originally published February 1, 2009 in the Middletown Press, Bristol Press and New Britain Herald
The theory of Belligerent Design states that the universe was created by an intelligent being with a chip on his shoulder, who takes his aggression out on hapless humans such as you and me.
This theory isn’t taught in schools, due to opposition from the so-called scientific community over the lack of so-called evidence, but there’s no reason science and belligerent design can’t co-exist. Science concerns itself with “how” things happen. Belligerent design explains “why.”
For example, a scientist can tell you how natural forces such as evaporation, wind currents and temperature gradients combine to make winter storms like the one we had last week, which started off with snowfall before switching to ice that froze itself onto everything it touched.
But science can’t explain why — this is true — the snow-to-ice switch happened at the exact moment I started shoveling snow off my car to get to work. Science is also silent regarding why, when I left work that night, I spent 20 minutes chipping my car out from a block of solid ice, and the second I finished, the temperatures rose above freezing so the remaining ice melted off all by itself.
This was not coincidence. These were the actions of a belligerent designer.
Another reason I wholeheartedly embrace the theory of BD is that the alternative — at least for me — is admitting my problems are my own fault.
I swear, leaving the Southland and moving to Connecticut specifically for the weather sounded like a great idea when I first conceived it, on a hot August night after college when I drove home from a friend’s party at 2 a.m. and the bank-clock thermometers read 92 degrees.
“I’d rather have cold weather than hot,” my deluded young self explained to her friends as she boxed up her worldly possessions and moved north. “If you’re too cold you can always put on another sweater, but if it’s too hot you can only strip down so far before you start looking indecent.”
Of course, there’s a lot more to winter than dressing for the cold. I thought I understood that. “There’s nothing more picturesque than a New England landscape after a fresh snowfall!” I gushed. “Not like the gray, dreary rain we get down here. I’d rather have the snow.”
Idiot. I based this theory partially on fond memories of living here as a child. Sledding downhill on white blankets of snow before coming indoors to drink steaming hot cocoa … turns out the best way to appreciate the beauty of a Connecticut winter is to move away from it when you’re 6 and then, years later, when you’re all grown up and living in Virginia and it’s 92 degrees at 2 a.m., you can dream of northern climes and make a terrible decision ultimately leading to indignities such as the ones I suffered last week.
Not until too late did I realize my 6-year-old self had always been too young to drive and too short to scrape ice off the windshield. What did she know of winter? Nothing of relevance to adults.
The moral of the story is, don’t base important life decisions on your memories of first grade. But if you do anyway, Belligerent Design theory teaches that this is the Creator’s fault, not yours, for belligerently designing the human brain to make childhood memories so untrustworthy.