North Vancouver children’s author Patricia Bowles was intrigued when she saw a Glacier Media article about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s B.C. leader’s battle about pirate hats with ICBC.
Bowles recently published her children’s book, Butternut Island Irish.
It was part of the North Shore Author’s Collection this year and in North Shore and Bowen Island libraries; the book not only has The Church of the Flying Macaroni Monster but also the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
It was Grand Forks resident Gary Smith’s story that piqued her curiosity.
Smith, also known as the church’s captain, argues his pirate hat is part of his church’s religious headwear.
Smith identifies himself as a Pastafarian and a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Members are known to wear either a pasta colander or a three-cornered hat known as a pirate’s tricorn on their heads.
Smith wants ICBC to allow him to wear his pirate hat in his driver's licence photo; however, the Crown corporation has sent a letter to Smith saying the pirate hat is "unacceptable."
Smith claims ICBC should allow the photo request just as it has already been allowed for his ID as a marriage commissioner and for his firearms acquisition licence.
“I didn’t realize that there was a chapter in B.C.,” Bowles said of the spaghetti folk. “Maybe it will give my book more credibility.”
And she admires Smith: “You’ve got to admire the chutzpah that he will go after ICBC.”
“They’re not against religion,” she said. “They’re against religious crazy nonsense.”
Bowles has penned what she calls a children’s action book, inspired by English author Richard Adams’ Watership Down.
It’s a project she decided to purse during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I found I do actually write about animals better than I can about people,” she said.
The tale involves a small deer clan and Tilley the deer mouse. They are threatened by the Hooples, a bird gang led by captain Peter Pileated and a cult of coyotes. The last are the Macaronis.
The coyote leader is modelled on former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The story unfolds over a couple of days in the middle of a terrible virus and three dogs come to the rescue: Irish the Sighthound, and Irish setters Mary and Mickey.
The tale is set on the west coast of Canuckland, unfolding over several days as the virus ravages the community.
In one section, one of the deer, Rose, is trotting along when she feels something nipping at her hooves.
“To her horror, she sees a pair of coyotes,” the book says. “She quickly realizes that they are near the coyote den where missionaries for the Church of the Flying Macaroni Monster are looking for new recruits to join their crazy cult.
“The Church of the Flying Macaroni Monster was created to oppose the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” the book says. “The latter cult believes in science and facts. The former rejects all scientific explanations for the origins and development of mother nature.”
Rose worries coyote missionaries will capture her herd, forcing “them to belong to this pasta-worshipping cult who believe that the universe was created by a Flying Macaroni Monster.”
While Smith has been arguing for the right to wear a pirate hat — or perhaps a colander — on his driver’s licence picture, Bowles agrees with his religious rights argument but is still torn.
“I agree but just can’t decide what headgear I will wear,” she said.
A sequel is in the works but the spaghetti monster cult will be gone, the author added.
“The macaroni crowd? They’re not gone. They’ll be back,” Bowles said.