Wednesday, January 19, 2011

First the Mayans and Then Stryper and Now This Guy

The technician knocked and entered my office.

“Luis called about a duct problem? He said it was urgent?” Usually, I tell guys like this my stock answer: “Front door.” But on this day I was feeling magnanimous.

“Hold on,” I said, “let me see if he’s around,” picking up the phone and dialing 326.

Before I got off the phone he had picked up a Stryper record that was on the end of my desk. I felt kind of stupid and was going explain that a volunteer gave it to me but he seemed generally interested in the record, flipping it over and examining every member’s photo.

This wasn’t the first time the Stryper record had garnered attention. However, this was the first time a real fan or Christian or Christian sympathizer picked up the record and generally seemed to appreciate it. It was refreshing. Usually the record, a cliché at best and easy punch line, was an inside joke, full of wink-winks and nod-nods of the liberal intelligentsia. We all felt superior in our mocking.

“Wasn’t Bobby Dahl in the band?” he asked, assuming we were on the same team and that i knew about Bobby Dahl.

“You mean from Poison?” I said, responding in a way that said I was a formidable opponent in rock trivia. “I didn’t think he was in Stryper. Was he?”

I paused, pondering the question. Had Bobby Dahl played in Stryper at some point? Why would you go from Poison to Stryper? It was some heavy thinking for early in the morning.

The Stryper record was called Isaiah 53:5. On the cover was a very dated Ghostbusters-like ambulance, painted in yellow and black horizontal stripes. The members posed in front of the vehicle holding various assault weapons, hand guns and rifles. They were dressed in yellow and black stripes, too. I assume they were soldiers of God and the ambulance was for taking injured soldiers to the hospital. Smart thinking. Be prepared.

The technician continued looking at the record, shaking his head and taking a walk down memory lane. Maybe he was a soldier of God? Without taking his eyes off the album, he said, “Isaiah, that’s some heavy shit. “ More head shaking. “It’s like Daniel, the Old Testament. I’ll have to look it up when I get home, but I think Isaiah is about Jesus coming back and being pissed, I think.” This appeared to resonate with him.

I was totally out of my league and didn’t want to appear ignorant so I said, “Yeah.” That’s it.

Luis showed up and took the technician. As he was leaving he said, “It’s coming soon.”

I assume he meant Armageddon. And he wasn’t joking.

(Image: Stryper fan art. Lead singer praying)

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