A Democratic Theory Of God
God should be an elected position. The electorate should be presented with various images of God: purely loving; harsh and vengeful; indifferent, etc. Then every person on earth should vote. Whoever wins will be God for the next four years.

A same-sex marriage is one where the partners have the same sex, year after year: dull and routine.

Same-sex marriage is extremely common in the United States.

Anomalous Dishes
When staying with friends, I make it a point to help put away dishes from the dishwasher or drying rack. Most of the items are easy to reshelve, but I always find an anomaly — a very small spoon, an oblong platter — and I must ask my host where it goes. I feel great affection for the single ceremonial fork, the lonely egg cup.

Five Blind Men And A Camel
Five blind men met a camel. Each one touched a different part of the animal. Afterward all of them recognized it as a camel.

“How did you know?” someone asked.

“It smelled like a camel,” said the five blind men.

A Dog In Brooklyn
While visiting Brooklyn, I heard a dog barking in a courtyard. One dog can annoy a thousand people, but one person can’t annoy a thousand dogs.

Redeeming A Desk
“I bought a writing desk from a failed novelist,” Ted told me. “Now I write at it every day, trying to redeem the desk.”

Christian Humor
I see a woman in her forties carrying a cloth bag labeled “FROG” — with a cartoon image of a frog on it. Below it, in smaller print, is written: “Fully Reliant On God.” So there is Christian humor!

Alternate Breathing
Try this with your husband or wife: On a warm summer night, sit together in the living room and breathe alternately. While you breathe in, your spouse breathes out, and vice versa.

Alternate breathing is better for a relationship than couples therapy.

The Dangers Of Postal Warming
Post offices are definitely getting hotter. Each time I walk into the one in my town, I unzip my coat. I never had to do this two years ago.

Types Of Atheism
Technically one must be an atheist of a particular religion. Jewish atheists, for example, reject the Old Testament God. Christian atheists deny the divinity of Christ. And atheist Hindus disbelieve in thousands of gods.

“Did you clean the sink?” I ask my wife.

She says a word in response that is difficult to describe: a combination of yes and no that sounds something like yo. I ask her again, and she replies with the same word.

Somehow my wife has invented a word halfway between yes and no.

Imaginary Friends
As a child I had imaginary friends. So did my daughter. Is it possible that my daughter’s imaginary friends were the children of mine?

Dogs don’t think they’re dogs. They think they’re cowboys.

“There’s nothing wrong with planned obsolescence!” my electrician Rob told me. “Leaves on trees are planned obsolescence.”

Poor And Rich
It’s easy to become poor: just give away all your money, or burn it. But becoming rich is not so simple.

Manifest Destiny
In the nineteenth century the United States had a Manifest Destiny — to expand across the continent. Today we have an Unfathomable Destiny.

Single God
God never got married. He chose the career path.

The Demise Of Cool
The word cool has come to mean the opposite of its original, true meaning.

The slang definition of cool was once connected to its literal definition: cold, aloof, uninvolved. When Miles Davis played Carnegie Hall, his back was to the audience. When they applauded wildly, he walked off the stage. Miles Davis was cool.

In Bob Dylan’s “Love Minus Zero/No Limit,” the nameless heroine “knows there’s no success like failure / and that failure’s no success at all.” She was cool.

Today any achievement is greeted with the word cool.

“Your track team won the semifinals? Cool!”

“You got a Lexus? Cool!”

“You’re going to Club Med? That’s so cool!”

When Alexander the Great reached the River Ganges, he met a yogi. “I have conquered the world,” explained Alexander. “What can I do for you?”

“You can step out of my way,” replied the ascetic. “You’re blocking my view of the sun.”

That yogi was cool.

Today Alexander the Great would be told, “You conquered India? Cool!”

Chocolate Water
I walked out of my house; next to my driveway was a puddle. The water was three inches deep and muddy, the color of milk chocolate. I wanted to splash in the puddle but decided I was too old.

I went back inside the house and filled the bathtub with hot water. Reclining in my warm, comforting bath, I thought, I’d rather be sitting in that puddle.

Taoist Monopoly
Today my daughter and I played Taoist Monopoly. We agreed to play for only twenty minutes; thus no one could win. We bought only properties we liked, not ones that were valuable. I noticed that I desired Baltic Avenue and Mediterranean Avenue, with their lovely deep-purple color and simple rents: $2 and $4. I refused to buy Boardwalk.

At the end of our game we were both in jail.