The Jesus discount

By Mir
June 14, 2006

In case you haven’t heard, it’s never actually going to stop raining. Ever. Thanks, global warming! Thanks, every bitch I knew in middle school who used an entire can of AquaNet every morning to prop up a wall of bangs! Now I have PermaSwamp in my basement and it is ALL YOUR FAULT.


And I know, I KNOW, you are all looking around and exchanging glances and backing away just a tad and muttering under your breath, “Um, are we still talking about THIS?” To which I respond with a hearty WHY YES WE ARE. We will not stop talking about the basement until the basement stops being full of water. And since the basement is always going to be full of water, forever and ever, swamp without end, amen, we will KEEP talking about it. And you will LIKE IT.

So in pursuit of this pipedream of mine, the one I like to call “having a dry basement,” I finally got a contractor over here today to have a look. I got his name from my friend who also happens to be my pastor. Apparently this contractor does all of the work on the parsonage. And he operates his business under a very Christian-sounding name, and generally seems to give preference to clients who are believers.

(Because, you know, if you’re going to burn in hell, apparently your building projects can wait.)

This recommendation was timely, because I’ve been dealing with this saga for… what, maybe a month, now. I’m pretty much at the point where a one-legged marmot could show up on my doorstep and offer to install a sump pump for $20,000 and I would be all “EXCELLENT! Do you take Discover?” I was relieved to have someone on the way who came recommended and probably wouldn’t try to rip me off.

So this morning, he came over. I was expecting someone older, I think. And less… normal. I mean, yes, sure, he was a bit overly enthusiastic. About everything. But he was very sweet. He was extremely sympathetic about my plight, and explained exactly how he planned to proceed, and gave me some guidance on what to look for in a pump, and how to maybe better deal with the water in the meantime.

(Why, I ALMOST didn’t get upset when he—like everyone before him—declared, “You really need to get the water out of here.” And you KNOW how I love it when people say that to me.)

We chatted a bit, and talked about how I’m in the choir at my church, and he’s in the praise band at his, and neither group is particularly good but that’s okay. He asked how old the kids are (probably the first contractor to ask that). I told him about spending Memorial Day weekend dragging moldy boxes out of the basement. We were pals in no time.

Eventually all of this good will and friendliness was giving me a headache, so I asked him to please spell out for me how much this was going to cost.

He told me how much for the parts, then said that it would probably take a day to do. Him and another guy. And the regular rate for that would be 3X, but to help me out he’d be willing to do it for 2X. (For the record? Even 3X wasn’t too bad.) I tried to lick him all over, after he told me this, but as soon as I moved in a bit his wedding band emanated a holy glow and repelled me.

Now it’s just a matter of him finishing up some other job he’s working on (which has been delayed and delayed and delayed because, oh yeah, IT WON’T STOP RAINING) and me maybe getting the water out of the basement (sheesh, you know what I ought to be doing? I ought to be getting the water out of there, or something). Then he and his other Christian contractor associate will come over and pray for my drain and cut a hole in the floor for the new pump. And then the angels will sing and I will still be going to hell, but my basement will be dry.

We shook hands and he drove away.

When I told a friend about this encounter, after it happened, I reported the discount in hushed tones of awe. Dude, I flashed the Believers’ Gang Sign, or something. (“Word to your Savior, yo!”) Singing in the choir is finally paying off!

If only I could extend this into other areas where I’d enjoy a discount. Say, the next time I’m browsing shoes.

Salesgirl: Can I help you find something?
Me: Oh, I think I like these Ferragamos.
Salesgirl: Yes, they look lovely.
Me: Thanks. You know… I… *glancing around, leaning in close* tithe.
Salesgirl: Ooooh! I see!
Me: Yes.
Salesgirl: Let’s just mark these down to… shall we say $20?
Me: You’re very kind.

I am SO going to hell.


  1. Karen Rani

    See you there!

    (especially after what I posted tonight…rofl!)

  2. buffi

    If you find a shoe store with a discount for tithers, you WILL let us in on it, right??

  3. boomama

    I have never commented before, but I feel the need to assure you of your salvation, because no one – NO ONE – who writes, “his wedding band emanated a holy glow and repelled me,” will ever go to hell. Because that line I just quoted? It made Jesus love you more than ever.

  4. DebR

    At least if you go to hell, you’ll go there with pretty shoes and a dry basement. :-)

  5. Marvo

    Well, you should think of it this way. In hell, you won’t have to worry about water in your basement, since there’s no water. However, you will probably have to worry about fire in your basement, and there probably isn’t a pump to get rid of the fire in your basement.

  6. BethK

    I am so relieved to find that I am not the only blogger who is sharing the whole flooded basement experience with their readers.

    I’m also doing the Boston 3-Day and I just keep telling myself that by the time the event rolls around, there will be no rain left to fall…

  7. carolyn

    You make me laugh!! Also, I am so glad you found someone you can trust. That is very hard to do.

  8. laura

    new reader here (found you somehow through Want Not, which I love just as much). You are hilarious! This post made my day. I am always trying to surreptitiously flash the Believers gang sign. :D

  9. diane

    Am I the only one thinking “Get the nice contractor to fix you up with one of his friends!!”??

