I don’t want to be one of those old men that constantly gripe about stuff because I’m just generally mad. I like to think I have a positive outlook most of the time, but I’m no different from anybody else in that I have my days. Even when I’m putting together a piece for the podcast, I at least give it an honest shot at putting a light, humorous spin on things if I’m complaining. There are some things though, that no matter how happy I’m feeling at the moment, no matter how full of flavor my crunch berries were that morning, no matter how much Ram I currently have in my Rama Lama Ding Dong, I will always hate them with every tiny, sinuous fiber of my being. I’m going to tell you what those things are and why, even though I respect and fear God to the uttermost, I’ll have a few questions for Him when I get to Heaven.
From Atomic Red Studios in the Granite Capitol of the World, I’m Michael Blackston, and this is a thought provoking episode of Funny Messy Life
(The following is a pre-enactment. It’s how I think things are gonna go down once I’m comfortably in my heavenly mansion, which is inside a 24 hour Krispy Kreme, and God drops by to see how I’m settling in.) (Cue the music.)
(There’s a knock at the door.)
ME: Who is it?
GOD: It’s God. (Pause) I’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s extended warranty. (God howls with laughter.) Not really. (Longer pause.) It IS really God, though. I saw that the light was on.
ME: OH! Sorry! Come in.
GOD: This is niiiiice. You know, I’ve always remembered fondly on the day I created the doughnut, but all anybody ever appreciates is that chicken place. And they don’t even know how to spell “chicken”, ha!
ME: I for one, am a fan of the doughnut. I’m glad You made that happen.
GOD: Well, I saw that it was good.
ME: God, can I ask You a question?
ME: Promise you won’t get mad. Because I don’t mean any disrespect; I’m just curious.
GOD: I’m not mad now, Am I? I already know what you want to ask Me anyway.
ME: You do? How … ? Oh, yeah.
The conversation will continue over fresh glazed doughnuts and coffee … (sorry Mormons, but God drinks coffee), and he answers my questions satisfactorily. Because He has His reason for everything; I just won’t understand them entirely until I get up there. With that in mind, I’m going to post the questions and answer them with the explanation that I believe, in my imperfect flesh, might be God’s reasoning. And because God has a cameo in this episode, and He already knows what my questions are, I’ll let Him ask them for me.
GOD: Mosquitoes are food for bats, but fire ants? What’s that about?
Fire ants are a direct punishment for God for the fall of man when Adam and Eve bit that fruit. The Bible is extremely detailed - astonishingly so, but it doesn’t contain everything that was ever said by every character in it. I won’t add to the words of The Bible, but I’m certain that among the things God was explaining would be a punishment for going ahead and eating the apple He specifically told them not to nosh, He included that curse. “Survey says, ….. Fire Ants! How do you like THEM apples?!”
Do we even have Aardvarks in the American south? I’m sure they’re a delicacy for some animal. Armadillos maybe? They kinda look like an Aardvark wearing sheet metal. It’s the only thing I can think of as a decent reason for fire ants. Food for Armadillos and a curse on the face of mankind to be endured through the ages by barefoot picnickers and anyone who dares walk anywhere in any grass anytime in the Deep South. Hate is a strong word - a terrible word. We don’t use it nonchalantly in our home, but I hate fire ants. Kayla won’t let me set the mounds on fire, but I often fantasize about what it sounds like as they die their tiny little devil deaths when they take the ant bait back to the queen. I imagine the squeals of agony and cries in the dark as they leave this earth to spend forever in hell and I find joy in it. Revelation tells of the end times when Satan and his demons will be thrown into the fiery pit to be tortured for all eternity. I’m kind of hoping that pit will be full of fire ant hills.
GOD: People need electricity, but the Power Company? What’s that about?
Just a notch below Fire Ants is the Power company. I hated them when I lived in a different state, then I hated the new power company when I moved to Georgia, then I hated my current power company when I moved to another county. I used to think that as I got older, my pure, unadulterated loathing for the power company would subside. I would understand them. I thought I would learn to appreciate their culture of cold, unloving greed and megalomania.
As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to think of them in the same category as fire ants. Of course, I don’t fantasize about people who work for power companies dying horrible deaths, but I do enjoy it when I see another house with solar panels on the roof. I imagine that for every solar panel that’s added to a roof, a power company executive loses another golf ball.
I think God will tell me that He created them to test our capacity to love. Humans are easily disgruntled and carry grudges for extended periods of time, so maybe the power company is a way to teach us to see others through God’s eyes. Sometimes, because we are told we should love everyone, we must learn to let God love them for us because we are weak. Even the wretched among us deserve love.
However, I fully believe that if power companies could find a way to operate off of pain, they would harness the evil of fire ants and feed on the tears of small children.
GOD: Jorts. What’s that about?
There are jeans and there are shorts. Another curse on mankind, I’d wager. God was so upset with Adam and Eve that He felt the need to create the existence of a knee-length jeans/shorts hybrid. Fortunately for the world’s first couple, God couldn’t bring Himself to make them wear them, so He gave them the option to choose leaves and animal pelts to cover themselves. Later, He would still show mercy and allowed us the more fashionable toga, but eventually, our crimes would become so fierce that he flooded the whole earth, only to find that we would repopulate and create Florida Gator fans. That’s when the curse of the jort hit us full throttle. Extra pockets couldn’t even save us from the horror. God sent us a rainbow after the Great Flood as a promise to never render His judgement in that way again. We’ve gotten no such promise about the jorts, and so we must endure it until the end of time.
GOD: The Funny Bone. What’s that about?
We all have one and we’ve all konked it on something. I’ve always wondered what was so dang funny about it. It’s pain. I don’t tend to laugh at pain. I handle pain about as well as any normal person, but that has never included slapping my knee, other than to bring the feeling back into my pinky finger. Because that’s what happens when I bang my funny bone on a door jam. The feeling goes out of my pinky finger. I might slap my knee then, followed by shaking my arm all about like I’m playing some weird solo version of the Hokey Pokey, but laughter never, ever happens.
My suspicion on this is that God enjoys humor. Every other point on our body that is encountered rudely will behave in a similar fashion. It will hurt to varying degrees, but it is clearly pain. With the funny bone, it’s still pain, but it’s different. Our reaction to it is different, and, I suspect comical for Him to observe from up there on high. When we hit our funny bone, we stop for a second as the realization consumes us. Our eyes cross, and it usually feels to me like it happens in slow motion. Our mouths gape open for a silent moment, then the sounds come.
When you’re around company and you hit your toe on the bottom of a bedpost, you scream immediately, sharply, and try to compose yourself. Someone will have to ask if you’re okay or what happened.
When you hit your funny bone, you have to announce it to everybody within earshot, and everybody within earshot will make the same face at once. It’s that cringy, teeth bared grimace that might be followed by hissing sounds. It goes something like this:
You’re in Dollar General and you’re mad because they don’t carry the cases of Propel flavored water and now you’ll have to go to Walmart after all when you specifically came to DG to avoid having to do that. It’s July, and in your irritation, you barrel down the aisle without paying attention to how close you are to the shelf full of Christmas decorations. You konk your funny bone a good one on the corner of the shelf and the hilarity ensues.
“uuuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!” Your eyes cross in slow motion. “Funny bone! I hit my funny bone! Everybody, I just hit my funny bone!”
Everybody within earshot makes this sound … “HISSSSSSSS!”
“I hit my funny bone, everybody, and I can’t feel my pinky now! OH GOD!”
And God, well He’s up there holding a glazed doughnut and all of heaven hears … “HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! Funny bone!”
I think I ought to make a disclaimer here for anybody hearing or reading this who is thinking, “Did Michael just punch his ticket to hell with this one?”
The answer is no. I’m a staunch believer that if God made us in His image as we’re taught, then He has a sense of humor, but I also prayed over this one before I started it. And while I never actually heard, “Go ahead and write it, My child,” I didn’t feel Him telling me not to in my heart. I love The Lord with everything I have and I can’t wait to really see Him face to face. I’ll not have any actual questions for Him, because I believe either I’ll know the answers, or they’ll be inconsequential compared to His glory. And if He’s a fan of the doughnut, I’ll happily always keep the light on for Him.
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