God IS In the Bars

God is in the bars, and I can prove it.

I’m not writing to prove the existence of God.  We’re all grownups here, and it’s really up to each of us to answer these questions for ourselves.  But I do have a little story that, I think, might point to an omniscient, omnipresent power that truly has our backs.

My older girl is a senior at New York University.  She’s in the Gallatin school, less formally known as the make-up-your-own-major liberal arts school.  It’s actually kind of prestigious in that you have to impress them with a proposal for a major they don’t actually offer, and if they’re suitable impressed, they’ll let you pursue that major and, with guidance, allow you to choose the classes appropriate to that major.

She proposed that they allow her to study The Psychology of Entertainment.  The school blessed it (enthusiastically, I might add), and she proceeded to take as many of the acting classes the NYU’s Tisch School is famous for, along with entertainment law and entertainment psychology.

For her mom, who’s all about a liberal arts education, it sounds like heaven.

Last semester, she enrolled in a class called Heroes and Villains, a study of famous good guys and bad guys in the arts.  All I could think was that I would give a big toe to be in that class.

One of her assignments was to construct a puppet from scratch illustrating one of her personal demons.

Being a college senior, my girl put off her puppet making until the night before the assignment was due.  And being a girl who got her craft-making skills from a mom who can’t cut a straight line, she put off the puppet making because she had no idea how to proceed.  So around midnight on the night before the puppet was due, she schlepped herself all the way up to the 24-hour Toys ‘R Us in Times Square to buy a puppet, intending to make up a story about a personal demon appropriate to whatever puppet she could purchase.

The only problem with that plan was that the perpetually-open Toys ‘R Us was, for some strange reason, closed.  My girl fussed a bit at the security guard standing in front of the locked door, who shrugged and said, “There’s a Duane Reed down the street.”

Frustrated, she walked into the drugstore and picked up a stuffed pony and a set of incense sticks, then headed home to try to make a puppet out of those materials.

On her way home, though, she decided to stop at one of her favorite bars for a drink because, you know, when you’re worried about an assignment, the best thing to do is drink about it.

While waiting for her drink, she pulled out the stuffed pony and began trying to poke the incense sticks into his legs.  People around her began watching her, curious to see what she was up to.  Then they began taking pictures of the crazed girl who was doing bodily harm to a cute stuffed pony.  When the bartender handed her the drink, she looked at my daughter and said, “What the hell are you doing?”

“Trying to make a puppet.”

“Give me that,” the girl said, grabbing the pony and incense sticks, then disappearing into the back room of the bar.

A few minutes later, the bartender emerged with a working puppet.  Amazed, my girl asked her where she’d learned to do that.

The bartender answered, “I was a puppetry major at NYU.”

My daughter turned in the best puppet along with a story about how she’s haunted to this day by the story of her childhood horse, Frenchie, who was electrocuted during a terrible thunderstorm.  The professor was touched by the performance, and that’s what it’s all about when you’re studying entertainment.

A practical mother would probably shout, “Oh my God!  That’s what happens after 4 years at NYU, you end up being a bartender?!”

But I see it as proof that God takes care of drunks and children.  He is absolutely in the bars.

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