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Thursday, May 26, 2011

New staff writer, messenger from God

Editor's Note: When Steve, the boss (and my father), told me this morning he had something new for The Buzz, I thought, hey, great, about time the old man got some writing done. When he told me the post in question had been forwarded to him by a beer- and baseball-loving angel, a bona fide messenger of God who would now moonlight as a regular contributor to our little blog, I thought, well it's happened, the old man has finally lost it. Steve assures me that, no, he has not lost it; he assures me also that if I want to keep my job I should just do as I'm told. Sure thing, Pop, whatever you say (and pay no attention to the men in white coats behind you--they are only here to help).

Dear readers of The Buzz:

My name is Sagnessagiel and I’m a beer loving angel. First off I want to set a few things straight. Angels don’t have halos, we don’t wear long white robes and we don’t have wings. I repeat: WE DON’T HAVE WINGS. If you’re gullible enough to believe that we have big feathery appendages sprouting from our shoulders then you might as well believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The truth is you couldn’t pick an angel out in a crowded bar. I know that for a fact because I’ve spent a lot of time in bars and no one has ever come up to me and said “hey, you’re an angel, let me by you a beer.” Never happens. This whole wings thing started when some artists with over-active imaginations back in The Dark Ages thought that’s what messengers of God had to look like and it just snowballed from there. You see, it may not be common knowledge anymore but that’s an angel’s primary responsibility—to be God’s messenger. When the Old Man wants to get the word out on something He still sends out the angels.

Unless you’re an expert in angelology you’ve probably never heard of me because in the grand hierarchy I’m quite low on the totem pole so to speak. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the names Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. Now I’m not saying that The Old Man plays favorites but it does seem that those guys have always gotten the prime assignments and as a result have gotten all the press. At any rate, besides my duty as a messenger I’m also responsible for guarding the fourth hall of the seventh heaven. That can be a little boring since there hasn’t been anything to guard against since The Old Man gave Lucifer the boot. I’m not complaining. The Fourth Hall of the Seventh Heaven is where Peter sends all the professional baseball players so I get to spend a lot of time shooting the bull with guys like Ruth, DiMaggio, Cobb and Stengel. (Here’s a hot tip: unless you’re really, really evil, The Old Man will let you pass through the pearly gates. If someone like Cobb can get his ticket punched, almost anybody can.) I guess you’ll just have to take my word on the part about the ball players; as for my name and my job you can, as my good buddy Casey Stengel likes to say, look it up.

About three weeks ago I was having a little fun ribbing Ted Williams about his body being freeze dried by his idiot son when I was summoned to a meeting. As soon as I entered the Great Hall I saw that The Old Man was in a sour mood. I haven’t seen Him that agitated since a non-Italian was elected pope. The Old Man places a lot of emphasis on tradition you know. Anyway, you could hear the proverbial pin drop in The Great Hall while we took our seats. (Here’s a question for you all: How many angels can sit on the head of a pin? Answer: none.) After the meeting was called to order The Old Man bellowed for an hour about that crack-pot preacher who was spreading that crock about the Rapture. Now the Old Man isn’t averse to hurling an occasional well-placed lightning bolt to bring a wayward sheep back into the fold but He had declared a moratorium on total annihilation after The Great Flood. He felt pretty bad after exterminating the dinosaurs for not living up to His lofty expectations but He felt just awful after The Flood so He decided then and there that there would be no more mass extinctions. That particular promise of His can be found in the Bible and you can look it up. At any rate He decided it was time to quell all this nonsense about Armageddon (yet another product of an over-active imagination) so He told all us angels to don our messenger hats and get our butts down to Earth.

Now I like it when I get to go to Earth because, as you may have heard, in heaven there ain’t no beer. The only thing we get to drink up here is milk and honey. Well I have to admit that I wasn’t jumping for joy when I found out that I was being sent to a sector called West Michigan. I was praying for Belgium but would have been more than happy with Germany, the Czech Republic or England. I wouldn’t even have minded Ireland even though I find the Irish a bit bombastic when they get drunk and a steady diet of Guinness does get rather boring. But West Michigan? It had been a while since I spent any time in the States and I thought I would only be drinking watery American Pilsners. Boy was I wrong! When I got here I thought I had, as many of you are fond of saying, died and gone to heaven.

I hope you West Michiganders realize that you’re living in beer paradise. Good Lord I drank some good beer while I was down there! I set up my base of operations in a cushy hotel in Grand Rapids (we get a pretty handsome travel allowance) and I immediately set out giving folks the straight scoop on the Rapture. Turns out I was preaching to the choir. I did a lot of talking and the only person I had to convince that the Apocalypse wasn’t imminent was some dude who also believed that the Cubbies would someday win another World Series. I finally set him straight on both counts. Of course I did most of my work in brew pubs and I guess I have to at least entertain the possibility that people who love good beer also have the good sense to recognize false prophets.

You might be wondering how it was that I came to write this. Well, one night I stumbled into Siciliano’s on the way back to the hotel because a bartender at Founder’s told me they have a good Belgian selection and I was in the mood for a St.Bernardus 12. I was a little tipsy, (don’t worry, I was cabbing it) and when the guy behind the counter asked me what kind of work I did I told him I was an angel.

“Yeah,” he replied. “And I’m the Buddha.”

Obviously he was skeptical. But by the end of the conversation I had him convinced, and since I love beer so much he asked if I would like to be an occasional quest blogger. “Hell yeah,” I replied.

You’ll be hearing more from me and I can guarantee that the next time The Old Man sends us down to Earth I’ll be requesting this sector. I hear there’s a new Belgian brewery in town.

Peace and love,

Sagnessagiel

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