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Touchy, Touchy


Whenever another boil popped up on Job’s back, the poor man born as a human experiment in theology simply put a philosophical spin on it, sat back, and awaited another blow. “Curse God, and die,” his friends told him.


That may have worked back then. Not so well, now. Patience is a virtue—if you can afford it. A little bit of revenge is like a fast-food meal. Sometimes you just gotta have it when nothing else comes in handy.


& ull; Penis Frenzy: Too many e-mails promising the “Only Reliable, Medically Approved Penis Enhancement” sent one 44-year-old Silicon Valley man over the edge. As reported by Reuters, Charles Booher allegedly became so enraged at repeated penis enlargement spam that he threatened the president of a management firm he thought responsible for sending the messages. Booher threatened company employees with castration, Anthrax spores, and threatened one employee in particular with torture by ice pick and power drill. “I sort of lost my cool,” Booher told Reuters.


& ull; Never underestimate the wrath of a Catholic high-school girl: After exposing himself to the teenage girls of Philadelphia’s St. Maria Goretti School an alleged seven times, according to Reuters, a 25-year-old man was chased down by more than 20 girls before being caught by a couple of men. Once held, the girls gave him enough kicks and punches to send him to the local hospital, where he awaited 14 criminal counts upon release.


When Religion Imitates Art


According to a recent story in Britain’s The Observer, residents of the small Russian town of Nizhni Novgorod near Moscow are all consternated and bothered about the recent acquisition by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of thousands of names of the deceased dating from the late 18th century. The Russian Society of Historians and Archivists was only too happy to have the church pay 10 U.S. cents per page for the information. The society needs all the money it can get for its own preservation efforts. But the local Orthodox priest isn’t happy, saying that the Mormon doctrine of posthumous baptism defies all reason and aggravates religious tension. “Any Christian will tell you that these rituals do not harm the soul of the dead. But it hurts the feelings of the believers who see these rituals with the names of the deceased as equal to the desecration of graves by Satanists,” the director of the “sectology” department in Moscow told The Observer.


Fans of Russian literature will immediately make connections to Nikolai Gogol’s novel, Dead Souls. Pavel Chickikov, the novel’s protagonist, bought the souls of serfs who had died since the last government census in attempts to raise his own social status. Mormons, of course, baptize the dead to raise their spiritual status. The village folk in Gogol’s Russian novel were just as confused then. In either case, there’s a lot to be said about this line from Dead Souls, written in 1842, before the Mormons started fullscale proxy baptism: “However stupid a fool’s words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man.”

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