"What happened to your eyebrow?" I asked in a tone that would suggest that I was making fun of him, but also not too harshly to make sure he was in good enough spirits to tell me the story.
"Kids," he said, rubbing his now bald lower forehead.
"One of your kids did this?" I asked as I thought about how I could avoid ever having any.
"No, on the plane a three year old in the seat next to me buzzed it off in one swoop."
"Oh...I'm sorry, that's...weird..how..never mind."
"Yeah. Never mind."
As we drove away from the airport, Roger popped open one of the boxes of Imaginary Jesus and began chewing on two books like a thick deli sandwich. He wasn't eating them, just chewing.
"Give me that!" Matt yelled, pulling the books from Roger's saliva glazed mouth.
The cover on one of the books was torn and a few of the letters changed and got moved around.
"Great, now we have 7 cases of a book called Imaginary Jesus and one book titled Binary Jesus."
As Matt spoke these words my cell phone began to ring.
"Zero, one, one, one, zero, zero, one, one, one, zero, zero, zero, one, zero, one, one..."
"Huh....that was odd"
"Who was it?"
"Um...I'm pretty sure that was Binary Jesus."
"Oh...what? I've never heard of such a person. What did he say?"
"Well...all he said was : Zero, one, one, one, zero, zero, one, one, one, zero, zero, zero, one, zero, one, one."
"Oh," Matt pondered, "I can see how you gathered it was Binary Jesus."
"What do you think it means?"
"Didn't you read my book?" He pointed to the back seat.
"Well, yeah, but what does that have to do with it?"
"We have Imaginary Jesuses that stop us from finding the real Jesus."
"Is that the proper usage? 'Jesuses'? Can that be plural?" I asked.
"Anything can be plural."
"But what does the premise of your book have to do with Binary Jesus?"
"I just told you."
"A Jesus who only speaks in a basic programing language is stopping me from knowing the real Jesus?"
"Seems like a stretch."
As we drove further west I began to try to decode the events of the day so far, the chimp, the eyebrow, the binary...what did it all mean? I thought back to when Matt and I first met and how far we've come.
It was a rainy day in October, I was minding my own business hanging out in my cubicle at work and Matt snuck up behind me.
"I hear you're the Morgan Freeman from Shawshank Redemption around here."
"The guy that can get you things."
"Well, mostly just books for authors, plus I know where the supply closet is...so if you need paperclips or post-its..."
"Exactly. Well, I gotta go, my limo's waiting."
He sprinted away, but stopped after ten feet and pulled a paper plane out of his pocket and threw it at me.
I unfolded the plane as he ran away yelling, "Looking forward to those paperclips!"
Written on the paper was a phrase, it read: This is a phrase.
I was struck by the truthfulness of the statement and immediately decided to make it my mission to help promote his upcoming book.
Roger, Matt and I had a long way to drive, we were hoping to hit the Mississippi by midnight; our first book event was in the morning. I decided we needed some inspiration so I popped in The Very Best of Rush and we rocked out to Canadian classic rock while driving the speed limit all the way to St. Louis.