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I’M BLACK AND I DON’T LIKE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  It’s Black History Month!  It snuck up on me because I have mixed feelings about this month.  I suppose I should be happy for some part of the calendar to shine a national spotlight on something that gets short shrift in our school textbooks and our public square conversations. Besides paying lip service to our nation’s sojourn into slavery’s immorality and to the same laundry list of Black, long-suffering heroes (King, Parks, Lewis, Marshall, The Little Rock Nine, to name a few), I wouldn’t mind the annual February tribute to Black history if it pushed us deeper into having a more substantive conversation about race in America.

I wish Black history would simply be American History–told with searing honesty so that profound conversations could ensue and an even deeper understanding could emerge to confront what is needed to really see how much damage the stain of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow Laws did to our collective souls and how that stain still runs painfully deep.  White people need to be healed from the damage of all that immoral racial DNA as much as Black folks do who were the victims of it.  Instead, many White people hope and declare that racism is over (“After all, I voted for Obama!”), and most Black people limp along—permanently scarred—hoping to just go along to get along.  I almost skipped acknowledging and blogging about Black History Month this year until my state (Virginia) went insane during the last few weeks over my governor’s college yearbook blackface photos coupled with a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) costume.  

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, PoliticalCartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons

Not that “woke” White Virginians shouldn’t have reacted negatively to these mocking, degrading “darkology” photos, but they should not have been surprised.  According to Rhae Lynn Barnes (assistant professor of American cultural history at Princeton University) who has written the forthcoming book Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface, “Blackface is as American as the ruling class.” Ms. Barnes says that blackface has been used by every White group in Virginia from the KKK (“used blackface in raids to confuse victims”), to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to the Charlottesville Elks to ridicule Black American soldiers in 1924, to our southern colleges and universities until as recently as 2002.  She has studied “darkology” and minstrel shows for at least a decade and claims that nearly every city and town in America is guilty of participating in blackface which started in New York City, believe it or not.  (Minstrel—“minstrelsy”—shows started a couple hundred years ago and were performed by White people who darkened their skin with shoe polish and cork. The performances were always of an exaggerated depiction of Black people as lazy, stupid, bumbling, over-sexed, and, more significantly, in need of being led and governed by a superior race because they were too ignorant to manage life on their own.  The performances were always meant to demean, degrade, and disdain the African-American male, especially.)

What blew me away was Rhae Lynn Barnes’ article in the Washington Post* which cited an example of an obituary of a 94 year old White man from Charlottesville whose obit celebrated his 64-year membership in the Lions Club—you know, that lovely service group of mostly old White men who collect used eyeglasses to send to poor countries.  The obit boasted of the old man’s participation in the club’s Minstrel Show every year (according to Ms. Barnes, until 1974, the Charlottesville Lion’s Club Minstrel show was part of the city’s travel brochure).  The obituary was written in April 2017—just a few months before the White Nationalists’ march, mayhem, and murder in Charlottesville by Confederate flag carrying White Supremacists who had traded in their white sheets and burning crosses for khaki pants and tikki-torches.  At the end of the old man’s obituary was a single line that said there would be a celebration of his life at an Episcopal Church in Keswick, VA. (Say what?!)

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ/Cagle

Something bothered me about this obituary and the blackface conversations that weren’t being had.  If the truth be known, it wasn’t that my governor and others (more surfacing every day) had been outed for wearing blackface that disturbed me as much as the fact that we weren’t getting to the root of why something so egregious as a racist Jim Crow tool could be done so nonchalantly as recently as 1984 that the participants did it and summarily forgot about it—that it was sanctioned by their educational institutions.  (“Hey, it was all in good fun, right? I’m not a racist—I have tons of Black friends and associates, and I believe in Jesus! Besides, I’m a Democrat and I voted for Obama!”)

Then I saw a picture during my research, and the answer became clear to me as the noon day sun why the Governor of Virginia and a 94-year-old Lion’s Club member from the local Episcopal Church can put on blackface and be tone-deaf  as to why that was not cool, not funny, not Christlike and extremely hurtful to African-Americans:

KKK thought to be in Portland, OR 1920/Photographer unknown/Public Domain

This craziness is in their spiritual DNA!  Jesus plus the Ku Klux Klan?!  Hello!  Well that says it all.  The deep discussions we need to have about race can’t be had until we recognize how much systematic racism is ingrained in White Christianity and how that coupling has made so much of the hateful antics against African-Americans “okay” in such a way that its tentacles are intertwined with the Gospel of Christ. 

The picture above was taken in 1920.  It is thought to be in a church in Portland, Oregon.  Six years before this picture was taken a White Methodist minister (William Joseph Simmons), restarted the Ku Klux Klan that Ulysses S. Grant had earlier disbanded.  On the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia Minister Simmons declared himself the Imperial Wizard and proclaimed:  “The angels that have anxiously watched the reformation from its beginnings must have hovered about Stone Mountain and shouted hosannas to the highest heavens.” 

By the time the photo was taken of the local Klan in a church in Oregon, 5 million White men belonged to the KKK and had infiltrated churches all across America—some being so bold as to wear their “uniforms of terror” while they sang in church choirs or sat in church pews.  Many Protestant ministers (strictly Protestant because the KKK hated Catholics and Jews as much as Black people) were either sympathetic toward the KKK or were members.  If men running around in hooded sheets and wearing blackface had been the extent of the Klan’s evil, we could have chalked it up to bad taste and might have been able to racially heal in America.  But their deeds, which were sanctioned by many White Christian churches, were demonic and murderous across the nation.  For example, in 1921 approximately 3,200 Klansmen lived in Oklahoma (2,000 of them in Tulsa) which became the backdrop of the worst massacre of African-Americans in our history.  This brutal terrorist act happened in a city that boasted of copious Christian churches as part of its reputation and stability.

Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 Wikipedia/Public Domain

On May 31, 1921, 35 blocks of an all-Black residential and business area, known as “the Negro Wall Street” because it was so prosperous, was burned to the ground by the jealous White citizens of Tulsa.  Approximately 10,000 Blacks had settled in the area due to the land rush at the time and established very vibrant and strong middle and upper class existences on valuable oil-rich land.  It was a model community.  They had doctors, lawyers, teachers, and bankers. They owned fine jewels and fur coats, pianos, beautiful houses, and delicately carved furniture.  Greenwood, as it was called, had everything a thriving town would want, including Dr. A.C. Jackson, “the most able Negro surgeon in America” as cited by the Mayo brothers. 

In 1921, private planes bombed Greenwood from the air with turpentine balls while hundreds of White men gunned down anyone who tried to escape their homes and businesses, including Dr. A.C. Jackson as he ascended his office steps with his hands up in surrender.  300 people died, 1,200 homes were looted and subsequently burned to the ground while thousands of Greenwood’s citizens were imprisoned without recourse.  It was reported (although never proven) that witnesses saw hundreds of bodies thrown into the river and mass graves.  For years afterwards, Black Greenwood citizens would see their jewelry around the necks of White residents in and about town (I wonder if any of that stolen jewelry was worn to church with their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes?) while the Klan distributed post cards across the country with pictures of the destruction as proof of their ability to maintain White rule and dominance.  The loss was the equivalent of $30 million in damage in today’s currency according to Brandon Weber of The Progressive.

Greenwood Residents picking through burned homes/Photo: Public Domain

No White person was ever charged or held responsible for the Tulsa massacre. Many of the bodies were never found.  Until recently, Oklahoma buried the story and refused to acknowledge it.

The excuse for the terrorist attack: A well-known shoe shine boy (Dick Rowland) who was stationed outside a Tulsa department store on the White side of town—well-known and liked by the White residents—needed to use the only restroom available for Blacks which was on the top floor of the store.  He ran into the elevator which was operated by a White woman (Sara Page).  For some reason Ms. Page screamed (Rowland stepped on her toe or he stumbled and grabbed her arm—some even say they might have been lovers, but no one ever knew the reason for the scream except that it wasn’t rape as was later accused).  Page’s scream frightened Rowland and he fled.  A White person heard the scream, saw Rowland running away, and assumed the worst.  The shoeshine boy was later exonerated, but the destruction and massacre was blamed on the Black citizens of Greenwood and they were never compensated.

Of all my research of this horrific moment in Black history, which, as I said, is still considered the worst massacre of African-Americans, I have never, ever read that the White Evangelical churches in Oklahoma took responsibility for the bedfellows they made with the Ku Klux Klan which probably undergirded their participation in Greenwood’s demise.   I have found no record of any White Tulsa citizens coming to the aid of their African-American neighbors when they and their livelihood were being destroyed.

Courtesy of HBCU.org

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ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering of late that until we comprehend how much of America’s racism has been fostered and cloaked in the Gospel of Christ, it will be impossible to get to the root of our national sin and systemically kill this tree because it is in the bloodstream of White Christian America, and unfortunately a month every year is just not going to cut it.  Racism is a spiritual entity in our midst which permeates everything in our country from the church pew to the college campus to the White House.  Let’s not stop at rooting out old yearbooks and apologizing for long forgotten blackface pages—let’s move on down the road and deeper into the forests of our Evangelical churches’ histories, and really rid ourselves of our national sin of racism.

On that note, we are not totally without hope. In April 2018, Pastor Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners) and the National Council of Churches led a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its major focus was to “Confess to Confront Racism: Confessing the Church’s Complicity in Practicing, Promoting, and Profiting from White Privilege and Racial Division.”  As Pastor Wallis said in Sojourners blog commentary:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Our original sin of white racism and the way it not just lingers but continues to evolve is literally throwing away imago dei — the image of God — and it happens over and over again each and every day. Let me quote a colleague, Professor Fr. Bryan Massingale from Fordham University, who says, ‘When I ask my white students if they have ever heard racism named or preached as a sin from their pulpits growing up in their churches — their answer is almost always NO.’ That says it all and that’s what we have to change. If we do, the changes could be enormous, with the fruits of repentance literally undergirding the substance of social change.”

AMEN AND AMEN!

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ, Cagle

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“Without confession to the sin of white racism, white supremacy, white privilege, people who call themselves white Christians will never be free.”@jimwallis

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

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REFERENCES

https://sojo.net/articles/50th-anniversary-dr-kings-assassination-confessing-churchs-complicity-racial-division

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/08/the-preacher-who-used-christianity-to-revive-the-ku-klux-klan/?utm_term=.288cd6c159d2

https://www.splcenter.org/20170925/hate-god%E2%80%99s-name

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/09/28/feature/they-was-killing-black-people/?utm_term=.aa2289ca731e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/yes-politicians-wore-blackface-it-used-to-be-all-american-fun/2019/02/08/821b268c-2b0d-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html?utm_term=.b8c4ef93b92d

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/02/troubling-history-behind-ralph-northams-blackface-klan-photo/?utm_term=.7f468406793c

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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COLONOSCOPY HILARITY

My New Year’s resolution is to bring more humor into my life and into the lives of others, to try not to worry about things I can’t control (Donald Trump), and to take control of the things that are mine to master (i.e., my ass).  As a 70-year-old celiac disease patient, periodic maintenance is a must and not to be ignored, if I don’t want to be wearing Depend’s diapers any time soon.  Therefore, The Donald goes on the back burner this week while I devote a post to my sorry ass as I march off to the gastroenterologist’s office singing to the tune of “How do you solve a problem like Maria,” from the Sound of Music.

How do you solve a problem like my bottom?

How do you sneak a pizza without pain?

How do you find a cure that gives you bread?

My gut is really-a-bitch! A pain-in-the-ass—a drain…

C O L O N O S C O P Y   D I S C O V E R I E S   T H I S   T I M E   A R O U N D

~~THERE ARE THINGS CALLED COLONOSCOPY FACTORIES~~

This is my fourth colonoscopy.  Given my gastro problems, it probably should have been my tenth, but I really, really hate doctors, so I avoid them as much as possible because they have often been wrong in diagnosing my health issues.  Case in point, it took twelve years to discover that the gastro issues I had been suffering with were all celiac related.  Why?  Because supposedly Black people don’t get celiac disease. Don’t even get me started about how often White doctors misdiagnose African-Americans’ health issues. That’s a blog for another day.  In the meantime I keep looking for a doctor who looks like Denzel Washington, has the intelligence of Stephen Hawking, and the bedside manner of Jesus. 

