Beach Novels

ReadBeachA while back I read a classic summer beach novel – you know the ones: easy to read, entertaining, no heavy lifting required … and no I don’t remember the title. But I remember this, there are good guys being chased by bad guys. The good guys are only armed with their wit, imagination, guile, luck, and their paranoid friend who believes every conspiracy theory is true. The premise is that everything in the world has a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in it. When the good guys decide to use cash only so that they stay off the grid, it doesn’t matter because their credit cards and driver’s licenses have RFID chip that, although still unused in their wallets and purses, are detected by the RFID scanner at the checkout counter. As the novel races along the bad guys track the good guys via RFID. The good guys keep emptying their lives getting rid of toll road passes, cell phones, driver’s licenses, credit cards, passports, access badges for work, the groceries and clothes they just purchased for cash… and still the bad guys keep coming. Holy guacamole! There is no place to hide! The bad guys can pick then out of a crowd of a gazillion people. As we read, we cheer for the good guys, we get involved, as if we really and deeply know them. It is as though we can really see them!

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Jonah: on the beach

The American poet and Presbyterian minister, Thomas John Carlisle, wrote a short collection of poems in a volume, “You, Jonah” – a poetic commentary on each chapter of the Book of Jonah. Here is one of his poems, rather summarizing the book to this point:

“I know a better way to circumvent your silly streak of mixing love with righteous judgment,
All I need to do is take the next flight west beyond Your jurisdiction.
This will give you time for sober, second thoughts to swear off this kick of simpleminded kindness. Inside the monster I was as low as I could get when I remembered God,
odd, that my distress impressed me with His apparent absence
when his premised daily presence hadn’t meant a blessed thing.
Finding myself in that hole with my soul fainting and rolling with the swell of my swollen ego.
It was a good enough to kill me.
Good.
Instead, I saw stars in the dark and started home on a welcome water spout.”

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