Thursday, June 13, 2013


I recently read 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth and the main character used this fascinating catchphrase: ''Oh Heavenly Bastard in the Sky.'' Now I have all these questions. Who is this bastard? How does a bastard become heavenly? And most urgently of all, how could I slip that phrase into an actual conversation?

The best characters often have a memorable catchphrase. Augustus "Gus" Waters from The Fault in Our Stars always replied to how are you with "I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up." Sometimes I say that. People kind of like it.

Gus also had a characteristic gesture. He would put a cigarette in his mouth like he was smoking it, but never lit it. It was a metaphor: "you put the killing thing right between your teeth but you don't give it the power to do its killing.”

I'm thinking I need a catchphrase now and perhaps a gesture. There is one catchphrase I made up earlier. When people ask me how I am, I sometimes reply ''between hope and despair.'' And occasionally I greet people by asking ''how's your online love life?''

But I'm thinking I need something better. Something unforgettable, like heavenly bastard.


  1. A bastard is a child born outside of marriage, so some might consider Jesus Christ a bastard. He is heavenly because He is God. I think that may be where the phrase Heavenly Bastard comes from.

  2. That would make sense. I was thinking Joseph and Mary were married, but maybe they weren't.

  3. They were eventually, but Joseph wasn't Jesus's father.

    This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18

  4. Alright, that must be it. She does use the phrase like an American would when using the phrase Jesus Christ to curse.

  5. That's the best, offends all the right people.

  6. She wouldn't want to offend the people that Salman Rushdie did. That's too dangerous.

  7. Did they ever get to him? They don't seem that dangerous.

    In fact, looks like they were more dangerous to themselves:

    On 3 August 1989, while Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh was priming a book bomb loaded with RDX explosive in a hotel in Paddington, Central London, the bomb exploded prematurely, destroying two floors of the hotel and killing Mazeh.

  8. That's called a workplace accident. No, they never got him, but it's not for lack of trying. There is a bounty out for him for 3.3 million dollars. He had to cancel a tour in India last year due to threats on his life.