Browsing Archives for January 2010

Cannibal Pasly

January 28th, 2010

Me – Hey honey?

CD – What?

Me – Do people that eat too much human flesh develop a sort of palsy?

CD – What?

Me – You know…  do cannibals start to shake all the time because they eat other people?

CD – What are you talking about?

Me – In the movie The Book of Eli, the cannibals develop a shake because they eat too much human flesh.  Is that true?  Do you start to shake uncontrollably if you regularly eat human flesh?

CD – Well… I don’t know… Let’s see if I can remember…. In the last study that I read in the Journal of American Medicine where they fed five thousand humans on the flesh of five thousand other humans for six months…

Deny! Deny! Deny!

January 27th, 2010

My second son used to play on a basketball team that had a coach that constantly yelled, “Deny!  Deny!  Deny!”  I am not a sports fan, nor even remotely sports literate, however having four sons has made me at least understand the difference between defense and offense as well as which town’s concession stand serves the best nachos.  During the time that Ethan played on that team, I slowly came to understand that ‘Deny!  Deny!  Deny!’  had something to do with playing good defense and was not a forceful encouragement to get my child and his teammates to tell a string of vicious lies.

Over time, I have absorbed a few other words and phrases and sometimes I can actually figure out the vaguely correct time to yell them.  And so strangely, a few days ago, at a freezing cold gym in St. Mary’s Kansas, I found myself yelling towards a group of boys skirmishing underneath the basket, “Block Them Out!  Block Them Out!”

I kind of understand what ‘Block Them Out’ means – but no… not really.  I just know that there are certain times in the game when you yell ‘Block Them Out’ because I have heard other parents and a few coaches yell, “Block them out!”  I told my boys about what I yelled when I got home.

Me – I yelled ‘Block Them Out’ at the game tonight.

Son – You did?

Me – Yes.  I hope I yelled it at the right time.

Son – Were we on defense?

Me – Yes… I think so…

Son – Just try and make sure we are on defense when you yell it – okay?

Me – Okay…  Hey…when can I yell ‘Deny!  Deny!  Deny!’

Son – Never.

Me – Okay.  



This weekend I went to my youngest son Jack’s game.  He is eight and plays in a local recreation league and even though I hardly know any of the rules in basketball, I can recognize ‘traveling’ when I see it as well as the cute rotating arm motion that the referee has to make to signal a traveling foul… or uh… a traveling mistake… or a traveling error… or whatever you call it.  On Jack’s team the kids pretty much ‘travel’ all over the place and it never gets called because if it did, the kids would never make it past the half court line.   In fact, there is so much ‘traveling’ going on, that I think even I could play on that team as running around with a basketball in your hands doesn’t seem to require too much cheetah like athleticism.  At Jack’s game I mostly just yell one thing, the ubiquitious basketball phrase – “Put your hands up!”  

“Put your hands up!”

“Put your hands up!”

“Put your hands up guys!”

“Get them up!”

“Get those hands up!”

“Get them up in the air boys!”


When you start thinking about some of these things you yell at a basketball game it starts to sound like something distinctly criminal is going on.

“Deny!  Deny! Deny!”

“Block Them Out!”

“Put Your Hands Up!  Up!  Get Them Up!”

“Steal it!  Steal it!  Steal the Ball!”

“Take it away!  TAKE IT AWAY!”

“Deny!  Deny!  Deny!”



Today, when I was driving Jack home from his game my eldest son made an announcement.  

Cal – “Mom – could you please not sit right behind the team at my game tomorrow?”

Me – What?

Cal – Could you PLEASE NOT SIT right behind the team at tomorrow’s game.

Me – Why?

Cal – Just don’t sit there!

Me – But why?  You have to give me a reason.  

Cal – Just don’t sit there.  

Me – But WHY?  Why can’t I sit there?

Cal – Just don’t!

Me – Can you give me a reason?

Cal – Because I just don’t want you to!

Me – But why?

Cal – I just don’t!