Well, I’m in a new town now and need a new butt doctor.  I thought I’d go with an Asian woman this time since my last three White male doctors were nothing to write home about.  The last one made me so angry with his rudeness, inability to answer my questions, and lack of kindness (he barely knew my name, never smiled, had a disdainful air bordering on racism, and explained absolutely nothing to my satisfaction). I almost gave him a colonoscopy right then and there in his office with my golf umbrella. 

In my search for a new butt doctor, I have discovered that many colonoscopies are no longer done in hospitals, but most of them are done in doctor-owned and doctor-run assembly-line factories.  In other words, they line patients up by the hour, roto-router their asses in less than 30 minutes each, move them though like an “in and out” burger-type joint, and then send them home with a bill that is about the cost of a Caribbean cruise for two (unless the butt patient is lucky enough to have insurance).  According to some sources, gastroenterologists (on average) earn $380,000 per year. (I was definitely in the wrong profession.)

~~THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE A PERFECTIONIST’S NIGHTMARE~~

My doctor seemed fine enough this time.  She was personable, seemed to know her stuff, and was very respectful.  But it was her butt factory that caught my attention and spawned this post for my blog.  After my consultation with my lovely new doctor, I was handed off to an office manager (not even a nurse—what happened to all the nurses?).   I was given a colonoscopy packet which contained what seemed to be 100 pages of instructions, looked like a dissertation, and I was convinced there was a pass/fail test at the end of it. The problem with me is that I’m a perfectionist and a colonoscopy is like the test of my nightmares—miss one step and you’ll a) shit all over yourself during the prep or b) shit all over the doctor during the procedure. There are so many obstacles that if you trip up on any one of them, you’re toast.  I can’t take that kind of pressure—especially at my age. 

AUTHOR’S DIARY: RECAP OF BUTT FACTORY AND COLONOSCOPY

As I pulled up my chair in front of the office manager’s desk, she began reading me my prep package while highlighting the pertinent aspects with a highlighter—which turned out to be every line in the instruction packet.

“The following instructions are VERY important.  Please read thoroughly and follow instructions as outlined.  If you have any questions, please call our office. NOTE: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOUR ARRIVAL/PROCEDURE TIME MAY CHANGE DUE TO REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL.”

ME:  Excuse me, excuse me, Nurse, I mean office lady, if I have to wait for my procedure to start, does it mean the doctor has punctured someone’s colon or perforated someone’s bowel and they are outfitting her with a colostomy bag?  

O. MANAGER:  No, it doesn’t mean that.  Where on Earth did you come up with that?

ME:  I googled “what’s the worst thing that can happen when getting a colonoscopy” and almost didn’t show up today after I read the Google answer.

O. MANAGER:  Do a favor for all the doctors in the world—stay away from the Google, Mrs. Tomczyk, when it applies to health matters. 

ME:  Can you guarantee the doctor won’t puncture anything once I’m conked out and she’ll be all up in my ass?

O. MANAGER:  (Sigh) No, I can’t guarantee anything.  I’m just the office manager.  But if it makes you feel better, I had my colonoscopy last month and everything went swimmingly.  I’m sure everything will be fine.

ME:  Can you, Mrs. Office Manager—can you?  No disrespect, but you’re not even a nurse.  No offense—but I TRUST nurses even more than doctors.

O. MANAGER:  Well, I’m not a nurse, but you can trust me.  Let’s move on to the next section, shall we?



“5 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE STOP THE FOLLOWING MEDICATIONS: Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, blood thinners. 3 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE: Purchase One 238 gram bottle of Miralax, two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade (NO RED OR ORANGE), four Dulcolax tablets (laxative).  2 DAYS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE: Stop salads, fruits (raw, cooked, and canned)

 “ON THE DAY BEFORE THE PROCEDURE, FOLLOW A CLEAR LIQUID DIET ONLY.  You may have black coffee, tea, clear soups, clear fruit juices (NO RED), Crystal Light (NO RED), Jell-O (NO RED), Sprite, Ginger Ale, and Gatorade.  DO NOT EAT SOLID FOOD.  Do not ingest anything by mouth 4 hours prior to your procedure.  This includes water, gum and hard candy.  If you do, we may not be able to perform the procedure.” 

At that point, Office Manager sent me on my way (I think I had gotten on her nerves) with the rest of my instructions highlighted in yellow, and a stern warning to do everything exactly as the instructions said.  I could have sworn I heard her say under her breath, “and for God’s sake, stay away from the Google machine.”)



~~NO TWO COLONOSCOPY PREPS ARE THE SAME~~

I obeyed the Office Manager and followed the colonoscopy instructions down to a T.   I made it through the first day of the two-day prep with flying colors.  I was very hungry, but I got through it without a struggle. There are so many stored fat cells on my body that I could go without food for weeks and still function at full throttle, although I kept moaning to my husband (WW=”White and Wonderful”) about how hungry I was so that he would pamper me.  It worked.

On the day before the procedure the games began.  The last time I had a colonoscopy, the prep took all day, and the prep mixture tasted like cremated dead people ground up into Gatorade.  This prep mixture appeared to be a newer method which required that I exist on clear liquids and Jell-O (no red!) until 4:30 p.m, and then consume the colonoscopy mixture starting in the late afternoon.  (The green Jell-O is a bitch, by the way!  Either they’ve changed the formula from when I was a kid, or I only ate the cherry flavor way back then.) 

At 4:30 p.m. I took 4 Dulcolax tablets (laxative) with a full glass of water, and I felt nothing—not even a tummy rumble.

At 6:30 p.m. I mixed 119 grams of Miralax into a full bottle (32 ounces) of white cherry Gatorade. Still nothing, although the white cherry Gatorade was quite tasty.  I was managing this colonoscopy prep very well, indeed.  My husband kept telling me how proud he was at how my body was handling it all.  (Still nothing but a urine spritz up until that point.)

