During the first few weeks of summer, a young Sister Madly would wait impatiently for hours to play with her friend Serafina, who was a member of a strict and rather unfun denomination known for its boycotts of various fast-food joints and hosting ‘safe alternatives’ to Halloween. That week, it was Vacation Bible School* that rudely took up Serafina’s mornings, and when Sister Madly showed up at her house later that day, Serafina was trying to draw a picture of Jesus.
* Fortunately, Sister Madly’s mother wouldn’t discover this Summer Vacation Buzzkill for a few years yet.
Now Sister Madly had absolutely no idea what Jesus looked like, aside from the usual pictures of a long-haired, melancholy European holding his pet lamb. After much discussion, she and Serafina were pretty certain that this was an inaccurate depiction, as most of the churches they’ve encountered frowned upon men having long hair. As it was now up to them to right this horrible wrong, they approached the mission like lovely, little know-it-alls of all things sacred, tossing out terms associated with the Divine- such as holy, church on Sundays, and eternal.*
* While she did not fully appreciate ‘eternity’ as a child, as an adult, Sister Madly now flirts with the infinite on a weekly basis.
Since the girls lived in an era a few years after Jesus, Sister Madly decided to ransack the bible for a description of said messiah- she was a bit more of a know-it-all than Serafina, despite not being a member of a strict and unfun denomination at the time.
Nowhere was he described as the long-haired, melancholy European that the art world seems to favor; rather, Sister Madly came upon a host of verses which the artists of yesteryear clearly overlooked:
- Bread of Life.
Obviously, this was no ordinary loaf of bread; it was alive– which meant the Loaf had a face.
- Good Shepherd.
To the Smiling Loaf of Bread was added a Shepherd’s Staff.
- Light of the World.
A magnificent Sunburst was drawn around the Smiling Loaf of Bread-Shepherd.
- The Alpha and the Omega.
The Inedible End-Slice of Bread was added, which symbolized the Alpha and the Omega.
- The Resurrection and the Life.
Since Bread rises when baked, there was no need for further artistic depiction. Still, there was concern that merely implying the Resurrection via oven and yeast was too profound and complex for the adult mind; thus they decided to include the baking temp for The Smiling, Atomic, Loaf of Bread-Shepherd.
Sister Madly, however, knew nothing about the joys of baking bread; she only knew the joys of delivering it to the neighbors in a wagon through the snow. And Serafina- well, she only knew the joys of Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwiches.*
* Sister Madly prefers Peanut Butter and Banana.
So Sister Madly suggested they call Information.
Even as a little Moppet, Sister Madly knew that Information was a direct line to the All-Knowing Oracle, as people were always calling it in old television shows asking for phone numbers; but when the Oracle had no answer, Sister Madly asked for the number to a Bread-Making Store. When told that there was no such thing as a Bread-Making Store, it became clear that the Oracle found that Sister Madly & Co. already possessed the information they sought deep within themselves, thus making them wise beyond their 7 years.
Unfortunately, the inherent Bread-Baking Temp Knowledge was hidden far-too deep within their souls to be discovered by 9 AM the following day, so they had no other choice than to depict the Bread actually rising.
And that is what they did.
- Bread of Life.
Obviously, this was no ordinary slice of bread; it was alive– which meant the Slice had a face.
- Good Shepherd.
To the Smiling Slice of Bread was added a Shepherd’s Staff.
- Light of the World.
A magnificent Sunburst was drawn around the Smiling Slice of Bread-Shepherd.
- The Alpha and the Omega.
Detail was added to indicate that the Smiling, Atomic Bread-Shepherd is the Inedible End-Slice, which symbolized the Alpha and the Omega.
- The Resurrection and the Life.
The Smiling, Atomic, Inedible End-Slice of Bread-Shepherd pops merrily out of a Toaster.
As you can see, Sister Madly’s artistic skills have vastly improved since she was 7. This pleases her.
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, whole
- 5-7 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TBSP sumac
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp cayenne, or to taste
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup oil, or as needed
Mix marinade ingredients together
Add chicken, shake/stir to coat
Refrigerate 30 min- 24 hours
Remove Chicken from fridge 30+ min before baking
Preheat oven to 375*
Skewer chicken on metal or pre-soaked bamboo skewers
Lay skewers on greased baking track in baking tray
Cover with any remaining marinade
Bake for 45-60 min, or until cooked through
Slice and serve with pita
THEME SONG: Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode
Is More Despicable
Based on Fear.
~ Albert Camus
Hey there Cthulhu, down there in your sunken city
You’re a billion light years distant and the stars look very pretty
So close and yet so far away
Cthulhu Fhtagn, or is that k-THOO-loo fuh-TINE?
