Masks (Halloween Fiction) Part I

My dear wife.  She is so… innocent?  Or at least she’s great at pretending.  She no longer knows the real me.  Me?  I’m Édon Pleumm, and I am a superhero.  Well, not really.  But I’m not really a super villain either.  I just serve up dishes of justice, sometimes hot and bloody-rare, sometimes cold and iced over like the burn on a poorly sealed frozen cut of beef.  So I guess you could go either way.  You just can’t look the other way.  Or rather, I can’t.

We met some time ago and for some reason I couldn’t get her out of my head.  She was funny, she was smart, she was hot as hell and I wanted her.  Sure there were other women I thought were beautiful, just none of them got to me like the future Mrs. P.  Fuuuuck she is fine.  Yeah, my parents carried the name Pleumm too far and gave me my own French-sounding first name even though dad was third-generation American, they thought it was funny.  And Mrs P?  She was charmed I guess, somehow.  She thought the name was great, and loved my parents before she loved me, I swear.  And it’s been more than 20 years and she is still fine fine fine fine fine.  A million times, f-i-n-e.  And there are still other women I think are beautiful and smart and all, but none of them get to me like she does.

She looked at my computer once and asked me “who is ‘Mode Plenum’?” et oui, mais oui, I told her it was me, just being “hot air.”  See, I’m a hack writer who pretends to be this mystery man online, because why the fuck not? Everyone else is doing it.  Damned sex offenders get out of jail and then text up little innocent kids, pretending to be whomever, to lure them into their pedo-vans to do horrific shit to them, well that’s one of the types I fix.  And I do mean fix.  In their own vans, or in their own secret places.  Once, when it was necessary, my wood burning kit burned… “wood.”  And made certain said “wood” doesn’t work the same way any more.   I also take care of exes, helping them to remember their responsibilities.  Or helping them to remember why they are exes, and not make the same mistakes, especially not with the same people they’ve already hurt. Fuckers.  I just hate opportunistic ass holes, especially the ones who go into criminal territory and get away with shit.  I fix …problems.  And because I learned it from Gilbert and Sullivan, I strive “to let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime.”

Mrs. P.  She’s the perfect picture of stability, poise, beauty.  She’s my world.  Do I look at other women?  Sure, I’m not blind.  Women are all fucking beautiful. Every one of them.  Mrs. P. either pretends to be blind, or doesn’t give a shit about my extracurricular activities.  Except for watching the TV show “Dexter.”  “I hate that show.  They swear so much.  Is that really necessary?  And all the killing.  It’s terrible.  You shouldn’t watch that, and I forbid you to watch it while the kids are around.  They shouldn’t learn to talk like that.”  I fucking LOVE “Dexter.”  Except his M.O.  It’s boring.  Most of the time it’s the same.  Line the room with plastic, remind the criminals of their crime(s), perform the execution they so richly deserve, take apart the corpse(s), dispose of trash off the boat.  I have watched that from Season 1 to Show Finale, at least 5 times through.  My M.O.?  I don’t have one, because if I did I’d have been found out already.  I change what I do each time I do it.  I’m not a psychopath.  I’m not even a sociopath.  Or at least I don’t think I am.  I just reached the end of my patience threshold once, and never looked back.  I don’t NEED to do what I do.  I WANT to do it, because it feels right.

Mrs. P, dear Mrs. P. either doesn’t know, or doesn’t give a shit about all the women I love.  She knows I’m bringing my sorry ass back home to her every night and I use flirtation and my own brand of platonic love as a way of encouraging. And stalking the next ass hole.  I don’t use it to get into anyone’s pajamas but hers. Because hers are the only ones I want in.

I have the perfect cover life, because it’s what I started with.  No one knows what I do.  I confess, in spite of the writers’ flaws, I learned from Dexter.  And fucking Debra is a fan-fucking-tastic character, my own personal favorite.  For Halloween I have a special treat in mind for a local …problem.  Halloween is tomorrow, and I’ve built a great costume, with special tweaks built-in to handle the problem.

I’m dressing as an alien in a machine from a science fiction show.  The machine is equipped with a part-AED, part-taser, and his treat after my electrifying, stunning performance, is delightfully wicked.  I found out he’s the one who gave a toxic treat to some neighborhood kid who ended up dying last year.  I’m going to return the favor.  The guy lives alone, and he started in another state, as your run-of-the-mill pedophile, but he branched out when he moved into our neighborhood, switching M.O. because he got caught where he used to live.

I’ve waited a long time for this.  Three years ago he killed a kid, and got away with it.  The police said it was impossible to trace where the candy came from.  But because I’m a concerned neighbor, I had enough access and information, and I figured out that he was the culprit.  I talked to the poor parents, and he talked online a little too much, in a chat room he thought was more private than it was.  And there’s only so much I.P. address masking you can do.  Oh, it was him.  He only poisoned one, because if he had poisoned more the authorities might have been able to find him.

He told a chat group what poison it was.  I matched it to the autopsy the parents told me (and several other neighbors) about.  And that’s what he gets.  Justice wrapped around a candy bar.  The last thing he will hear is “EX-TER-MIN-ATE!!”  It’s only designed to knock him unconscious, not kill him.  There will be no need to hide a body.  Just tuck the candy bar in his mouth, shut off the light, close the door and roll away in the costume, on to the rest of the houses in the neighborhood.  He might even die before he recovers from being stunned, but probably not.  The contact poison, the same one he used on his victim, will take care of the rest.

