MILTON, GA — Inspired by ESPN’s recent profile of NFL running back Arian Foster’s atheism, local mailman Doug Chambers announced to the media that he was ambivalent about belief in the Almighty.
“I mean, I’m not quite at Arian’s level,” Chambers, 43, told the swarm of journalist gathered for his highly anticipated press conference. “I wouldn’t call myself an atheist. Agnostic would be pretty strong, too. I guess I would be a Meh-theist.”
Explaining that the term combines a popular internet expression of ambivalence with the word “theist,” the postal worker added, “I’m kinda proud. I made that up myself.”
He noted that he tried to work on a something with the shrug emoticon, but never could figure out how to best convey it. “Using ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ist looks cool online,” Chambers said, “but people thought I had some kind of tick every time I shrugged and said ‘ist.'”
Chambers’ brother Bill said he is a little worried about the negative attention Doug could receive from his coming out as “not totally buying into the whole ‘God thing.'”
After Doug’s announcement, Bill shook his head and said, “My brother—the anti-Jerry Wallace.” He quickly explained Wallace is well known around town as the cheerful Christian mailman.
“Jerry’s probably the slowest mail guy in the county and a lot of time he delivers the mail to the wrong house,” said Bill, “but I think he’s a Gideon or whatever you call those guys that put the Bibles in the hotel, so all the churches love him and have him speak.”
There is also the fact that religion is so intertwined with the United States Postal Service, which is widely known for its Christian slant.
“I think I saw the new guy, Steve, bow his head during lunch the other day,” said Dan Miller, head of the Milton post office, confirming suspicions of the substantial role religion plays in the world of letter deliveries.
Several postal workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they’ve noticed Chambers was different and tried to keep their distance. “We just want to let Doug be Doug,” one said.
And that’s all Chambers really wants, just to be left alone to practice his not-quite-unbelief in peace—that and the publicity that comes from being the first openly “Meh-theist” in the postal service across the entire state of Georgia.
“Am I a hero?” he softly asks as he clocks out from the post office, unconcerned with where he’ll go when he eventually clocks out from life. “I can’t really say. But yes, I’m a hero.”
Hat tip to Happy Rant Podcast for their discussion of ESPN’s coverage of Arian Foster and the inspiration for this (hopefully) clearly satirical post.