I am a Freak Magnet. This means I attract Freaks.

Non-Freak Magnets don’t understand this, and you can’t ever fully explain the depths of wackiness a Freak plumbs when they encounter a Magnet.

Freaks aren’t normal people who engage in small-talk while stuck in an interminable line, or ask you to help them find a contact lens, or ask you for the time while you’re on the Metro. A homeless dude who follows you down the the sidewalk and serenades you with “You Are So Beautiful” after you ignore him is annoying, but he’s not a Freak.

Freaks aren’t merely people who dress differently than the people around them or are clearly from another culture or profession or economic class than you. Those people can also be Freaks, but those states of being or actions alone do not necessarily a Freak make. The label “Freak” isn’t a judgement, per se, it’s more of a category. (A category that might best be defined as “people who have no sense of reality, believe they have a weekend home on Mars, and believe that the two of you inhabited the same physical form in a previous life.”)

For example, one day, long ago, I was on the bus on my way to work. I’m going to guess this was sometime in 2002 or 2003, because I was running into Jesus a lot back then.

Anyway, I was headed to the Pentagon Metro station – approximately a 20 minute ride. I don’t remember much about the day, but I do remember that the bus was really crowded and the weather was awful.

I was sitting on one of the bench seats along the side, wedged between two women.

One woman was sporting the stereotypical matronly 50something professional uniform: no-style haircut, St. John knit jacket, plain pumps with 1.5 inch heels. She was on the bus when I boarded. The other woman got on a few stops after me. She was neatly dressed in a pantsuit, probably navy blue, with a bulging briefcase wedged between her feet and something – probably an unopened book – in her hands.

Neither of these women spoke to me at any time. Neither of them threw glitter on me, wept openly at the beauty of my yellow aura, or attempted to fart the Star-Spangled Banner while insisting we all stand and place our hands over our hearts. (Coworker Who Was Not My Boyfriend and I used to call that guy “Captain Flatulence” – he was a Repeat Freak who one or both of us spotted on multiple occasions).

Both women were tidy. Neither of them smelled bad. Neither of them had marinated in perfume. Neither of them was purposely encroaching on my personal space.

Two boring women, riding the bus.

That sounds okay, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t.

I may have failed to mention that Pantsuit, after she got settled in her seat, then spent the entire ride staring at me. Directly. She was sitting next to me on the bench. Her body squarely faced the people on the bench across the aisle. Her head was turned so that she was staring directly into my ear. She never said a word. She just stared at me. For the whole ride, she stared at me. That could not have been comfortable for her. It certainly wasn’t comfortable for me.

About half-way to our destination, St. John started singing under in her breath in what could only charitably be called a monotone. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. That didn’t stop her.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.

She kept repeating that line. Apparently that was all she knew. She sang that part over and over for 10 minutes.

When we got off the bus one of the Military Dudes who’d been sitting across the aisle watching this in wonderment asked me how I kept my cool for the entire ride. (You don’t really think I’m all jiggy with the zen states from years of meditation, do you? Heavens no, I’ve honed my hyper-focal concentration skills on the battlefields otherwise known as “public transportation.” Also, possibly “staff meetings” and “starbucks.” Plus, there were the Deadheads).

The Other Military Dude chimed in and told him about the woman who used to take the bus with us who decided that Jesus and salmon would save one’s soul and proceeded to pull labels from cans of salmon and a bible out of her laptop case and present them to people she deemed worthy of redemption. I, of course, was one of those people – it was what brought me to his attention in the first place. He was impressed with my equanimity in the face of biblical ichthyology.

I don’t remember it going down that way, but whatever. What I most remember was that she was also carrying a Glock9 and going into the Pentagon and that was all I wanted to know.

Other Military Dude also knew about Captain Flatulence. I suspected Other Military Dude was also a Freak Magnet but I wasn’t in the mood to engage for long, just in case he was less Magnet, more Freak. He knew about Captain Flatulence, who he called Patriotic Farting Man, because he was often on blue line train with him in the evenings. Apparently, Captain Flatulence/Patriotic Farting Man, although far from his dream of mastering the Star-Spangled Banner, had recently performed stirring renditions of America the Beautiful and God Bless America.

It was good to know that Captain Flatulence had moved or changed jobs, which explained his disappearance from the yellow and red lines. It was good to know that other people were running into Jesus around town. It was good to know that my Freak Magnetism served as a form of both edification and entertainment for others. It was also good to know that the Military Dudes had my back on the bus.

I have so-called affinity license plates. I’m pretty sure the only place you can get valid license plates is through the DMV. I mention this because over the last few months several people have asked me where I got my license plates.

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is, “I made them myself…in prison.”

You may be able to get personalized, legal postage stamps now but I’m pretty sure license plates are like driver’s licenses, they need to be issued from a government agency to be valid. I just don’t think you want everyone to be able to manufacture plates, even if the state still issues the tag number.