And the costume is not your store-bought flame retardant shit.   Cloth covered wood, it’ll easily break up, and completely burn in the fire circle the neighborhood teens made in the middle of the little wooded area by the neighborhood, and then, after my small campfire, complete with s’mores for anyone who might walk by, I just walk home in the dark.  All the parents are paranoid, and who could blame them?  If they don’t keep the kids at home or take them to some church event that gives out safe candy, they’ll be monitoring for tampering very carefully this year just as they did last year, and probably only let their kids go to friends’ houses.  I don’t know anyone he talks to except the online “friends,” and I wonder if any of them are close enough to check into.  I built the costume and put it in a safe place where I can just slip it on, set up the electrical charge for when I need it.  I’ll venture, virtually invisible, back to my neighborhood, and virtually invisible, back out by way of the woods.  And, bonus, I get candy from my good neighbors.

He fits the profile.  Early 30s.  Single.  Lives alone.  Mostly keeps to himself.  The police might recognize the poison from his victim if they do an autopsy.  They’ll probably figure he accidentally, or purposefully, did himself in.  This is going to be fun.  I wonder how I should dress next year for Halloween.

A Novel Idea?

I think I’ll write a novel about characters who are completely fucked up, force them to play together and see who survives.  It’ll be just like real life.  Aren’t we all novels in progress?

Everyone I know, myself included, are a little fucked up in some way(s).  I’ll be in it, once or twice, myself and I.  After all, Deon Mumple is as much a work of fiction as you think he is.  Or maybe moreso.  Edon Pleumm can be my French alias, I suppose  Or maybe the simpler Nom De Plume… yeah figure that one out–use all the letters, now.  WTH were my parents thinking.  I guess it’s funny.  Who the fuck knew I’d want to write?  So if you were wondering why I’m a writer and why I’m a little fucked up, I guess there’s a clue right there.  Thanks, Mum!  And Dad.

Deon Mumple, the fictional one anyway, can be a serial killer in the mode of … (pardon my ADD, but I could be Mode Plenum too… wtf is a plenum anyway?  Oh holy shit, I just looked that up and it’s something about fullness, or compressed gas, or hot air if you will…  fml.  Or Demon Plume, I like that one better, don’t you?) …  a fictional serial killer in the mode of fictional Dexter Morgan, because in real life I have a conscience and rage and I think evil should be exterminated.  Except, how boring to always kill people the same way?  Deon would strive “to let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime,” like he learned from Gilbert & Sullivan.

If Deon dies, he should be treated in a special way, perhaps dying in the mode of one of his fantasies.  Maybe he should meet several of the women he has flirted with, damned sexy writers all of them, orchestrated by his soon-to-be ex-wife, the poor widower, and they all have his way with him, with the coup de grâce causing a fatal heart attack, being delivered by the hot wife herself, after all, she deserves justice too, doesn’t she?  Deon Mumple is a complete ass anyway.  He deserves nothing better.  I mean, a fine, classy woman like Mrs. M. should be treated with the proper level of respect, not for being awesome, but just for being a woman.

If he doesn’t die, the fictional Deon should gently bring Mrs. M. into his dark world and they can be a team of killers, OR, maybe Mrs. M. might have an agenda all her own that is even more compelling than simple dark justice, and she draws him into her world and out of his shell.

I’ll percolate this.  Do any of my six followers think that might be interesting reading?

It’s either a novel idea that’ll make me millions, or it’s a shitty idea that should never see ink hitting paper.


Hidden God

Hidden God, 10/27/2015, Deon Mumple

I’ve hidden my God as I’ve hidden myself,
Profanity, humanity, reversed, tucked away,
As God’s hidden me in cobwebs on His Shelf,
Because it doesn’t matter, whatever I say.

I sit in broken shit, wishing it wasn’t
What I need doesn’t matter, what I want doesn’t count,
Proof “hope deferred makes the heart sick,” doesn’t it?
Now I can only scream at darkness, cry, and doubt,

And although people care, they watch me, helpless,
While I die, slowly, as my faith is vivisected,
By unseen demons’ claws of murderous stress,
My requests for direction are misdirected.

I’ve hidden my God, He’s locked up my spirit,
If I said faithful things, what difference would it make?
I have read the promises, trust, wait for it,
But I’m tired, and a smile would be completely fake.

I look out of my cage and cheer other souls,
Feeling growing self-loathing, watching others succeed,
Bitter roots and bitter fruits assess their tolls,
While I strive to escape, reaching for what I need.

I’ve hidden myself, cursing my fallen soul,
Whether God intervenes or doesn’t on my behalf
Doesn’t really matter, nor my petty goals,
“He thought he believed,” may be my life’s epitaph.

Dear 2015 (An Open Letter)

Fuck You.  I’ve hated you most of the time, most of the year now, and its already October.  There were moments of fun, a few good surprises, but by and large it’s been a very difficult year fraught with emotional batshittrification, from me first, my children second, and my wife third.  At least the extended family only added the regular scheduled doses of batshittery, which were at least mostly manageable. It did require more time investment on my part than I thought I could contribute, but contributions were made. But the family…  My wife, in a moment of brilliance, suggested that we start a saying and actions around the house:  “Sounds like somebody needs a hug,” followed by giving that person a hug.  But then in an extended “moment” or season of normalcy, the suggestion was promptly forgotten and although I need a hug and more from her, I might get that hug if I am pushy and demanding enough.  But frankly I’m afraid to push my luck (or anything else) for anything else further.

