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May Steve Be With You

It’s probably no surprise that I’ve been getting emails about the First Church of the Intergalactic Fruitbat Steve, given how much joking, joshing, and general tomfoolery has taken place both online and in public on this spiritual subject. So a little bit of context is due.

Picture it: The Paranormal Bender Tour, Day One. March 10, let the record reflect. After a late start to our travels, Mark, Mario, Caitlin and I found ourselves approaching California. There upon the border, we spied a fruit checkpoint. Yes, a fruit checkpoint. Looks like a toll booth. Makes everybody stop before crossing that blessed state line, and be subjected to an interrogation on the subject of fruit.

I had never heard of such a thing.

At first I thought this was some kind of weird pop quiz, like before you’re allowed to come into California you must demonstrate that you know the difference between an orange and a clementine, with bonus points for correctly identifying a nectarine, or something like that. Since I am from Florida where we also grow a great deal of fruity-type substances, I was pretty confident of my ability to pass such a quiz, and therefore suspected that I’d be an excellent spokesperson in the event of tollbooth citrus Jeopardy.

In fact, the point of this checkpoint is to make sure that we, as ostensibly law-abiding citizens, were not bringing unauthorized fruit into the state of California. I had no idea there was any such thing as “unauthorized” fruit, much less that California would be so vigorously on guard against it.*

But you learn something new every day, I suppose, and when we finally drew up to the booth, Mark rolled down the window. Inside the booth was a woman with a ponytail and a fondness for pink sparkly lipgloss. She had a wad of gum in her mouth. She leaned very slightly towards the Impala**.

    Fruit checkpoint lady: [:: snaps her gum ::] You got any fruit?
    Mark: Um… no?
    Mario: [:: quietly, from the backseat ::] We got a fruitbat.
    Fruit checkpoint lady: Okay. Have a nice day.
    Mark: Thanks!

We cackled to ourselves for the next few miles, imagining what it would be like if we actually had a fruitbat stashed on board. And somehow, out in the craggy hills of northern California, what began as a whispered giggle took on a life of its own. It blossomed. It snowballed.

Caitlin named the imaginary fruitbat “Steve.” Someone came up with a baseline theology: “Thou shalt not be a douchebag.” And lo, Steve did enter our hearts and we were blessed with divine understanding!

Before long, we had a full set of “battitudes” — including (but not limited to) such inspired declarations as, “Blessed are the fabulous, for they shall have doors opened for them everywhere.” “Blessed are the groovy, for they shall get down forever.” “Blessed are the goths, for they come pre-accessorized for this faith.”

Steve’s communion wafers are Doritos, for they are shaped like his mighty wings. And also, for they were what I’d picked up from the last gas station.

Steve accepts no tithes nor donations. Steve ain’t in it for the cash.

Steve urges us to love the douchebag, but hate the douchebaggery.

He requires no house of worship; anyplace where a polite, considerate person is mindful of others … there you will find him.

And we spoke of the things which Steve would endorse, and revile:

Steve greatly loveth all things sweet and squishy, and he sheds his mercy upon those who correctly use their blinkers; likewise, he smiles upon drivers who know how to merge, and who can correctly form a fucking zipper for God’s sake;*** and his heart is warmed by salespeople who leave you alone while you’re trying on clothes. He is gladdened to see bartenders who don’t skimp the sauce. He is pleased by those who share their Doritos.

But Steve abhors a faux-hawk. He is much offended by posers who roll up one pants leg even though they haven’t ridden a bicycle since third grade; and he loathes a man in a neckerchief. Steve does not ever want to hear you shout, “WOOOOO!” in a crowded elevator just because you’re drunk and it’s Vegas and you’re with your girlfriends. High-heeled flip-flops are an abomination — doubly so if you’re three sheets to the wind and counting.

It took on a life of its own.

Before long, we were speculating sadly about how Steve needs to shine his goodness and light down upon that asshole taxi-driver who rode our bumper in San Francisco and honked wildly all the while; we considered how badly Steve’s influence was needed among the bitchy, liquored-up grandmas at the slot machines in the Bellagio; and we marveled at how his kindness could have improved the service at that Starbucks.

So, What Would Steve Do? Well, Steve would probably walk forward on his wee little elbows and nom a bit of fruit. But he wouldn’t be a dick about it, that’s for damn sure.

Now all we need are some chick tracts and an outreach program, and baby, we are golden.

* Though we concluded that “Clandestine Banana” would make an awesome band name.
** Which is to say, the Kia Rondo we named “Impala.”
*** We spent a lot of time driving in southern California, okay?

[Crossposted to/from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so either here or there.]



