15 November 2003
For those of you who don't know, Mardel's is like a Jesus Depot SuperCenter. The Holy Hobby Lobby. Bulk-Baptist Warehouse. Aisle after fluorescently-glowing aisle of Bibles for every demographic, communion wafers in bulk, Left Behind series, Sunday School craft kits, Veggie Tales paraphernalia... Stopping by the tiny little Episcopalian bookstore in Trinity, or maybe that Catholic bookstore on 31st, sure, I can at least do that without breaking a sweat. But the very thought of going into Mardel's... my skin starts to crawl, I wonder if maybe I'll catch fire, or turn the pages of the Greek Translinear Bibles to ash with my touch, or vice versa. I'm an erstwhile-Episcopalian semi-Deist pseudo-Agnost, on the rare occasions I care to think about religion at all, but me and the Charismatics, we're like water and oil, baby, Holy water and crude oil churned from the very bowels of Hell itself. Perhaps I should go incognito? Like jeans and a t-shirt, mess my hair up a little bit?
I've never felt too out of place at Mardel they were the last place in town who stocked label tape for my ancient Dymo, which was reason enough to go there but I look like basically the same shambling small-h hulk all the time, so it's not like I can do much of anything to disguise myself when approaching those sanitary surroundings. Besides, not having to cater to more secular souls makes their Christmas-card selection vastly more interesting than what you'll find at Wal-Mart, a place that gives me far more heebie-jeebies than Mardel ever did.