The Virgin Mary Salt Stain

April 22, 2005

One of the funniest stories I've seen in the last few days is the story of the salt runoff in Chicago. You see, some people can see an image of the Virgin Mary in this salt runoff, and they are clogging up traffic to go there and worship. It seems to be in an underpass or something like that.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for whatever makes people feel closer to their creator. I just have to wonder who first saw the blessed mother in this concrete. To me, it just looks like an inverted parabola. Perhaps the shape that salty slush melt water might take as it drains down from the street above, due to no miracle other than that of gravity.


Could this salt stain really be a message from Shmoo, from early crappy cartoon history?

Most of the images that you see of these sorts of apparitions are much better than this one. I can think of a couple that were -- while still probably a coincidence -- pretty clearly faces. But still.

I know that the lord has mysterious ways and all, but I just don't imagine him coming to us in the brown of a cheese sandwich or in soap runoff of a window, or anything. I'm sure if you look at enough grilled cheese sandwiches, you can find a likeness to pretty much any image you're looking for.

My favorite story in this vein is one I heard on the radio a number of years ago. There was a wall in Mexico, painted solid white. The figure of a woman appeared faintly, but it became clear. People came from miles around to worship. They called out the church to determine whether it was a miracle, and here's what they found:

The lazy bastard hired to paint the wall had painted right over a poster announcing a Willie Nelson concert. The people had been worshiping Willie's image, showing through the white paint.

Postscript 4/25:

Since my godson happens to live in Chicago, I called his parents to demand that he be given the opportunity to see the apparition. I really wanted a picture of the kid standing next to the salt virgin. But alas, on Friday, it rained really hard up there, and the salt stain is gone.