July 10, 2002

One Nation, Under Lunch...

By Roy Rivenburg
The Plate of Allegiance: Now that the phrase ‘‘under God’’ might get yanked from the Pledge of Allegiance, Americans need new ways to express their belief in a deity. Fortunately, several breakthroughs are available:

The first is ‘‘What Would Jesus Eat,’’ a new Bible-based nutrition program from author Don Colbert, whose previous books include ‘‘The Bible Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome,’’ ‘‘The Bible Cure for Prostate Disorders’’ and ‘‘The Bible Cure for ADD and Hyperactivity,’’ which says stoning is a great way to slow down overactive youngsters. OK, we made up the part about stoning, but everything else is true.

Colbert, an M.D., has also penned books on biblical prescriptions for headaches, yeast infections, PMS, memory loss, menopause and hepatitis C (sadly, the Bible is silent on remedies for hepatitis B).

But we digress. The point is, even if the courts defrock the Pledge, Americans can still declare their faith through what they eat, thanks to Colbert’s diet system and a soon-to-be-released companion guide, ‘‘The What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook.’’

Another potential substitute for the Pledge of Allegiance is the Bible Belt. No, we’re not talking about the area of the Deep South known for its strict adherence to a literal interpretation of God’s word. We’re talking about an actual belt that you can buy. A company called Biblebelts.net has begun selling $20 pewter buckles that look like an open Bible and say ‘‘Bible Belt.’’

Or, if belts aren’t your thing, our friends at Ship-of-fools.com have unearthed several other innovative ways to affirm your faith in public, including Martin Luther bobble head dolls, pet baptism kits, a Bible that emits flames and Jesus Saves air fresheners.

High Divorce Rate Explained: Upon arriving home from work, three out of four married pet owners say hello to their dog or cat before their spouse, according to a survey by American Greetings.

Off-Kilter Travel Advisory: If you are a Canadian otter, the State Department recommends avoiding trips to Scotland. The warning follows newspaper reports about a pair of Canadian otters being put under 24-hour guard at a Scottish sea life sanctuary to protect them from racist local otters who don’t like their ‘‘foreign accents.’’

‘‘Dropping two foreign otters into a territory of wild locals would lead to the local ones beating the living daylights out of the new ones,’’ said one animal expert. Too bad Don Colbert hasn’t yet written ‘‘The Bible Cure for Aquatic Mammal Hate Crimes.’’

Press Releases We Ignored This Week: ‘‘Hazelnut Executive to Head International Tree Nut Council,’’ ‘‘Top 10 Reasons to Vacation Nude This Summer,’’ ‘‘Website Gives Tips on Fun and Flirty Foot Massage,’’ ‘‘Entertainment Video Offers Relaxation and Comfort for Dogs Home Alone,’’ ‘‘Hart Publications Launches ‘Pipeline and Gas Technology’ Magazine.’’

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Mafia Runs Help-Wanted Ads to Solve Mobster Shortage!’’ (Weekly World News)

Arrests and mob hits have taken a toll on membership, says WWN. Things are so grim that the Mafia is even welcoming non-Italians and Scottish otters. But first they must fill out a job application that asks:
-- Salary requirements. The options include ‘‘big bucks’’ and ‘‘make me an offer I can’t refuse.’’
-- Special skills. Options include loan-sharking, money-laundering, leg-breaker and getaway driver.
-- Favorite singer. Options include Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra and Frank Sinatra.

Unpaid Informants: Christianity Today, Wireless Flash News Service, Reuters, David Allen, London Independent, Internetwire.com, PR Newswire.

Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
Off-Kilter is syndicated to newspapers in the U.S. and overseas by
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