The First Soggy Wafer Award

Vigorous sarcasm is one result of working in the faith community for nearly three decades. It is only natural, then, that in the tradition of the green weenie award, for those of you who remember the Wittenberg Door, we will search the world over for the ridiculous attempting to be sublime, and present the occasional, soon-to-be-coveted Soggy Wafer Award.

The Soggy Wafer Award will recognize the often earnest, but at least temporarily cock-eyed, believers who will be candidates for heaven’s all-fools division.

The initial Soggy Wafer Award is presented to two individuals who define the very essence of the category–the incarnational fried foods owners, Fred Whan and Diana Duyser.

Let me remind you of their stories, which you’ve probably heard:

Fred Whan is an eastern Ontario, Canada, man who is hoping to make a bit of money by auctioning a fish stick he says looks like Jesus. He kept the fish stick in his freezer since burning it at dinner a year ago, but decided on November 24 that it was time to thaw it out so he could sell it on eBay. Whan said he made the discovery while cooking dinner for his kids and several other children he was baby-sitting. “I burned a few fish sticks, and I said, ‘Who wants a fish stick?’ and no one wanted them because they were burnt, so I thought I’d better give them to the dogs.” When he flipped over one of the pieces of fish to remove it from the pan, it seemed the face of a man was staring up at him. “I said, ‘That looks like a rock singer,’ and then my son goes, ‘It looks like Jesus,’ and I said, ‘Well, it does, yeah.'”

Fred said he figured it would make a good conversation piece for friends and decided to throw the triangular piece of fish in the freezer to keep it as a joke. It was never about making any money from it, he said. That is until Diana Duyser of Florida recently sold a decade-old grilled cheese sandwich with the toasty visage of what’s purported to be the Virgin Mary for $28,000, to

Diana says she spotted the image after she’d taken a bite out of the sandwich and saw the face staring back at her. She put it on eBay and the page was viewed more than 1.1 million times.

The Soggy Wafer does recognize the entreruprenerial spirit of these erstwhile fry cooks, but the points they pick up for that are overwhelmed by their willingness to prey on the idiocy of people who would actually pay cash for fried food images that they believe possess spiritual significance.

We can’t really say much more about all of this because we’re laughing too hard. But we’re looking very hard at the images and have to say they look more like Sonny and Cher than Jesus and Mary.

– -James Jewell


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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