Berkeley Street Characters (no. 947 in a series): The Yoshua Man

The Yoshua Man, as confident as ever that he’s about to make his first convert to his one-man religion.
What’s that line?  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over even when you keep getting the same bad results.”  Nobody embodies this bold trait more than this soap-box orator known as the Yoshua Man.
The Yoshua Man has been out there on the street corners of Berkeley virtually every day for the last 25 years, preaching, and handing out fliers, and trying to convert people to the truth of his home-made religion.  And as far as I know, he hasn’t made a single convert over all these years.   But that doesn’t stop him from trying.  I just passed him on a street corner today, still firing on all cylinders.
The Yoshua Man’s one-man religion basically resolves around one, key — and endlessly repeated — theological notion.  He came up with this unique theory.  Jesus’s real name was Yoshua not Jesus.  And all the people who believed in Jesus were going to Hell.  Only the people who believed in Yoshua would find their true place in Heaven beside the one true God.  Yoshua’s Dad, natch.. . . . Uh huh . . . .

For a year he was convinced the World Was Coming To An End on May 21, 2011.  He was out on the Berkeley campus every day with a little chalkboard counting down the days.  Starting at 365.  364.  363.  And so forth . . . When he got down to zero he disappeared for awhile.  Eventually he slunk back to the campus, in the face of much mockery and abuse.  Undeterred, he came up with a new date for the End of the World.  And started yet another countdown with his chalkboard.   Ha ha.  . .   Like they say:  “Winners never quit.”

I tried to explain to him once:  “Jesus and Yoshua?  It’s like water and agua.  They call it ‘agua’ in Mexico.  And we call it ‘water’ here.  But it’s the same substance.”

He looked at me earnestly and said:  “You’ll think differently when you’re rotting in Hell.”

Shows you what he knows.  I’m going to Hades.


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