I‘m not sure why I haven’t shared this little tid bit of information with all of you, because this is a pretty big piece of history that really does shed some light on the inner workings of my mind. I’m not exactly sure how it came back to me all of a sudden. All I know for sure is that somehow I got onto the subject of nicknames with someone, and after comparing some choice nicknames reviewers have given a lot of my fellow Fringe performers and I over the years, this story came screeching out of left field.
Between the first and second year of my massage career, we had our summer break. I was working as much as I could at the bars I was tending, trying to save enough to pay off my loans for second year. On my down time from working long hours into the night, I would usually unwind by watching a bit of TV before crashing for the night. As it happened, there was a rerun of the show “Friends” on when I got home one evening.
I don’t remember many of the details but the major plotline was that one of the characters was getting ordained as a minister online so he would be able to perform the service for two of the other “friends”. As soon as it left the actors lips, I had to give my head a shake. No, that can’t be. That’s not possible! To become a, (what a priest?) that took years of study and celibacy didn’t it? This had to be TV make believe. But the idea wouldn’t leave my mind. And when you are really bored and you can’t find any decent porn on the internet, you begin to investigate these little notions.
So there I was on a summer afternoon, trolling online to find out if it was indeed possible to be ordained as some sort of leader in a religious faith online. It took one search. One.
There it was: Online Ministries of the Christian Faith.
Now to be fair, I did not consciously search out one faith. I simply typed in online minister or something and this site was the first one I got. After that I was too busy pissing myself laughing over the ridiculous idea that this was in fact possible. So there very well may be online Catholic/Jewish/Buddhist/Scientology/Mormon/Mayan faiths that do this as well. But no matter what the religion it was that I was reading about, what happened next was bound to happen any which way you slice it.
I have never subscribed to any one faith. This coming from a kid who spent a number of years in a Catholic school. Mind you that was only because they had a kick ass drama program, but that’s beside the point. And because of the fact I have no definable faith, I really can’t have a beef with any one religion or another, because in my opinion, they are all kind of silly. Not the people who are of whatever faith, just the institutions themselves. Some of you who have read my previous story on the Mayan Civilization know why I have distaste for religious faiths. And with that in mind, the idea that follows was kind of hard to escape.
I thought, “So…can ANYONE do this? I mean how do they know that I am a member of their faith? Do they do background checks? I could be a total nut job who got a crazy idea after watching an episode of “Friends” and is now going to totally fuck with the institute of Christianity just for shits and giggles for all they know.”
Only one way to find out.
Question number one: Do you believe in a higher power?
Wow. That is such an open ended question. Nowhere did it say, “Do you believe in OUR higher power,” just “A” higher power. And truth be told, I do believe in a higher power. If you break it down scientifically, the one thing that defines living from dead, that one little spark that no one can identify that makes us “turn on” for the first time and then evolves into a personality until death do you part? Whatever it was that made that little spark come on for the first time, be it happy accident or evolution, THAT is my definition of a higher power. What people call the human soul, whatever created that, is the higher power. Not some imaginary God that is wrathful or loving depending on what you do or do not eat in life.
So in short…yes I do!
Next Question: If you were to be ordained as a minister, what title would you prefer?
And then they listed a whack load of titles.
Holy shit! I could be called the Pope!?!?
So I thought, “Reverend sounds kinda bitchin’,” so that ones the winner.
Next Question: Would you care to make a donation to the Christian Faith?
If I did make a donation, THEN I could have chose “Pope” as a title. It’s like the equivalent of upgrading to the “Pro” mode for any computer program. So after the last question I had to fill out my personal information, phone number, mailing address and such. And after I hit the “send” button, I felt certain that someone on the other end of the Christian hotline was getting this request and some red flags would be going up. So I waited for the inevitable phone call to personally tell me that my application had been rejected and that I was going to burn in a lake of fire with all the other sinners.
But no phone call came. And two weeks later, a package arrived for me at my parent’s house. I opened it up and pulled out a brown piece of parchment. In big huge script letters it said, “Jason Brasher…blah blah blah…hereby ordained as Reverend…”
“OH JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!”
Yes, that was my first decree upon being accepted into the Christian faith. After going over the documents, trying to find something that would make it clear that I had to send in some proof of person or some money that I owed one organization or another, I found nothing. There were some papers that gave me instructions on how to get started building my place of worship and how to go about gathering followers. Other than that I found one document that stated all of the powers I now possessed.
Two images hit me after reading the words “powers” and “possessed”. Like the battle between good and evil, I had powers, (not unlike Superman) and yet I was possessed, (not unlike the Exorcist). My powers were limited when compared to superheroes though. My powers included the legal right to marry, bury or baptize anyone across Canada and within 48 states in the U.S. But the hell I could raise with this knowledge would be on par with the devil!
My first thought was to pack up the car and drive down to each and every one of those states and cities that ban same sex marriage and just start lining people up for my “mobile marriage”. My God has no rules and regulations about who you can and cannot love! But something more sinister emerged after that brilliant idea.
As I said, I was bartending at the time, and I was paying my way through college. Now I am also skilled enough, (apparently) to have yet another source of income. I stood up and paced around the house for a good long while, and then it came to me. I am going to move to Las Vegas!!!
I was going to open a bar and call it, “Worst Hangover Guaranteed”. The customers would come in and sit at the bar, where I would wow them with my juggling bartender skills and my mad mixed concoctions. After a few rounds they would get a proper buzz going, where upon I suggest heading to the back of the bar where I would have a spa set up. There they would get a nice relaxing massage, which would increase the amount of endorphins in their bloodstream, (which would get them high as kites). Feeling good and relaxed, and slightly pissed, it then becomes a no-brainer that the person they met at the bar that very night is the love of their life. Well wouldn’t you know it, there is a chapel in this very locale!
The next morning they would wake up with a screaming hangover, a total stranger in their bed, a ring on their finger, but their sciatica would be gone! And I…would make a triple income!
Come September, I went back to school and met the gang from the year before. I listened to everyone tell stories about their adventures over the summer, places they went, things they saw, the tan lines and sunburns from a summer well spent. And then one of the guys turned to me and asked, “So what did you do Jay?”
“I found God and became a minister.”
Naturally, this got the attention of everyone in ear shot. And after telling them the story I’ve just told you, it goes without saying that “The Rev.” would become my nickname for the rest of the year.