At 8:30 p.m. I mixed another 119 grams of Miralax into a full bottle of lime Gatorade and went back to the couch to watch TV with WW.  Our favorite pastime is to cuddle while we watch TV.  I snuggle while he rubs my back and makes my life all right with the world.  He kept reminding me to keep chugging my Miralax so that I’d be finished before bedtime, and I kept telling him that he need not worry because I was handling this colonoscopy prep like a boss! At one point, something hilarious happened in the movie we were watching and I laughed.  I felt what I perceived to be a fart emanating from my body due to my spontaneous laugh.  I had forgotten that when one is doing a colonoscopy prep, one should never, ever trust a fart….




My poor husband, my poor couch, my poor throw pillows, my poor rug…  As to my clothes, they have been burned!  No washing machine in the world could salvage those garments.  As to my bathroom toilets and floors—let’s just say, hazmat suits were needed to clean them.  I am spry for being 70 years old, but I don’t move as fast as I used to when I was a lot younger and a long distance runner.  It really showed this time around.  Out of twenty-two bathroom sprints, I barely made two of them.  The rest I just let my ass explode at will.




~~YOUR ASS CAN MAKE YOU A VIDEO STAR~~

My check-in time was 9:00 a.m. the next day.  I had explosive diarrhea until 8:45 a.m. By that time, all that was coming out of my butt was Miralax foam.  I was so worried that I wouldn’t make it to the colonoscopy factory without destroying my husband’s new Lexus (which might have been cause for a divorce—I’m not going to lie) that I literally made a make-shift butt-plug out of tissue paper to try and put a stop to the onslaught.  And then I prayed for God to have mercy on my sorry-ass.

Fortunately, God hears my prayers and everything stopped at exactly 9:00 a.m. (With the old system, all elimination stopped by midnight the day before.  I think the colonoscopy people need to rethink this new plan.  Just sayin’!)  Nothing more came out of my body after I was told to strip off everything except my shoes and slip into a backless hospital gown.  (Shoes—WTF!?)  No one could explain that juxtaposition to me.

Everything from 9:00 a.m. became a blur because everything happened so fast:  An actual nurse gave me a ream of papers to sign which basically said they could kill me, sell my soul to the Devil, and I could not hold them responsible.  One of the pages required my permission for my procedure to be used for teaching purposes which seemed okay, at the time. (WW said, he didn’t see anything wrong with it—young doctors have to learn somehow, right?)   The nurse hooked me up to an IV, the anesthesiologist explained he’d be putting me “under” with the drug “propofol” (the drug that killed Michael Jackson—oh my God!), and the nurse’s assistant explained that my intestines would be pumped full of air and not to worry if I experienced a lot of farts when I woke up after the procedure.  The head nurse showed me the instrument they’d be using:  something that looked like a garden hose with a GoPro camera at the end of it.  Then the anesthesiologist wheeled me in my bed down the hall through a traffic jam of several beds coming to and from operating rooms to something that looked no bigger than a closet. 

My doctor was there looking a little worse for wear.  She had laryngitis, and she looked like she hadn’t slept all night.  Apparently, she’d already performed two procedures before me. I wasn’t feeling confident in her, given her harried appearance.  I really should have fled right then and there; after all, I still had on my shoes, but I was hemmed in by two guard rails and hooked up to a giant oxygen tank. The anesthesiologist announced that the “propofol” he would soon pump through my IV would sting “a little” just as I experienced a burning sensation in my veins so hot that it felt like someone was administering liquid fire through my IV.  I sat straight up in the bed, reached for my IV to snatch it loose from my hand, as I shot the anesthesiologist a look that said:  “If I come out of this alive, your ass is grass, Negro!” At that moment, I heard my doctor say, “Thank you for letting us film this procedure for classroom purposes—I assure you, your face will not appear on camera.”  I screamed (or so I thought I did)—“NOOOOOO, WHAT?  DOES THAT MEAN MY ASS AND MY HOO-HAH WILL BE ALL OVER YOUTUBE?” I collapsed without managing to rip out my IV and awoke 30 minutes later in the recovery room to the sound of a rather large Elephant farting with abandonment while a nurse called my name:  “Wake up, Mrs. Tomczyk—it’s all over!”

THE AUTHOR: POST COLONOSCOPY PROCEDURE

All jokes aside, according to the American Cancer Society:

“Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. It’s expected to cause about 51,020 deaths during 2019. The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are a number of likely reasons for this. One is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers or are being found earlier when the disease is easier to treat. In addition, treatment for colorectal cancer has improved over the last few decades.”

My doctor found three tiny polyps in my colon.  I am waiting to see if they are pre-cancerous or not.  If you’re 50 years old and over, please get your colon checked out.  It isn’t fun, but it may save your life. At the very least it will give you a story to regale your friends with for years to come.

I  KNOW, I KNOW…I SAID I WOULDN’T POST ANYTHING ABOUT TRUMP, BUT I JUST COULDN’T LEAVE HIM OUT OF THE CONVERSATION WHEN TALKING ABOUT ASSHOLES!

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IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ OTHER STORIES ABOUT MY PREVIOUS COLONOSCOPIES AND “LUCILLE BALL” ESCAPADES IN LIFE, CHECK OUT MY LATEST BOOK THE FETUS CHRONICLES AT AMAZON.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
19 Comments

Posted by on January 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS

Do you know what I’ve discovered during this Christmas season?  Very few people can actually articulate what Christmas truly means.  At the White House Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, some Trump sycophant introduced The Donald as the President who brought back Christmas.  (I had no idea it ran away, did you?)  He didn’t say how Trump was bringing something back that wasn’t lost.  Trump actually made this a campaign promise, as if Christmas had gone into hiding and was just waiting for him to come along and set it free.  If Christmas is a bit jaded, it isn’t saying “Merry Christmas” that grated on people’s nerves, it was and is the lack of a true Christmas heart and spirit that makes people think “bah-hum-bug.”