Oh, 2015.  Only some of the high hopes we held out for you in 1985, back in time going Back to the Future, came true for the wealthy.  Some people have hoverboards.  Some people have flat-screen TVs.  Some people even skype or whatever.  I’m ready for 2016 to kick 2015’s ass.  For me.  My car, rather than

flying today, blew up yesterday and I think the water pump will need to be replaced, along with whatever the mechanic needs to pay his kids’ way through college.  Smoke from under the hood smelled like coolant.  So where’s my damned flying car that runs on trash, and isn’t janky, 2015?

Taking the good with the bad, my son and daughter have had some success, which is great.  And I was given several opportunities via open side-doors because I couldn’t afford to properly buy my way in, or out, through the front doors like everyone else did.  So thanks.  And I was given a laptop, second-hand.  It apparently needs a new mouse because the cursor likes to jump all over at random for no reason, and it needs a new keyboard, and it needs a new printer, but hey. It’s a laptop which is what I asked for.

Stole this from Pinterest, a “laptop” way cooler and probably more functional than mine:  

I think some of today’s writing is also adversely affected because I’m still getting over these stupid chest-and-head-typhoon-slash-tidal-waves.  It’s a typhoon because it’s very drainy, it’s a tidal wave because the sneezes and coughing carry chunks of lung out with every onslaught.  Taking the good with the bad, I have wicked awesome chicken soup with great broth.  And the above, for its’ comic relief moments, was a fucking hilarious movie

I had a 4 month deeply depressed cycle right through the summer, with small ups to give me tiny glimmers of hope through the blackness.  Yeah, in the image below, my mood is kind of the ghost image under the regularly scheduled wave.  Trying to

climb.  It’s somewhat lighter but I don’t feel quite “up” yet.  I can say it’s lighter because looking back and seeing where I sit now, it could have been a lot worse.  I didn’t become an internet meme, and I didn’t make it onto the morning news.

Seriously, though, is there anything more depressing than the morning news, other than the evening news?  They wake me up with “Good Morning!  The world is sinking straight to hell in a lovely basket of completely fucked up shit with no hope of ever getting out.  Have a nice day!”  Perky mindfucknumbing bullshittery, with a stationary batshittrified weather front lingering in the atmosphere.  Ass holes do fucked up things to other people, and fucked up things happen to random people.  I have to start the day with murders, house fires, robbers, drug dealers, gangs, rapes, auto accidents and fucking road construction, and you’re going to report all that shit to me first thing in the morning and then tell me to “have a great day.” FUUuuUUUuuuuUUUUCK YOU, TOO, news media fuckers.

I don’t think any of them realize how demoralizing, discouraging, depressing their reports are.  Because they’re fucking perky, I want to duct tape their mouths shut and turn on some Mozart.

On the plus side, I had some kick-ass coffee first thing today and my wife was forced to drive me to work, which meant we got to spend some time together and she was nice.  I think she was surprised that despite the car episode, I was able to remain relatively calm, after I had my stress-induced asthma attack and got over it.

#DeonForPresident – (Don’t You FUCKING DARE!)

THIS ARTICLE, if you’re smart enough to get it, is hilarious.  In the Comedy section of The Huffington Post, the marvelously witty Flora Nichols  fuels my man-crush on Ben Carson just a little bit.  I’m not saying that I’ll vote for him.  I haven’t even decided who to vote for, so I’m not saying anything of the sort.  Take that, you damnable pollsters.  And kudos to Ms. Nichols; I’m a fan.

I’m nearly inspired to write an article about Bill-ary (“Jesus H.”) Clinton, Donald “No Mexicans or Fat Ugly Chicks” Trump, and a few other noteable candidates on both sides of the arena. But not quite.  It wouldn’t be well received, because I’m the guy who started the #pleasegiveussomeoneworthvotingfor hashtag.  At least I think I am.  I could write about the repetitiously scandalous history of Clinton, from Watergate to Bengazi-gate to Bergdahl-gate to Email-gate, but I won’t.  And it turns out I wasn’t the first to borrow from Doctor Who: #DontYouThinkSheLooksTired ? For those who don’t follow the show, the line the Doctor used was that he could cause the prime minister to lose her station in six words, after her scandalous treatment of honorable aliens who had lost their bet to rule the world.  I stand by my opinions that we Americans should not overlook the scandals and stupidities because we are blinded by money, or fame, or our perceptions of power.

I’ll stand by a few other generalizations in regard to the realms of politics as well.
Here are my top 10, keeping our present circumstances in mind:

10.  We must fight passive ignorance.  We must have knowledge, walking hand in hand with an unselfish love, to succeed.  With only knowledge, we leave others behind, struggling to survive.  With only love, we become overly permissive, allowing others to become unproductive, or worse, lawbreakers, in our society.  If we are passive and only try to throw money at a problem, that problem will become larger than our means to contain it.  So it is with passive ignorance.  We must become educated and culturally aware or we will be overcome by others who are educated. We must enforce the existing good laws that protect us, and discard the existing bad laws that do not protect us.  We know the laws that are primary:  Do not murder.  Do not steal.  We must do more than just not murder, we must allow, and labor to facilitate, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” for every person.  We must do more than not steal, we must give sacrificially, each of us.  We know other laws that affirm our honor and respect for our country, and we must hold those who would immigrate to the same standards of honor and respect.  If we are passive and ignorant, we will be overtaken because we surrendered without a putting up resistance.