I can never quite remember, ’cause I’m not in my right mind
Since I met you
No one corrupts the way you do
You know it’s true
Oh, it’s what you’ll do to me
Oh, and all humanity
Oh, you’ll rise up from the sea
Oh, kill everyone slowly
Except the ones like me
Hey there Cthulhu, I’ve been studying your gospel
The Necronomicon, it gives me nightmares something awful
Where I see
The death of all reality
It fills me with glee
So when the stars are right, you’ll come and do your worst
But that’s okay because I know you’ll eat the cultists like me first
When you get here
I know that day is drawing near
I have no fear
Oh, it’s what you’ll do to me
Oh, and all humanity
Oh, you’ll rise up from the sea
Oh, kill everyone slowly
A billion light years seems so far
Below the sea, beyond the stars
Of these humans’ putrid souls you’ll drink your fill
The fools will all make fun of me
But I’ll just laugh maniacally
’Cause no one’s ever suffered like they will
Cthulhu, I can promise you
That by the time this cult gets through
The world will never ever be the same
Praise your dark name!
Phn’glui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wagh’nagl fhtagn
Boy, that’s really quite a mouthful, can’t quite cram it in my noggin
I try to say it anyway
I feel my soul being to fray
Still I away that frabjous day
Oh, it’s what you’ll do to me
Oh, and all humanity
Oh, you’ll rise up from the sea
Oh, kill everyone but me
Everyone but me…
Original Music by : Plain White T’s
Satirical Lyrics by: Eben Brooks
Images: 1) Pinterest
4) DanielBDemented @ Redbubble
It wasn’t long ago that Sister Madly, after several gastronomical no-no’s which included the Great Ham and Banana Hollandaise Debacle, was indefinitely banned from the culinary process of party-planning. But this did not preclude her from being recruited to run essential errands, such as “picking up a couple of Swedes.”
Why Swedes specifically? Is not Sister Madly’s own Scandinavian heritage, as slight as it may be, enough of a cultural contribution to the party? Is it even possible to tell a Swede from a Norwegian? If she should bring home a Finn, would she be horribly punished?
Then again, just what kind of girl do you think she is? Do you think she routinely struts about in stilettos and a feathered boa down at the local Ikea? Sure, Sister Madly recently required that every single one of you be her Valentine– some of whom even had the audacity to question her technique- but there is a world of difference between demanding your companionship and wooing you with her dubious charm.
Besides, if Sister Madly was any good at wooing, would she resort to demanding?*
* Yes, actually. Sister Madly is lazy.
Naturally, her friends anticipated her childish tirade, and followed up with a clarifying text: Studebakers.
Well, maybe the Swede would be driving one.
Rutabagas are a funny thing. Sister Madly has a hard time believing that the fool who first dug one up said, “Well, Son-of-a-Biscuit! What a delicious-looking thingamabob!” No doubt its history is more complicated, perhaps even stemming back to biblical times. It’s quite possible that something was lost in translating the Torah, that Eve was not tempted with the Forbidden Fruit, but the Forbidden Root.
But let’s face it: it would take an awful lot of sweet-talking on the part of the Snake to get Eve to chow down on a straight-from-the-dirt Rutabaga. Perhaps a verse was omitted from the original text in which God cursed the Forbidden Fruit by upping its carb count and reducing it to a Root, much like how the Walking-Talking Serpent was reduced to a slithering, hiss-happy Danger Noodle.
From a divine viewpoint, a Fruit-to-Root curse would have been absolutely necessary. No doubt the Forbidden Fruit would devastate the future of humanity by being a hit at the Farmer’s Market- why, just think of the incredible smoothies one could concoct, or all the lovely jams. Forbidden Fruit on a lightly-toasted rye would, without a doubt, be a most unholy way to start the weekend.
Being the cheeky little moppet that she is, Sister Madly brought up the subject to a Seminary Student later on at the party, one who got his kicks from taking himself much too seriously. She was curious as to what he had to say about her most excellent Rutabaga Theory.
He did not think it most excellent.
“If you consider the region and the climate of the Garden of Eden at the time, the Forbidden Fruit would have been similar to an Olive.”
And just what is so tempting about an Olive? It’s the only thing on this planet that can further contaminate a perfectly ghastly loaf of bologna! Olives have their place in the culinary world, make no mistake; but to bring about the downfall of all mankind- quite frankly, that tasty little wart just did not have the gumption. There is simply no way that a Serpent could seduce Eve with a beady-eyed little olive.
Unless it was in a martini.
