Sell this

2009 July 22

I think I’ve mentioned somewhere on here before that I like billboards. Sure, sometimes they’re just boring ads for insurance salesman, but even then, you can check out the salesman’s picture and decide if he/she has a trustworthy face. Insurance and real estate agents love putting their pictures on their billboards. Few of them look trustworthy except some of the great ones I’ve seen online for austin apartments.

There are all sorts of different billboards, advertising just about any business you can imagine, including religious groups, those groups being overwhelmingly Christian. Someone might think that with my being an atheist, I’d find these Christian ads annoying. Incorrect. They are some of my favorites on the road.

I particularly enjoy the ones warning in giant red letters: “REPENT NOW OR BURN IN HELL.”  I can imagine just what type of church went to the bother of renting the billboard for the posting of such a message. And I wonder … who, while driving down the road innocently going about their business, read that particular billboard, and instantly had a revelation of their imminent passage to hell, immediately sending them racing to the nearest church to become a born-again Christian. Anybody? Someone? Somewhere? Ever happen?

Then there are the churches that take a softer approach, with billboards claiming “Jesus loves you,” and some bible verse mentioned underneath. Yes, it’s kinder and gentler, but who, having been in America longer than 10 minutes, does not know that Jesus loves them? And that bible verse. It’s like some kind of secret Mason handshake, a Christian private nod to one another. I mean, who else is going to bother to know what that verse is? I admit to a certain curiosity, but never enough to actually send me off to look it up.

I like the billboards that list the 10 commandments. They help me remember them, and knowing this sort of thing can come in handy when playing a trivia game or some such. I wish they’d list the seven deadly sins, too, since I can usually only remember three or four of them.

This past Monday, I saw a new billboard, I think in Oklahoma. It went something like this, in giganto letters: “WANTED — TEAM DRIVERS, Jesus and You.” At first, I didn’t get it. I can be slow on the uptake with some of these witty Christian messages. Then, ohhh, I see. They want truckers to team up with Jesus. Good one.

I think it’s only fair to say that this message is preaching to the choir, folks. The vast majority of truckers, no matter the foul language, the pill popping and the boobie ogling, are Christians. Anyway …

I got to thinking about that billboard. They seriously got it all wrong. I would never want to drive team with Jesus.

He’d drive me nuts. Whenever dispatch would be screwing us around, Jesus would never complain, or demand a better load, nor would he let me do it. He’d just ramble on about turning the other cheek, and be all like, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” and somesuch. We’d get every crap load TWMNBN had to offer.

It would be impossible to get Jesus to leave truck stops. He’d be all busy ministering to the prostitutes and healing the panhandlers. I’d complain about how our crummy load needs to deliver in three hours, and we’d better move it, and how are we supposed to make any money if he’s going to spend all day at the truck stop hanging out with lot lizards. Jesus would just quietly explain how time means nothing in heaven, and how it’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven than a camel, blah blah, eye of a needle, blah blah. We’d never get anywhere.

There are only two things I can think of that would be good concerning having Jesus as my co-driver. One is that he can magically multiply food, though this may only apply to fish and bread. If so, then it wouldn’t be of much help to me since with the diabetes, I can’t eat all that much bread, and I don’t like fish. He can also turn water into wine. I might need that one, what with spending so much time hanging around truck stops and being flat broke.

The other benefit to having Jesus as my co-driver would be if I am driving, have skidded out on a slick road and am in danger of having a wreck. It is at this point that I can sing (as closely to Carrie Underwood as possible), “Jesus, take the wheel!” And he’ll pop out of the bunk and do it, miraculously saving us both with his awesome skid control talent. That part would be pretty great.

Still, the benefits don’t outweigh the downsides. The only religious figure I can think of who would be a worse co-driver than Jesus would be Buddha. He’d never let us go anywhere, period, because of all the bugs you slaughter while driving.

If I’ve got to throw Hedon aside and take a Christian deity as my co-driver, I’d much prefer it to be God. God could just say the load had been delivered, without our actually doing anything, and it would be so, because God said it. He could seriously make my job all sorts of easy. Even if we did decide to drive, just to get our jollies or something, it would be way cool to see what vengeance God would wreak when some jerk driver cut him off.

There are downsides, naturally. God is cranky and temperamental, flying off the handle over the least infraction of his seemingly random rules. He can make outrageous demands that everyone else be perfect, while he himself does as he pleases, smiting or disappearing at will. He often makes promises he later decides not to keep.