( 99 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 31st, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
Oh Cherie, I heart you!

Blessed be Steve forever.
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Steve be with you!
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Geez, Priest, isn't there some sort of limit on how cool one person can be? What, are you aiming to be cooler than Bowie someday?

Oh, and all praise to Steve!

Mar. 31st, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
Haha! Thanks, I think :)
And as always, Steve be with you!
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Blessed are the goths, for they come pre-accessorized for this faith.>>

this is my favorite..for in it alone I am saved..
Blessed be Steve..now get thee to the convenience store for some doritios..
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
Steve be with you, my child ...
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:00 am (UTC)
I laughed. I cried. I felt the presence of Steve.
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
He was truly with us.
[:: nod nod ::]
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
This Steve you speak of moves my tired soul. Please to send brochures.
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Alas, we have no brochures. But know that Steve is with you. :)
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Hail, Steve. I think he would make either a fine Saint of Discordia or an excellent compatriot to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Did Steve ascend to Heaven on a column of smoke and flame from Pad 39A in Cape Kennedy, Florida, when his message to the World was received?
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Alas, no. That was only a sad coincidence :(
(no subject) - duane_kc - Mar. 31st, 2009 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cmpriest - Mar. 31st, 2009 01:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - duane_kc - Mar. 31st, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - margoeve - Apr. 9th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Praised be Steve!

I love this idea. Seriously.
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Steve is love.
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)
Now I'm craving Doritos...
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
*iz DED*
Mar. 31st, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
I haven't enjoyed a fruit checkpoint since I was ten years old, traveling through the Southwest with my family. I envy you.
Mar. 31st, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)

Yeh, Steve The Fruit Bat needs a novel.

Maybe a crossover into one of Mario Acevedo's vamp novels too...
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
I'd become a follower, but I don't care for doritos.
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Steve has many forms.
I saw a dude at a Grateful Dead concert who had a pet fruitbat chained to his person. The thing was huge. It looked like a fox with wings. I'm not sure what the bat's name was, but the tree we cut our fingernails under is named Steve. Steve the nail cutting tree.

-- Mr. Reeman

Mar. 31st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
Finally, something better than the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Steve has love for the Pastafarians, and requires no exclusivity in his worship. :)
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Had to be done.

Mar. 31st, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
Re: Had to be done.
Re: Had to be done. - cmpriest - Mar. 31st, 2009 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Had to be done. - katatomic - Mar. 31st, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Blessed be the name of Steve, that he may bring light into the dark places (except caves, they're already plenty cozy) and joy to the hearts of his followers.

The reason California inspects for fruit is we're trying desperately to keep pests like the Mediterranean Fruitfly the hell off of our crops.
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Understood (particularly as a fellow person from an agricultural state); but calling that a "half-assed" inspection would do it too much credit. She barely looked up from her magazine.
(no subject) - sar_kaz_m - Apr. 1st, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 31st, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
I love you. and Steve.
the last time I was at a fruit checkpoint, I was a lowly, fruit-smuggling sinner. I can confess it, now. The checkpoint lady said "do you have any apples?" and I said "...no?" But, but. There were apples in the cooler in the backseat THE WHOLE TIME.


...oh, I feel so much better now.

Thank you, Steve.
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
We might have hypothetically had a banana or two onboard, ourselves. :)
Mar. 31st, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
Glory to His little furry name! Hallelujah! I am SAVED!!!
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Steve be with you!
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
All praise to Steve, for in his wing folds there is much sweetness!
Mar. 31st, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
haha THIS.

All praise be to Steve, in all his glorious fabulousness.

lol @ the kia being called the Impala.
Mar. 31st, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
All praise be to Steve!
Thou shalt not collect and thereafter chuck out the fallen fruit from underneath the pretty pear tree in your front yard! Bloody leave it!

Thou shalt thouroughly inspect your basement for leftover fruit to be given unto Steve every fall!

Thou reeeeeally dostn't need 250 different names for a cuppa coffee. Thou shalt return to being able to order basic black brew. Amen.
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
All praise to Steve; hallow'd (and chuckled) be his name!

Here, have some fruit. And a dorito.
Mar. 31st, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Steve be with you.
[:: nods solemnly ::]
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Made. my. morning. One glorious day we will all nom the fruit of wisdom together. Sans douchebags. Can't wait!
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
I have been touch by his blessed wingspan. All Praise to Steve!
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
Fruit checkpoints
The FL/GA border has one too, I believe.
Mar. 31st, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Fruit checkpoints
No it doesn't. Or at least, it didn't until very, very recently. I've made that drive a thousand times.
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( 99 comments — Leave a comment )