Then again, who can say it wasn’t in a martini? How do we know that the Serpent wasn’t the local mixologist, wooing Eve with a posh cocktail? Savvy barkeeps have been making the same moves for generations- they must have picked it up from somewhere.
Speaking of which- would you like a drink, Soon-To-Be-Reverend No-Fun?
“There’s a reason they’re called spirits: being drunk with liquor is like being possessed by the devil.”
Spoken like a true fart.
5-SPICE APRICOT CHICKEN
- 6-8 chicken drums/thighs
- 3 TBSP soy sauce ~ or ~ coconut aminos
- 2 TBSP sesame oil
- 2 TBSP garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP ginger, grated
- 2 tsp Chinese 5-spice
- 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
- 3-4 TBSP olive oil, or as needed
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 3-4 TBSP soy sauce ~ or ~ coconut aminos
- 3 TBSP rice vinegar
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp Sriracha, or to taste
- salt/pepper, to taste
Mix together marinade ingredients
Add chicken; shake/mix to coat
Refrigerate 30min – 24hrs
Mix together glaze ingredients
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer to reduce (glaze will coat spoon)
Preheat oven to 400*
Place chicken on greased baking rack in tray
Bake for 45 min
Remove from oven, brush chicken with glaze
Return to oven; bake 10-15 min, or until cooked through
Brush with remaining glaze straight from oven
THEME SONG: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly
So you want to make a Christian Scare Film. Where do you go from here?
To begin with, this is not just a propaganda film; this is a Christian Scare Film, whose holy objective of “scaring people into heaven” is to be regarded as
blackmail coercion love. If successful, you may one day find your film at a popular independent movie rental under Cult Classics, sub category YAHWEH IS ANGRY.
Once again, you want to make a Christian Scare Film. Where do you go from here?
Allow Sister Madly to provide you with a few simple steps:
But for those of you who are biologically engineered to ignore sound advice, Sister Madly has gathered for you the tips to divine infamy based upon an untidy little Christploitation Series known as A Thief in the Night.
For those of you whose childhood was unsullied by this low-budget trauma, A Thief in the Night and its sequels depicts all the joys and unapologetic good-times to be had for those living in a post-apocalyptic world. True, the same can be said for many made-for-TV quality movies of that era, but Thief has a special place in Sister Madly’s history for unintentionally portraying both religion and 70’s fashion as slightly less appealing than the Tribulation.
Also, Ritz Crackers.
So once again, you want to make a Christian Scare Film. Where do you go from here?
~ MUSIC ~
The theme song should not be an uplifting little ditty easily forgotten, but a depressing, soul-sucking earworm. Otherwise, your viewers will just end up listening to their rock music in reverse, trying to decode the satanic messages.
~ INTERPRET THE SOURCE LITERALLY ~
The Book of Revelations is to be interpreted literally- especially the bit about the locusts.*
* Revelations 9:3-10
As you can imagine, it is difficult to find a grasshopper of that caliber.
So here is a picture of the classic cocktail.
~ RITZ CRACKERS ~
While one might think this is shameless product placement, this delicacy of yesteryear serves to remind Sister Madly of the old linoleum adorning in her parent’s kitchen floor. People tend to become wistful, if not melancholic, when faced with cracker nostalgia, which makes them much more susceptible to the Divine Message.
~ BAR CODES ~
Bar codes. Bar codes everywhere.
~ SCIENCE ~
Science is simply overrated. For example, it is entirely safe to wander about a city located a few miles from the site of a very recent nuclear detonation. The aforementioned city will also be entirely in tact and free from radiation- but a looted sweater will take care of any pesky contamination leftover on that abandoned Corvette your characters intend to take on a 14ft joyride.*
* Make sure your characters return the sweater. Christian Scare Films do not condone sweater theft.
~ CONTINUITY ~
Continuity is also overrated. Hairstyles and moustaches are best represented in the current fashion, and there is no need to concern yourself with dreary continuity errors even though your next film picks up immediately from where the previous one left off 3 years prior.
Filmed 3 years apart.
Takes place 30 seconds apart.
~ PYREX ~
Not the measuring cups currently produced, but the decorative kitchenware released between the 1940’s – 1980’s, which has become the obsession of
Tallulah collectors. The piece making a guest appearance in Thief is known as ‘Early American,’ Tallulah was quick to inform- that is, after much indignation was expressed that the bowl was actually used for mixing rather than sitting pretty on a shelf.* Too many Pyrex cameos, however, will distract Tallulah viewers from the Divine Message.
* Sister Madly strongly believes this is why Tallulah cannot stay awake through Casablanca: no vintage Pyrex. None.
