for a cup of tea, and maybe some clotted cream and scones.
And maybe he could tell me where he got those funky glasses.
Why, Domenica asked herself, was Edinburgh so beautiful? The question had come to her as she rounded a corner on the high road, arounding the crumbling volcanic side of Arthur's Seat, and saw the Old Town spread beneath her - the dome of the Old College with its torch-carrying Golden Boy; the domestic jumble of the Old Town roofs, the spires of various spiky kirks - such beauty illuminated at that very moment by shafts of light from breaks in the cloud. This was a beauty of the order encountered in Siena or Florence, beauty that caused a soaring of the spirit, a gasp of the soul.
It was a privilege to be a citizen of such a place, thought Domenica.
(From 44 Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith)
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Whatever Happened to the Holy Spirit?
First of all, I should warn you this is going to be one of those more theologically minded posts, so if you’re not into that, consider yourself warned.
(And forgive me if this post is a bit disjointed, but it’s quite late and I’m admittedly very tired.)
So tonight after work, I was catching up on all the latest (and by latest, of course, I mean about 1689) on the creeds and confessions. After some of that, I followed some links that eventually led me to the New Frontiers website, a Reformed Charismatic denomination based in the UK. I had remembered hearing only in passing about them while I was there, but had no idea they considered themselves theologically Reformed. Hopping around the site led me to find out they are in cahoots (dang I love that word) with CJ Maheney’s Sovereign Grace group of churches in the US, which I’ve heard much of. My good friend Kirk went to Maheney’s church (now under the leadership of Joshua Harris) in D.C., Covenant Life, and we’ve talked a lot about it.
Still with me?
From the New Frontiers site, I went to their Edinburgh church website, King’s Church. It was only then that I made the link and realized this was the church Jonathan and Sarah had visited a few weeks back, coming back with good reviews. Ahh it all comes together.
On the Kings Church site, I listened to a sermon by Mike Springer on the Holy Spirit. That sermon, along with some reading, particularly some (admittedly surprising) sermons by Piper, got me to thinking a little tonight about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.
As some of you are aware, while I am neither Baptised nor “memberised” into any particular denomination, I would most closely associate myself with the Presbyterian Church in America, and I attend one here at the moment. I love the PCA church deeply, but have yet to come completely and without reservation into some of their doctrine and teaching, particularly on cessationism.
I, for one, am not a cessationist. While I think that many of the Spiritual Gifts are grossly misused, sometimes for sheer manipulation, I see little Biblical evidence that they have been done away with. Many of my friends, particularly my Calvinist friends would disagree, and that’s okay. (I differentiate between “Reformed” and “Calvinist” here, although they are often used interchangeably. Calvinist theology is focused on soteriology, whereas the “Reformed” tag tends to include certain beliefs on credo/paedobaptism and eschatology.) I do not tend to dance in the aisle at church, or shout at inopportune moments, or speak in tongues. But I’m not one to say that prophesy has ceased, or that laying on hands is simply Charismatic emotionalism in action. But these days, while they are increasing in number, it’s hard to find many “Charismatic” Calvinists.
Oddly enough, you won’t find any that will negate the work or power of the Holy Spirit. I say “oddly enough” because – and I may be ruffling a few feathers here, but that’s never stopped me before – Calvinists and Reformed folk don’t tend to be all that keen the Holy Spirit these days. Yes, he is the third Person of the Trinity, they say. Yes, he is powerful, but in a different way than the Charismatics and their shenanigans would lead you to believe. Yes, the Spirit is equal in power to God and Jesus. But, you know, we like to think he keeps a little more quiet and reserved these days. The Holy Spirit is probably a high church Anglican, or at least Free Church. Right?
One of my big interests in the area of theology is how theology relates to, encompasses, and allows itself to be changed by culture. (For some starter reading, if you’re interested, I’d recommend Christ and Culture by Niebuhr. And for the Brits reading this, please ignore the inexplicable inappropriate hand sign on the front cover.) While I know many cessationists believe their views to be biblically accurate, I also believe some of that line of thinking has been as a knee-jerk reaction to the rampant misuse of the Gifts in the name of God. (Incidentally, Alexander McCall Smith makes a passing reference in his book 44 Scotland Street to the Scottish Reformation iconoclasm’s effect – or some would say, attack – on the ideas of art and beauty in Scotland, which has culturally shaped the Scots today. I believe that in many ways, this kind of influence is similar to the conservative church reaction towards the Charismatic Renewal.) And I say that because I have been – and still am, to a large degree – equally guilty of that.
