Motel Room

I sat wide awake on the bed in the empty motel room in Prescott, Ontario. My phone was dead. There were four hours before I would be able to go to sleep, and there was nothing for miles. I tried thinking, but my mind refused. So for the first time in years, I turned on the TV and flicked through the channels.

A host of observations came to mind, all of which I could have written something about, but the only ones that stuck with me were the Christian stations. I can’t believe those Christian stations exist. The soft-focus filter. The bad haircuts. The fake smiles. The terrible music. It’s unparalleled! I hated them as a little Christian, I hated them as a teenage Christian, I hated them as an adult Christian and I hate them now. But I hate them like I hate an itch that I can’t stop scratching–there’s something about the fact that they exist, and I can’t help but sink my eyes and ears into them when I see them. Scratching at them with my mind…

Nonetheless, I take comfort in knowing that even if the last 6 channels on the list are Christian channels in 50 years, they won’t look anything like this, because all the people who will have to run them are young right now–and nobody in this generation is going to keep doing things like this.

At one point, a nun’s wrinkled visage filled the screen. She was saying a benediction, and I nearly fell asleep at 8:00 PM just watching her. She sat amongst a bunch of equally dry-looking nuns, and the program paused for a moment before flashing up an ad for a specialty tea with her face on it. From the from the “Eternal Word [Television Network] Religious Catalogue.” I was nonplussed–this was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen that wasn’t supposed to be funny. I couldn’t believe that there were people sitting in front of their TV’s watching this, and calling a 1-800 number to buy nun-branded tea.

“As a nun and more than 88 years old, Mother Angelica still enjoys her hot cup of tea.”

I decided that I would order some of this tea for Christmas, for a couple special people I know…

But it’s been a couple days now, and I’ve changed my mind.


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