9.  We must beware of those who politicize and then radicalize any issue.  We have historical examples, wherein the powerful decide, first, what we are allowed to believe and think, then, how we are allowed to live our lives, and last, who lives or dies.  We have seen them in the past, and in the present, and we must not passively allow them to seize power from the innocent.  The executioners in the North Korea, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the kidnappers and murderers in Nigeria and elsewhere, the pirates of Somalia, are no different than Hitler, Mao Zedong, Sadam Hussein, and others.  They all have a sense of entitlement to deprive others of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and they, and others like them, must be stopped.

8.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way repeatedly and expecting different results.  We’ve done the same thing for years, before Obama was president, and while he’s been president, and nothing has really changed despite Obama’s “Hope and Change” campaign.  I’ve seen the gas prices rise to their highest level ever, and then drop just in time for the election, so we don’t all hate Obama when he leaves office and vote against his party’s replacement.  Gas prices ALWAYS fall before elections, because people have short memories.  If we really want change, we must do something different than just hope.  And if we really want what is best, we have to aim for what is best for all of us, even if that means a difficult road.  It’s been a long time since the space race under Kennedy.  There are new enemies to be overcome, and they are attacking us from within our own country’s borders.  There are enemies of debt and violence.  I propose a debt elimination race.(see (A), below)  I propose a war on violence, fought by our law-abiding citizens.  What we need are not laws that restrict our law-abiding citizens from getting guns, but rather laws that encourage our citizens, our friends, our neighbors, not to vengeful vigilante-ism but to a strength that discourages the law-breakers from ever attacking us.  We can certainly make laws that restrict the types of guns available, their power, but we should also respect the wisdom of the founding fathers who framed the constitution giving us the right to bear arms, and the ability to have a well-regulated militia of common, law-abiding citizens.  The police can only do so much.  It is up to the rest of us to do our part to help.  Gun control through the law only makes the criminal stronger than the homeowner, because the homeowner respects the law; the criminal does not.

7.  There is nothing wrong with electing someone who ISN’T a lawyer or career politician as President. Ever notice how close phonetically the words lawyer and liar are?  I noticed.  Are you a lawyer?  I’m not.  Are you a liar?  I’m… invoking my 5th Amendment right to silence.  If the person who you want to represent you doesn’t live on the same planet as you, maybe you want to think twice before you vote for them.  One of the things I like about Carson as a politician, that is comically ridiculed by Flora in the article above, is the fact that he’s a brain surgeon.  If he does as president what he does in his profession, he might help the country become enabled to think right about things.  He may not say it right occasionally, but I’d bet he’s a whole lot smarter than a certain other recent presidential victor whose spoken faux pas were fodder for late-night comedians everywhere.  Think about my normal source material and recall who God chose to lead Israel and what they did before they were king or leader:  Shepherds.  Moses was a shepherd and so was David.  And so were a couple important other prophets.  And Jesus was born as a carpenter’s kid.  So, I posit, that good leaders need to learn how to lead like a shepherd, caring about the sheep, and sometimes sacrificing themselves, their comfort, and their time, for the well being of the sheep.  And as a second postulate, other good leaders know how to build, and hopefully build on good foundations.

6.  Any idiot who didn’t vote in an election has no room to complain about whatever shit the elected officials do while in office.  You didn’t use your voice to tell who should be in office, so shut the fuck up about whatever they do while they’re there.  My dad gave me that one (minus the profanity).  It’s different when you’re heartily discouraged from voting like the Black Panthers tried in Pennsylvania for Obama.  One wonders what happened in other, less filmed, locations, but we know that the Black Panthers got away with it and there was a movement to hush the whole thing up in court.  Which brings us to our next generalization:

5.  Never trust a politician for what they say they’re going to do when they are elected.  Trust them to act like they did when they weren’t so important, only with a bigger platform and more widespread consequences.  People don’t change, and power only brings out things more and bigger.

4.  Never trust anyone who either shies away from, or clings too tightly to, a religion or the lack of it.  If you’re ashamed of it, you should have quit it before you were forty, and if you cling too tightly to it you may become irrational and spun toward hatred of others who do not share your belief, or you may lose focus on practical concerns.  A candidate’s work, home, and spiritual life should be kept in a rational balance.  That said, a candidate who claims to be a Christ-follower should attend church regularly somewhere, or I’d question the claim.

3.  Never trust anyone who tries to hide anything from you, or can’t prove themselves within three days.  This because a) Jesus rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion, b) it took Obama’s people two and a half years to fabricate produce a birth certificate.  I can get you mine in a day or two.  What the Fucking SERIOUS Fuck?(see below, (B)), and c) Obama worked hard to backpedal from the church he said he attended after it came to light that the pastor was speaking something near treasonous from the pulpit.  If he has said things like this, once, on the record, surely he has frothed this same kind of ignis fatuus, if not worse, many times.(see below, (C))

2.  Never trust the media to tell you who to vote for.  The media wants you to do their bidding, not necessarily what’s best for you.  Do your own research on issues important to you, find out which candidate is aligned with and best equipped to represent you, and vote your heart and your conscience, if you have one.

1.  Never trust a lawyer who is running a country.  They always take their retainers, per diems, and settlement fees, whether they win the case or not, and we need a better percentage.

And now, lengthy footnotes:  For (A) I have added my own changes to what I thought was a very inspiring speech, in [brackets].

(A)  “We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For [debt, like] space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war [or through another great depression far worse than the forgotten 1930s]. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of [debt] any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that [debt] can be… mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.  [We have fed the famished beast of debt, and it has grown large over time.  We must starve the beast and become self-sufficient, self-reliant.  We must become strong.  Individuals, corporations, and our nation, must take personal and congregational responsibility, must make the personal and congregational sacrifices necessary to become debt-free, and we must help each other, just as we fed our fellow Americans with soup kitchens and employed our fellow Americans, building our infrastructure, and rebuilding the post-World-War-Two world, under Roosevelt.]