First of all, I’m convinced our current President is the anti-Christ, so there is no way he could ever really know the true meaning of Christmas to even locate it “if it was lost.”   I also started thinking of all the people Trump has scared to death with his tweets, his lies, his abuse, his betrayals, and his horrid mismanagement, and I had an epiphany:  Christmas does need to be brought back to fight him because Christmas is the antidote to fear.

Used by permission: Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands

Think about it.  I heard a line in a song the other day that basically said: “All of us are born with broken hearts.”  I know it to be true because I was born that way and most of the people I have met and come to know have or have had broken hearts.  It really caught me off guard, and I thought what do I have to give someone who is broken in this world—contemplating suicide, riddled with fear, abused and battered—and who is being driven into mental illness due to a fear of things beyond their control (“cough: Trump”)?  How does a baby born in a manger pierce those granite heart(s) and infuse them with hope and courage to live another day and not give up? It’s really foolish to think a baby, born in the Middle East thousands of years ago could bring the entire world the peace that quiets our fearful hearts in the age of Trump, of a Saudi prince who orders the slaughter of a reporter with a buzz saw, of the threat of impending world war, and of my own encroaching old age which is scaring the shit out of me.  Unless that baby was unlike any other baby—unless that baby was the spiritual embodiment of something magnificent from a realm beyond our own.  By slipping into the Earth as a babe, all that was holy got presented to mankind in a non-threatening form, and thus, Christmas became a part of our hearts that could never be taken away or destroyed—if we truly believed.

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons.com

Then I remembered the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847—a wine merchant, no less. As I listened to the song on the Sirius XM Christmas mix, I transcended the concept of the fairy-tale limitation of a little Jewish baby in a manager and imagined that “manger” filled with the embodiment of hope to the hopeless, grace to the homeless, mercy to the poor, worth to the worthless, and love to the lost and lonely.

Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices

Oh, night divine

Oh, night when Christ was born

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

Truly he taught us to love one another

His law is love and his gospel is peace

Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother

And in his name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we

Let all within us praise his holy name

Christ is the Lord! Oh, praise his Name forever

His power and glory evermore proclaim

Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born

Cartoon used by permission: Parker Florida, Today

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices

Oh, night divine

Oh, night when Christ was born

Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

I WISH YOU THE LOVE, THE HOPE, THE JOY, THE GRACE AND THE PEACE THAT ONLY GOD CAN GIVE AND THAT NO MAN CAN TAKE AWAY!

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle Cartoons

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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THANKSGIVING IN THE AGE OF THE APOCALYPSE

DEAR READERS:  In case this is your first time stopping by my place, let me catch you up to speed.  This is an ongoing blog about trying to reach God via phone because I can’t seem to get a face-to-face meeting with him during these chaotic times.  When I was an Evangelical Christian, I used to think he chatted with me all the time—like eating lunch on a daily basis with a chummy, gossipy gay hairstylist.  Then many years ago, I realized it probably wasn’t God—just my schizophrenic DNA mixed with false teachings by very silly preachers.  Be that as it may, I still believe in God and need to get some answers before I truly lose my mind over the chaos-ridden, apocalyptic era currently turning our planet into a living hell.  I mean, who else can I ask?  This is my “Waiting for Godot” moment:  “Is this all there is? Do you really care? Does God exist?  If so, why have you abandoned us?  Why are the liars, robber barons, and the NRA winning?  Is Trump the Anti-Christ, and is this the Apocalypse?  Will all of California have to completely burn to the ground before the Republicans acknowledge man-made climate change as a major culprit to our global instability?”

I’ve yet to hear from God.  If you need to catch up on my anxiety-ridden train of thought, you’ll find my other “prayer” messages filed under: “Are you listening (or paying attention) God?” via a series of “Voicemail Messages to God” which are essays of fanciful (sometimes heartbreaking) queries in my past blog posts.  This is my fifth installment:  “God, is this the Zombie Apocalypse?  You’d tell me, wouldn’t you?  Should I cancel Thanksgiving?  What’s there to be thankful for if the entire world’s going to hell in a hand basket at the speed of light?  Jesus, you have my digits—please call me!  Inquiring minds really need to know if this is the end!”

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of GOD at 1-800-PRA-TOME.  So glad to hear from most of you with a few exceptions.  If this phone call is from that pest, Eleanor Tomczyk, who has been nagging me day and night with the same prayer regarding Donald Trump (“Save us oh God, deliver us, oh God”), I called you the other day and you didn’t pick up the phone.  (What’s that old saying: ‘If you snooze, you lose, Baby?’)  Do you think you’re the only human I love who is panicked, horrified, and at their wits end regarding their circumstances?  Next time—keep your phone on you.  Right now, California is burning and needs my grace.  In the meantime, Thanksgiving is coming and you should count your blessings and cut me some slack with your incessant complaints.  As blessed lives go, you’re doing okay.  For all others, please leave a message at the end of the Hallelujah Chorus and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Trust me…I’m God, and I’m on the job!”

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

HI GOD:   This is Eleanor T.  It’s just a few days before Thanksgiving and I need to know whether I should skip it this year.  I mean…what’s the point.

By the way, I can’t believe you answered my calls the one time I wasn’t near my phone.  You’re omnipresent—didn’t you see that I was in the hospital doing a procedure and there was no cell service there?  Even if I could have gotten cell service, they made me leave my phone in a locker.  You didn’t see that mortifying procedure I was having that my ass doctor dubbed a “small bowel follow-through”—a procedure the hospital warned me could take up to eight hours?!  I was praying to you like crazy because I knew I was going to embarrass myself beyond all recovery.

