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Missy Tonight


Alan Musted
Who knew there was money to be made in atheism? I sure didn't.
Heck, when I was a kid, saying you were an atheist was a pretty sure
way to get the crap beat out of you. All of a sudden, nowadays it's the
thing to be. Everybody's piling on, cashing in. Why not me? That's what
I thought when I heard they were looking for an official atheist on the
Missy Tonight show. They had an opening all of a sudden when their
regular guy, Gian Carlo Spallanzini, had some sort of a breakdown.
Seems that all at once he wasn't so damn certain anymore. Heck with
that! Wouldn't happen to me, I can tell you for sure. I've been born
and raised and bred an atheist all the way, not like these johnny -come-
lately bandwagon-jumpers you see on the bestseller lists and the
afternoon shows. These guys are all "reason" this and "science" that,
worrying about civilization and society and macro-trends and who
knows what. All I can tell you is, I know a hand basket when I see one.
I got it from my mom, Alice Musted. She was once a Catholic girl, went
to Catholic school, did those Catholic things all the while that she was
growing up, until around the tender age of fourteen, as they say, when
she unexpectedly gave birth to her one and only child, which would be
me. Seems my dad was a priest but I only ever knew him as the
mythical Father Judas.
After that she'd had enough church, I think, although you might not
know it, come to look at her. Every day she's decked out in some kind
of catholic school girl outfit, some gray and white plaid skirt and a sky
blue sweater, all tied together with those regulation U.S. Army boots
she achieved during her years of enlistment. She always liked to talk
about God, all right, every chance she got. Didn't have a lot of good
things to say about the guy, so I grew up with a definite impression.
Her "leanings", you might say, weren't so good for business. She ran a
packing and shipping store called ShipShape, whose slogan, "the most
trusted name in shipping shapes", is likely the cause of my implacable
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