Just Because

On January 20th, around lunch time, I was stopped at a traffic light with my window down. A Toyota Prius, one of those non-descript gray/green/taupe ones, pulled up beside me. The lady in the passenger seat rolled down her window and we had the following conversation:

lady: "Are you listening to the inauguration?"
me: "Yes."
lady: "Can you tell me what radio station you're listening to?"
me: "I'm listening on WBAP 820 AM."
lady: "Ugh. Isn't that Limbaugh!"
me: "Yes it is. Doesn't NPR come pre-programmed on the Prius?"

She rolled her window up and they hummed away in a huff.

Just because I drive a compact car doesn't mean I voted for Obama.

One day I was at the dog park letting the poodle run and had the following conversation with a lady who was wearing Birkenstocks. She had three rescue dogs named Eco, Gaia and Che.

lady: "I've never seen a black and white poodle. Is he a mix?"
me: "No, he's a pure-bred ... registered standard poodle."
lady: "Oh. So he's not a rescue or from a shelter? He's registered?"
me: "Yes. I got him from a breeder in Oklahoma."
lady: "Well, at least you didn't get him from a pet store."
me: "Pet store puppies need love, too."
lady: "Well, we don't need to encourage the puppy mills. Using animals for profit just seems wrong, don't you think?"
me: "Without profit there would be no veterinary science industry or 'holistic' dog food or animal shelters."
lady: "Animal shelters are NOT for PROFIT!"
me: "Without profit somewhere, where would the money come from to support 'non-profit' animal shelters?"
lady: "They are run on donations with volunteer efforts."
me: "Somewhere along the line, someone had to make enough profit to afford a donation."
lady: "You know, typically shelter dogs are more balanced than ones that come from breeders. Pure bred dogs have a lot of behavior and health issues."
me: "You think so? Did you notice that Che has chewed all the hair off his ass and that Gaia [Ed. note: a female beagle looking mix] is trying to hump that basset hound?"

Just because I paid a breeder for my dog doesn't make me a bad person.

On another dog park excursion the poodle started playing with an
overweight Bichon Frise. The owner of the Bichon, a thin man, 40ish, in a shiny yellow soccer warmup, asked me about the poodle.

man: "I've never seen a black and white standard before. Is she purebred?"
me: "He's a boy, and yes, he's a full blood standard. They call them 'parti-colored'."
man: "Oh. I didn't look at his 'business', I just saw the purple collar and assumed it was girl. Sorry about that."
me: "No problem. My wife picked out the collar because it matches the car."
man: "Your wife?"

Just because I have a standard poodle doesn't mean I'm gay.

One Friday afternoon, at the office, a couple of co-workers and I had
the following conversation.

co-worker1: "So, big plans for the weekend?"
me: "Not really. We've got a couple of church things going on ... nothing too exciting."
co-worker2: "Church? What church do you go to?"
me: "A Presbyterian church in North Dallas. Bentwood Trail."
co-worker1: "Heh heh heh. Yeah. I'm going to worship, too. We're having spaghetti tonight."
co-worker2: "Heh heh heh. Yeah. Me too. Spaghetti. Meatballs. We're gonna be touched by his noodly appendage."
me: "That's nice. Hey, you guys should be Pastafarian missionaries. Take the message to the Muslims in Saudi Arabia or something. Christians are too easy, everybody ridicules them, you should be bold and take a stand for your beliefs ... teach the Muslims the error of their ways."
co-worker1: "No way, dude. Christians have preachers that get caught with their pants down, Muslims have suicide bombers."
me: "Good point. You better stick with ridiculing the tolerant."

Just because I'm a Christian, doesn't mean I support creation science.