Oh, the humiliation!  They made me strip down to my under pants, socks and sneakers, and stuffed me into a hospital gown.  They forced me to drink 32 ounces of a nasty white chalky liquid and walk in a loop through the hospital halls for ONE HOUR at a pace that resembled a mouse being chased by a feral cat.  My tits were hanging down to my waist (you know I haven’t gone without a bra since I was ten years old—I even wear one to bed), and I could feel the breeze blowing up my ass as my hospital gown flapped slightly open at every turn.)  Every once in a while, a Nurse Ratched-type would jog alongside me to make sure I wasn’t going to bite the dust or she’d snatch me into a room for a drive-by x-ray of my innards (“Get back out there, Kiddo…the dye has only gotten through half of your small intestine—you know it’s twenty-three-feet long, don’t you?!”), and then she’d put me back on the track before I could say, “WTFI hate you!”  Didn’t you see me zooming past bored doctors, horrified patients on their way to be operated on, and a not-too-bright security guard who wondered where in the hell I was going half naked and slightly crazed?  (I told him I had escaped from the psyche ward and wanted to get in my morning constitutional before I blew that Popsicle stand.  Ever notice how rent-a-cops never have a sense of humor?)

That was two days ago and the aftermath has not been pretty: I’m bloated, constantly farting, and have been popping out snow ball colored poops every other minute. I can’t leave the house. God, I think you hate me.  What did I ever do to piss you off to garner such suffering and humiliation?

Anyway, enough about me.  At least you answered my prayers about the mid-term elections—I think.

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star-Tucson, AZ

The day after the mid-terms, it looked as if the Blue Wave all kind-hearted people had prayed for was barely a ripple, and that the Trump madness would continue to go unchecked.  I was so disappointed and depressed that you hadn’t answered my prayers, which is when I called up my ass doctor and scheduled the bowel follow-through, an endoscopy, and a colonoscopy.  I mean, what the hell.  (I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it was my childish grown-up version of threatening to go sit in the dirt and eat worms since I didn’t get my way.)  Did you get my voice-mail message that I was canceling Thanksgiving also because I didn’t feel there was much to be thankful for in our new-normal apocalyptic state?

But then things started to turn…and they are still turning.  You showed up (or I should say, you answered my prayers by making the voters show up).  Trump doesn’t know it yet, but your fist of righteousness mingled with our boots on the ground and “woke” crusades, will continue to expand the Blue Wave every day until he is undone.  That dude’s going down.  I can feel it in my bones.  I just don’t know when or how.

Cartoon used by permission: Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer, NC

In the meantime, Dear God, I’m going to roll into Thanksgiving with my “praise on” because people are beginning to get “woke” and are figuring out how to handle that awareness.  Bad things are still happening each and every day with Trump in office, but I do believe there is hope for us.  I know that I’ve got a lot to be thankful for in my own life.  I promise you that I’ll stop whining and lend my hands, heart, prayers, and resources to those who have less because that is what you’ve called us all to do for our fellowman in hard times.  Besides, the thing I’m truly grateful for is my state of mind and the fact that I am no longer deceived by my religion or my politics because in the words of H.L. Mencken, what I’m most thankful for is:

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

Oh, and God, hopefully we can have a real in-depth conversation soon.  I just got a transcript of the message you left for me the day I was in the hospital for my ass procedure, and it is a tiny bit concerning.  The message said:  “Be grateful for what you’ve been given each and every day because things are going to get far worse before they get better for both your ass and the country.”  Jesus, do you know something I don’t know?  Is that a warning about my upcoming colonoscopy and endoscopy exams?  Is Trump going to be re-elected in 2020?  OH GOD, SAVE US (SAVE MY ASS); DELIVER US (DELIVER MY ASS)…

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Cartoon used by permission: Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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SCARY TIMES

DEAR READERS:  Have you been in touch with God, lately?  I’ve left him a gazillion messages and haven’t heard a peep.  Just wanted to let him know that our world really needs him right now.  Also, if you do happen to chat with him, let him know that I’m trying to decide what costume to wear for Halloween, and I’d like to ask him to turn the tide in the election next week to curtail the Hater in Chief in the White House.   Let God know when you hear from him that he’ll (or she’ll) find my copious other “prayer” messages filed under: “Are you Listening (or paying attention) God?”  For your edification Dear Reader, what follows is the fourth installment of a “Voicemail Message to God” which is a short essay on another universal question I wish God would answer about life: “God, what is your end game?”

Scary Times John Darkow Columbia Missourian

Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of GOD at 1-800-PRA-TOME.  As you might have guessed, if this call is from the United States, I’m sitting Shiva.  I will not be answering phone calls about anything first-world related while I’m in mourning with the city of Pittsburgh.  AMERICANS:  YOU WANT TO SAVE YOUR NATION:  GO OUT AND VOTE ON NOVEMBER 6TH!  DON’T BLOW IT AGAIN. I WON’T DO FOR YOU WHAT YOU REFUSE TO DO FOR YOURSELVES. Please leave a message after the tone.”

***

Hello GOD:  It’s Eleanor—again!  I don’t mean to become a pest, but I’ve been trying to get you to call me back for ages now.  I certainly understand why you are out-of-reach at the moment, but that is kind of what I wanted to talk to you about.

It’s getting scarier and scarier out here.  Halloween is here and who wants to wear a scary costume these days when our very own Victor Frankenstein in the White House has cooked up a Molotov cocktail of hated and division that is roaming our country seeking whom it may devour.

Hate It is Alive Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle GA

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

God, I don’t mean to tell you how to do your job, but you know the massacre in Pittsburgh could have all been prevented, don’t you?  You wouldn’t have to be sitting Shiva for the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue Congregation had you listened to my prayers.  Eleven people would still be alive and we’d have a lot more hope in our hearts if you had acknowledged my hysteria over the tiki-torch waving, khaki-trouser wearing White men in Charlottesville last year.  Remember in 2017 when the White supremacists hoisted the Nazi flags in Charlottesville as they marched around the Confederate statue and shouted, “Jews will not replace us?”  Instead of our Commander in Chief squishing this hateful monster like the giant demonic cockroach that it is, he said there were “good people on both sides.”  I had hoped you would have sent one of his many sycophantic Christian counselors to let him know that “good people” chanting “Jews will not replace us” is an oxymoron. Actually, I wished you had come to him in his sleep like the ghost of Bob Marley.

Venom Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch OH

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

Anyway, dear God, besides getting a little input from you as to what Halloween costume I should wear, I was hoping I could ask you a question that is bugging the hell out of me: “What is your end game for us with this science experiment of a President?”  The scariest costume of all this year is the orange pumpkin with yellow hair which espouses venom toward his opponents and the media, as the whole world watches his followers take up Trump’s call to arms against all those he hates.

