The religious world is reeling this week over the news that the book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven is not a true, firsthand account of a child visiting the afterlife, but is actually a work of fiction. The book, co-written in 2010 by then six year old Alex Malarkey and his father, told the story of Alex's miraculous experience after being injured in a horrific car crash. Alex was left paralyzed and in a coma for two months. When he finally woke, he spun a fantastic tale of angels taking him through the gates of Heaven itself, where he met and talked with Jesus. According to young Alex, the afterlife is filled with zero calorie ranch dressing rivers, blankets with sleeves and chimps who wear vests and won't bite off your face (OK, I made up that last part myself). Alex, now sixteen, recanted his claims this week, stating, "I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. I said I went to Heaven because I thought it would get me attention." Christian bookstores across the country, stunned and demoralized, immediately pulled the book from their shelves after hearing the shocking admission. I don't blame Alex for lying-- that's what kids do. They lie. All day, every day. He was just doing what came naturally to him. No, my scorn is instead reserved for his father, who saw a way to parlay his family's tragedy into a gold mine. You'd think people would have been a little more skeptical of his claims based on his name alone. Malarkey? Are you fraking kidding me? Man, the jokes are writin' themselves today.
In light of this development, I'm keeping my eye on you too, kid. You and your poorly Photoshopped head. And Burpo? Can you only pretend you went to Heaven if you have a bizarre last name?
Then in Florida (of course), the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department made headlines when they discovered that their new rugs, prominently emblazoned with their logo, actually said "In Dog We Trust" rather than the traditional "In God We Trust." The rugs were in place for two months before the error was noticed. Good eye, Sheriff! American Floor Mats, who manufactured the rugs, has agreed to replace the faulty floor coverings. I'm wondering if this was a simple typo, or if someone at American Floor Mats is of the atheist faith. "In Dog We Trust" is often used by non-believers as a secular epithet. Methinks someone in the printing department was having a larf, wondering how long it'd take the faithful to notice. Apparently the answer is two months.