When the Shit Comes Crashing In, or, The Story of My Infinite Success
Sorry, my brain went off on a tangent about the Salvation Army, off to the musical Guys and Dolls, God only knows where it will wander from here, because I made the mistake of starting with the title. I was looking for this (I swore the “Save A Soul Mission Band” from Guys and Dolls played “When the Saints,” ), and found that (See below, not a bad message I suppose, maybe a bit more on this shortly)
I do like Louis Armstrong. But here goes, trying to focus. Did YOU know Marlon Brando could actually SING? Sorry, tangent again. And I didn’t link to Marlon’s singing. Just look up the movie, it’s a good one. FOCUS, DEON!
Charlie Sheen’s “winning.” Mmmmm Hmmm. Riiight.
Prosperity Preachers‘ messages help the desperate, and the faithful, prosper. Because it’s obviously the truth, right? Mmmmm Hmmm. That’s why I got the high-paying ministry position when I first graduated out of seminary school and have only gone upwards from there. Riiight. Or maybe that’s how I won the lottery back when I purchased my very first ever ticket, before all the doubt crept in. Yeah. Mmmm Hmmm. Riiight.
Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer and Brian Tracy and speakers like them usually don’t come right out and say it, but they’re success preachers too. Nobody ridicules Tony Robbins. That guy is enormous. But Oprah, and her proteges are ridiculous, I can’t figure out why they’re so popular and wealthy. Through it all, Oprah yo-yo diets, and Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil are ridiculed as quacks on SNL. Oprah just cries all the way to her mansion, I bet. And so do the other proteges.
Maybe there’s a difference between wishful thinking and actual truth.
I have to say it here, that although my recent experience has been somewhat lacking in the department, God really DOES answer prayer, and sometimes in a big way, sometimes smaller. It just seems a little more random and whimsical lately than back in the day. Like when my back popped back into alignment, I’ll count it as an answer to prayer because I didn’t have to pay for a chiropractor and we really don’t have the money. Still waiting on other current (IMHO reasonable) requests. But if I were reminiscing, I could tell you stories… but, another time.
I get irritated when people tell me things my itching ears want to hear, I try it and it doesn’t work. The ones that make me really mad bring Bible verses into it and say things like “Just speak it into existence, like God did in Genesis,” or, “God wants all of His children to be all rich and successful, all you need is a little faith” (which is why most of the followers in Jesus’ day and in the book of Acts were poor and needy and downtrodden, and Jesus said there would always be poor people, but I digress). And then they have the blasphemous GALL to tell the listener to “just send me your last dollar first and God will bless you” (DEAR GOD, I HATE those fuckers). They used to just kill false prophets but today that’s frowned upon. Today they sit in posh “church” buildings and jet airplanes cashing senior citizens’ social security checks and desperate people’s last dimes. And God blesses those people because when you don’t have a dime, someone is going to be charitable.
I found out the GoFundMe people did shut down Cinnamon Nicole, poor thing, after she claimed to have bet the rent money on the Lottery. She had already raised $810. I hope she was making the story up, because if not, she’s now watching the preachers and hoping for a breakthrough or selling it on the street to raise the necessary funds, and I hope it’s not gotten to that.
Oh, just listen to what they say: Visualize it. Dream it. If you believe it you can achieve it. The universe wants you to be happy and successful. You can be rich and successful and powerful. You can have your dreams come true. You can trade a paperclip up into a house, assuming you already have sufficient cash flow and the ability to travel coast to coast and up to Canada and get publicized. And I can go home and find a cashiers check for $100 million dollars payable to me in my mailbox (hey, why the fuck not?), my kids sent off to their grandparents for the night, and my wife in that outfit with a hot steak dinner and a bottle of wine, all ready for action, whispering in my ear, “I want you, now, and I’ll do ANYTHING you ask!” I’ll let you all know.
One of my friends wrote about a guy who said that life happens in waves. I think that’s right. I also think shit happens in waves too. I think it’s worse when another wave rolls ashore onto people who are already stuck at a low tide mark in their lives. But if you think it only happens to people there, consider the stories of Benoît Violier, Bernard Loiseau, Homaru (Omar) Cantu. But I also want to write about the less celebrated Joseph Cerniglia , Rachel Brown, and Josh Marks.
I’m not a classically trained chef of any sort. I just like cooking and I have a great love for chefs, cooks, and greasy spoon burger flippers. That’s right, everyone from Julia Childs to these wonderful people. I’ve never met any of them, but if I did I’d treat them all the same I think. Well except Julia, she’s dead of very old age, so that’d be downright creepy. I’d treat them with respect. Thank you, sir, thank you, young lady. (nobody likes “ma’am.”) My friend tweeted recently that he rang the bell at Arby’s. I do exactly the same thing. I give it a good whack, because those people are awesome. I also love my local McDonalds and Burger King, same reason.