Trump inspired Hate Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

Lord, have mercy on us.  I guess I’d like to know how much more of this vileness we must endure before you let the Great Pumpkin in the White House know that you’re God and he ain’t.  I have a suggestion:  How about sending him a message on blast on Nov. 6th?  The world will breathe a great sigh of relief.

Vote or Die

Celebrity Voting Campaign T-Shirts

Well Jesus, I would love to get your input and guidance after November 6th because I’m either going to want to do a shout-out of praises to you or I’m going to need a strait jacket costume for Halloween and beyond.

Talk soon.  Your devoted follower, ET

Halloween Political Scares Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

***

Tree of Life Names Bruce Plante Tulsa World

Cartoon used by permission: Bruce Plante, Tulsa World

We also remember the two African-American victims in the recent fatal shooting at the Kroger’s in Louisville, KY which police have labeled a hate crime.

May they never be forgotten:  Maurice E. Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67,

***

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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GOING, GOING, GONE…SOULS FOR SALE!

DEAR READERS:  Have you seen God?  He really seems to be AWOL!  I need to alert him to the fact that Americans are selling their souls in droves and at wholesale prices—increasingly so, and every damn day.  Do you think he’s aware of what is going on?  If you do hear from God, would you please pass on the phone message I just left for him.  It’s urgent!  Tell God when you see him that he’ll (or she’ll) find my copious other “prayer” messages filed under: “Are you Listening (or paying attention) God?”  What follows is the third installment of a “Voicemail Message to God” which is a very short essay on another universal question I wish God would answer about life: “What does it take to sell one’s soul?”

Souls for Sale Beachcombing Bizarre history blog

Courtesy of Beachcombing Bizarre History Blog

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of Jehovah at 1-800-PRA-TOME.  Gone star-gazing in a galaxy far, far away where the beings operate in love and peace, truth and honor. Feel free to leave a message, but I have no idea when I’ll get back to you.  I am truly sick and tired of being sick and tired with the human species on Earth and need to clear my head before I do something drastic that I may regret (can you say, “Noah’s Ark?”). 

***

DEAR GOD:  It’s Eleanor. Oy vez mir!  Do I ever need to talk to you!

My God…did you know that the Anti-Christ has unveiled himself?  Right here in America!

Christians elect the anti christ meme

My Lord, I looked up the definition of “Anti-Christ,” and the online dictionary said:

A personal opponent of Christ expected to appear before the end of the world.

  A person or thing regarded as supremely evil or as a fundamental enemy or opponent.

A great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming.”

You might ask why I suspect the President of the United States to be the anti-Christ.  I mean, after all, one could easily have said that about Hitler.  Well that is why I’m calling — I have proof Trump is the anti-Christ:  People are selling their souls to him left, right, and center.   Just last week, a famous Black rapper (Kanye West) ripped out his soul, barbecued it on the altar of Trump, and served it up as pâté on a cracker.  It was a sight to behold:  degrading, embarrassing, disgusting, and horrific. It was like watching a massive train wreck and not being able to turn away from the carnage.

Kanye West and Trump Vogue Meme

IMGFLIP.COM/Meme of 2014 Kayne West and Kim Kardashian Vogue cover

A couple weeks before that debacle with Kanye West and Trump, a man was confirmed to the Supreme Court (Brett Kavanaugh)—ushered onto the bench by the mocking laughter of the Anti-Christ in Chief who led hundreds of contemptuous supporters at a rally against the woman Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted.  As the crowd screamed “Lock her up,” all I could do was weep for myself and every woman who has tried to tell someone her story of assault, only not to be believed and ridiculed in the process.

The Talk David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission:  David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson, AZ

God, I don’t know if you were watching, but Kavanaugh was not proven innocent. All those mockers at the rally, and the old angry White men in the Senate sold their souls to Trump and rushed through a man temperamentally unfit (at the very least) to sit on the Supreme Court.  The problem is that I prayed 24/7 for you to vindicate Dr. Ford.  Since you didn’t return my call, I’m now praying that you flush out the truth on this dude with irrefutable evidence, and that in doing so, you jettison his sorry ass off the bench. If he lied—if he’s hiding something—save us from him and all the other Republicans who sold their souls on Kavanaugh’s behalf.

Caving on Kav David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons,The Arizona Star Tucson, AZ

In the meantime, while the anti-Christ in the Oval Office cozies up to yet another brutal dictator, I’m watching to see which politicians and religious leaders carry the train of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman’s robe as they rush to sell their souls over the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  Pat Robertson (Head of the Christian Broadcasting Network) cashed his soul in yesterday when he said, “You’ve got one journalist — who knows? Was it an interrogation? Was he assassinated? Were there rogue elements? Who did it…? You’ve got $100 billion worth of arms sales…we cannot alienate our biggest player in the Middle East.” 

My question to Pat Robertson:  Who brings a bone saw to an interrogation?

Mitt Romney is in the process of relinquishing his soul as he tries to make his way back to the Senate.  Because you see all and hear all, I know you remember Romney being solidly in the never-Trump camp when he said:

“Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s hallmark … He’s not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as a leader. His imagination must not be married to real power … Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the members of the American public for suckers … He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”

Oy, that was in 2016 when Romney had no power.  Now that he seems to be a shoe-in to the Senate and can sniff power like the intoxicating aroma of fresh brewed coffee, here’s the script he cashed in for his soul on Oct. 17th:  Trump’s policies “have been pretty effective, and I support a lot of those policies.”

Romney and Trump Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

So here is my question sweet Jesus:  how much is a soul worth these days?  We Americans are a little confused, and I think we’re selling our souls much too cheaply since I hear the final cost is eternal damnation.  What say you, My Lord?

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Evangelicals and anti christ FB 1 David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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WHAT’S PRAYER GOT TO DO WITH IT?