What happens here is that we’ve let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
While I often hear too MUCH about the Holy Spirit from certain Charismatic circles, I am fearful when I hear too little of it from my Calvinistic friends. On one hand, we believe that God (and we usually say God here, rather than the Holy Spirit, or even God “through the Holy Spirit”) brings people to desire a relationship with him. Often, I hear this is about his sovereignty. Rarely do I hear that this is also about the power of the Holy Spirit.
Often I hear of doing all things through Christ, or letting God “work through us”. Rarely do I hear of the changing FORCE and power of the Holy Spirit, or of any personal experiences and emotion in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Because God forbid it – literally, of course – that we dare let any emotions creep into an actual relationship. That must certainly indicate emotionalism, which is by definition the polar opposite of intellectualism! Of course!
I call bull.
What would happen to our churches, and indeed in our own hearts and lives, if we were to again recognize the power and work of the Holy Spirit –in whatever way he deems fit - in the lives of individuals, and the collective? What if our experiences no longer match up with our previous notions of what is “biblical”? What if – heavenstoBetsy, holdyourhorses – we actually remember back to when we first encountered the Holy Spirit, and the emotions that were a part of that? Dan Allender (in The Healing Path) states the faith and hope are built on remembering – remembering what God (inclusive of the Holy Spirit) has done in our lives in the past.
Of course I recognize that the Holy Spirit works differently in different people, and in different cultures. And I firmly believe that there are many Believers who are as “emotionally satisfied” (sometimes, myself included) with a profound theological article found in the back of an obscure journal as others are with raising their hands and singing along to Chris Tomlin or David Crowder. What I disagree with is the idea on both sides that theirs is the only way of “proper” relationship with God. The idea that the Holy Spirit, in all power, does not connect with his people through the Gifts, or through strong emotions, visions, songs, words, etc, is – in my humble opinion – simply not Biblical. We as Calvinists adhere strongly to our creeds and confessions, history and doctrine, and often forget that the Reformation – both of the church, and of the individual – was not meant to end at the beginning of the Protestant church. If the Holy Spirit is indeed powerful to change hearts today, I do think we have to admit that includes his speaking to and connecting to us through our emotions and actions.
Perhaps whether we are Charismatic or calm, all of us are forgetting what the Holy Spirit can actually DO.
Together with Map Reading Skillz....
(And all of the magic coins that I need to collect...)
That's funny stuff.
And while we're on funny stuff....I present to you....my good friends....
Paul and Sonya.
(This is them normally.)
Wow, that's special.
Paul designed this webpage, too, just for the record. They're good people.
Monday, January 16, 2006
A Covenant of 64 Years
After church today, I made a dash for the ladies' room. I passed two old ladies, one of whom was leading the other, who was blind. I realized they too were on the way to the restroom, and it wasn't fair that I cut in front of them, no matter how badly I had to pee. Old lady (Helen) led old blind lady (Susan) into the restroom, and they joked about whether or not to turn the light on. ("It's not as if you need it!") In the five minutes Susan was in the restroom, Helen and I had a great talk. She told me she was 87, and that she and her husband had been married now for 64 years. (I was honestly shocked...she didn't look a day over 75.)
"Wow, congratulations!" I said to her.
"Well thank you! I think....well, folks now, they just think that marriage is like going home, and hanging up your coat....you can get rid of it when you don't want it anymore. But it just...isn't that. It's just commitment, you know? And the love comes from the commitment, then. It's a covenant, with God. People don't understand that. My mother told me, when I got married: 'You better think about it, because this is the man you're spending the rest of your life with. If he beats you, then you can come home. But otherwise, you're staying and working it out.' And that's right! I don't know about you..."
"Well, I'm still looking, but I wholeheartedly agree with you."
"Well dear....I mean, I'm not always good with ages, but you look like you've got plenty of time!"
"Oh I think I do. Besides, I've got stuff to do first!"
"Of course! Of course! And you can make sure you do that! God will bless you..."
At that point, Susan came out, and had to get on her way home. So we parted ways, but Helen said to say hi when I see her...that she was good with numbers, and not names, but hopefully we'll see each other in the upcoming weeks.
She's a lovely woman. And who can argue with 64 years of success?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Just for Lori...
I finally updated my Flickr page. I was getting complaints. Just a few random ones from the last few months. My laptop (AKA "Porky") has been out of order for a while, so uploading was difficult and editing even more so.
So Lori, you can shut it now.
Highway to Heaven
Originally uploaded by ThisBeautifulMess.
Payin the Bills
Originally uploaded by ThisBeautifulMess.
Originally uploaded by ThisBeautifulMess.
Under Penalty of Law
Originally uploaded by ThisBeautifulMess.
Monday, January 09, 2006
(Click to see larger image.)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Exchange of the Day
The setting: Me, reading Scotland: Story of a Nation book on the history of Scotland, at Waffle House.
Cook: "Hey! That's a good book!"
Me: "Have you read it?"
