Saturday, November 13, 2010
Heading off to ETS/SBL
Not long until I head off to Atlanta, Georgia for ETS/IBR/SBL. I wasn't planning on going this year, but two things drew me in. First, I was asked to be the respondent to N.T. Wright at the Friday evening IBR session (and who could turn that down?). Second, there is a restaurant in Atlanta called Buckner's. I went there 11 years ago and ever since then I've spent many nights laying awake dreamily salivating about their fried chicken, stewed tomato, biscuits, and peppered mashed potato. It was the best chicken I have ever tasted in my life and I've eaten chicken on four different continents. So why go to Altanta: IBR and Fried Chicken!
Things to do and see at ETS/SBL:
1. If you see Michael Bird on his birthday (Thursday, 18 Nov) give him a nice bottle of red wine, nothing sweet, Merlot and Pinot Noir preferred.
2. If you see Ron Hendel at SBL, ask him if he'd like to recommit his life to life to Torah-observance and become a permanent member of the theological interpretation of scripture section.
3. Don't forget to get some extra napkins so that you can wipe up the saliva from drooling at the Hendrickson facsimile of Codex Sinaiticus. Note, this would make a good birthday present. Note also the price of $800.00!
4. If at ETS you see N.T. Wright running towards you at a freakish pace and a mob of angry Presbyterians with pitch forks and burning crosses are chasing him, get the heck out of his way and yell, "Run Tom run!"
5. If you see me lying on the ground clutching my stomach with my belt undone, it means I've just got back from Buckners. Please pump my stomach so I can go back and eat some more fried chicken.
6. If you want to get noticed, stand at the entry to the book exhibit at ETS with a sign saying "Obama is our Messiah, Newt Gingrich is the Anti-Christ," though don't expect to live too long. However, if you do this at SBL, you'll probably get offered an assistant professorship at Vanderbilt or Harvard!
7. Whatever you do, don't bring handouts for your audience, don't mention handouts, don't refer to handouts. In Atlanta, the only people who talk about handouts are Democrats. If you mention handouts at ETS they will lynch you.
8. Come with Michael Bird and Joel Willitts to the Yale Divinity School reception. Every year we pretend to be a gay couple who just got married in Toronto so that they let us in. Works every time!
9. Go to the Scottish Unis Reception, but paint half of your face blue and tell people you are a professor of biblical studies at Glasgow Uni.
10. Make sure you get a free copy of SBLGNT and the free sample issue of Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters.