I’m more of a nerd than I let on. But it’s 2018 and a surprising number of my friends are playing Dungeons and Dragons and they’re plenty happy to share about it on social media. So, I am emboldened and confess that I love reading epic fantasy. I adore it. I’m excited about world-building and dragons and unicorns and swords and magic. Twenty years ago, some of you might exclaim, “Nerd alert!” at this confession, but we’re in a day and age that celebrates imagination more freely than before. In other words, pop-culture has embraced it.
I generally read this stuff before bed. Then I turn the light off, lay back and I talk to God until I crash. Here’s a word-for-word transcript of one of our recent conversations:
Me: Maybe the answer is hidden in the question, but why didn’t you make mythical creatures?
God: Such as?
Me: The unicorn. Cyclopse. And Hippogryph!
God: Sometimes, I wonder if giving your kind an imagination was a mistake.
Me: Why is that?
God: Well, it goes all kinds of ways. You make mountains out of molehills, you think up all kinds of evils, and you dream things up and wonder why I didn’t create them.
Me: Can’t argue with that.
God: But, we have an imagination and we made you in our image so…
Me: You get to deal with ridiculous prayers and questions. You don’t mind it though, do you?
God: Of course not. But here’s the deal- I made the narwhal, isn’t that enough of a unicorn for you? It’s a whale with a horn! Some of them have two!
Me: They really are kind of magical.
God: Platypus. A beaver with a duck’s bill and the males have poisonous stingers on their hind legs. Their females lay eggs.
Me: Nobody takes them seriously.
Me: Maybe if they weren’t just in Australia? Everything there is poisonous.
God: You’re missing the point. Let’s say that I did make any of the things that you’re worried about: Bigfoot, unicorns, the Locke Ness Monster, dragons, whatever. You’d only appreciate them to a certain point. You hardly appreciate the monstrosities that I’ve already given you.
Me: Didn’t you call everything good when you made it?
God: Naked Mole Rats. Armadillos. Centipedes. Mosquitos- literal flying vampires.
God: Sea anemones. Pangolins. Giraffes. Soft-shelled turtles. I made plenty of weird stuff. Your problem is that you’re familiar with them.
Me: To be honest, I haven’t seen all of those in person. There were weird turtles in Thailand though.
Me: Well, I guess I can’t ask you questions like that anymore, can I?
God: Ask whatever you want. You just might not like the answers. You generally seem not to.
Me: Pretending to sleep.
God: Be glad that I only made creatures like mosquitos and leeches. The bloodsuckers your imaginations came up with are so much scarier. Why do you people always go straight to sex and violence? Often too close together!
Me: Fake snoring.