The Uncanny Consequences Of Being Me
The title of this piece reads like a fancy-pants movie they’d show at a film festival where the people in the audience all eat their popcorn with a fork so they won’t get their fingers greasy and spot up their turtle necks and skinny jeans. I’m sorry about that. I don’t mean to make you feel like you’re one of those people. You might prefer your popcorn the way I do … floating in a bucket of butter oil that resembles a gigantic vat of cereal that’ll stuff your arteries like a Thanksgiving turkey. I mention my arteries because they’ve been on my mind lately. My doctor told me they’re as clogged as a man’s who eats movie theatre popcorn the way I do. Which got me thinking … I’d love a bag of that Lance Movie Theater Extra butter popcorn I talked about in episode 71, titled Diary of a Rage Monster. Which got me to thinking … I’d probably not be able to find it anyway because that’s how things go for me. Which brought to mind … Hey, I wanted to write about that!
Well, now that you’re supremely confused, let me bring it back around to the title of this piece and tell you about my bad luck. From Atomic Red studios, I’m Michael Blackston and I’m calling this The Uncanny Consequeces Of Being Me because sometimes that’s what it feels like to live my Funny Messy Life.
Have you ever heard of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis? It’s composed as a series of correspondence between two demonic forces - Screwtape, and his nephew Wormwood. The nephew is a rookie demon assigned to a poor, unsuspecting human and his job is to bother the man enough that he never comes to know God, or worse, curses Him altogether. Screwtape is a crusty old veteran and is trying to help his nephew in learning the ways of evil and messing with humans. It’s a classic book that has helped many understand the powers at play in the realm we can’t see, and I have come to believe I have a Wormwood of my own.
I understand that not every inconvenient thing that happens to me is the work of evil minions. Just because I crank the side of my finger in the ratchet thingy that tightens the straps when I secure granite to my trailer doesn’t mean the devil did it. Just because I drop a piano on my two big toes like I told you about in episode 16 - I think - the part titled, I Can Do It All By Myself, doesn’t mean Satan waved his hand and caused the piano to fall. Just because I look like an idiot when I try to bust a move doesn’t mean the forces of evil are actively trying to stop the beat. No. Those things simply mean I’m clumsy, stupid, and a terrible dancer.
But alas, there is uncanniness afoot, and it happens when I find something I adore. I’ll become enamored with the item and start to desire it with the desire an obsessed man will desire a thing and suddenly, even though I’ve seen it everywhere, it’s gone. Nowhere to be found. Vanished into thin air and as unseen as the whisps of a flatulent butterfly.
Okay, most of the time it has to do with food I shouldn’t ought to be eating in the first place, so I suppose one could argue that it’s actually the forces of good that are directing my path. However, since I get so turned upside down about it, I feel better laying the blame on my own moron of a demon, or maybe he’s a genius.
In light of that, I believe I’ll borrow from C.S. Lewis and present my own version of correspondence between the teacher and the newbie imp. I’ll call him, Sugar Poot. (I’m sorry, Mama - it’s the first random nickname that popped into my head and it made me laugh out loud in the restaurant. I spit out my tea and got it all over my shirt. Sigh. Thanks a lot, Sugar Poot.) The master bad guy will be Vernon McDirtbag.
Here go the conversations I think might take place between them:
Dear Uncle Vern,
I reckon mama’nem told ya I got my first assignment this week, and I been tryin’ real good to git him to fly off’n the handle. It ain’t workin’, though. I was plannin’ to hurt him right off by makin’ him git a splinter when he was loadin’ up some granite, but the idgit beat me to it when he pinched his finger in the ratchet thangy what tightens up the straps. Can ya give me some pointers? I don’t know what I’m doin’.
I won’t call you Sugar Poot. What was your mother thinking? I shall refer to you as S.P. Also, my name is Vernon, not Vern.
Anyway, I will attempt to give you a few suggestions as to how to keep your man off of the straight and narrow, but you must realize that from what I understand, you have quite the task ahead of you. He is already a child of God, even if he does sometimes erroneously write things that make his family shake their heads. Being previously saved, your only recourse will be to lay spots upon his testimony. Our Adversary has him in His hand, but that doesn’t mean your man is perfect, or unshakeable. He is only human, after all. Think of things that will cause him to stumble. Things that will invite him to sin and to do so publicly. I wish you devil speed in your endeavors, nephew.
