Meet Two of Your Terrible Protagonists: Left Behind Chapter 1

Welcome to 2016 and our first post of Left Behind. Without further adieu, the show.

Left Behind Chapter 1:

We meet Rayford Steele who has no relation to Anastasia Steele, I presume…even though her father’s name, oddly enough, is also Ray…

Rayford is a pilot, currently flying to London. Even though his mind should be ON THE SAFETY OF HIS PASSENGERS, he is conveniently – for the story’s purposes – thinking about his family and Hattie, a hot senior flight attendant. He is a really complicated figure.

Rayford used to look forward to getting home to his wife. Irene was attractive and vivacious enough, even at forty. But lately he had found himself repelled by her obsession with religion. It was all she could talk about.

In other words, “My wife passes the bare minimum of attractiveness even though she’s way beyond her prime at the shocking age of forty, and she has no other defining qualities that I care to mention, but that Jesus is such a boner-killer. Amirite?”

Rayford and Irene have a twelve-year-old son and a daughter in college. Irene has recently joined a church with aggressively religious people, and even though “God was OK with Rayford Steele”,  he’s not a fan of the church.

Hers was not a church where people gave you the benefit of the doubt, assumed the best about you, and let you be. People there had actually asked him, to his face [As opposed to behind his back?], what God was doing in his life.

“Blessing my socks off” had become the smiling response that seemed to satisfy them, but he found more and more excuses to be busy on Sundays.

Before you start thinking that Rayford “Blessing my socks off” Steele is contemplating cheating on his wife because of her shitty church, he admits it’s because of his “libido” and the fact that Hattie is hella fine. Sometimes she touches his arm or “rest[s] her hand gently on his shoulder”, so basically it’s going down.

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Rayford thinks back to a weirdly prophetic conversation he had with his wife about the rapture, but then just keeps thinking about banging Hattie. Dude, focus on the plot!

He also claims to have never cheated on his wife, but then tells us he made out with someone at a company Christmas party once, so I guess he and I have very different views on cheating.

Before we meet another protagonist, here are our current characters in play:

Rayford: A complicated man who may or may not cheat on his wife and who thinks God is chill, but they don’t hang on the regs.

Irene: Basically ancient, but people would probz still bone, down with Jesus and G-O-D.

Hattie: Flight attendant with hands on experience.

Rayford and Irene’s two dumb kids: I’m just speculating here. Maybe they’re not dumb. Time will tell.

Next we meet Cameron “Buck” Williams, “the youngest ever senior writer for the prestigious Global Weekly”. He’s currently flying first class on Rayford’s flight. Good luck with that, Buck.

Flashback to a year and two months ago when Buck went to Israel to interview Chaim Rosenzweig. (I feel like the authors used a Jewish random name generator for this one.)

BUT FIRST a scene where a very pushy Buck declares he’s going to be the one to get this scoop. Man, this guy has chutzpah!

It also wouldn’t be his first time interviewing Rosenzweig, who has…made Israel the richest country in the world because he figured out how to grow more produce there?!?!

“Irrigation has not been a problem for decades,” the old man said. “But all that did was make the sand wet. My formula, added to the water, fertilizes the sand.”

Buck was not a scientist, but he knew enough to shake his head at that simple statement. Rosenzweig’s formula was fast making Israel the richest nation on earth, far more profitable than its oil-laden neighbors. Every inch of ground blossomed with flowers and grains, including produce never before conceivable in Israel. The Holy Land became an export capital, the envy of the world, with virtually zero unemployment. Everyone prospered.

Israel is a really small country, even if you grew “flowers and grains” in every bit of available space, how would this make them the envy of the world?

To top it all off, because Israel had money, all the conflict in the Middle East related to Israel was resolved! Perhaps if conflict in the Middle East was actually the plot to a high school movie, this would make some sort of sense but…I’m pretty sure Israel’s financial situation is not the root cause of strife.

The prosperity brought about by the miracle formula changed the course of history for Israel. Flush with cash and resources, Israel made peace with her neighbors. Free trade and liberal passage allowed all who loved the nation to have access to it. What they did not have access to, however, was the formula.

I guess Israel is Mr. Krabs in this scenario and everyone else is Plankton. Just as I never suspected!

