I have a folder of old magazine and newspaper clippings which I’d filed away years ago because of their interesting and/or oddball subject matter. One such clipping (undated, but in a batch of others from the early 1990s) is titled God’s Total Quality Management Questionnaire (As presented on National Public Radio’s “Car Talk”) — which may sound like an odd venue for such a questionnaire if you’re not familiar with the show’s hosts, the auto mechanic-comics Magliozzi Brothers. Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s CLICK AND CLACK car advice appears in newspapers weekly and at http://www.cartalk.com.

If you’re like me, you find most questionnaires too simplistic (answer yes or no, or agree or disagree, to questions which beg for more nuanced response). Not so here — most of the questions offer many choices, such as these in response to question #1: How did you find out about your Deity?

__Book of Mormon
__Divine inspiration
__Dead Sea Scrolls
__My mama done tol’ me
__Near-death experience
__Near-life experience
__National Public Radio
__Burning shrubbery
__Other (specify):__________

Now, for those of you who have had different Deities at various stages of your life, even the above choices may be insufficient, which is never a good thing unless you’re absolutely sure that you’ve finally found the divine equivalent of Mr./Ms. Right. One can only be disillusioned so many times before one says to hell with it.

How did I find out about my (current) Deity? Basically, by a process of elimination — I’m a deist, which is probably the last stage before “to hell with it”….though I must admit I haven’t tried all possible Deities. This leads me to question #2 of the questionnaire, but that will have to wait until next time.