Thursday, July 17, 2008
FGtNAE: Historical Interpretation
The North American Evangelist is a relatively new phenomenon in the annals of the International Society for Human Interaction Tabulation. Many humathologists, both novice and experienced have discovered, much to their dismay, that these seemingly harmless creatures are capable of causing great harm, both when cornered and after surprising and pouncing upon an unexpecting observer. We at ISHIT have, therefore, endeavored to create a guide to help in dealing with the North American Evangelist. Be aware, however, that even the best guide does not deal with all circumstances and care must be taken when in the presence of any Evangelist. This is more true than ever, since our fact-checker is currently in Maui with his secretary looking in to the possibility of hosting a national conference and that bottle of Johnny Walker Black on the lead editor’s desk has been emptying quicker than usual lately. HISTORY: The records on this topic are understandably nonexistent, but the first sighting of the North American Evangelist in the wild is believed to be at the ill-fated Roanoke colony. The story goes that one of the colonists approached a nearby tribe and engaged in the traditional mating call, which consisted of forcing the women to wear shapeless black clothing and the men to put buckles everywhere. The men in the tribe were totally pissed that all the tribal hotties had become notties overnight and feared that some sort of witch doctor was behind the whole putting buckles on things that weren’t belts fashion disaster. The Roanoke colony was never heard from again. It was believed at that time the North American Evangelist became extinct. In truth, they simply went in to hiding and spent the next century or two attempting to learn from their more successful cousin, the South American Evangelist. The significantly more adaptable South American Evangelist had managed to grow from only a tiny fraction of the population to the dominant creature through the creative use of guns, destruction of property, and a tendency to take as much gold as possible. It’s believed that this gold was then fashioned in to dentures and used to create shiny grills with which the South American Evangelist frightened and cowed any remaining opponents, mostly in accordance with an ancient Aztec prophecy that read, in part, “And the sun will come forth from the mouth of the Shapeshifter and with its power he shall change the world.” These words were written by the prophet Quetzalacatoo. It has now been definitively proven by modern scholarship that poor Quatzi, as his friends and ex-wives called him, was simply confused after he briefly fell through a time warp and spent a frightened evening hiding in the back of the Parker family’s Billings, Montana living room while they watched a Quantum Leap marathon. Some time around the year 1820 the North American Evangelist once again showed in force. They joined in great social gatherings. These herd-groups, called Revivals, are widely believed to have been useful in fending off packs of Unitarian predators. The Revivalists would meet in a big field, often with a tent or platform or (in the case of the richest of the groups) both. They sang songs, ranted about things, and probably had sex. The attempts to cover up this final activity is believed to be the birth of the modern idea that random noises and indistinct noises are what the Bible means when it refers to the concept of “speaking in tongues.” This postulation has not yet been proven. We currently have a half-dozen hookers on retainer as part of our ongoing, rigorous testing of that theory. That’s how committed we at ISHIT are to uncovering the truth. These revivals continued to be quite popular for the next century or so, although probably not as popular as war, sex, or dancing the lindy hop. The North American Evangelist then experienced the first great victory in the war on anybody else when the Temperance movement resulted in the prohibition of the consumption of alcohol. For the first time the laws of the United States of America were changed by the politicization of a random cultural more of a sub-group of the population. When, thanks to the tireless efforts of folk heroes and reformers like Al Capone and the mysterious Beer Baron, the prohibition laws were repealed, it was a serious blow. Still, the North American Evangelists vowed to make their presence felt once again one the world stage as soon as possible. Then the Great Depression happened and that world war thing and the Eisenhower Administration and all those years spent beating hippies over the head with heavy objects and they kind of blended in to the background. Today, in a nation where 92% of the population claims some sort of religious background, the vast majority of that Christian, one would think that the North American Evangelist is a dying breed. Yet one can still see them everywhere. There are many distinct varieties, so we’re going to help you figure out what kind of North American Evangelist you are seeing in your local mall, on the street corner, or the free speech circle at your major university. This guide is an attempt at a comprehensive explanation of the habits and habitats of the various varieties of the North American Evangelist. Within its pages you will find the distinct styles and identifying calls of the various subgroups, as well as advice on how best to deal with one if cornered. Again, though, remember ISHIT’s advice: if at all possible, do not approach. So, without further ado, we present to you The Humathologist’s Guide to Dealing with a North American Evangelist in the wild. On second thought, we would like some more ado. Hooray! Here it is! Yay!