Me – I need a reason!

Cal – Just don’t sit there!

This conversations went on like this for longer than is remotely sane.  I got irritated pretty quickly.  If he could come up with a reason why I shouldn’t sit behind the team, I would consider it, but just being told not to sit there by my punkish fourteen year old is really not enough for me.  I started to wonder if it was just general ‘mom proximity’ or ‘mom cooties’ or ‘mom laser beams’ that was bothering him, which only served to further hack me off.  I am a very quiet at the games.  If I yell anything, it is usually just general encouragement or my latest phrase ‘Block Them Out’ which I only try if I feel super confident.  If my son is asking me to sit further away from the team because he is embarrassed by me, then he can just stick it.  I have zero intention of copping to that bit of silliness.  

Later that night, I told Mike about this conversation.  

Me – Calder doesn’t want me to sit behind him at the games.

CD – Uhuh.

Me – I got upset about it, because I think it is ridiculous for him to be embarrassed just because I am sitting behind the team.

CD – I don’t want to sit behind the team either.

Me – Why?

CD – Because, people who sit right behind the team are trying to second guess the coach and generally are attempting to influence the game.

Me – What?

CD – People who sit right behind the team are kind of like bullies.  They want to hear what the coach says, and they want to yell things to sort of attempt to have some control of the game.

Me – But I don’t do that!  I don’t even CARE about the game!

CD – I know that, but Calder probably thinks that you are making the coach paranoid.

Me – But I’m not!  I don’t even understand basketball.  I don’t even want to be there at all!  I wish all of my sons were deeply interested in ballet or tap dancing or live theater!  I don’t even like sports!

CD – I know.  But you are sitting in the spot reserved for the parent bullies.

Me – Why couldn’t Calder have told me that?

CD – It is kind of hard to explain it.

Me – That’s because it doesn’t make any sense.

CD – It doesn’t make any sense for you, but for other people, for sports people it does.  I’m with Calder on this one.  Don’t sit behind the team.

Me – Oh alright!  … So when can I yell “Deny!  Deny!  Deny!”

CD – Never.

1.  I apologize to all the homosexuals.  I am sorry that I believed in a religion that condemns you.  I am sorry that for many years I thought that the bible was right in it’s condemnation of homosexuality.  I am sorry that when I no longer thought the bible was right about homosexuality being a sin, I did not raise a gigantic stink about it every Sunday right in the middle of the sermon… week after week after week…  until the church issued a restraining order against me and I could no longer come within a hundred feet of the sanctuary.  


2.  I apologize to everyone on the face of the earth that has not accepted Jesus christ as their personal savior because I believed that you were all going to hell.  This includes Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, Environmentalists, Democrats, Movie Stars (especially Tom Cruise), Scientologists, University Professors, Physicists, Geneticists, Europeans, Women’s Studies Majors, Feminists, Millionaires, Billionaires, Hippies, Atheists, Agnostics, Astrologers, People who read their horoscopes, People who watch Bay Watch, Vegetarians, J.K Rowling, Bill Gates, All High-School Biology Teachers who teach evolution and P.E .Teachers who teach a yearly unit on sex-ed..


