Last year, I went to visit my pal Steve, who lives over in the States. He only lived in the UK for a little while, but we were great friends, so I thought it’d be really fun to go and see him – and see America! However, it was a bit weird.
It might be one of the things that first made me think about religion, to be honest. I knew the stereotype of the angry Bible-bashing Americans, but from my experience with Steve over here I didn’t expect that to be a big thing, at least near him.
When I walked into his parents’ house I was in for a massive shock.
Crucifixes, everywhere. Some small, some huge, with a naked Christ in agony, blood streaming from his wounds. Now, I do have a sick fascination with religious stuff, but this was a bit much for me – especially in the bathroom!
Steve never acted religiously when he was in the UK, so it’s entirely possible he has to when he’s at home. It did freak me out a bit to see him praying so much, so eager to get to church on the Sunday – so much so that I felt like a real heathen for not joining in. I spotted some nasty looks from his parents when I started eating without praying first.
The church service he goes to is right by his college campus. Like most poor young people, Steve can’t afford to live away from home, so he goes to college nearby. Even though I only saw the campus going in and out of the church, it seemed like a Mecca compared with the dusty, solemn building we were stuck in for hours.
That feeling was massively helped by the free shit I got. There was some college and campus marketing or something going on, so obviously I dived in pretending to be a student, and ended up walking away with *free* samples of some men’s deodorant.
Seriously, bargains are my religion.
I think I might go to hell for this entry.
So I get back to Steve’s, loaded down with this “men’s fragrance” and glad to be out of the church, when his dad walks in and asks what I’ve got. Apparently, men don’t need to smell good; it’s practically a sin. He took ALL of my free stuff, and said he’d give it to charity – I guess poor men do need to smell good, just not me.
I like a lot of Christians but really guys, this seemed to go a bit far. No offence Steve – you’re a cool guy and I’ll come visit you again, I just might get an AirBnB next time…