Fraying Society’s Edges

And now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s bible
Gideon checked out, and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival

From: Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles

…it included Gideon’s Bible, which I’ve seen in every hotel I’ve ever been in. You open the drawer and there it is!…

Paul McCartney about writing Rocky Raccoon

Ah, yes, the ubiquitous Gideon’s Bible. They’re all over, actually, but are very often associated with hotel rooms because the Gideons have supplied Bibles to hotels all over the world. Whenever I have stayed in a hotel, slide open one of the drawers and there’s a Bible. It’s a free gift if you want it. If you don’t want it you can just leave it there for the next person or ask the front desk to remove it. Whenever I check into a hotel I always look for the Bible, not so much with an interest in reading it at that moment as just knowing it’s there, just in case I forgot mine. I have always done that and it’s always there. Sometimes it’s open to a certain passage, even. Usually John 3:16.

Imagine my shock and surprise when we checked in and I went to open the drawer and found this:

Reader’s Digest Condensed Books! Apparently, someone on high at Travelodge thought it might be offensive to someone to find a Bible in their room. Reader’s Digest is offensive to some people (really. If you can imagine.) but apparently it’s safer than having a cheaply bound Bible that has a list of which scriptures to read if you’re depressed or have an addiction or are in trouble.

I don’t think it was hurting anyone at all to have a Bible in their room. But it’s just another example of the erosion of societal norms. But, since that was the worst thing that happened the day was really pretty good. We wound up having Dickey’s Bbq, which we never had before but discovered it was very tasty indeed.

Remember, the good book says, “Why is it so hot and what is this handbasket I’m riding in?”


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