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Odd News

Jesus Returns... to a Beat Old Rocking Chair in Mission Viejo. (Really Jesus?)

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Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge How Jesus is this Jesus - LOU BALDUCCI VIA NBC LOS ANGELES
  • Lou Balducci via NBC Los Angeles
  • How Jesus is this Jesus
In terms of stuff that looks like Jesus -- and there are many, many stuffs that look like Jesus, including but not limited to an illustrious line of spookily charred grilled-cheese sandwiches and, well, the entire archive of stuffthatlookslikejesus.com (oh Internet, how we do adore thee) -- this rocking-chair wood knot really, really looks like Jesus [NBC Los Angeles].

The grilled cheeses were always a stretch. They were cute, but they never made true believers out of us. This time, it's different.

The new Chair Jesus in Mission Viejo, a work in finely peeled paint decay, is enough to send us scrambling to the attic for to dig out that cross pendant from our ironic phase.

Just look at him. Wispy goatee... long, slender Old World nose... tousled dreadlocks that fade artfully into the heavens. He's perfection.

And for that, according to NBC, the chair's owner -- Lou Balducci of Mission Viejo -- may be "questioning his beliefs" as well.

"Last week, I noticed this image of Jesus on the chair. I don't know how it got there, but it is clearly an image of Jesus," Balducci said in an e-mail to NBC. "When I first saw the image, I didn't know what to think. As I thought about it, I was thinking that maybe it was a sign of some kind. But not being overly religious, I was a little confused."

However, appropriately (this is Orange County, after all), Balducci's housekeeper schooled him in the ways of interpreting stuffthatlookslikejesus.

"We showed it to our housekeeper and she said it was a sign that our house and our family was being blessed. ...My in-laws are very religious and also believe that it is a blessing," Balducci said.

Balducci says he's had the chair for more than 10 years and has never noticed the image of Jesus.

"I am not sure what I want to do with it. Right now, I am enjoying having it in my home and showing it to friends and family," Balducci said.

And just think -- Balducci was about to throw the holy clunker away. At which point Jesus would have either rotted in a dump for 2,011 more years, or gotten a new paint job and sat smothered beneath some Orange County grandma's behind until the paint wore away again.

But no time for what-ifs. You want photos.

OK, sorry, the Jesus knot is actually super microscopic. But so worth it, wayyyy down there at the bottom, itsy bitsy:

click to enlarge LOU BALDUCCI VIA NBC LOS ANGELES
  • Lou Balducci via NBC Los Angeles

We feel like better people already.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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