[For far too long we have served the demands of our debt, writing ever larger borrower’s notes, until we owe it, not just our very souls, but also the souls of our children and their children.  For far too long we have chosen the weak paradigm that wars should bring our country out of recession, and have tried on a limited scope, to diminish our debt by stepping in the shit other countries are afraid to tread in, and it has failed.  And instead of paying our debt, we only increase our financial indebtedness, and our debt to this country’s mothers and fathers, a debt of blood that can scarcer be repaid than the trillions of dollars our country has borrowed, a debt of blood that only continues stirring a raging sea of worldwide hatred of America’s sense of self-entitlement.]

[When the United States of America endured the depression we did so as a community.  We helped one another.  And when America went to Europe and realized the ravages and famines and emptiness the war inflamed, we banded together.  We conserved.  We contributed.  We grew bigger crops, and we fed the world our exports.  We stormed the beaches at Normandy and left our sacrifices there, sacrifices given in the name of peace.  We freed the survivors of concentration camps, and united with the rest of the world, a world that was done with war, done with foreign occupation, done with allowing barbarians to rule and indulge in wholesale slaughter of innocents in the name of domination.  We did the hard things.  We made the sacrifices that made our modern generation venerate “the Greatest Generation.”  Why have we not become even greater?  Because we’ve settled.  We’ve rested.  We’ve ridden the wave of their greatness. That tidal wave has subsided, and now their high waters are receding, and taking with them our potential.  We must do as they have done, and we must do even more, so the tides may rise again as they did after the labors of the past generation.  How, you ask?]

We [should ]choose to [pay off our national debt]! … We choose to [pay off our national debt] in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win!”

(B)  Someone who is running for an office with the prestige of the Presidency does not need to hide his or her credentials, and needs to be able to produce them.  A Drivers License.  A Social Security Card.  A Birth Certificate.  These are very common instruments used to verify a person’s identity.  A birth certificate was produced, the validity of which is still questioned by some critics.  Verbal and documentary testimony from sources including Kenyan tribal leaders, school registration papers, and a certain application for financial aid filed by Obama, aka Soetero, have thrown further doubt on the answers to the citizenship question.  I accept his election, but I have other concerns.

(C) Obama claims to be a patriot and a Christ-follower, but if he were a regularly attender of the Christian church in Illinois he claimed to be a member of, he would have heard all kinds of anti-American rhetoric.  If a pastor is a proper shepherd he would preach things that foster unity among Christ-followers, and truth and love for others (Ephesians 4:15).  Sure, press for change, but to focus on negatives, to raise racial discontent, and especially, to pour out curses on your own country, does not seem wise.  Maybe there’s nothing wrong with Wright’s sermon as a whole, or maybe (as this writer holds) there is something seriously wrong with it.

And finally, my battle cry:  “You’ve got to wise up!”

Tedious Tuesday

I wish this were a funny post.  But it’s not turning out that way.  Today I was looking for a word that described my feelings that started with a “t,” for Tuesday, but alas could not find one or think of one until I actually started typing and fell on one.  I started with tumultuous but today is anything but that.  Seriously if the word I fell on had been sharp in any way I would have seriously injured myself with the following statements, but it’s not.  Today is not “tumultuous.”  Thank God for small favors.  Today is boring, meh, blah, dull, tedious…  aha!

Yeah I got jealous with all of the trying-too-hard-to-be-encouraging-and-inspiring-but-ending-up-being-tedious blogs.  I love you all for doing them, and I’m grateful to see there are still believers out there for whom it works:  You know them: Metamorphosis Monday, Triumphant Tuesday, Winning Wednesday…  I WISH it were that simple for me but it doesn’t work:  just think positive thoughts, simply ask the universe or God or whatever for what you need and what you want, do what you love doing and watch the whole thing fall perfectly into place, complete with unicorns farting rainbows and sunshine and other happy shit.  However, It’s not.  So I thought, fuck, none of this is happening to me, so why shouldn’t there be honesty in blogging:  Moody Mondays and Tedious Tuesdays and Whining Wednesdays and PaTHetic Thursdays and Fuck-Me Fridays and Stagnant Saturdays and Sucking Sundays?

OK PASS on Whining Wednesdays, I hate whining.  We’ll make it “Weeping” Wednesdays.  But (whining) It’s October so why aren’t I manic?  Or at least optimistic?  I used to have such faith.  I used to have such confidence in God, that He would take care of me through everything.  And then came the doldrums, the sameness, the consistent supply no matter whether I worked hard or not, of less-than-I-need.  Less than I need to pay bills, less than I need to fix things or replace them, but just barely enough to get by and still live in this neighborhood.

And then my wife started getting less into our relationship and more into whatever she’s doing which makes her practically pass out exhausted before I’m ready for sleep.  I swear if the doctors hadn’t already given her a clean bill of health I’d think something was wrong.  The passing out thing means nothing to me.  And I mean “nothing.”  As in, nothing happening.  As in, if I touch her, I’m bothering her and not enabling her to get enough rest.  Which again presents the looming spectre of less-than-I-need.  And not what I asked for.