Cook: "Well, I almost bought it once."
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Michaela Forbes Presents: The Weird People You Work With
In my recent post-graduate foray into the world of employment, I have learned many things. I have learned one cannot do a return without a manager. The customer always comes first, even if the manager disagrees. Drive-Thrus are cold, but there's fun to be had in watching cars hit the side of the building. Never agree to wear the Santa hat. Or the Reindeer antlers. Learn your alphabet, it may come in handy. And rounding the change is never a popular practice.
In addition, I have learned that in the workplace, there are certain archetypes that can, in fact, be found in nearly every place of employment. Come with me, if you will, and we will embark into a journey of the very well known:
Michaela Forbes Presents: The Weird People You Work With
1) Miss Priss
Miss Priss is usually, but not always blonde. She spends at least 30 minutes on hair and makeup, even if she has to be up at 4am to open the store. She wears designer shoes that no one will ever see behind the counter. She also tends to drop things a lot, because it means she gets to bend over a lot. Fellow employees marvel at this, because her clothes are often so tight that such a feat is impossible. She is marginally competent - at least enough to keep her job. Miss Priss is vital in any shared-tip workplace, because she will almost always boost your tips by her "dropping" things. Any workplace snafoo can be quickly amended by a flirtatious smile and flip of the hair.
Footnote: The male version of Miss Priss is almost always around too. Mr. Priss is either metrosexual or homosexual and has seemingly already worked through this. Mr. Priss is every girl co-workers best friend, or at least she thinks so. They often go shopping together, and discuss the hot guys' asses. Mr. Priss will often flirt with anyone of any gender, no matter his sexual orientation. Mr. Priss is, therefore, much better than Miss Priss, because he can double the flirt tips.
Miss/Mr. Priss Quote: "Does this make my ass look fat?"
2) The Drinker/Lover of MJ
Drinker is easily of either gender. Drinker can span from Class A Drinker - who hides it well, shows up for work, yet often talks of their lovely party last night where they got busy with Susie from Smith Hall ("Yeeeeah, High five booooy!"), to Class C Drinker, who is holding on to his or her job by his or her toenails, and is consistently hungover. Drinker somehow manages to find a way to finagle an extra smoke break, usually by "taking something somewhere" out of the building. Class A Drinker, is the preferable co-worker, but they are generally harmless - until something actually needs to be done before 11am. The Drinker is almost always a college student, or well-past their prime, having been fired from their high-power finance job 3 years ago.
Drinkers can also be easily confused with, or the same as, The Lover of MJ, who likes a good toke once in a while. And by once in a while, I mean at each meal. At least.
Drinker Quote: "Sorry. I overslept. I think."
3) The Mom/Dad
Mom or Dad is often the saviour of any workplace environment. Mom/Dad is usually in middle management - works so ridiculously hard that the Managers either cannot actually fire them, even if they are not liked. They do no kiss enough ass to get promted to the highest positions. However, Mom or Dad is almost always liked by everyone. They refuse to let the newbies get picked on, but will also refuse to change their diapers, hold their hands, or do the job for them. Tough love rings true. They laugh a lot, and ends up being the realistic employee link to upper management. Most younger employees actually ask if they will adopt them. On bad days, they will give you a (non-creepy) hug if you want, but if you're just complaining, they'll shut you down. You will still exchange Christmas Cards with Mom or Dad 10 years after you left the job. They will probably still be working there.
Mom/Dad Quote: "You feel sick, eh? I've been here 10 hours today. Throw up in that trash can and keep goin, sister! And here, take this Tums."
4) The Gamer
The Gamer only has a job in order to feed his video-game habit. He is happiest having another Gamer employee, with whom he (almost always a male) can talk about Halo secrets and getting an old-skool NES for his Birthday. He is often, but not always a high schooler, often, but not always, flunking out. Gamer is often friends with Lover of the MJ and/or The Drinker. Surprisingly, The Gamer is generally a good co-worker, due to supurb multi-tasking skills, and hand-eye coordination.
Gamer: "DUUDE! I'm on Destromath for World Warcraft...I played for 36 hours straight man. It was awesome."
5) The Nice Guy (or Girl)
Nice Guy is just that. Nice Guy. Pleasant, works well, non-descript, often shat-upon and taken advantage of. There's not usually a lot more to him. Or, if there is, no one knows about it, because they're too busy talking over him.
Nice Guy Quote: "Sure I can take your 8 hour shift even though I'm opening on Saturday. Happy to help."
6) The Grad Student
The Grad Student works hard, and you will all know it. They are usually juggling a full-time job (or two), full-time classes, full-time study, and part-time eating and sleeping. They are unusually chipper for being so tired, but this is often so they can tell you how much they've been doing, yet how they feel "just fine". Grad Student will one day grow up to make 6 times as much as you. Until then, they will be slowly killing themselves. They also have no lives.