~ HAND PUPPETS ~
Including hand-puppets for people too old to be communicating with hand-puppets will distract the viewers from the fact that your actor is too old to be playing a character who routinely communicates with hand-puppets.
~ STAR IN YOUR OWN FILM ~
Just do it!
Implement these simple, yet classic Scare Film Staples, and you, too, may one day find your film at a popular independent movie rental under Cult Classics, sub category YAHWEH IS ANGRY.*
* Sister Madly would be angry, too, if someone made an incompetent movie about her.
You will also scare the butterbeans out of anyone under the age of 7. Trust her on this one.
But most importantly: Ritz Crackers.
THEME SONG: I Wish We’d All Been Ready, The Fishmarket Combo
1.) A Thief in the Night
3.) A Thief in the Night
5.) Thief in the Night
6.) A Distant Thunder
7.) The Prodigal Planet
8.) A Distant Thunder/Image of the Beast
9.) A Thief in the Night
10.) A Thief in the Night
11.) A Thief in the Night
Sophistication can be tricky, especially in the art of deciding whether to arrive to an assignation on time, or fashionably late. But what is apparently quite unacceptable is the in-between tardiness that results from staring at a giant mushroom.
It wasn’t that this tardiness was found to be thoughtless or even rude, but unnatural. Delays involving traffic, bees, and runaway steamrollers have all been overlooked, but the fungus was deemed inexcusable as the Professors seem to be biologically opposed to all things mushroom. In fact, they didn’t seem to believe that Sister Madly saw the mushroom at all, which resulted in a frustration she hadn’t felt since Christmas Eve, when no one believed that Elvis was sitting on her neighbor’s balcony.
So after much discussion, the Professors came to the logical conclusion that Sister Madly would greatly benefit from a week-long retreat at the Trappist Monastery.
To begin with, Sister Madly doesn’t like how this particular monastic order contains the word Trap. No doubt that name exists for a reason, and she’s not too keen on finding out why. Besides, it’s not like she ate the mushroom, although she did form a bond with a hookah-smoking caterpillar over their mutual lack of height.
The Professors cheerfully overlooked these misgivings, determined that Sister Madly would embrace the simple life once she was not only aware of all the thrills…
“You can make creamed honey-”
…but moments of sweet meditation.
“-and fruit cake!”
Yes, very few graduates today realize that all of life’s predicaments can be rectified with a bakery and a beehive, as Monastic Fruit Cake Philosophy is only available on a PhD level. Sister Madly herself was ill-equipped upon finishing high school, facing the world with nothing more than knowledge of how to add and subtract papayas, that throwing tea into a harbor results in warfare, and that battery acid eats through shirts.* Had she furthered her education, she might not have been contaminated by Giant Mushroom Awe.
* The understanding of battery acid came about in a household setting rather than the classroom.
(Sorry about that.)
But why a Trappist Monastery? What about the monks who make cider? Why can’t she spend a few days with those fine gentlemen?
The Professors thought the reason was obvious enough: the Monks Who Make Cider live in a little place called The Other Side of the World, which was a wee bit outside of their ‘stay-for-free-but-donations-are-accepted’ budget.
“Besides, Trappist Monks are known for their silence.”
Well, that’s a comfort: the monks will be unable to tattle on Sister Madly when she engages in some very un-monastic rituals, such as swimming in the baptistery and putting toothpaste in the fruit cake. Surely nothing is more infuriating than a gossipy little monk.*
* Or a gossipy tall monk, for that matter.
But wait- would she also be bound by this vow of silence? Not that she’s a chatty little supernova, mind you, but Sister Madly has been known to talk to, with, and amongst herself on occasion. And of course, she simply must reply; not responding to oneself when speaking to oneself is most impolite. But this mandatory silence would be like giving herself the cold shoulder, and Sister Madly might take offense and not speak to herself for days.
“It’s not completely silent; after all, there is a confessor.”
If that is not the essence of ingenuity! No need for the monks to tattle; Sister Madly will be required to tattle on herself! Then she will sulk and call herself names, which will escalate to rumor-spreading and hair-pulling, after which Sister Madly will vow to never tell herself another secret again.
Well son of a biscuit, Sister Madly- you just uncovered the Trap of Trappist! This whole ‘retreat’ is just a ruse on the part of the Professors to thwart future high-jinks and delicious skullduggery, all of which takes a great deal of planning amongst yourself; the Giant Mushroom is just an excuse to implement it. They’re trying to make you just like them, all responsible and early-to-bed. You need to put a stop to this wicked agenda at once!
Professor- did you do something with your hair?
That’s what she thought.