Dear Uncle Vee,
A-Ight, I tried whatcha said. I give him a real bad time last week when I heard him sayin’ he wanted some of that Lance Movie Theater Butter popcorn. He was goin’ out of town, and it was late, and he was feelin’ snacky. He just figured out he likes that stuff and he’s got a real addiction to it, so y’know what I did? I made sure every bag of it between his house and Carbon Hill, Alabama was plum out. That’s five hours of drivin’ without his precious popcorn bag, Uncle Vee! You orta seen him. He was madder’n a Crimson Tide fan the day Nick Saban announces his retirement. I got him good! Only thang is, he didn’t do nothin’ bad about it. He jest stewed the whole way, fussin’ to hisself about how that’s always how it goes. The second he finds somethin’ he likes, it’s gone. I’m gon’ try it again, though. Soon as I find somethin’ else he’s a-cravin’.
Yer dedicated ‘prennice,
Dear Nephew Sugar …. S.P.,
While I’m impressed with your fervor, I must say that your error is obvious. The answer is in the description you give of your man’s reaction to not being able to get his teeth around the scrumptious, buttery kernels of popping perfection. He said it always happens. Nephew, if you are to move him with temptation, you must seize upon the things that catch him off guard. It sounds to me that he is used to this sort of disappointment, and therefore harder to push in a negative direction. Yes he, as you called it, stewed, but in the end he survived, and I dare suspect called upon his Lord to help him with his state of mind. Do not worry, nephew. These are rookie mistakes and to be expected. Think outside the box to get him so frustrated that he makes a scene in front of others. And to add insult to injury, perhaps you may entice him to do so on a day when he is wearing his Jesus shirt like he talked about in episode 67 of his podcast, Funny Messy Life. Here’s hoping for a better report next go ‘round.
P.S., My name is VERNON, not Uncle VEE!
Yours in evil,
Dear Daddy McDee,
Oh boy, did I git him this time! He was on the road again. I been noticin’ that he kept eyeballin’ them white chocolate Reecie Cups, but he never bought one. I mean, he likes Reecie Cups, but the rag’lar ones. He’ll eat them thangs, and anythang else chocolate fer that matter, like he never knew he was a diabetic. Hard as I tempted him, I couldn’t git him to partake in the white chocolate ones. But then he did it. He tried one. You oughtta seen the look what come over him when he took his first taste. I mean, them thangs was everywhere, so I let him git one more pack of ‘em on the way home, then I waited. Next trip he headed out, I put it in his head. MMMMM, BOY! Wouldn’ a white chocolate Reecie Cup sit good on yer tongue? Put it on ya head, ya tongue‘ll slap ya face to death tryin’ ta git to it! Well, he took the bait and I made every one of them packs of candy between his house and Brookhaven, Mississippi disappear. That’s ten stinkin’ hours of travel without gettin’ the kind of Reecie Cup he wanted and I thought I had him ready to cuss, but he didn’t. He took a deep breath, pulled over at an exit that had a theater, and went to a movie. Daddy McDee, my man bought a gigantic tub of popcorn and had ‘em give it five layers of butter oil. It sloshed when he walked to his seat, uncle. It sloshed! I can’t compete with that! I don’t know how I’m gon’ earn my medals of evil if’n I can’t even git a man to cuss about a piece of candy. I’m forlornded.
I give up,
This is our final correspondence. I can’t deal with you, so I’ll let my sister - your mother - be your mentor. After all, she is the one that named you Sugar Poot. However, I will urge you not to give up entirely. My promise is that your man is currently in the flesh. That means he has weaknesses in the armor he wears, that is if it’s armor of his own making. Whenever you notice he has taken up the Armor of God, you have no chance. But stay firm and resolute. He doesn’t always put on the Armor of God. He knows our Adversary leads him to, but he doesn’t always follow. In those times lay your best shot. You’ll be able to spot them. He will whisper something hateful about his fellow man, or look twice in a direction he should not. Perhaps he will drop a piano on his big toes and curse like a sailor. He wears his own armor then, and it is full of vulnerable, open spaces. In the meantime, don’t call me Vern, Uncle Vee, or Daddy McDee. As a matter of fact, just don’t call me.
Lose my address,
So there you have it. I fully expect that when I find something I really enjoy, in due time, it will become utterly, and uncannily, unavailable.
P.S. Eventually I was able to find the popcorn and the Reece’s Cups. Swamp Guinea stew is a whole other story, like I mentioned in the last episode. It’s just uncanny.
Yours in comedy and messy life,
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