Grad Student Quote: "Yeah...I closed last night. And opened this morning. And I have a Molecular Biology Thesis to be done, so I'm sorry, I simply cannot go to the movies with you guys to see Roman Polanski's "The Molecular Biologist".
7) The Nervous Guy
Nervous Guy is often the entertainment of the workplace. Nervous Guy is usually a newbie and can often spread his wings and develop into Nice Guy, but sometimes this is easier said than done. He drops things, but not in any attempt to get anyone to look at his ass. He says sorry a lot. He usually sincerely wants to learn the job, but is too nervous to actually take any instruction. Nervous Guy is often in his first job ever, and is just thankful he's not flipping burgers at McDonalds, but is secretly sad that he doesn't get that 20% discount there. (Shout out to my Sister...she knows who she is.)
Nervous Guy Quote: "I'm sorry. Again. So sorry."
8) Mr. Sarcasm
Mr. Sarcasm is often funny. Or at least, we think he is. Sarcasm often makes random statements that are supposed to be funny, but no one really gets the joke. However, Sarcastic guy is just cocky enough to make those not getting the joke think it's their fault. No one ever stops to think maybe he just isn't funny. He sometimes is funny though, which throws everything off balance. Mr. Sarcasm often brings different girls into the store, when he's not working, to show them off. No one really gets that either. His life-goal is to confuse everyone into thinking he's hilarious and good-looking. 72% of the time, he's is neither.
Mr. Sarcasm Quote: "So I told her she can take that Dean Koonz book and grande vanilla latte to the cleaners. Heh."
9) The Ass
Another neccessary staple of the workplace, The Ass is the one person that everyone cannot stand. The Ass is, completely without reason, a jerk to absolutely everyone, except their immediate superior. This often gets them into high postitions, simply by ass-kissing. Underlings weep because The Ass keeps getting promoted. But The Ass always gives the Underlings something to discuss, and therefore manages to make the days go faster. Unfourtunately, The Ass will often claim also to be a Christian.
The Ass Quote: "I'm sorry that your Mom died, I really am, but I can't let you off work an hour early for the funeral. We really need to meet our sales goals for today."
10) The Work Friend (AKA The Almost Friend)
The WF is quite possibly your best friend at work. Or at least, you might think that. But you're probably wrong, because everyone else thinks that too. You joke and laugh and have a great time at work, but they will never, ever call you outside of work. You will not be invited to their coming out party, and you will not be asked to go see Memoirs of a Geisha with them. They either don't see you as a real person outside the doors of the workplace, or they already have other friends that will beat your ass. The WF is, however, one of the best people to work for. You will soon learn they are only WF's and this will soon be fine because they work damn hard and make life at work pleasant. Work Friend will often make fun of Miss Priss and The Drinker, but in an oddly kind way. They will talk about their personal lives with you, but you will never be invited over to their house. You will not get Christmas Cards from them, but you will wonder why for the next 10 years.
The Work Friend Quote: "I'd love to switch shifts with you so you can go on the date with that hot guy! Not a problem at ALL."
11) The Joker
Not to be confused with Mr. Sarcastic (but often actually saracastic), The Joker is usually awesome. The Joker who is a hard worker is often the Epitome of Coworker Royalty. Everyone likes AND appreciates them. The Joker rarely makes fun of other co-workers, but often makes random pop-culture jokes, quotes movies and TV shows. They will ask you on a regular basis to get together for movies or outside work get-togethers, where they will also be the life of the party, as at work. If you can get a Joker/Hard Worker boss, you should hang on to your job for dear life, because they will often make sure the workplace is pleasant. The Joker Boss will allow for High-Five contests with customers, and will encourage smiling. Downsides to The Joker include never ever being able to be serious. In addition, if you work with The Joker when you are having a bad day, you will soon probably want to throw them out the drive-through window. If they are good, they will successfully cheer you up without pissing you off. This is, however, rare.
The Joker Quote: "I decided I'm going to start a clothing company called "Child Labor", and in every article of clothing, I'm going to put a label that says something like: 'Made by Little John, Age 4, in Sri Lanka", that you can collect, and when you collect three of those labels, you get a free sweatshirt made by Little Angela, Age 6, from Bangladesh. I'll make millions."
There are many many other coworker archetypes. I don't work with all these people, but I've had them throughout my several (now and in high school) "secular" jobs. Many can also be found in Christian jobs and in ministry. It should be known that none of these people can be found in their entirety at either of my current jobs, but some of the quotes were real.
Maybe, if I ever find another spare minute, I'll think up a few more. I have four whole days off this week, which makes me want to cry with joy.