And sure, he contradicts himself more than a flaky housewife in a 1950s TV series. He’s obsessed with penises (circumsize this, circumsize that). And he will never, never explain himself or why he does what he does, being all smug with the “I move in mysterious ways” crap. Typical man.

But really, when you compare all that with never having to do a moment’s work as long as I live, I think I could put up with the tantrums and naughtiness.

Maybe I should drop a line to the kind folks who put up the “Team drivers wanted” billboard. They’ve got it all wrong.

19 Responses
  1. 2009 July 22
    Chaos permalink

    Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride

    Wasn’t there a movie where someone killed people who had commited one of the sins, and then left a note (or painted it on the wall) saying which sin it was?

    Also, I think that is the best billboard I have heard of yet. I still like the Chick-fil-a billboards with the cows sticking out of them.

    • 2009 July 22
      Stephen permalink

      The movie was Se7en, starring Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, and Morgan Freeman.

    • 2009 July 23

      That was a good movie. I like the Chik-fil-a billboards, too.

  2. 2009 July 22
    limericc permalink

    Too, too funny.
    The ones that just touque me are the “Pro Life” one that talk about how precious life is, all the while some of its followers are plotting how to kill doctors and others.

    • 2009 July 23

      Yeah, I have to agree that those billboards can make my blood boil sometimes, depending on how much they exaggerate their message.

  3. 2009 July 22
    Stephen permalink

    “The vast majority of truckers, no matter the foul language, the pill popping and the boobie ogling, are Christians.” According to the folks that put up these signs, those people are not Christians. I once dated one of those types and she eventually dumped me saying I was going to Hell for not being Christian — because I went to the church across the street from hers. That sort of narrow-mindedness and judgmental attitude, not Islam, is Christianity’s biggest enemy because it drives people (like me) away.

    The only really good Christian billboards I’ve seen are the black-and-white ones signed by “God”, originally funded by an anonymous donor and now as a “public service” by the advertising industry. The message is always simple but thought-provoking, and it doesn’t push church-going (and money-donating, the true goal of most churches that advertise), just moral behavior.

    I do think the team-driving with Jesus ones are clever, your analysis aside. Most billboards are mind-numbingly boring/stupid so you have to appreciate the good ones, even if they’re not perfect.

    • 2009 July 23

      I’ve definitely seen those signed by God billboards. It’s an interesting concept, taking God a few steps down his thrown and making him more conversational and approachable. They probably learned this ploy from the politicians, who have perfected the technique.

      My favorite example of this approach is the presidential election of George W. Bush. Many of the voters who cast their ballots for him said they did so because George was the kind of guy they’d like to sit down and have a beer with. It’s remarkable that the Bush marketing machine managed to obliterate the fact that George W. Bush was a spoiled rich kid who had never done a full day’s work in his life, had never personally earned anything, and would have no more in common with an average American man than King Louis the Fourtheenth would have had with a starving French peasant.

  4. 2009 July 22

    I like the GOD billboards too. – and yes, most truckers do seem to be of the Christian persuasion….I can’t tell you how many trucks I see with Jesus this and Jesus that on them, lights on their grills in the shape of crosses, bible verses painted on the side or back of the tractor, bumper stickers proclaiming their faith….it’s endless, and more than annoying to me. If you want to be a Christian, fine. I just don’t want to have to read about it everywhere I turn my head. And I have to tell you, it’s often the “Christians” in this country that act the most UN-Christian. Don’t even get me started…

    I saw this billboard the other day and did a post about it:

    I have to say I like the billboards I see most of the time also – there are some really creative ones out there. My favorite one had to be (and I don’t remember WHERE I saw it) one that was painted a hot pink color and it said something like, “I’m eight feet tall and forty feet wide and I’m available…”

    I thought it was cute. Anyhoo………

    • 2009 July 23

      Have you seen the truck out here on the road that has plastered the side of his trailer with something like “Jesus is Lord.” It’s massive printing and on all sides and on the tractor. I hope it’s understood that my tongue is firmly in my cheek when I say, some might consider this a bit of overkill.

      Also, it seems like every time I see this guy he’s illegally parked and mucking up the flow of traffic in the truck stop. Sigh.

  5. 2009 July 23

    So THAT’S how everybody can always tell I’m not a trucker; no appreciation for billboards and always saying silly things about Jesus (or, as I like to call him, Yee-Haw-Way or Hey-Dr. Suess! I also like to refer to his father as Good Ol’ Dr. Thunder Hisself.)
    Seriously, I wish the powers that be would find a way to get rid of billboards in Missouri. I think the Ozarks is some of our most beautiful territory, but I-44, Hwy 65 and such are so cluttered with billboards that it’s almost impossible to enjoy.