Now that I’ve seen this post on Cajun Boy in the City, I don’t know if I think every state should be allowed to manufacture plates. Aren’t there any grownups in the Florida Legislature?

This is a mockup of the plate the Florida Senate has proposed:

Religious License Plate

I need to go lay down now.

Our cable was out last night and Overlord, our Tivo, failed to record Ogre.

Fortunately, the tense situation was resolved sometime just before midnight and a Torchwood crisis was narrowly averted. Later, Overlord recorded Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby.

Once again, I am in the weird-feeling position of stating, “I like another Will Ferrell movie.” (Actually, I loveStranger Than Fiction).

We remembered hearing people carry on about how bad this movie was. We must not have been listening to the right people, because we thinks it’s funny as hell. It’s worth it just for the scene where the family has the prolonged dinnertable argument about whether they should be saying grace to “Baby Jesus” or “Grown-up Jesus” (or possibly even “Grownup Jesus with a Beard.” Priceless. Or Sacha Baron Cohen’s appearance as the French Formula One driver. Fantastic.

Over the years I’ve sat through innumerable productions of Godspell out of support for various actor friends. I was fairly certain that at this point in my life I need never see Godspell again. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Or so I thought.

Despite an allergy to musical theatre and lifelong overexposure to said production, I’ve purposely rented Godspell.

Why?

Because I’m obsessed with Alias. My favorite character is Sydney’s father, Jack. He’s such a tortured soul. Lena Olin (who plays Jack’s sort-of deceased wife in season 2) is the most beautiful character on the show, but Jack is the most consistently interesting. Poor Husband. He sometimes missed whole chunks of dialogue because I just have to comment on how beautiful she is everytime she’s on screen.

But back to Jack.

Jack is played by Victor Garber. Victor Garber was Jesus in the original Broadway production of Godspell, as well as the painful 1973 movie.

The things I will do to feed my mania.

I realize that the man has been in tons of things, and I am most assuredly not going to watch most of these movies. However, Jack is not only a tortured soul, but he’s a soul who’s rather enthusiastic about torturing others. It seems like it will be amusing to watch him playing a singing, dancing hippie Jesus, just for contrast.

Having time to kill this morning before a doctor’s appointment, I made Husband go on a little sidetrip to visit the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (or, as we call it, Basillica Joe’s) to see the church all decked out in Christmas finery. We (ok, I) lit a candle for my brother and then wandered about admiring the big holy shininess of it all. We only had time for the upper Church – the crypt, and Nuns in America, will have to wait for another day.

As we left, Heathen Husband pronounced, “That’s a whole lot of One God.”

Now might be a good time to mention that the Bunny got us the 2005 nuns having fun calendar for our kitchen.

Usually I encounter the evangelicals stumping for Bush at the Metro. Yesterday, they came to our door to explain about how Kerry wants to outlaw the Bible and how the demonic jews and muslims and buddhists are ruining the country. Now, don’t be thinking the Jews aren’t useful – we need them to guard Israel until Jesus shows back up and breaks their lease. They aren’t keeping their part of the bargain though. We gave them Israel but they won’t all skeedaddle. There’s still too damned many of the bastards skulking about on our precious American Soil.

After I learned all about the evil Jews, got my Republican voting guide, and promised never to sacrifice goats in my yard, they asked me to pray with them for W.

I had a better idea.

While they were still trying to figure out if I was kidding about the goats, I asked them to pray over my house and yard. There was a Jew living here, I explained. I failed to mention that part about how this wasn’t past tense. (I certainly didn’t want them coming back)

They were happy to accomodate. They sang and prayed, prayed and sang for the rest of the afternoon. All over the yard, wailing away for Baby Jesus and George W Bush to deliver my dwelling from the taint of eeeeevil. I certainly wasn’t letting them inside, and with most of the windows shut I could tune them out when I wished. Oh, I have to admit every once in a while I sat at a window and drank coffee and watched the show. They didn’t care.

Then their car picked them up and they left. I’m sure the neighbors think I’m completely out of my mind, but I’m equally sure they’ve thought that for years.

My thinking was, if they’re exorcising my yard, they aren’t bothering anyone else with their bigoted horseshit. It’s like community service.

Works for me. Plus, now I can be assured that all of my earthworms have a place at the right hand of the Lord. That’s a big relief, I gotta tell you.

Yesterday on the way home from work, I saw Jesus again. [the link to BobTheCorgi.com is dead, but in summary: BobTheCorgi kept running into Jesus and got a picture of him in the steps of the Capitol, surrounded by a flock of stuffed sheep).

He was back in Georgetown, standing in front of the Exorcist steps. In keeping with the rules of parallel existence, Batty has posted a link to Hello Jesus.

I’m finally going to see Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday night! It’s part of reel affirmations, which has lots of other cool movies, but this is the coolest.

If I remember we bought tickets. I left work and forgot it was Atomic Night. Sorry folks. I still love you, really, I do…