Let's talk about sidekicks. In the first place, there is a difference between "sidekick" and "henchman". For example, Art Sippo is a "henchman" for Karl Keating -- that's to say that all the things Keatings would never be caught dead doing but nevertheless requires to have done in internet apologetics, Dr. Sippo finds himself (willingly) doing. I ask the reader to apply this model to any other community of snark as you see fit to master the concept intellectually.
Then we have the actual "sidekicks" -- people being mentored by or otherwise in fellowship with the guys in the white hats. Eric Svendsen has Jason Engwer (and one might seek to apply the inverse lameness ratio to that specific sidekick/hero relationship); Phil Johnson, with some kind of clairvoyant or pentecostal foresight of his future need, fathered Pecadillo in order to have a sidekick, and I have JIBBS.
Recently, someone has intimated that JIBBS is not a sufficiently-adequate sidekick for centuri0n, causing centuri0n to speak of himself in the third person. Let's be clear about something: JIBBS has proven himself in apologetic spiritual warfare to be the Alfred to my Batman; he is the Microchip to my Punisher; He is the lunchbag to my Ham Sandwich.
There is no replacing JIBBS. You can't do it. You're not man enough.
That said, yesterday I had lunch with one of the nicest people I have ever had the opportunity to meet: Darlene Johnson. Well, Phil Johnson the PyroManiac insisted on interrupting my day and buying me lunch, but he was kind enough to bring his charming and thoughtful wife along, so the day was not a complete washout.
You might be asking yourself what Britney and K-Fed have to do with Phil Johnson's visit, and it's a good question. When Phil walked into my bookstore, he was wearing THAT HAT -- that hat that K-Fed apparently borrowed or stole from Ashton Kutcher. To be honest, it wasn't THAT HAT: it was a white version of THAT HAT -- and I was glad he did it. The reality check amidst the fun we're having on the blog today is that I was really nervous about meeting Phil.
There's a good reason why: the internet. Listen: in case you didn't know this, we are all freaks on the interent. We're not normal people. The only reality check for who's who on the internet is what they do for a living outside of running a blog or a website. I had a high degree of confidence that an elder at Grace Community Church was not going to be some techie version of Cletus from the original Dukes of Hazzard, but you always have to be a little worried about yourself in those situations. For example, you might not really have a good grasp on how you come across to other people, and therefore you might really be www.dexter_dingleberry.net instead of centuri0n.blogspot.com.
I was worried I wouldn't make a good first impression -- but when Phil walked in with THE HAT (which I failed to get a picture of! I could KICK myself!), I knew all was going to be well. He was coming in with low expectations, so I wasn't under any pressure.
However, I did get this picture of him trying to take a picture of me:
We were in Callahan's at that point, and Phil was either taking a picture of me or of the painting of the Magnificent Seven on the wall behind me -- either one will look fine on his blog, I am sure.
Anyway, we chatted. We ate lunch. We complained about CBA and how evil "Christian" publishers are. We talked about the header of my blog, Jonathan's aspriations to be a fireman, the cost of living near LA and the lack thereof of Sonic and decent fried Ocra. We talked about the signs around the city of Siloam Springs which say "Welcome to Siloam Springs where Jesus is Lord. Welcome to God's Country". Did you know that Corrie Ten Boom once had a vision that there were 10,000 angels surrounding and protecting our little corner of the world? No? Phil didn't either, but he said that it was clear that they were protecting it in order to allow my bookstore to come there in the first place.
Phil said some funny things about David King and James White which I will not repeat for fear of retribution, and I'd tell you what he said about my blog to my wife, but it would be immodest.
Then, of course, we had the obligatory canonization of Phil Johnson (as you can see to the right). It didn't seem good form that he should come all that way and buy me lunch and I not make some small effort to raise him above the standing of mere mortals in the blogosphere. Yes, Hays and PP will be jealous, but when they come to the Heartland and buy me lunch they can have their own shekinah -- on me.
We took some other pictures, but we promised our wives not to drag them into the blogosphere, so those will simply stay in the family scrapbooks as pleasant memories of good times. Good times.
Phil did find some interesting reading at the bookstore. You have to gage the look on his face for yourself as he reads a christian health and fitness book. You'll notice that he's not wearing Oakleys, so a larger Baptistic controversy is bound to erupt over the fundamental principles of orthodox eyewear.
Not much else to report, really. Like Fight Club, I can't even talk about the Calvinist Conspiracy, so the meeting notes have already been memorized, burned, the ashes pulverized and then buried in a cemetary after dark.