And then life didn’t change, for years, and I’ve been saying I’m sometimes feeling depressed because life isn’t getting any better.  I’ve been saying I get more depressed because things suck.  As if that’s not depressing enough, my daughter has learned how to push my buttons the same way Mrs. M does, only with even less respect.  Unless she wants/needs something, in which case she’s all sweetness and delight, to which I’m supposed to just shift and return sweetness and delight.  I’ve all but shut out my whole family now.  Two down, one to go.  Sadly, I still love them all and will still try to give them what I can.  And my daughter is right, to a degree that my wife is also right, that I could expend the energy to try harder to be positive, to try harder at life, for the benefit of people around me, because hanging out with me is depressing.  Trust me, I have to live with myself.

And then at church the Bible Studies I “got to” attend were on 1) how God is present and personal and cares about individuals- yeah I can see how He gives a shit, and 2) how we’re supposed to put Him first, while life swirls in the shards of what should be, bleeding, and descends in the dust of despair, decaying, and 3) how I’m supposed to control my fucking tongue.  Yeah, mum, I know you’re right.  But why bother, especially right now?  I’d feel dishonest somehow, inauthentic.  This from the Jesus who gave us Matthew 11:29.  Since God is everywhere, must be my fault.  I’ve moved away from God in response to these feelings and events.  I sure wish He would come rescue me though.

But today, I zeroed in on one core feeling.  I feel sadness, sure, but that’s almost all the time.  I feel burdened with responsibilities, sure, but that’s all the time and overtime.  I feel frustrated, but what’s a little helpless raging between friends?  I feel abandoned, but is that really a bad thing?  I mean, I don’t even want to answer the phone.  I just feel tedious today, so that’s the perfect word.  I’m bored with the sameness, but I’m afraid anything I do will just fuck it up worse than it already is.  I don’t feel anything, but then I’m not sure I want to feel something.  Will I do a blog for Weeping Wednesday, etc.?  Probably not.

It would be tedious.

The Perfect Woman

The Perfect Woman, Deon Mumple, 10/8/2015

She isn’t a size double-zero, as it happens she’s a tall double-two.
And her feet aren’t a perfect size nine, but they fit inside her shoes,
Her hair sometimes shines a little more, as the sunlight glints white or grey,
Her face shows concerns, love, and wisdom, but I’d stare into those eyes all day.

The world says she’s not a perfect ten, but who are they, when she’s my wife?
By that scale I’d say she’s an eleven, with real curves not cut by a knife.
If she wore a plain muddy shirt and sweatpants, I would still notice
What I notice, and addicted, I would still crave one more kiss.

Sometimes she wears makeup and dresses, and Revlon colors her hair,
But I’ve let her know that that is her show, if she didn’t, I really wouldn’t care
Sometimes she makes me work my tail off, because she’s just too tired,
But she loves me, I love her completely, and that’s how poetry is inspired.

Obama Is (Still) Not the Antichrist (Yet) and The End is Near

Can you hear my hysterical laughter?

Too bad, it’s refreshingly maniacal.

Recently I read the most hilarious article that said something about a prophecy found in Islamic texts, some were alleging it meant that Obama was the Anti-Christ.  I wanted it to be true, or at least believable.  The imam was in denial, saying anything that is purported to have been prophetic in Islam is pure guesswork, because we make our own future.  I hoped.  I hoped he was trying to cover something up, and that his comments were part of a grand conspiracy, because I love a conspiracy.  I kept surfing.  In the end I couldn’t find anything convincing, after searching from Nostradamus to Nineveh.

Then I read somewhere that the number of the beast, extended with extra zeroes, was the zip code of Chicago, Illinois, 60606.  I thought, holy shit!  Maybe.  Then I looked up the home and office of Obama while in Chicago.  The home is 60615, and the office is 60601 (the Prudential Building).  Alas, Obama’s not the Antichrist.  And he’s not the Lord and Savior either.  Damn it, just when I thought I was on the trail of something good…  I kept surfing.

I have a friend who wrote about Obama when he first got elected to the presidency.  He was lamenting the way his church people all started wailing and moaning about this event because of Obama’s political positions.  He said, wisely, that what American Christians should do if they don’t like it, was to pray.  After all, as he pointed out, Proverbs 21:1 says God can change the heart of a “king.”  Obama may not be a king in the traditional sense, but he is a world leader and that I think is consistent with the text’s intent.  And, evidently either God intends to let things go as they’re going, or the people aren’t praying hard enough.  I kept surfing.

Recently I read about the significance of the “super blood moon.”  Now THAT was cool.  I got to watch the lunar eclipse, which some said was a sign of the end of the world, or would start the end of the world, or some bullshit like that.  My friend says that whenever he hears a prediction of the end of the world he knows it’ll be a while because no one knows.  He also says that despite the dire predictions of everybody making prophecies, the world has at least 1007 years left.  You’ll have to ask him, or figure out for yourselves where that number comes from.  I watched the last of the four blood moons because on a partly cloudy night we could see it pretty well.  Plus, who wants to miss out on the end of the fucking world?!

I read articles about blood moons and read about people claiming that blood moons were significant for Israel.  I haven’t seen anything interesting happening in Israel recently, so naturally I am curious to know how the current “blood moon” will impact them.   (I cited that article because a commentator points out that the Blood moons appear to be occurring, this year, during Jewish high holy times or whatever.)  I agree that it was “super” which means it was close, so maybe there would have been something tidal about it, but the only sea by them is the Mediterranean.  I didn’t hear about any tidal waves.  I didn’t hear about any important political events.  I didn’t hear any more rumors of war than I always hear about, and nothing really momentous happened in Israel yet/recently.  The next super blood moon is in 2033, and it’s just a coincidence that it’s about 2000 years after Jesus was supposed to have been crucified, dead, buried, and come back to life.

