Saturday, September 11, 2021

A Sucker For Suckers


Well, I won't get too far into it. Let's just say that someone on Facebook is highly offended by the promotion of the deadly COVID vaccine, and also toxic masking, and you can tell she's serious because of all the capital letters. And:

"I will never go to a hospital as it's wholly unnecessary.
I do not trust man or medicine, I trust myself and God."

Well, she sounds like she has things well in hand. I don't think she's very old, so that helps with the health thing. She goes on to say she's survived plenty of viruses already, and people die of many other things every day, that's how life goes, and doggone it, I'm guessing that--except for a clear tendency toward hysteria--she's probably in good shape so far. So I don't want to be the one to tell her God is planning to take her out.

But it did get me to thinking about how many perspectives there are on taking care of oneself. Take my sister Margaret, for instance.

I don't want to describe Margaret as "medically fragile" because, despite her economy of stature, whe was one stout-hearted, robust, fully-realized human being. She lived as big as anyone ever has. Let's call her "medically"...hmm...let's see..."screwed."
 
She looked everywhere for an answer to her many and varied and ever-evolving pains, not to mention her mortality, which might have been more of an immediate concern to her than it is to most people. She had a number of beliefs that I would call "woo-woo" but I certainly had no interest in arguing about them. Whatever worked for Margaret was A-Okay with me. She definitely had a strong suspicion she had lived before, and might live in some form again, especially when some guru examined her aura and told her she had had polio as a youngster in the 1800s. Or something like that.
 
I guess that offered hope for a better throw of the dice the next time, although two consecutive lives with polio didn't seem that auspicious to me. For the current incarnation, she tended to approach her own suffering by adjusting her expectations and spiritual outlook. Mind over mutter, and all that.
 
So it was no particular surprise to me the day she demonstrated her new theory about mosquitoes. Dave and I were visiting her in Maine and the density of voracious bugs was appalling. Margaret held her arm out and a mosquito landed on it. "Go ahead, honey," she purred to the mosquito, "take whatever you need." And we watched as the mosquito sank her proboscis into Margaret's arm, for a good long while, and then drew it back out and plumply flew away. Margaret explained that remaining calm, revering all life, and allowing the good bug to do what it wanted to do, unmolested, would result in no welt and no itching.

So maybe. But at the time we were out on the shore being blitzed by the little assholes. I was plenty horrified by the onslaught, but when Dave saw the swarm coming--it blotted out the sun--he flew into panic mode. If mosquitoes are motorcyclists, Dave is their Sturgis rally. It was about to get gruesome in a hurry. While Margaret refined her temperament to include hospitality to mosquitoes, Dave took off running. The man could cover a lot of ground in a hurry. The car was parked a half mile away and a couple minutes later we could hear the door slam. Hell, we could hear the sound of mosquitoes in pursuit smashing themselves against the windows. And when we caught up to him, he was busy in the car sending as many mosquitoes as he could to their next lives.

I can't remember if we checked Margaret's arm in the aftermath. I do remember the first time someone offered Dave a couple Benadryls after a particularly harrowing attack. We were eating dinner and Dave was visibly swelling up and audibly anxious about how much worse he would be the next day. But he took the Benadryl. Next thing we knew his forehead was in the mashed potatoes and no one had the heart to remove him from his dinner. He slept for ten hours and woke up unscathed. That's not God, baby doll. That's Benadryl.

44 comments:

  1. I must get some Benadryl. My sister is a Jehovah's Witness. They have got some interesting observations to make too.

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    1. I didn't think you could be a Jehovah's Witness except by being born into a Jehovah's Witness family. And yet you...

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  2. You know how everyone is trying to hire workers and can't find them? And yet the people on unemployment are getting to be fewer? Well, let me posit a theory about this (tongue firmly in cheek): Perhaps the uber-religious have been right all along, and all these people were spirited up to heaven in the Rapture. Of course, in that case, your little Face-Book friend is actually one of The Damned, just like the rest of us heathens.

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    1. I've always wondered if your clothes go with you when you get raptured, or do they simply collapse into a pile of dirty laundry? How about anything in a pocket, like the doobie and a Bic lighter -- does it come with? I hope so.

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    2. Well, I doubt that I have any hope of being "Raptured", as I am an atheist. But maybe I should pack a small backpack just in case.

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    3. There are plenty of us hoping for the Rapture--gives us more room. Also, if they do go up without clothes, that's going to be a hell of a sight from below.

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    4. Well if you're going to start talking about believing in The Rapture, I suppose its OK for me to add my theory that *as we are ascending into heaven*, the mighty hand of god will restore our bodies to however they looked when we were 20 years old. The flaw in all of this is that if we end up sitting in heaven with 20--year-old bodies, it will be Sophomore year of college all over again, i.e., folking like bunnies and indiscriminately ingesting mood-altering substances. And then god will get angry and kick us out of heaven and recycle our souls for yet another lifetime.
      You see, maybe Margaret was right, after all?

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    5. Oh,man, Ed! My 20 year old body??? The stick girl with no tits and acne, and lots of libido that no one wanted to avail themselves of?? I'd rather have my middle-aged body, where I ~finally~ blossomed.

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    6. I'm still a tight little bud. [ducks for flying pigs]

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  3. I had some god believer people in my life once. They credited their imaginary deity with anything and everything good in their lives, but held him to no account whatsoever for their pain, disability, financial ruin and ultimate divorce. Interesting. One summer we went to Hershey Park together. While we were waiting in line to get in, someone with an empty soda can approached us and offered the can. It had a Hershey Park Discount Code printed on it. Good for $5 off admission, I think. The wife of the god believing couple smiled her big, beautiful, sunny smile and announced, "See? God is always looking out for us!"