  10. parodie

    Did you know that the ubiquitous “fish” symbol used to be exactly that? The Christians (way back when they were a secret underground group) would draw part of the fish symbol on the ground, with their foot (in the dirt) and if the other person completed the fish then they knew they were in the company of a Christian.

    Crazy, eh?

  11. patricia

    I love this. Little did I know when I was singing “This little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” that I could be practicing for the awesome network of contracting discounts.
    Shockingly, I have had a similar experience with a handy man that we use every so often. The first time he came over (we were new to the area), we got to talking and I asked him about some local churches. Next thing I knew, he was all — oh, it’s ok just pay me for the parts and like half the labor I normally charge. But I got the best line ever — “I don’t charge full price to family.”
    Sorry, he’s married too — or I would have boxed him and sent him right across to you right then and there.

  12. Lisa

    Are you dancing while you’re singing in that choir? Perhaps you are mistakenly doing a rain dance during “By The Old Southern Cross”.

  13. Woman with kids

    You’re fine, you know why? Because Jesus loves those who help themselves. And pointing out to the salesgirl that you tithe would be absolutely in line with that. Nicely done!

  14. Peek

    You know, you really should get that water out of your basement. *ducking under desk*

  15. Ei

    Hey, does Jesus give partial discounts to UU’s for being in the spirit of things if not in the club?

    Mama was right, my liberal snottiness IS gonna cost me.

  16. chris

    I hear hell will be nice and dry. And warm.

    “Jesus wants you to give me those shoes. He told me so.” Try it.

  17. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    You’d really go to hell if you were buying Come F**k me Pumps, while batting your holy eyelashes. That’d be bad. (And I sympathize with the basement problems because after a heavy rain last weekend, we’re getting water backing up into the house, too, and are awaiting the plumber. Unfortunately my husband is home, so I can’t trade Christian sexual favors in return for a discount.)

  18. Brenda

    Remember “Blade Runner?” That’s our future. Yuck.

    Your rain seems to have started about the time the flooding here in NoCal ended. “Tag, you’re it.” Oops, sorry, serious bad karma from that remark.

    Dear Ei, I am “Sister Burning Fist of Bright Redemption” as a member of the UU Jihad. Join with the rest of liberal snootinesses.

  19. Jenn2

    Okay, Peek totally stole my smart ass comment, so I’ll just say, yay! Be careful where you flash that believer sign though. They crucified me at Nordstom Rack…get it? Crucified?

    Oh my…I guess I’ll be saving you a spot in hell, huh?

  20. Zee

    “Word to your Savior, yo!”

    HAHAHAHHAHAHA! OMG, I haven’t laughed this hard in ages. Too. Funny. Mir, bless you!! I’m having such a rotten week and this totally made me smile.

    Glad you’re finally getting things taken care of w/ the basement – what a total pain! Will keep my fingers crossed that it stops raining soon…

  21. Amy-Go

    Oh, honey, hell would be lucky to have you! You’d lighten the joint up a bit. Oh, and I’m with Diane. Next time he shows up, put on your holiest glow and ask if he has any single friends. Sure beats Whitey, I’ll bet. Just sayin’. ;)

  22. Zuska

    Oh, man – two UU comments already!! That’s what I get for posting late. I got nuthin’.

  23. Leanne

    LICK? You wanted to LICK HIM? You are certifiable. No wonder I pink puffy heart you.

    I just had a missionary from the church give me an insanely fair deal on a project at my house. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to hell for letting him do that, so if I’m not going – you’re not going. ;)

  24. Mom101

    Maybe he can turn all that basement water into wine?

  25. Chewie

    Mom 101 STOLE MY COMMENT….dang it. She’s going to hell for that.

    “flashed the believer’s gang Sign with ‘Word to your Savior, yo'”

    You should be a writer or somethin’…*grin*


  26. Susan

    Do you know how pissed I will be if I get to hell and you have weaseled your way into heaven? I will wear the pretty shoes and drink the flaming drinks without you, of course, but I’ll be pissed.

    Still without e-mail! Gah. Maybe THIS is hell.

  27. Lena

    Well, Jesus did say ‘ask and ye shall receive’. And lord knows you’ve been ASKING.

    When I talk about your blog to other people now I just go “You know. The one with the BASEMENT” and then they go “Ah! Yes.”. A theme is handy. ;)

    I linked Want Not on my site. I lurved it that much. So there.

  28. Theresa

    I cannot believe you are still flooded…I’m so sorry Mir. :(

  29. InterstellarLass

    “Word to The Savior, yo!” HA HA HA! One of the funniest things I’ve read in some time. What is your obsession with licking things though? Do you not get enough salt in your diet?

  30. sumo

    In your meeting with His Holiness did you discuss the option of installing a battery backup sump system? Because if you’re going to the expense of jackhammering your basement floor to install a sump, it might not be that many more simoleons to add security against power outages. I’m betting he already mentioned this option. Of course, it would probably require extra licking on your part.

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