Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No Resurrections Without Receipt

A couple in South Carolina has seen the image of Jesus on a receipt from Walmart.
So this is what South Carolinians who believe
they see Jesus in a Walmart receipt look like!
Here's a news story about this...uh, news.

I love our national obsession with the idea that Jesus Christ chooses to manifest Himself to His followers on household objects.

Tortilla Jesus

Rocking Chair Jesus

MRI Jesus
And now, we have Thermal-Paper Discount-Store Receipt Jesus!

I find this particular Christ fascinating. Most "I Spy Jesus" artifacts feature a King of Kings in Jeffrey Hunter or Ted Neely mode: The kind of Savior Stephen King once described as "looking like He was about to bat cleanup for the New York Yankees." You know, the All-American Jesus.

But Receipt Jesus looks...well...Semitic. You know, Jewish. I know, right?

Everyone knows Jesus is Catholic. *ducks*

But look. I've got a couple of issues with Walmart Jesus. First of all, I don't think He would be down with Walmart. I'm sure He was a frugal guy (that episode with the foot oil notwithstanding), but given the company's history of disastrous labor, economic, environmental, and ethical policies, I think Jesus would choose to shop local rather than save a couple of bucks on Chinese-made lawn chairs. I won't even shop there, and Jesus is way smarter than I am.

He planted dinosaur bones to test us, after all.
 Also, I don't think that's really Jesus. It doesn't look like him. In fact, I could name a dozen people this image resembles more than Jesus. In fact, I will.

I can see where the confusion comes from. The figure on the receipt is obviously Jewish. Like Jackie Mason.

Or Steven Spielberg.

Or Lenny Bruce.

Personally, I think it looks a lot like Lenny Bruce, who, like Jesus Himself, was persecuted for his teachings. It's an honest mix-up.

Of course, Jesus was only Jewish on His mother's side, so I can understand how someone would mistake Receipt Jesus for someone who is half-Jewish, like Joaquin Phoenix.

Jesus was probably a better rapper, but since all we have here is a visual, I'm going to let that drop.

You know who else is half-Jewish and kind of looks like the image on the receipt? A young Harrison Ford, that's who.

Hubba-hubba and nail me to the cross. If he were a Walmart greeter, I'd let him check my packages.

Ahem. Jesus Christ has a very recognizable and often-depicted visage, but so do other historical figures who could be the man on the thermal paper.

Like, say, 17th-century pirate and rum spokesman Captain Henry Morgan.

Or really hard to kill crazy-ass Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin.

They weren't Jewish, but they have that same smoldering gaze and eccentric facial hair as Receipt Jesus.

For that matter, so does Hangover star Zach Galifianakis.

Heck, so does the World's Greatest Spokesman in the World.

So he's a fictional character. Some people think Jesus is a fictional character. Put away your blasphemy sticks - some people do, that's all. At the very least, He can be considered mythical. So our Receipt Jesus may actually be a magical creature from a legendary domain. You know, like Middle Earth.

He could so too be Gimli the Dwarf! If you never read the Bible but read a crapload of Tolkein, you might look at that Walmart receipt and be all "Hey, it's Gimli!" Or maybe "Check it out, dude, it's totally Frodo!"

If you were a total dork growing up, you might even say "Looking good, Mr. Kotter!"

Yes, I admit it: I immediately thought of Gabe Kaplan in "Welcome Back, Kotter" when I first saw Receipt Jesus. (Beloved Spouse, meanwhile, provided the idea of Rasputin, because he's a much bigger fan of crazy Russian mystics. We are what you call complementary types.)

All I'm saying is, you see Jesus in a Walmart receipt, I see Hobbits and movie stars. My vision is no kookier than yours, except that yours gets national media coverage and mine gets written up here on my puny blog. Fine. I'll just have to start looking for common items that bear an arbitrary resemblance to a Christian icon.

Hey, look, it's Judas on a TV screen! Oh, wait, that's just the debt ceiling talks on C-Span. My bad.

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