    Jesu flipping kee riced. Why would anyone want such a puny god as cloaked itself in a coke can?

    But it did evoke an amusing memory of the film, "The Gods Must be Crazy," a story of how an assumed god almost destroyed an entire village by tossing a coke bottle into it.

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    1. I like the quote by Oliver Markus: "God is Santa Claus for grown-ups."

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    2. Shoot, I never saw that movie, but you gave it a heck of an elevator pitch.

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    3. You should definitely see "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

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  4. Thoughts and prayers, baby. Thoughts and prayers.

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    1. If you can have second thoughts, can you have...

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  5. Did you know that there are services that you can pay to take care of your pets should you be raptured away? Seriously. And you pay upfront, of course.

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  6. I remember Benadryl. That's good stuff! I'm not a fan of mosquitos either and happily squish the odd one or two I see each year. That's at least a couple that will never find Dave.

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  7. Thanks for the laughs, and the improved perspective for the future. As a former hospice nurse, the clothing question will bother me until I get there. Linda in Kansas

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  8. I’ve been thinking on God for seventy-plus years, and I doubt I’ve ever been more confused. Some sects are all gummed up with contradictory Omnis, while others blame The Devil for everything they don’t like. In the South (pause for embarrassment) we have fire ants, and who is responsible for that, pray tell? I’m thrown back on personal experience, which has included mosquitos in Alaska, scorpions in the desert, Black Widows in San Diego, and said fire ants here. I’m left to conclude that God loves Him a histamine response and Benadryl is The Very Devil. That can’t be right. And don’t even start on Covid and vaccines. We are confusing ourselves to death.

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    1. I think if we just take our masks off and breathe in deeply and calmly, accepting what comes, the little spiky viruses will come in and set a spell and then float harmlessly away. It's our fear that makes them hold on.

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    2. Oh dear, someone's going to quote that.

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  9. If I did believe in reincarnation (and I’m about 93% certain I don’t) I think it’s typically presumptuous for people to think they come back as people. The real prize would be to come back as something really benign and useful, say a dung beetle. Or just about any other critter than a human or an effin mosquito. I’m with Dave; they are the absolute worst annoyance. I don’t “fog” against them because of the birds, etc. but they can keep me inside completely on a muggy day.

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    1. I think it's presumptuous of people who believe in reincarnation to think it only applies to humans. WTF is so special about US??? Either we ALL reincarnate or go to heaven or whateverthefuck they believe. Or none of us do. And therein lies the rub. They are all whistling past the graveyard. I don't use pesticides either. I user a mixture of boric acid and confectioners sugar to handle our "waterbug" issue. (They are actually a form of roach, but people call them "waterbugs" to feel better about it.) I don't use anything that will harm our birds or fish. If I have to stay inside this time of year, so be it.

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    2. So far this is one of the biggest perks about living in Portland. No bugs. Windows wide open, no screens. Can't wait to see what else global warming will ship us.

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    3. Is anybody 100% sure we humans aren't the reincarnated ones? and what were we before?

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  10. I have considered joining the Frisbeetarians, who believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck, but for now I'm happy being a Pastafarian (His Noodliness boiled for our sins!). But seriously, it seems to me that our species evolved just enough intelligence to get into deep trouble.

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    1. OMG! I'm a Pastafarian, too! I partake of His Noodliness' body ( the pasta), His Blood (the tomato sauce), and even his dandruff (the parmesan cheese). Such a delicious religion!

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    2. Can I be a wheat-free pastafarian?

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    3. I would be delighted to accept you if the only noodles you ate were shiratake (a.k.a. konjac or glucomannan noodles). Wheat free they are, and I eat them!

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  11. There was a study that concluded we can train mosquitos. They will bother people who are not trying to kill them.

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    1. Oh, FFS... I'm usually just filling the birdbath or taking out the trash. Not even THINKING about them. And yet, they swarm all over me. Poor Dave. I'm with you, bro.

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    2. They bother Dave and he's definitely trying to kill them. But it's possible he gets the dumb mosquitoes.

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  12. This is one of the incentives to be compassionate to all sentient life when you're a Buddhist. Being born into human form is a rare opportunity not to be squandered lest in your next incarnation you be busted down to wharf rat or buzzard. It may be hokum, but it serves to improve the behaviour of believers, which is not altogether a bad thing. Nothing good comes from unnecessary cruelty.

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    1. I know of no religion that has had no cruel adherents.

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  13. I wanted to tell you about how awesome and beautiful Capitol Reef and the surrounding country is. Y'all should go there sometime.
    I love that country and we were lucky to be there. Get a map and take some backroads.
    Stop at a visitor center and buy a book about the plants, which are amazing. Check out the small towns.

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  14. Once Margaret gave me olive oil to rub into my feet. I didn’t. I loved Margaret, but it seemed too ...oily. Maybe I should have. I might be a completely different person today.

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    1. You'll have to settle for being a completely different person for having known Margaret!

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  15. Benadryl, you have reminded me of what I now think I need in the Medicine Chest, as a Cure for whatever might ail us... so we can just Sleep thru it... or mercifully Die in our Sleep.

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  16. I took Benadryl for the first time when I was 19. I was useless for the next 24 hours. (The pharmacist typoed the name, so for years I thought it was "Beandryl" and probably looked a fool whenever I mentioned it.) As I aged, that effect lessened, and now it is not a reliable knockout anymore.

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