One of the themes that Bil Keane returns to again and again is the fallibility of God. Part priest, part heretic, he treads the fine line between piety and blasphemy. This strip is fine example.

While Grandma often represents Death, it would be a mistake to assume that this is always her role. If Grandma's role needs to be categorized, it would fall under "ethereal" or "other-worldly". She belongs to neither the Mother nor the Father. As such, her familial reference status (i.e. - my mother, my father's mother) is undefined. She exists on a plane separate from but intersecting with the family. As such, it may be extrapolated that she belongs to everyone and no one, much like God himself.

Here we see Grandma in her God role. Grandma sits on here comfortable throne, her right hand held out with two fingers extended. Although the text would point to the conclusion that the fingers are used for enumeration, this simply cannot be the physical case. If it were, the fingers would be spread apart to indicate the number two. She is bestowing a blessing.

Billy, the young acolyte, speaks to her of the physical senses, the only senses that, as a mortal, he has access to and control of. It is the only frame of reference he has to communicate with Grandma/God.

Grandma's response is to "up the ante" to a more spiritual plane. Is she passing on wisdom? Is she chiding the child for neglecting his spiritual side? Like God, her expression is Sphinx-like. It is not possible to concretely state her intentions. What is knowable, though, is the patently false information that she bestows - Horse Sense and Common Sense are the same thing. Thus, wise people would only have one extra sense.

Is this a mistake or a trap? Is this a test of faith or a some cruel irony testing the concept of "common sense". If it is a mistake, the ramifications are immense. God would be fallible. If it is a trap, the ramifications are no less large. God knowingly misleads his flock and dares them to question their faith in his omnipotence. Who among us could tell Grandma/God that God is wrong? The viewer is left to twist for eternity pondering this quandary. Keane steps out of the way to smile as he watches the faithful slip on this metaphysical banana peel.


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