    • 2009 July 23

      I had thought, maybe one day, if you were a very very good girl, we might consider making you an honorary trucker. Not now, Missy. Not liking billboards is blasphemy, I say! You might as well have said you don’t like the smell of diesel fuel in the morning. Tsk. Tsk.

  6. 2009 July 24

    well, first off, i have to say that i am a christian….i have a personal relationship with God…and that’s just it, personal….what’s right for me may not be what’s right for you, and vice versa…..i don’t mind seeing trucks with scripture or religous comments on them, but yes, i have seen alot of them that i, also, consider overkill….it’s just always seemed to me that if you have to condemn everyone for everything then maybe it’s your own back door that needs sweeping around…..and way too many people wanna suck all the fun out of life in the name of christianity……anyway…i love those God billboards….and the chickfilet ones too….but the best one i think i’ve seen to date is the ones advertising the the new showtime series, nurse jackie….she’s holding a hyperdermic needle..and the ad says…”nurse jackie, coz life is full of little pricks”…….kinda sums that up for me!…..

    • 2009 July 24

      I like that “Nurse Jackie” billboard, too. I got to see the first episode of the series and thought it was great, but since I don’t get Showtime at home, well, bummer.

      By any chance have you been through Amarillo on I40 of late? There’s a new truck stop on the east side of town. It’s the “Jesus is Lord, Not a Swear Word” truck stop. I’m not kidding here. That’s the name of it. And there’s all sorts of other stuff printed on signs and on the fuel island overhang thing. I haven’t been able to catch all the writing, since I’ve been zooming past at 65 mph. One of these days, when I have time, I’m gonna stop and take pictures of the joint.

  7. 2009 July 24

    yeah, we’ve seen that…..i guess someone thinks they’re ministering…..i just think it’s kinda tacky…..but then maybe that’s just me……

  8. 2009 July 25

    I agree that trucking seems to be full of righteous x-ians. Seems it was always thus. I can usually just ignore them, but sometimes they just want to talk. Usually when I’m tired and already cranky. It doesn’t ever go well.

    Love the Chick-Fil-A billboards. Their food, not so much. Some of the billboards from the Freedom From Religion group are a nice counterpoint to the x-ians and their ever present messages.

  9. 2009 July 25

    Have you seen the Jesus Christ Is Lord Travel Center in Amarillo yet? I just passed it again tonight and had to check it out on the internet.

    Here’s their site:

    Now that’s taking spreading the word a bit far! Don’t think I’ll be buying fuel from them anytime soon.

    Unless of course, the Lord tells them to price it a dollar lower than everyone else. LOL

    • 2009 August 5
      Sergio Urrutia permalink

      Sure Salena ,” CONVENIENCE “.Sounds ironic. God tell those people to lower the price of gas and then , maybe I’ll stop by. What if you ran -out of gas and had to stop there and pay the full price .perhaps , you will read a sign and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord repent and be saved . You pay for a full tank of gas but SALVATION IS A FREE GIFT. Those people that commented on Christian billboard think is annoying. Don’t worry when you are six feet under. There will be no billboard in hell to talk about or any other signs to make fun off. You will in agony ,torment for the rest of eternity.Deep down in your heart you believe in God but are not willing to submit to his authority. Try reading this billboard ” GET ME OUT OF HERE ” that is your spirit man telling you to ” set him free “.repent and believe – regardless what comments we make it does not change the fact that JESUS DIED FOR OUR SIN AND ACCEPTING , BELIEVING ON HIM WE WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. please don’t take this personally. “It just another billboard ” but true.

      • 2009 August 5


        I feel certain that Ms Salena is a big girl and fully capable of responding for herself so I’ll leave that to her.

        However, I do have one thing I would like to mention. I know it may seem hard to believe, but some of us really truly don’t believe in god, jesus, heaven, hell or a giant ark with lots of animals. So when y’all rant about how we’re all going to hell if we don’t change our ways… well it doesn’t affect us in the least. Why would it when we don’t believe hell exists?

  10. 2009 August 5

    LOL, Sergio. That sort of stuff you wrote there always cracks me up. “Salvation is a free gift,” but if you don’t take it, you will be “in agony, torment for the rest of eternity.” That’s what I find so amusing about you hardliners — the audacious hypocrisy.

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