Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cowgirls, UFOs, and Jesus

Author Tom Robbins has published eight novels. I had never read him before this summer when Jitterbug Perfume caught my eye at B&N. Since that mystical experience I have devoured seven of the novels in random order and am now reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I find much of what he writes about life to be inspiring, "word of God" if you will (but you probably won't).

Here is an interview with Robbins from 2000 in the Seattle Weekly.

Thanks to Robbins I now know why I love UFO stories so much. On page 49-50 of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues he explains UFO encounters. To paraphrase: say you are alone, out on a beer run, and you spot a "whirling disc" with lights, darting right and left. Suddenly it disappears. No matter what you do or think, Robbins offers:

"And the significant query here is this: would you not, sooner or later, no matter who or what you are, feel a rise in spirit, a kind of wild-card joy as a result of your encounter? And if this elevation, this joyousness, can be attributed in part to your contact with...Mystery...cannot it equally be attributed to your abrupt realization that there are superior forces "out there," forces that for all their potential menace, nevertheless might, should they elect to intervene, represent salvation for a planet that seems stubbornly determined to perish?"
Wild-card joy. Is that how they felt in November at O'Hare Airport? Before reading another word, go to this NPR report UFO is Reported at O'Hare; Feds are Silent.

Back already? I admit, upon hearing that report, I felt a twinge of wild-card joy. Wouldn't it be marvelous to know that we are not alone? That there are beings who made it--at least have made it farther than we? And that maybe, just maybe, they might help us clean up our room?

I wonder if this is the same wild-card joy that the hopeful (and the crazed) believers in the return of Jesus also feel as they pore through the biblical prophesies and compare them with the "signs of the times."

I never thought of this before (that is before I made the spiritual connection between Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and NPR) that if Jesus were to return he would return in a spaceship, right? I mean heaven has gotta be a long, long, way away. So if we want to watch for Jesus, it might be to our benefit to make friends with the UFO faithful.

Here is a disturbing thought: what if Jesus already returned this past November on a cloudy day in Chicago, hovered beneath the clouds for a few minutes, checked us out, and decided that our room is just too damn messy and that we need to clean it up ourselves, then flew back up to Father?

Disappointed? Maybe. Still, an encounter with Mystery, even if Mystery is a bit aloof, is worth something.


  1. Well, paraphrasing an old rock song, when the aliens come and take over, we’ll make great pets.

  2. Hey John ... Excellent commentary. I read ECGTB back in the 70s when it first came out. A big Thumbs Up to You!

  3. Thanks Sea Raven! Good to hear from you!