"We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean that we are supposed to go down that road. " -- Marcus Bachmann
CONAN: I am Conan. I was born in the frozen wastelands of Cimmeria, in the stygian darkness of the Hyborian Age, between the sinking of Atlantis and the beginning of recorded history. I am a barbarian. Who are you?
BACHMANN: My name is Marcus Bachmann. I run a Christian counseling center. My wife is also running for President of the United States. She just won the Iowa straw poll. I'm here to educate and discipline you.
CONAN: What means this "educate and discipline?"
BACHMANN: It's called reparative therapy. I'm here to teach you to suppress these barbarian impulses, to become civilized.
CONAN: I was born a barbarian, on the battlefield. I participated in the sacking of Venarium, an Aquilonian outpost, when I was but fifteen.
BACHMANN: Nobody is born a barbarian. It's a lifestyle choice. You've just been confused by popular culture into thinking being a barbarian is acceptable.
CONAN: I like being a barbarian. Pillaging and plundering are in my blood. There is nothing like crushing your enemies beneath your feet, and listening to the wails and lamentation of their women.
BACHMANN: You just think you like being a barbarian. Deep down inside, you long to be civilized.
CONAN: How do I become "civilized?"
BACHMANN: You just have to pray and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
CONAN: Conan worships no god save Crom. Who be this Jesus Christ?
BACHMANN: The Son of God. He was crucified for man's sins.
CONAN: If he can be killed by mortal man, then he cannot be much of a god. Believe me, I have fought many gods and monsters in my adventures, and they are not so easily dispatched.
BACHMANN: Jesus was resurrected on the third day and ascended to Heaven.
CONAN: Bah! Crom has no use for such tomfoolery. He just sits on his gloomy mountaintop for all eternity. He gives man courage when he is born, but otherwise does not interfere. But enough comparative religion. What does this being civilized offer me -- gold, silver, jewels? It was prophesied one day that I would be ruler of my own country.
BACHMANN: Well, you could learn to run around in more than just a loin cloth and sandals.
CONAN: What use has Conan of clothes? They just get in the way when he is slaying enemies or bedding wenches.
BACHMANN: At least we have that in common. When I first saw how muscled up and hairless you were, I thought you were one of those homosexuals.
CONAN: What means this "homosexual?"
BACHMANN: It means when two men, you know...
CONAN: Aye, Conan has known many fierce warriors who prefer the hilt of the broadsword to the sheath, if thou knowest what I mean. Well, what of it? What a man doeth in his own bedroom is his own business. Conan may be a barbarian, but he is not a savage.
BACHMANN: Leviticus 20:13 say a man who lies with another man should be stoned to death.
CONAN: I know not this Leviticus you refer to, but he sounds like a peevish sort. Conan has witnessed many stonings, and it always those with the most evil in their hearts who are the most eager to cast stones.
BACHMANN: If homosexuals can't go straight, they should remain abstinent.
CONAN: Take heed! My father was a blacksmith. He taught me about the pot calling the kettle black. Thou lookest like a homosexual thyself.
BACHMANN: I'm not a homosexual! Here's a picture of my wife, Michele.
CONAN: She's a comely wench, I'll grant you that, although her eyes are a bit strange. Very well -- I will give you three goats for her, provided you mask those eyes.
BACHMANN: She's not for sale.
CONAN. Who spoke ought of buying? I merely wish to rent her for the night. You will come out ahead on the deal. Conan has sired many manly sons throughout Hyboria. Thou lookest scarcely capable of the deed.
BACHMANN: I have five biological children, not to mention the twenty-three we fostered!
CONAN: Your wife has five biological children. Whether any of them be yours, only Crom can say.
BACHMANN: Maybe we should just pray. Dear Lord, please help this ignorant barbarian to see the error of his ways and accept that intolerance, bigotry, and homophobia are the roads to civilization.
CONAN: Thou sound like the evil wizard Thulsa-Doom with thy weasel words. Go converse with thy Jesus!
Conan cleaves Bachmann in two with one mighty stroke of his broadsword.
CONAN: What were thou expecting -- glitter? I am a barbarian, after all.
Follow Robert Brenner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robert_brenner