Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Diabolical Interpretation

Two juicy grubs were found wiggling recently in the Chimp Refuge inbox: one on an offensive vanity license plate and the other on severing appendages for the Lord.

After reading my post on Air Guitar Hero Cranks It to 11, correspondent J.M. of California passed along this tale of hilarity.

Keith Wagner, who hails from Sacramento, California, drives a Prius that sports a vanity license plate reading GO 2 11. An upright and uptight California citizen looked askance at this plate, reading it as a permutation of “Go to Hell” and called the California DMV to complain. The DMV, in turn, asked Mr. Wagner to turn in the offending plates. Oh, did they go after the wrong guy! Not only is Mr. Wagner a dedicated Tap (and other heavy metal fan), he is an attorney. He shot back a letter to the California DMV that is a true thing of beauty. Here’s his letter (well worth the read, believe me):

pdf download of Keith Wagner’s most excellent retort!

More coverage may be found on the Spinal Tap fan site. California Tries to Ban GO 2 11 is the second entry, containing links to local news coverage. Again, have a look (just bear with the very short advertisement at the beginning):

KOVR clip on GO 2 11

The DMV’s response – that they would even remotely give the complaint any serious consideration – beggars the mind. Check out Wagner’s bitchin’ black Prius. I mean, a decal of Spinal Tap’s logo is plastered right above the license plate. How much more obvious can one get? On the other hand, I suppose an acerebrate who would be offended by such a plate would eschew knowledge of Spinal Tap, it being a band endorsed by Old Nick and all. But take note of the skeletal Darwin fish and the Flying Spaghetti Monster/Pastafarian decals. One might wonder if a Bible-humper, who might see the Work of the Devil in all manner of the benign, had another agenda when he or she called the DMV.

This story is dated from June, so one can only hope that Keith made his eloquent case and that the ebon hybrid still proudly displays those plates. And to Mr. Wagner I say, Rock on! Make the DMV sniff the glove!

A tip from Missouri “Show me, goddammit!” correspondent M.G. calls attention to a more grisly tale of diabolical interpretation.

Man sees ‘mark,’ cuts off hand

The subject, a resident of Idaho, apparently saw the “mark of the beast” on his hand, cut it off with a circular saw, then cooked the disengaged appendage in a microwave, the latest technological innovation in exorcising demons. He then calmly called 911. He didn’t bleed to death thanks to the tourniquet he had applied to his arm. No mention by the media if the severed appendage was the right or left.

This fellow, who did not have a history of psychiatric illness but is now hospitalized for obvious reasons, apparently was inspired by the Bible. From the CNN article:

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury.”

The book of Matthew also contains the passage: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for you whole body to go into hell.”

Correspondent M.G. points out that the mark of the beast conveniently appeared on this dude’s hand and not his forehead. I’m impressed by the use of the microwave as the source of God’s fury.

At first glance unrelated, both of these incidents highlight the blinkered superstitious interpretations of the fringe element that sees the supernatural in all things. In the case of the marked man, he damaged himself and likely is in need of a hefty dose of Thorazine followed by maintenance with a second generation antipsychotic medication. The person who complained to the DMV, however, is making another person’s life perhaps not miserable (and Wagner does get his 15 minutes of fame), but certainly creating an annoyance. Anyone who has dealt with a DMV knows that this is the Land That Time Forgot at best, and the sixth circle of Hell at worst.

Raucous pant-hoots and the empty promise of grooming sessions to L.M and M.G. for flinging those grubs our way.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    January 14, 2008

    Wow.

    MY book of Matthew contains the following passage: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and microwave at 50% power for 1 1/2 minutes. It is better for you to watch Rachel Ray and The Food Channel than for you whole body to go into hell.”

  2. #2 Bill from Dover
    January 15, 2008

    Too bad old Matt didn’t start it out with: “And if your pecker…”

  3. #3 JimFiore
    January 15, 2008

    I forwarded this story to a friend and he came back with a good one: His wife is a surgical nurse and about 15 years ago a guy came in who had “de-nutted” himself. It seems that he was a horse trainer, and when horses get a little too high strung, this is a method they use to calm them down. Apparently, this fellow felt he was also a little too high strung so he wrapped a rubber band around the offending parts and went “snip”. Fortunately, his girlfriend was nearby, packed the area in ice to stem the bleeding, and took him to the emergency room, else he’d have bled to death.

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