During the period known as “Rumspringa,” Amish youth are permitted to leave their insular communities and explore the world of the modern American teenager. Most return to be baptized, but a slim minority chooses to stay in the high-fat, high-octane world of the modern United States.
The following is the diary of one of those renegades.
August 25, 2008
Today is the day I leave for my journey into the technological den of the heathen, and already I am excited to see what kind of electronic pitchforks and wireless chicken coops everyone will have. I hugged my diligent sister and her industrious unborn child goodbye and set off into the world.
August 26, 2008
While crossing the street the other day, I was accosted by a large turtle with big rubber feet who made honking noises at me. Just kidding, I knew it was a car. I’m Amish, not retarded.
August 28, 2008
I wore a shirt with buttons today and have yet to be possessed by the Prince of Darkness. Will keep checking.
September 1, 2008
Wish me luck, diary, I’m going to an inner-city high school for the first time today! I’m a little bit nervous, all the other kids at school are probably going to have better-looking clothes, faster horses, and more pristine Bibles than me.
September 5, 2008
While I appreciate my new high school friends’ hospitality and their desire to entertain me, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any other movie beside Witness.
September 7, 2008
I gave a sermon today explaining that electricity is the lightning of Hell. I think I made my point well enough, but the people in the Intensive Care Unit weren’t very enthusiastic.
**September 15, 2008 **
I still felt like I didn’t fit in at school until I met the Goths. Today I exchanged my black suit for a different black suit and talked morosely about hellfire and damnation. I don’t think anyone noticed the change.
September 24, 2008
As fun as school is, it doesn’t quite compare to my father clubbing me with a carpenter’s mallet while screaming the Psalms in Dutch. I think I’ll drop out and try working for a while.
September 26, 2008
My job search is going slowly. I guess everyone already has their own barn.
September 29, 2008
Success! I just got back from my first day of work as a cashier at a personal entertainment store called “Rasputin Records.” I don’t know anything about what I’m supposed to be selling, but I am very good at being judgmental and condescending about what people buy, so I ought to be manager within a few weeks.
October 2, 2008
Why is it so hard for people to relate to me here? Look, I know we all have our differences, but underneath it we’re all the same, right? We all have fears and hopes, we all have families and loved ones, we’re all indoctrinated into an oppressive society plagued with incest and a rejection of medicine and inoculation that can only be called hubris. What’s the problem?
October 4, 2008
I met a cute girl at work who I think really likes me, but it feels like things aren’t going very well. I mean, we aren’t even married yet.
October 7, 2008
Megan and mine’s first date was amazing! I don’t know if making out while listening to Feist is specifically considered a sin, but I’m starting to think this might be worth missing out on a heaven consisting of making your own candles and cider all day. I’m so fucking sick of cider.
October 18, 2008
My time in the non-Amish world is coming to a close, and I must make my decision soon. I’m really torn on this one. On the one hand, I have my family and the security of community, as well as the strength of their traditions and the beauty of their faith, but on the other hand, I have Rock Band. Have you ever played that? There’s like, seriously, a billion songs. A guy I know downloaded an entire Who album. Shit, I’m gonna go play that right now. Fuck my family.