The conversation continued.

co-worker1: "No. Really. Seriously. Is your car going to be 'unmanned' when 'The Rapture' comes."
me: "No. I'm not too concerned about eschatology."
co-worker2: "Eska-what?"
me: "End times theology/philosophy. The end of the world."
co-worker1: "The end of the world? The bible talks about global warming?"
co-worker2: "Sure! You never heard of hellfire and brimstone?"
co-worker1: "What about gay people?"
me: "What?"
co-worker1: "Gay people. Do they go to hell?"
co-worker2: "I bet gay people aren't Christian."
me: "I bet they aren't Muslim."
co-worker1: "Do they? Go to hell?"
me: "I don't think so, no."
co-worker1: "Don't all Christians think all homosexuals go to hell?"
me: "Do all homosexuals think all Christians are homophobes?"
co-worker2: "Yeah, I think they do."

Just because I'm a Christian doesn't mean I believe in 'The Rapture', snake handling, bombing abortion clinics or persecuting homosexuals.

A friend of mine was having a problem with his PC.

friend: "Hey, you do computer stuff all day, can you help with me a problem."
me: "No."
friend: "I'm trying to get my Sony camera to work with my Dell PC."
me: [ silence, with a practiced look of extreme disinterest ]
friend: "I think the driver won't load because it's not a Sony computer."
me: "I doubt that's the problem."
friend: "Do you want to come over and look at it?"
me: "No."
friend: "Oh, okay, well, I can send you an email with the error message."
me: "No. Don't."
friend: "Oh, you know what the problem is?"
me: "No, I don't. I don't do Windows."
friend: "Well, you do computer stuff all day. This would be easy for you."
me: "I don't do Windows. I don't fix problems with Windows. That's not what I do."
friend: "Why not?"
me: "Because it sucks and every time I have to use it, it steals a little peace from my soul."
friend: "Oh ... I don't know what to do if you can't help."
me: "Maybe you can find a Dell camera on eBay."
friend: "Good idea!"

Just because I 'work on computers' doesn't mean I work on Windows.

Just because I'm a conservative, middle-aged, Christian white guy don't assume I fit your stereotype. On second thought, go ahead and stereotype me ... I'm not too concerned about your opinion or being politically correct ... I'm going to do what I think is right regardless.


  1. rush is not the only person on wbap,
    I am glad you didn't vote for Obama, not that it mattered,
    alot of anti puppy farm people believe in breeders too,
    a guy walking a poodle is going to make anyone wonder, at least it's not a toy poodle,
    do you not believe in the creation? or just some of the more extreme anti-evolution views?
    I agree about eschatology, we won't know the details til the end.
    AMEN to the Windows view... Need one of those shirts from Thinkgeek.com, "No I won't fix your computer"

  2. make sure you're right, then go ahead
    - Theodore Roosevelt - America's most effective tree hugger

  3. Too funny!

    I am a dog breeder that encounters these ridicules everyday from "bleeding hearts." We responsible dog breeders just want to find good homes for our puppies, and don't send them to shelters.

    Hey! Since I didn't vote for Obama, do you think he might want a collie puppy? I'll give him one! Oh, never mind. I bet his girls weren't allowed to watch "Lassie" it's not ethnically diverse.

  4. It is funny how easily guys like us get stereotyped. I quit fighting it and decided I'd be one of those guys Obama said was "bitterly clinging to their guns and religion." By the way, if you haven't seen "Expelled: No intelligence allowed" it is well-done. It doesn't argue for one view over the other, but says that we should allow and encourage reasonable debate on the creation / evolution issue. It was done very thoughtfully and is available to play over the Internet from Netflix. Meanwhile, just keep being you -- and I like the look of the dog!

  5. I suppose I should clarify my position on creation vs. evolution. I fall into the camp of "evolution was God's methodology." I think that Genesis contains the truth, just not the literal truth. I think the Bible is about truth, not science. I think people make a big mistake when they speak for God, when they try to limit God as the 'Master Scientist' and when they to force science into the role of God.

    I'm also willing to admit I could be wrong about all of that ... it works for me, but I'm willing to listen to other ideas! ;)

  6. Wonderful essay on all the things that bug so very many of us.

    You just said it so much better.

    I'm glad I have enough room that Barkley doesn't have to go to the dog park. Small favors.