Obama will be 71 in 2033.  Obama is 54 years old.  71-54=17 reverse the digits and you get 71.    “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear… (Matthew 11:15)”  15+1+1= 17,  .  This year, the Islamic new year happens on October 14, 17 days after the Blood Moon.  Just so you know, I’m just throwing coincidental facts and mysterious Bible words and numbers out to sound ominous.  Or, even better, Obamanous?  And of course if you think they’re coming true, this prophet is Obamanonymous.  But maybe, just maybe, something is planned for the 17th other than a New Year party.  I’ll watch and see.

NASA and other scientific groups say there are no comets or meteors scheduled for the near future. But maybe, in 2033, just to supplement the Super Blood Moon thing, there will be an impressive meteor strike, either smashing into the moon or hitting some desolate patch of earth or ocean.  Or a really screaming-close near-miss.  I read that there is supposed to be one in 2032. That’ll get ’em going all over again.

By writing all of this I hope to stem the tide of all you wanna-be prophets.  You fuckers are worse than the ghouls writing about dead celebrities when they aren’t dead yet.  Those articles slip out periodically and people think the worst, until the celebrity comes outside and says they aren’t dead yet.  But about this Jesus thing, please, shut up already!  Shut up!!  Quit saying “Jesus is coming.”  Start saying “When is he coming?  I don’t believe he’s ever coming back.”  Because II Peter 3 says he’ll come when people start saying that, and Matthew 24 says  that if anyone says, “look, there’s Jesus!” not to believe them, and also says no one knows when he’s coming back.

Gentlemen! (and ladies!)  Start your scoffing!  Please.

Because I want a shred of credibility somewhere in all of these “prophecies,” before I go off and get the tinfoil hat and lock the doors of my bunker.

One Nation, under lockdown, with control issues and imbalanced concepts of justice, for all.

I’ve heard more inane rambling today by the news media about various random idiots with guns shooting random citizens than I can stand.  The rambling that offends me is when they start delving into the topics of mental illness and gun control.  And of course, the public eats all that up, especially if they want gun control, and/or need a reason why someone would shoot someone other than they wanted to shoot someone.

First, let’s address the issue of undefined “mental illness.”  It’s a grey area, the way they start rambling, and they never really say exactly what they mean, or they don’t know what they mean.  Fuck that, I’ve got a mental illness but I don’t want to hurt other people.  The uninformed news media needs to define what they mean by mental illness, with specific delineation, or shut the fuck up.  Otherwise, the kneejerk reaction is to just say, “Henceforth and forevermore, nobody with any kind of ‘mental illness’ diagnosis is allowed to register to own a legally obtained gun.”

Saying “I have a mental illness,” does not equal saying “I am crazy,” nor does it equal saying “I am likely to shoot my family and my neighbors and random people.”  While shooting someone may be the result of a psychotic break, it may also be the result of being an idiot, or a criminal, or both.  Shooting someone is not necessarily the product of a mental illness.  Shooting someone is  an incorrect method, and a poor behavior choice, for conflict resolution.  Especially when the one you’re shooting at has nothing to do with the conflict.

Our latest shooter is dead, as with many before him, so there is no way to get an honest answer as to motive.  Maybe the girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with him.  Maybe he just wanted to go out in a blaze of asinine self-defined “glory.”  Maybe he hated people of a certain persuasion and felt like he was making a contribution to society.  Maybe the next shooter lost his job, or felt desperate, or got his jollies by watching people bleed and die.  Fuck ALL those “justifications,” they all stink.  With my apologies to his family, who will most likely be offended by my comment, the biggest contribution that he made was his own exit, because there’s no justification for these actions.

For some reason, random criminals from South Carolina (Emmanuel AME) to Oregon (Umpqua Community College) and everywhere in between, are killing people.  The ass from South Carolina lived, he hates Black Christians, he’s guilty as fuck, and he still gets a fair trial.  The ass from Oregon did not live, he allegedly hated Christian college students and teachers.  The ass from the movie theater probably wanted to be a super villain.  And their families are saying “he was all good and [they] don’t understand.”  Sounds like every other family of an idiot who shot people.  Even the gang members’ family says that bullshit after the mugging or store robbery or murder goes down.  All the shooters are, are asses, who are committing premeditated murder.

These are not spontaneous actions.  These are highly orderly, planned-out actions:  stockpile weapon(s), stockpile ammunition, choose target(s), attend facility/business, execute plan.

You can hate anyone you want, that’s your right.  But you can’t shoot them just because you hate them.  If you think you can kill someone you arbitrarily decided to hate, with your own personal logical reasonings (here read: stupidity) or random predilections, you are the same as any murderous dictator or murderous social group.  We’ve seen them in the past, and we have one or two in the modern era, deciding who lives or dies based on how much they suck up to them or speak the “right” buzz words.  I hate dumbasses, bullies, and criminals, especially murderers, spouse abusers, and child abusers, but I don’t feel I have the right, or the obligation, to shoot anyone.

Next let’s address the issue of guns themselves.  According to a constitutional amendment, citizens have a right in America to own them, but with the right comes the responsibility of registering and learning how to properly use them.  I don’t own a gun because I don’t like them and because I know accidents sometimes happen, but I know a few responsible gun owners and their kids.  They are very conscientious.  These people are not the problem, so regulating their guns makes no logical sense.  These people are who I would call on if a shooter was active and they were closer than the cops.  These people, with their carry permits, or their concealed carry permits, are the ones I would count on to get to the shooter after he or she takes down 1 or 2 people, and before he takes down 9 and reloads.  The criminal is going to get a gun if he or she wants to.  There’s not really a way to stop that, because regulations only affect the law-abiding.  Criminals will steal it or make it or buy it online or at an auction or gun show, or borrow it from someone.