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At some point in history, Russia got super jealous of Israel because they also wanted the secret formula and couldn’t have it. Also Israel wore the same dress to the prom. So Russia launched an attack to “annihilate” Israel, as you do. The attack was referred to as “Russian Pearl Harbor.” I can’t even.

Buck is there during the attack, and survives a terrifying situation! Apparently so does literally everyone else. “Not one casualty was reported in all of Israel.” Russian aircrafts blew themselves up! The rapture is definitely a’coming.

After this, Buck became a believer in God.

But enough about Buck. Good old Rayford Steele is still thinking about boning Hattie. Shit or get off the pot, Rayford.

This is no time for banging, though, because Hattie has some disturbing news:

She was sobbing now, her body out of control. “A whole bunch of people, just gone!”

“Hattie, this is a big plane. They’ve wandered to the lavs or—”

She pulled his head down so she could speak directly into his ear. Despite her weeping, she was plainly fighting to make herself understood. “I’ve been everywhere. I’m telling you, dozens of people are missing.”

“Hattie, it’s still dark. We’ll find—”

“I’m not crazy! See for yourself! All over the plane, people have disappeared.”

“It’s a joke. They’re hiding, trying to—”

“Ray! Their shoes, their socks, their clothes, everything was. These people are gone!”

Man these two. Will they or won’t they? The sexual tension is too much.

Ray immediately realizes the rapture has occurred and he is surprisingly bland about all this. Seriously, the guy expressed more emotion when he was thinking about Hattie gently touching his goddamn shoulder than when people started disappearing from his plane and into the heavens.

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16 comments

  1. Judy Reply

    I don’t exactly understand what happened during the Russian attack or why a they would attack a country to get a formula for successful farming….. people disappearing from the plane sounds like Carlton Cuse must have read these books from what I saw of the ads for Leftovers. This is a good start for a mockable series

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      Their planes blew themselves up because it’s part of the prelude to the rapture. And I too am confused over the motivation for the attack!

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  2. wordswithhannah Reply

    YAAAAAAS this trash.

    I think if my hypothetical husband tried to play off “Well, okay, I made out with someone once at a holiday party, but nbd, right?” we’d have…words. And not kindly, Christian-forgiveness words, as I tried to fathom how I married such a raging dumbass. Add on top of this, “Well, you weren’t there, you were ready to pop during a hellish, ‘oops’ pregnancy!” and yeah, I can see why Jesus would give this guy a hard pass.

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      Hahahaha “Jesus would give this guy a hard pass” your words are so beautiful and so true.

      And yeah, making out with someone while your pregnant wife is at home definitely doesn’t scream “upstanding gentleman”.

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  3. Jennifer Layton Reply

    Hiding. Rayford tells Hattie that the passengers are probably playing a joke on her by hiding.

    I have ridden on many commercial airlines in my lifetime. If anyone on any of these flights, even pre-9/11, had stood up when the flight attendant was out of hearing range and said, “Hey everybody, let’s all hide before she gets back and totally freak her out!”, we fellow passengers would have tackled him in the aisle and beaten him into submission with our in-flight magazines. We would have had the pilot radio ahead for the police to meet us on the runway at our destination. Then we would have spent the rest of the flight wondering where, exactly, this idiot expected 150 passengers to hide on an airplane.

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  4. Polly Reply

    Aha! I thought I hadn’t heard of these books, but this is the one they made into a film with Nicholas Cage right? As if the story wasn’t crazy enough… Add Mr. Cage…

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      • Ashley Reply

        Can’t believe I’m actually about to say this, but Kirk Cameron was actually pretty good in his series of Left Behind movies. Just give him the correct platform (extreme Christian views) and he can really act decently.

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        • 22aer22 Reply

          Guys, now I’m going to have to watch this movie and the whole time be really sad that Nick Cage is missing from them 🙁

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  5. bookbaron Reply

    People disappear on an airplane? Didn’t Steven King already do this one? Eh. Let me know when the flying meatballs with teeth show up.

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  7. svetasbooks Reply

    Wow, this first chapter alone really made me see how book is anti-Jewish in a way I hadn’t expected…seriously, money solves all the issues? If it did Jews wouldn’t be as persecuted as they were throughout history. Also sounds like someone pulled some shit from Protocols of Elders of Zion with Israel dominating the whole globe, sinister anyone? Maybe its second chapter, but I recall mention of ugh, how interfaith dialogues or working together is bad for the world…

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