13.1? John 3:16? Who is John Galt?

...a few days ago, i was driving along the 75 freeway and noticed a significant number of SUVs sporting oval stickers reading "13.1"...at first i thought this was a way of bragging about MPG...as in, "my suv gets 13 miles per gallon and to hell with your hybrid, you hippie shit bird"

...but knowing no one in their right mind would brag about sucking natural resources, i scrutinized other stickers affixed to these gas-guzzlers--who were passing me right and left--in an attempt to make sense of something i was clearly missing: a sign of the fish, upward sports, stick families...

...i came home and asked adam, "what is 13.1?"

"what're you talking about?"

"is there a secret christian society of suv drivers with two children and three cats, who play football and follow chapter thirteen, verse one?"

"of what? how should i know?"

"aren't you my authority on this?"

...as usual, my recovering baptist husband scoffed and rolled his eyes, meaning "you're-correct-but-i'm-going-to-act-like-you're-delusional-because-i-don't-know-the-answer"

...maybe these stickers are distant cousins of the sporting event signs reading "john 3:16"...which doesn't make sense to me...why would a football game attendee reference "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"?...is this some voodoo to assure the quarterback isn't sacked? from keeping the right tackle from being hit by lightning?...even for someone who studies metaphor for a living i don't see what everlasting life has to do with football...and how is excluding an entire group of people--those who've never read john 3:16--contribute to the game?...essentially these signs say "if you don't think the way i do, you'll die"...are these 13.1 SUV drivers threatening me in the same way?

...i'm a college-educated person who's read Atlas Shrugged and thinks most people communicate via codes...so i did what anyone in my shoes would do when faced with something they don't understand...i googled it...

...strangely enough, when i typed in "chapter 13 verse 1" i got a hit for the bhagavad gita that read "Arjuna said: O my dear Krishna, I wish to know about nature, the enjoyer, and the field and the knower of the field, and of knowledge and the object of knowledge"...which sounds to me something way more appropriate for football than john 3:16...

...so, of course, i decided to search for 13.1 in every other religious text except the bible...

...from the qu'ran: "These are the Verses of the Book, and that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord is truth, but most men believe not"...sounds very much like john 3:16, so i got stuck there for a while looking at similarities between the qu'ran and the bible...

...from the tipitaka: "And the Blessed One, after having kept the vassa residence, thus addressed the Bhikkus: By wise contemplation, O Bhikkus, and by wise firmness of exertion have I attained the highest emancipation, have I realized the highest emancipation. Attain ye, also, O Bhikkhus, the highest emancipation, realize the highest emancipation, by wise contemplation and by wise firmness of exertion"...again, sounds appropriate for a sporting event...

...from 1 nephi, book of mormon: "And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying, 'Look!' And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms"...for a second, i was sad a man who believed in this verse didn't take the presidency...not really...

...apparently the communist manifesto has no thirteenth chapter...apologies to my faithful comrades...

...then i got bored and wandered back to the bible (wow, never thought i'd ever write that!)...this is the south after all, and the chances of someone celebrating a world religion are about the same as a baptist preaching at an al qaeda pep rally...

...i got tons of hits, obviously, because the bible--the new and old testaments--are broken into books with their own chapters, nearly each of which contains a thirteenth...ug...way too much to choose from, but here were some of my favorites...

...from 1 corinthians: "If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol"...this might work at high school half-time shows...

...from revelation: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw out of the sea a beast coming up, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon its horns ten diadems, and upon its heads a name of evil speaking"...really digging the sy-fy-ness of this part...and sometimes when an SUV honks, it sounds like ten horns...

...from romans: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God"...sounds southern, wanting the government to be ruled by a christian god, rather than having separation of church and state...which is something else i just don't understand...most southerners want the government out of their lives, but if they want god in government, and god is such a big part of their lives, then wouldn't government be integral to their lives?

...my brain was starting to bleed at this point, so i googled "13.1 bumper sticker" which is what i should've done in the first place...and lo and behold all of these SUV driving, upward playing, fish emblem sporting, stick figure bragging people are simply pointing out they've successfully run a half marathon...really, that's it...no secret society, no metaphoric reference, simply a group of people who're proud of their training and dedication...

...boring assholes...

Comments

  1. LOL! "boring assholes" that's awesome.

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  2. OMG (haha) this is great, sharing it!

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  3. Well that explains a lot. I saw one for the first time today that accompanied a sticker "In my dreams I'm a Kenyan."

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  4. Today a car in front of me read "13.1" and the truck next to me read "13.1who is john galt?" So I suppose it has multiple meanings for the athletic and religious!

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