DEAR READERS:  These are desperate times, and because I increasingly wonder what or where God is in the mighty scheme of things (does he care, is he on vacation, or is he just late to the party?), I’ve decided to harangue God more than I usually do via persistent phone calls—so far my calls have gone straight to voicemail. What follows is the second installment of a “voicemail message to God” which is a very short essay on a universal question I wish God would answer about life: “What’s Prayer Got to Do with It?”

Praying for things Meme

GOD’S VOICEMAIL GREETING:  “You’ve reached the voicemail box of Jehovah at 1-800-PRA-TOME. I am experiencing a high call volume at this time—especially from the United States—but I will return your call as soon as is heavenly possible.  Please note that I operate on a triage system (‘the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition’). Leave your name, number, and your prayer request, and I will get back to you at some point.  May I bless you!”

***

HELLO, GOD.  IT’S ME, ELEANOR.  Looks like I’ve missed you again. Where are you, Jehovah-Jireh (my provider)?  I need to talk to you about something really, really important!   It’s about prayer and its efficacy—whose prayers you answer and why.  It’s about why conversational prayer always seems to be one way:  I talk, but you don’t say a word.  Oh, I know there are people who say you talk back to them (like you drop in for tea every Tuesday morning exactly at 10 o’clock), but have you noticed that they tend to be nuttier than a fruitcake?

I think most things I’ve been taught about prayer are all wrong.  I’ve had preachers tell me that you, God, are in control of all things, but I can change your mind by how specific my prayers are—the more specific I am, the more specific your answers will be to me.  (As if you are a divine waiter and I just need to bark: “Garçon! A raspberry LaCroix, straight up, with a splash of vodka and a twist of lime, mon dieu!”)   I used to know a preacher who prayed whether to put on shorts or long pants on any given day, whether to carry an umbrella that day, if he should part his hair on the left or the right, or if he should fast or gorge on the leftover pizza in the refrigerator.  (As if you hadn’t given us brains, weathermen, or the Keto Diet.)  I’ve known preachers who prayed for parishioners to win the lottery, just so long as they tithed 10% of their winnings, of course. (As if you were the Big Kahuna casino boss in the sky just waiting to “bless” your followers with ill-gotten gains.)

I can’t tell you how many fat-ass Christians I have known who prayed for a parking space up close to the front of the mall so that they wouldn’t have to engage in some much-needed exercise.  Can I say that if that is truly the level of prayers you’re answering these days, then I need a new God.  Just sayin’!

Jesus take the wheel prayer meme

Anyway, I know you answer my prayers (sometimes).  (Barack Obama didn’t get assassinated, served two terms, and had a scandal-free administration, didn’t he?  On the other hand, Hillary lost and Satan’s spawn became our President.  What happened there?  Wrong number?)  But recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of crazy people crowing about how great they are because you answered their prayers regarding Earth-shattering events that destroyed others.

Case in point:  Pat Robertson and Hurricane Florence.

In case you weren’t home at the time when Robertson did his warlock incantation in your name, he said:

“I don’t want that thing [Hurricane Florence] to come in,” Robertson said. “I don’t want it to hurt Regent [Robertson’s University], I don’t want it to hurt CBN [Robertson’s Television Network], I don’t want it to tear up the beautiful campus, I don’t want it to tear these trees down, I don’t want to see any damage, I don’t want a bunch of glass flowing, and I don’t want [damage] all over this area that is counting on us to pray for them.

“We declare in the name of the Lord that you shall go no farther, you shall do no damage in this area. We declare a shield of protection all over Tidewater and we declare a shield of protection over those innocent people in the path of this hurricane. In Jesus’ holy name, be out to sea!”

…and the next day, North Carolina and South Carolina said:  WTF, God—we prayed, too!?!

Florence Final Landing Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com

Then Pat Robertson said:

“We asked the Lord to take it [hurricane Florence] out of here [Virginia] and he did,” Robertson boasted. “It’s like a shield that God has put around us [the coastal region of Virginia].”

“God’s people prayed,” he opined. “This is a miracle, ladies and gentlemen.”

“We’ve had a hand of protection over this area, and when we pray, God does miracles.”

As a Christian I was horrified by Robertson’s claim to a prayer hotline to you, oh God, and that you would do what he had demanded at the expense of other human beings.   Then I thought I heard a faint word in the wind (“Bullshit!”) when I was walking yesterday, and wondered if that was a message from you, and I remembered a Mark Twain quote when thinking about eighty-eight-year-old Robertson that day:

“I’ve never wished a man dead,

But I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

Robertson sleep by God Meme

Of course, I remembered that you don’t like “ugly,” so I quickly asked forgiveness (did you get that text message?)  I turned my meditation from wishing an old man dead to how many so-called Christians don’t believe in science, climate change, global warming, and the fact that the sea level is rising along with a growing population along our coastlines which gave me a very unoriginal “aha” moment about the Earth:  We’re so screwed!

Extreme Weather Sites Paresh Nath The Khaleej Times UAE

Cartoon used by permission: Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE

Anyway, I’ve got to run.  I’ve got a first-world problem that needs tending to:  The grass seed I put down several weeks ago is not germinating, and my lawn looks like a weed farm that is moonlighting as a swamp.  (I thought about praying and asking you to heal the soil in my yard and give me a putting-green lawn, but then I remembered prayer doesn’t work that way, and you’re not a divine Mexican gardener on my staff named “Jesús” who is at my beck and call.)

Please call me back about this prayer thing.  I know you know that you’re my G-O-D no matter what, and I’ll keep on praying even if you never answer me.  I tell anyone who will listen that “in you I live and breathe and have my being.”  However, it’s not me you have to worry about. It’s my atheist brothers and sisters.  They are really having a hard time with the concept of you, and this prayer thing is a huge stumbling block.  Especially when there are Neanderthals like Pat Robertson running around pretending to have a hotline to you and spewing all sorts of verbal chaos in your name.

Robertson on Do not call list Mike Keefe San Miguel de Allende Mexico

Cartoon used by permission: Mike Keefe, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

WANT TO HEAR THE AUTHOR’S LATEST PODCAST INTERVIEW? http://breadboxmedia.podbean.com/e/what-if-it-is-true-can-you-find-faith-in-darkness/

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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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