Two things by way of explanation and the title will make a lot more sense. First, I like rocks. Specifically, I like pretty rocks, preferably carved and polished into smooth spheres. I have several on my fantasy shelf of my bookcase in my home office. They once adorned the bookcase and desk in my library office back when I had a job, but I digress. So, I like pretty, smooth, spherical rocks.
Second, I am a Christian by faith. It’s the way I was raised and I’ve had no great epiphanies that have lead me to change. Now, I am not nearly as rabid a Christian as I once was since I have drifted (or more precisely, sailed at full steam) away from my very Fundamentalist childhood. The church I attend now would not be considered liberal by any means, but it’s definitely Christian. Now, if you happen to be one of those odious individuals who feel the need to send a scathing comment blasting me for believing in a bunch of fairy tales written in a highly doubted book, let me just save you some time and say I won’t publish your comment and as soon as I realize you are a troll, into the gmail trash folder you go. You get to sleep or not however you want to and I’ll continue to hug Pascal’s Wager closely to my heart. In the end, we’ll all find out one way or another . . . or we won’t. So just go and pee on someone else’s cocoa puffs.
Having said I am a Christian, please don’t assume I have an instinctive dislike for other religions. I make every attempt possible to respect the faith of people I meet. I realize that they were most likely raised in their faith just like I was in mine; therefore, attacking a person’s faith can be construed as attacking family. I have been friends with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, several stripes of pagans, three or four branches of Wiccans, and a handful of atheists just to name a few. Of course we don’t discuss religion much, but we still get along fairly well. It’s a little like being a Red Sox fan who is friends with a Yankee fan. You have every reason to believe your friend is daft, but you like having him as a friend and it’s worth just not discussing baseball to keep him around. So, I told you all that to tell you this: I generally don’t belittle or make fun of other people’s religions. I did say generally because I have my limits and I ran smack into one of those limits tonight on eBay.
Okay, so remember way up at the top where I said I like pretty, round rocks? Turns out eBay has a whole sub-category devoted to pretty rocks and if you search correctly — as I learned to do in my MLIS program — you may find many round rocks among the pretty ones. Some of these are beautiful, but wildly expensive. Just for example, if anyone wants to buy me a medium sized malachite sphere or a similar sized lapis lazuli egg, I won’t turn the $300 gift down and I’ll even dance at your wedding.
I was cruising through the listings tonight and marveling at the usual suspects like reptilian jasper and a beautiful hematite – pyrite mix when I saw a pink agate. Now pink agate is not unusual, though I suspect some unscrupulous dealers are selling nothing more than marbles. No, what gave me pause was the description. “Protects from dragons.”
DRAGONS. Fire, lightning, acid, cone-of-cold, cloud-of-panic breathing giant lizards.
I put the car in park on that one. Upon further examination the description said that this particular type of pink agate, when used in the practice of some obscure Wicca spellcraft, will banish any dragons from your vicinity. It also promotes healing and mental well being. All that for only $9.99 plus shipping and handling. I fully expected it to have “but wait, there’s more” at the bottom followed by slices, dices, and juliennes fries.”
I have a good buddy who is a Wiccan priestess and in all our conversations on lots and lots of stuff, I have never heard her mention the word “dragon” one time, much less try to convince me that a pink marble on a stand would protect me from one. I’m sorry, but if your “religion” involves banishing giant fire, lightning, acid, cone-of-cold, cloud-of-panic breathing lizards by throwing pink marbles at them, I am going to make fun of you. I can believe a lot of things. I fully agree with Hamlet when he says, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.” Unfortunately, my willing suspense of disbelief stops with throwing pink marbles at dragons. I love everybody and I really don’t want to have offended anyone . . . but if a giant fire, lightning, acid, cone-of-cold, cloud-of-panic breathing lizard shows up in my yard, I can guarantee you two things: I’ll need to change my shorts and I’m not going to stand there and throw a pink marble at it. A +5 arrow of dragon slaying, maybe, but not a pink marble.
If you know more about fighting dragons with pink marbles, I’d love to hear from you, but until then, know that I love y’all and keep your feet clean!