I want my cooks to live a long and happy life, and I’m sad to bid them a “fondue.” I mean, “a fond adieu.” (somebody stop me) I want them to realize their dreams, even if the dream involves telling me I can kiss their ass because they’re quitting and going to college and the guy in front of me was their “last fucking customer ever.” That never happened, but I would think it was AWESOME if it did. If that ever happens to you, offer them a hug and wish them good luck and thank them for taking good care of you (and they might take your order last instead).
I want my friends to live a long and happy life too, but sometimes the shit takes their energy, smashes their dreams, and leaves them in a very dark place. I should know, I’ve gone home from work after forgetting, or not being able to, pay the electric and those bastards have shut it off. Without notice. More than once. FUCKING BASTARDS, I’m still not over that. I have kids at home sitting in the cold, in the fucking dark, and you’re to blame for doing that to my kids. If it was just me, I wouldn’t have as big of a fit. But I was really fucking pissed off. Talk about leaving one in a very dark place. Thank God my cell phone was charged, or it’d be dark and cold all night, and I’d have been taking my family to my mum’s for a sleepover. They wanted, both times, to come out the next day, and I was able to talk their manager into sending that damned technician, who was there within 10 minutes the same day, back to switch it the fuck back on, after I paid the bill because fortunately I had just gotten paid both times. He must live right down the damned street. I read a story once about a poor 93 year old veteran who froze to death because the power company wanted their dime. “Thanks for your service to our country, now pay your fucking bill or you can just die?” That’s called murder, ass holes. But that’s business, isn’t it? Those fuckers pointed the finger at the guy’s neighbors, instead of facing murder charges. A hero who served his country with pride is murdered and no one goes to jail. But that’s money, isn’t it?
Sometimes, as it was with these chefs, their deaths are inexplicable. I mean, you’re on top, you’re famous, you’re bloody rich and successful and if you stepped aside your name and your recipes would carry the restaurant(s). So maybe you were number 1 and they say last time someone fucked up and you’re number 2 for a while, but why the fuck is that so big of a deal that you’d off yourself about it? Oh, the struggles fucking rich people face. So fucking waahhh, dust off, do it again and you’ll sit first chair in the culinary orchestra again soon, because you’re still bloody richer than I am, and I have to keep plodding along in my struggles. I have an electric bill to pay and a house to heat with kids in it and I do not want to let them down. Those people in the Hardee’s news story I highlighted are heroic, living at poverty wages they still dream and go to work faithfully and keep trying.
Sometimes we understand, if there are money problems you feel you can never dig out from under (does THAT ever sound fucking FAMILIAR to ME!). And sometimes, for lack of a better explanation, there are the demons we face, that we don’t understand. I don’t know, can’t speak with spiritual certainty, that Josh, or any of the other chefs had demons. The only demon I know in the cooking realm is fucking Gordon Ramsay. Who is a genius, I suppose, since he has power and influence and uses it to inflict himself on all these chefs and wanna be’s. I can’t watch the show any more, or any of his shows. He takes the joy out of cooking, and for the time I’ve wasted watching Hell’s Kitchen I still don’t know how to make a fucking Boeuf Wellington, for fuck’s sake. (Actually, I do know, but not from watching that ass hole prance around screaming at competent chefs about how incompetent they are. I’ve just never tried it because 1-do you know how much that quantity and quality of beef costs?! and 2- I like my steak medium, not mooing for its’ mamma, and 3- ribeye is so much better tasting to me than the filet)
I want to live through this shit wave, and any other shit waves the shitty tide brings in. I forget who said their favorite words in the Bible were, “it came to pass.” Because it meant, whatever it was didn’t come to stay.
Life itself is a gamble. God didn’t promise us roses, champagne and Boeuf Wellington served by a mad cow of a chef (sorry, Gordie, you just make an easy target. Hugs!). In addition to saying the poor would always be around, Jesus promised that rain (in the context of an agrarian society usually a blessing) would fall “on the just and the unjust.” Jesus also said, “In this life you will have trouble.” (Thanks ever so much, Jesus! As long as I get the point, I’m fine with that as long as it’s fairly and evenly distributed. Except it’s not, at least not yet, from my very limited perspective.) With these guarantees in mind, all we can do is slog along through the mud, one boot in front of the other, pray we don’t lose our boots or get a hole, and pray it’s mud and not something that looks like mud.
As life is a gamble and sometimes it sucks, I pray for each of you readers for whom it sucks worse than for me. Stick with me, we’ll stomp through the shit together. Don’t hurt yourself, or kill yourself. I need you. Who else would read my shit? Who else would offer me a virtual hug and say “it’s going to be all right, Deon?” I pray for my readers whose demons whisper that death is the best option, or that it’s the only option, or whatever. It’s fucking NOT. That’s a damned lie.
As life is a gamble and God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, I pray that a gentle, blessing kind of rain will fall on you, and the sun will rise and make your blessings only grow. I pray it’s not a hurricane, a flood, a tidal wave, or some other added disaster.
For each of you, inasmuch as life is a gamble, Marlon Brando and I pray this:
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll go home tonight to all my dreams, or at least a few of them, coming true. I’ll let you know.