He was the coolest Christian at St. Rutabah Baptist Academy High School: he said phrases like holy bullwhiz or that’s the goddarn truth (promoting a more conservative, Biblical profanity), emphasized the screw in Screwtape, cultivated a beard on his neck, brought a bully to Church and then beat him up in the parking lot, tore a page out of the Qur’an (allegedly), wore a cross on a chain even in the shower. He was Varsity football chaplain.
By the time he was six, he’d broken someone’s nose with the Summa Theologica. By twelve, he’d indexed all the Christian symbolism in Lord of the Rings. By middle school, he disagreed fundamentally with C.S. Lewis.
He was the coolest one. He read books like The Consolation of Philosophy and Paradise Lost and claimed Milton was of the Devil’s Party. It was rumored he kept cigarettes in his fanny pack, that his flip flops weren’t dress code, that he was stoned on Jesus but Buddha gave him a bad trip, that he’d been married at 16 and divorced that summer, only to remarry her and have five kids, that he had a tattoo of Jesus in Ray-Bans, and owned an American Flag made of mixed fibers.
Faster now. He could burp the Lord’s Prayer, kissed a teacher while she was sleeping, tasted his Dad’s ginger beer, snuck into a faculty meeting and wasn’t discovered for the full two hours, could make a paper airplane out of anything, anything, spent a summer in a monastery, hooked up with a nun’s pillow, carved his initials in sixteen pews, refused to learn the order of the months, didn’t believe volcanoes existed, tripped Muslims on the way to the prayer room, told his Japanese pen pal that tsunamis were God’s farts, ate a Jehovah Witness, could justify the War in Iraq, recited the Fox’s Book of Martyrs with a 3% margin of error, drew mustaches on images in his textbook even when those images didn’t include people, and finally died doing what he loved—running remote-controlled drones into small dogs (the heart attack was incidental).
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