In Chicago, they regulate guns in an ill-conceived attempt to eliminate them.  Which means, the only people who shoot other people are criminals with their illegal guns, and the law-abiding citizens have no defense.  In other cities, the lady with the pistol in her purse who defends her family and the shop owner against the mugger or robber is a hero.  If I had a gun I would be sure to register legally, practice regularly, and pray more because I’d never want to feel required to use it.  But, presuming I don’t go out and get a gun to learn how to safely use, if I were in a situation like these poor people in the church, or the movie theater, or the school campus, I would want someone to be my hero and put the animal down.  Quickly.

If you’re a criminal, or an idiot, or a little of both, bent on causing death or injury to others, try it on yourself first, and after you shoot yourself in the head, if you still think it’s ok to do it to someone else, try again on yourself and then, don’t do it to anyone else.  And if you’re in the press, before you go shooting your mouth off about something you don’t fully understand because the implications go far beyond what you’re saying, or something you don’t fully define because of some more socially controlling agenda you want to grind in everyone’s faces, please just shut it.

Stuck in the Middle

I wish I could love people like Jesus.  The trouble is, nobody is like Jesus.~Michael N. Johns (writer), via Twitter.    Yeah that’s why I like Michael.  He’s got a great sense of humor.

Ghandi said something similar: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I’m stuck.  I want to figure out how to fulfill both commandments given by Jesus, and I can’t figure out how to do either one.  I want to be a good Christ follower, and be like Christ, but I’m a failure:

On the one side, I want to love my neighbor like I love myself.  You know, when I mess up I feel guilty for a while and then I forgive myself and move on because you can’t just stop everything because you feel like a jerk, or you feel stupid, or whatever.  So I want to forgive my neighbors.  And I don’t want anyone judging me because I’m not a perfect Christ-follower and I’m not a perfect husband and I’m not a perfect father and I’m not a perfect son and I’m not…  OK you get it, I’m not perfect.   Sure as fuck wish I was though.  In light of said admission, don’t fucking judge me.  And I want to not judge you.  Unless you’re stupid or selfish or a bully in which case, fuck you.  Yeah, I keep saying that, and it’s so unlike Jesus.  Damn.  Failed again.    FML.

Is it really MY FAULT?  Everyone is just so easily hateable!!  Damned if they’re not fuck ups JUST LIKE ME.  And well, hating myself is even easier.  And some people are even worse than me.  I have a simple set of rules that I really strive to follow.  They’re just from grade school:  Don’t be selfish.  Don’t steal.  Don’t lie.  Don’t cheat.  Don’t fight, or hurt other people.  Don’t take cuts in line.  Be nice.  Be courteous.  Be kind.  Be helpful.  Be encouraging.  Be thoughtful.  Understand and anticipate the consequences of your actions.  If you can’t say anything nice, shut the fuck up. Hold the door for others.  Stuff like that.  Break these basic rules, act selfish, or hurt someone and I’m not going to like you at all.

Jesus said to love other people.  He also said to turn away from sin.  Which, with all the hating of other people means I’m not a very good Christ follower.  And with the hateable behavior, means two things: 1) it’s easy to hate others, and 2) while I’m working out turning from my sin it’d be easier if you’d admit you’re a fuck up too.  If we agree on these things, maybe we can encourage each other to turn away from our favorite sins, whichever ones we are choosing.

On the other side, I want to love God with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.  And in principle, I should.  See, we Christ-followers, for all our fuck-ups, are a very reassured group.  We trust in Christ, because there’s no way to earn our own salvation.  So with that, we have the ticket to heaven, you could say.  So I ought to love God.  But that’s hard too.  It’s easy to love my wife, when she’s loveable.  It’s easy to love my kids too, with the same stipulation.  I can see them.  I can touch them.  I can do nice things for them.  Even the homeless beggar on the street, I can see and provide tangible help.  I think that’s love.  I can say encouraging things to other people.  But God?

I can’t see Him, I can’t touch Him, and He doesn’t always answer me the way I want, and never how I expect.  Sometimes I feel like He has abandoned me and left me directionless and purpose-less.  That SUCKS.  And it’s hard to love a being like that.  Hell, it’s hard to understand HOW TO love a being like that.  I mean, do you love the wind?  You can’t see it, you can’t touch it.  And then I’m supposed to love Him whether or not He answers my prayers or not, whether He answers them like I’d like or not.  I’m supposed to just trust Him whether I feel like I can trust Him or not, when I often feel betrayed and abandoned.  And I’m just supposed to figure it out for myself (Philippians 2:12), well thank God very much for all the clarity of my individual purpose.  Then there are the Christ-followers, some are all right, but others are selfish and mean as fuck, and they clearly don’t love me so how’s that a good demonstration of how to follow Jesus?

I’m stuck between these two assignments and I can’t figure out how do do either one correctly.  I want to love God.  But I can’t.  So maybe if I’ve “done it to the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40).  Because I want to encourage others.  I guess sometimes I am doing that.  I want to be nice.  I guess sometimes I am doing that.  I want to trust. Oh, that one is hard.  And I want other people to understand how Jesus loved them and wants them to turn away from sin, but at the same time I frequently fail to turn from my own.  So… Maybe I’m doing some of it right.  I’ll just have to trust that it’s adequate because it’s all I can do. And maybe I can try to do a little more, a little better, than I’m already doing.