I am currently involved in a growing scheme to hook one of my friends up with a friend of a coworker. This coworker, whose name is Jim, is one of the best schemers I’ve met, and when our forces combine, beautiful harmony emits from the very air we breathe. It’s like an explosion of cunning wiliness.

Lately my girl-friend Emma, the one Jim and I are setting up oh-so-subtly, has been inviting me to hang out with her,  her potential man, and his friends on odd group dates. Usually men and women who want to get to know each other in a no-pressure setting go out for coffee, or meet up after classes for a Chickfila run. But Emma prefers to create a no-pressure setting with a group of people in nontraditional house parties.

The first house party consisted of all of us congregating at her house to eat pizza and play an Amish card game. After 1 a.m., the card game got boring, so we turned off the lights, lit candles, and listened to Jim tell stories about the greatest events of his life: really significant bowel movements and very obnoxious women. When we finally realized the peculiarity of listening to poop stories by candlelight, it was about 3 a.m., and we all just went to sleep.

The second house party occurred last night, and consisted of almost the same thing, but the location was moved to Emma’s boyfriend-to-be’s home. We played Halo, ate pizza, played Cranium, and watched “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” which terrified Emma to such an extent that she had to be held at the end to stop shaking and crying.

At this second house party, a new character was introduced as part of our developing soap opera. Bill, a 265 lb. atheist, came to the party, added invaluable (which in this case means the opposite of valuable) commentary to the “Emily Rose” experience, and gave us an eight hour-long story about how he converted from devout belief in Jesus to a hatred for all things Christian.

The thing that I have noticed about many atheists, especially those who convert or abandon their previous belief systems, is their lofty attitude. The most interesting part of this attitude is that they recognize that you think they are full of themselves, so they will specifically address the issue, saying something to the effect of, “I don’t think I’m better than everyone else. I just think more/harder/longer/more intelligently than everyone else.”

Extreme insecurity leads people to create a mask of confidence to hide from others. Bill is unhappy in his young marriage, is looking to cheat on his Christian wife, and hypocritically claims that without a God he still has a strong moral foundation. I think Bill’s character and contentment in life speak the merits of his beliefs.

This second house party succeeded in forming a stronger connection between Emma and the man we’re hooking her up with, but it cost me nine hours of Bill, who drank a 5-hour energy before coming over, attempting to talk me to death. He almost prevailed, as by 6 a.m. my pulse had slowed to about four beats per hour and my breathing was too shallow to be heard.

Emma awakened from the blessed sleep that had spared her Bill’s torture, and dragged my limp body to her car, where I revived from my catatonic state after several minutes of blissful silence.

My suffering was not in vain, however, because Emma and the man in question will be girlfriend and boyfriend soon. Jim and I will exchange high-fives tomorrow at work. What are friends for?


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