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Me A Believer
My Friend's 83-Year-Old Dad (MFD) A Non-Believer

3 pm. Friday, January 17, 2014. Our town, a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia. Our regular phone conversation: checking on each other, grocery shopping, weather, and our respective families' well being.

ME: We should catch 'Philomena' tomorrow.

MFD: What's that about?

ME: I'm not sure, but I don't think there's any cursing. Not like 'American Hustle'. Judi Dench is in it.

MFD: Who?

ME: Judi Dench.

MFD: OK. What time?

ME: First show. It's half price.

MFD: Then I can't go to--

ME: Sorry...that's right. What time do you get back?

MFD: About one.

ME: No pressure at all. Call me when you get back.

MFD: I can't drive if it's too late.

ME: I know. That's fine. I'll drive.

MFD: If you drive, I'll buy the tickets.

ME: No. It's my turn....we'll fight about it tomorrow.

We laugh.

ME (CONT'D): Hey, if you don't believe in God, why are you going to shul?

MFD: When I go it reminds me of my wife.

ME: I can understand that. I know how much you miss her. She-

MFD: But I'm still an atheist.

ME: OK. If you say so.

MFD: I feel closer to her when I go.

ME: I know you do. So you're going tonight and tomorrow too? For Shabbat?

MFD: Yes.

ME: That's nice. Pray for me. I'll give you my social security number so God doesn't get confused. There are lots of 'Monas' in the world.

MFD: He'll know who you are.

ME: So you do believe.

MFD: Well I guess you have me there.

He laughs, hangs up the phone, and gets ready for shul. I scan the Internet to find out where 'Philomena' is playing, and if it has any curse words.