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The Giant Jesus, Monroe, Ohio, USA

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In the same tradition as the great roadside attractions of America, like the World's Second Largest Ball of Twine or a Big Peach Water Tower, just along Interstate 75, between the cities of Dayton and Cincinnati was a sixty-feet-tall prophet. This particular roadside diversion was a giant, white plastic foam figure of Jesus Christ, the son of God in Christianity. With arms outstretched towards the sky and a giant cross at its base, the figure appeared to gesture towards the heavens, and was intended to represent Christ after his resurrection. The figure only depicted Christ from about his waist up, on an island in a giant reflecting pool.

Though it was probably not the intention of the creators of this massive messiah, residents in the area had a bit of impious fun with the saviour. Those familiar with the statue often referred to it as 'Big J', 'Touchdown Jesus'1 and 'Drowning Jesus'2. Officially called the 'King of Kings' Statue, it stood before the Solid Rock Church, an evangelical megachurch with a congregation of around 4,000. It reportedly cost this church 250,000 dollars to erect. Of course, the church got its money's worth, using the pool for some (one imagines) seriously piety-inducing baptisms. The church's founders, Lawrence and Darlene Bishop, made their initial money through horse trading, and expanded Solid Rock Church from a small location in 1978 into a sprawling, 100-acre campus at the time of writing.

This particular stretch of I-75, which runs through the small town of Monroe, is well known to the denizens of southwestern Ohio. Just next door to where the Giant Jesus stood is the locally famous fleamarket Trader's World, whose signpost comes complete with an anatomically correct model of a horse on its hind legs. The twin features of the Giant Jesus and exposed equine genitals mad for a distracting drive - and some local residents complained that traffic moved more slowly there. This stretch of highway is in between Dayton and Cincinnati, which means that the average inhabitant of the area passed it often enough that they started to wish that the Touchdown Jesus would just stop staring at them. It was an especially ominous and omnipresent3 figure at night, when it was lit by spotlights.

However, the Giant Jesus statue may have proved to be an asset to the town of Monroe. Besides attracting some curious tourists and mega-deity enthusiasts, it is said to have offset the evil influences of the adult shop and strip club at that exit of town. It's also been reported that this stretch of I-75, formerly one of the most dangerous in the area, suddenly experienced far fewer accidents after the Giant Jesus was erected. Some godless sodomites and heathens, however, attribute this to the installation of a high-tension safety cable in the highway's median strip.

On 14 June, 2010, the Giant Jesus was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm and erupted in flames, thus heralding the beginning of the endtimes.

1In American Football, referees denote a touchdown with a gesture of putting up two arms, not dissimilar to this statue's depiction of the prophet's arms.2With only half of his body above the earth, a giant pool in front of the statue, arms stretched out for help and a pretty sour look on his face, this is a reasonable observation.3Not to mention omniscient and omnipotent, if the Bishops are to be believed.

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