Pray after the beep (Good News Week 23/3/09: So You Think You Can Mime)

Dutch artist Johan van der Dong has set up an answering machine to receive messages for God. He’ll pass them on next time he’s smoking that super-skunk.

Van der Dong said he said up the number to give people an opportunity to take pause and contemplate life. Also he needed a decent laugh.

It’s about time God got an answering machine. He’s never bloody home.

And if his answering machine doesn’t get to him, you can always try his pager.

But seriously, what kind of omniscient creator doesn’t have a mobile? / He might be the all-powerful omniscient creator of the universe, but it seems he doesn’t have a mobile.

Unfortunately God hasn’t heard any of his messages yet. He keeps pressing the wrong button.

Unfortunately God keeps accidentally wiping the messages. It’s like the dodo all over again.

Van der Dong had better be careful checking God’s messages. I’m pretty sure that’s a Hellable offence.

Of course, if God wants to talk to you, he prefers to do it with the technology he’s comfortable with. He’ll communicate with you with a star, a burning bush, and some kind of monster with ten horns and seven heads.

Of course, if God wants to talk to you, he prefers to just say it in a hallucination.

Of course, the Bible is basically God’s answering machine: he just left a whole lot of messages, and we have to go through them all one by one.

God’s promised he’ll get back to people as soon as he can, but his tablet printer’s fresh out of ink.

God’s promised he’ll return some of the calls when he finds someone who sells credit in Heaven.

God’s promised he’ll return some of the calls, but the only person he knows who sells mobile credit is Lucifer.

God would use his mobile, but Heaven’s got really bad coverage.

God doesn’t have a mobile. He’s so Old Testament.

Typical of God to outsource his clerical work.

The irony being that the answering machine is actually one of Satan’s inventions.

Though if you want to get a message through to Johan himself, you’ll have to pray. / carve it into a stone tablet.

Satan, of course, doesn’t need an answering machine. He’s ALWAYS listening. / ready to help.

He’s been doing this kind of thing for a while. He actually invented that post box where you send letters to Santa.

As well as setting up an answering machine to God, he’s got a pager number for Buddha, Allah’s email address, and you can now fax Shiva whenever you want.

Clearly, prayer just doesn’t cut it any more.

But how can God not be home right now? He’s everywhere!

It kind of brings into sharp relief the inherent uselessness of a religion where you can talk to God but he can’t talk to you, doesn’t it.

It’s a crazy madcap idea. Unlike prayer, which is very very sensible, no doubt.

Of course, the real shock is when God actually picks up.

It’s a bit of a convoluted message though. “Hello, this is God. I’m not home right now, even though I’m everywhere, so please leave a message, although I already know what you’re going to say.” BEEP

“This is God. I’m everywhere at the moment, so please leave a message and continue to kill the unbelievers.”

But what kind of message do you leave someone who already knows what you’re thinking?

Of course, “Johan van der Dong” isn’t his real name. His real name is JHVH.

But, if God keeps on ignoring his calls, it’s only a matter of time before someone comes round in person.

No wonder God has to use an answering machine. He’s dead. / He doesn’t exist.

It’s no surprise that the message service is so popular. After all, it’s a hell of a lot easier than visiting the Pope.

Of course you could always pray, but this way has the benefit of being much more expensive.

He hasn’t had many messages left for him. Possibly shouldn’t have done the voice of God as a drag-queen.

It’s a much more reliable way of getting through to God than the old landline to Heaven. / than that degraded old line to Heaven.

As a result, God’s just added an eleventh commandment: Thou shalt not telemarket. / put the Lord thy God on hold.

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