3.  I apologize to all my former Sunday school students because I taught you that the bible was the word of god.  I perpetuated a myth that the bible is a special book that should be regarded ‘much more highly than it ought’.  I encouraged you to trust this book, to think this book contained sacred ideas about life and god.  I made you think that the stories in the bible were intrinsically valuable and could teach you about how god works and who god is.  I apologize for always referring to god as a ‘he’, thereby further anthropomorphizing a pretend deity and making you think ‘he’ was real and decidedly masculine.  I apologize for teaching you to think that you were a sinner and that Jesus had to die for you when you are really just a beautiful child, perfect in every way from the minute you were born (except for when you aren’t).  I apologize for telling you that Jesus conquered death and that you should put your trust in him when there is not a shred of evidence of the resurrection except for what is in the bible.  I apologize for not respecting your intelligence and glazing over thorny issues and rationalizing all the bullshit that is so present at all times in ‘god’s word’.  (I apologize for saying bullshit in this apology).  I apologize for ever calling the bible ‘god’s word’.  It isn’t ‘god’s word’.  It’s just a book.  There are a lot of other much better books.  There are books that helped humanity move beyond misogyny and slavery and tyranny.  There are books that led to scientific discoveries which led to medicine and helpful machines and made the world a better place.  None of those books are in the bible.  In fact, the bible helps people to justify misogyny and tyranny and slavery and the bible made church leaders fear science and so they burned scientists and doctors and smart people because what those smart people were learning was often in direct conflict with what the bible and the church taught.   I apologize for not telling you that the bible and christianity are two of the main reasons that it took people so long to move from tyranny into democracy, from slavery to human rights, from cruel religious mandates to civil law.  I hope someday you will figure that out for yourselves in spite of what I taught you.


4.  I apologize for giving money to the church.  I apologize for helping to support and pay for a building that stands empty six days a week.  I apologize for giving my hard earned cash to pay an enormous utility bill on a mostly empty church building.  I wish I would have given all that money to alleviate real human suffering.  To purify drinking water, to build a third world hospital, to educate a child living in a slum, to improve an orphanage, to further research on diseases, to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, heal the sick, reform the prisoners, but instead so much of my available funds have up until now, been sucked into a huge building that gets used once a week by wealthy over -fed Americans who get upset if the sanctuary is not adequately cooled in July.


5.  I apologize for believing all sorts of mad things that are seriously messed up and incredibly hurtful to my fellow humans.  Things like god causes the sins of the parents to punish the children and the grandchildren (which some christians use to explain birth defects).  Things like excusing the extra creepy stuff in the bible (slavery, misogyny, genocide) based on ‘historical context’ instead  of just insisting that it was wrong back then and it’s wrong now.  I apologize for things like teaching the stories of big bible heroes like Abraham and Jacob and not insisting that taking a slave for a wife was a hideous violation of human rights because having a slave and then raping a slave and then fathering children with a slave is no way for anyone to EVER behave even if you are a BIBLE BIGWIG.  I apologize for thinking it is okay for god to ask a person (Abraham) to murder their child to prove their faith and even thinking that if I really loved god, I too must be willing to murder my child if god asked me.  I apologize for things like thinking that I had ever done anything so terrible… so horrible.. so AWFUL  to warrant someone else to have to die on a cross for me.  (Hey!  I am far from perfect, but no one should have to be tortured and slowly murdered for my eternal salvation). 


6.  I apologize to my kids for being a passive aggressive christian mom.  For saying things to them like ‘”if you are lying to me, god knows.  He knows you are lying so you better not be lying because he knows.  God knows everything. Are you lying? Because if you are lying god can tell.  You can lie to your mom but you can’t lie to god.  God sees everything.  Are you lying?  You better not be lying to me because even if I don’t know – god knows” … etc etc etc…  


7.  Finally, I apologize for allowing my faith to numb my response to the problems of the world.  So when there was injustice, or crime, or pain, or hunger, or illness, or ignorance, or war, or greed, or tyranny, or slavery or abuse, or addiction, or pollution, or natural disasters –  I believed that god was taking care of it and I didn’t really have to do anything… (except pray).  Because it was god’s will… and god was using these bad things to teach me compassion… or patience… or that satan was ‘the ruler of this world’… or that we should forgive… or god was ‘perfecting’ us… or ‘disciplining’ us.  (Boy!  god sure disciplines the hell out of Africa doesn’t he?)  I was taught that all you have to do to get into ‘heaven’ is accept Jesus as your savior.  You can do good things if you want, but good deeds are not getting your ass into heaven.  So why would I bother helping out?  My ass was already saved!


For all these things I am truly sorry and I most humbly repent…

AND plan to make changes, repair damages and do the hokey pokey and turn myself around.  

So Be It,