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God’s obscenity

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Warning; Please do not proceed if bad language offends.


Melanesian Tok Pisin is the primary lingua franca used in Papua New Guinea, a country with more than 600 languages.  It is derived mainly from English but also has roots to German, Indonesian and several other tribal languages.

One unintended consequence of the Australian presence in PNG last century was that many Aussie profanities were rapidly incorporated into Tok Pisin, often without the speaker having any understanding at all of the original literal meanings of the words.

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Mrs GOF, in her adult life, has retained many endearing (and occasionally infuriating) carefree youthful behaviours. Some of this innocence came to an abrupt end in April 2000 when her Mum died in the remote PNG village which was her home.

As the eldest daughter in the family, tradition dictated that Mrs GOF was in charge of preparing the body for burial.   I will always be proud of her unflinching acceptance of this extremely confronting and daunting cultural responsibility.

The body had been frozen in the morgue pending the arrival of all family members, so on funeral day Mrs GOF and her siblings cheerfully chatted away to their Mum while she was defrosting, assuring her that she was in good hands and being well cared for.

A Village Pastor, locally trained at the Logaweng Lutheran Seminary, was a family friend and he officiated at the funeral ceremony.  After the various eulogies from family members had been delivered, Pastor Pukot gave a final address which concluded as follows;

(I have translated it from Tok Pisin……all except the final unambiguous directive which is reproduced verbatim.)

A man or woman who has lived a good life on earth, who has been honest, and treated other people well, will be rewarded by God after death. Upon arrival at the golden gates of heaven they will be welcomed by the angels who will have reviewed the life of the deceased and reported to God, who will then pronounce “You have lived a good life. Welcome to Heaven.”

It is however another story for those who have been bad and lived meaningless or dishonest lives. They will arrive at the gates of heaven and the angels will present the unfavourable report to God who will become very angry, point in the opposite direction and, in a loud voice, tell them to “FUCK OFF”.

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The gathered mourners accepted this sermon as being appropriate, dignified and meaningful……all that is except for the two English-speakers present.

Mrs GOF, and her brother (who had traveled from Minnesota) glanced at each other and, despite the solemnity of the occasion, just could not help cracking up with laughter.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

36 responses »

  1. Another instance of “Seth the Lord…”

  2. I like that Village Pastor. He certainly knows how to give a memorable sermon.

  3. At least the paster will keep the people interested

  4. I found Foo. And your helicopter has no landing gear. Also, God is a lady.

    Great story 🙂

    • Thank you Inga. Foo is delighted that you spotted him.
      The helicopter has retractable landing gear…..and God is whatever your imagination perceives Him/Her/It to be.

  5. It’s nice that Australia – as the US – is always sure that residents of other countries they are “seeing to” learn the most important words!

  6. That would have caused a riot in an American protestant church, LOL!

    (I almost guffawed out loud. At the office. :mrgreen: )

  7. Awesome story! It got a big grin and a “Hallelujah” out of me! Also, your conversation with Rich Crete had me Lol-ing.
    I think God approves mightily of irony and humor and a good old belly laugh.

    Wait….I missed the boobies over the top of the door. You can tell I’m not a man. Oh, not that you are a man, AuntieB!!! You are just more observant than I! 🙂

    • Thank you Lauri…..stories like this provide rich pickins for all the wonderful commenters who visit this blog. I’d also like to think God has a sense of humor, but if He/She/It hasn’t then I’d better start looking around for an asbestos fire suit.

  8. More LOLs. I see the boobies and is Yoo the one I would call “Ripley”?

    • I’m not sure about “Ripley” Lauri…..I think in the US Foo was known as Kilroy, although he picked up other names along the way too.

  9. Love these PNG stories GOF and I look forward to seeing more practical uses of English.

    AB. Congrats on picking up the boobies. Can’t believe I missed em. Could be one of Elle’s first appearances in the media.

  10. I bet 99 percent of worshippers would approve of that type of language if it would cut the church service by half so they could scarf down eggs and sausages by 11am.

    • You’ve just inspired me to set up my own Church of The Apostolic Bucket Amelie.

      Schedule of Service will be half an hour of bad language followed by a greasy breakfast cooked by gorgeous young men and women (I’m catering for all tastes here) in the vestry.

  11. Heaven’s Door is quite something GOF and this is a great yarn – thank you.


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