THEME SONG: Enjoy the Silence, Depeche Mode
(Inspired by the controversial, often inaccurate, fire-and-brimstone world of cartoonist Jack Chick.**)
* I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars that dream beneath the sea… HPL *
** Website may be blocked in some countries.
Who Will Be Eaten First? by Howard Hallis
The trouble with being a god is that you’ve got no one to pray to ~ Terry Pratchett
It was a day like any other when Yanni came to town. At Utopia, three employees had emerged from their usual Wednesday night hangovers, Victor had fallen victim to the oil and muck puddle as he took out the trash, and the resident cat – Sinner – was having trouble hacking up his weekly hairball.
To the envy of all, Sister Madly had arrived sober, clean, and hairball free- but this, too, would not last. She was selected for the Wearing of the Green, that all too important job of trying on rings and bracelets to see how long it would take to look like Swamp Thing. Some nights she would come home with so much green around her wrists it looked like she spent the day chained up in the basement with Igor- which of course wasn’t true. Igor was fired months ago.
The point of the Wearing of the Green was to see whether or not the most recent merchandise was truly sterling.* Sterling Silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal, which makes the silver suitable for daily wear and is indicated by the number .925 engraved somewhere on the piece. Fine Silver (99.9%) is much too soft for jewelry, and often results in unhappy customers demanding something called a ‘refund’ – loudly.
*Green is the result of a chemical reaction between copper and the acid in sweat, which forms salts that leave a residue on the skin- the only alchemy of which Sister Madly is capable.
When dealing with reputable vendors, this low-budget test method is not necessary; but when one’s dealing with independent peddlers who sell things out of their trench coats in the back alley (a common Utopian practice) one just might wind up with merchandise that is merely sterling-plated.
In no time, Sister Madly looked as though she had been luxuriating in the local bayou, the sight of which prompted Management to make a cheeky reference to the employees being the latest rejects of Fraggle Rock. This, naturally, would have made no difference to Management had they not been made aware of one Yanni arriving in town.
Now Sister Madly had heard of this Yanni, thanks to the ill-gotten Pure Moods CD’s of her teens. She also remembers not being too impressed with whatever song was on said CD, thus not giving him a second thought- which, it would turn out, is more thought than most of her coworkers had ever given him.
However, it seemed that membership was down in Club Yanni, thus his accompanists took to the streets to recruit disciples by giving away free tickets. Management was particularly susceptible to this type of evangelism, and were not only immediate converts, but immediate authorities on the man they hadn’t heard of a mere hour before.
And as new glow of euphoric propaganda coursed through their veins, Management began to wonder if Yanni, himself, would show up at Utopia… because shopping for incense and fertility gods is exactly what Yanni would do less than 90 minutes before show time. Management went on to demanded that they be informed the moment Yanni stopped by the store.
There was some concern amongst certain Utopians regarding this request, as they did not know what the Man Known as Yanni looked like. But Management graciously responded with this all-too-detailed description:
“Just be on the look out for someone who looks like Jesus!”
“Jesus? Like the guy who sells melons on the corner?”
“That’s pronounced Jesús, Victor, and those are mangoes.”*
*It was well-known to everyone but Victor that the man behind Mangoes by Jesús was in fact an Italian named Giuseppe, who drove a vintage Mustang and spoke better English than the lot of them. But then, Victor smoked a lot of illegal plant-life.
It was a few moments before closing time when it happened: that beam of light that broke through the clouds, and the angelic choir that accompanied the silhouette that stood majestically in the doorframe…
…which was the precise moment that Sinner, in a spectacular display of vaudevillian theatrics, not only coughed up his mutant hairball, but proceeded to basked in the glory of his regurgitated masterpiece- all at the feet of the Man Who Could Have Been Yanni…
But alas, the silhouette was merely the pizza boy.
THEME SONG: Anything by Yanni, as long as it’s interesting (Good Luck)
The road to Hell is not paved with good intentions.
Unless Good Intentions is the riffraff the state uses to fill the potholes.
You see, Sister Madly has her moments of generosity, cheerfully obliging the appeals of her peers ranging from Knock it Off to Get Lost. In her lifetime, she’s knock so many things off of other things that one of those things must be the ‘it’ that was inferred, and has gotten lost so many times that she is running out of places that constitute as ‘lost.’
But there was one appeal that went largely ignored:
Go to Hell.
This one was not often requested of Sister Madly, but it has been known to follow her late-night victories over the Professors at darts- which, admittedly, is not very often: the Professors need to be drunk at the time, while Sister Madly needs to be sober, awake and actually playing darts for this to happen. Still, this perfect storm has been fashioned on occasion, and the least she could do was honor one of those requests.
Thanks to the music industry, getting there was a cinch.
Sources indicate that the concept of Hell (derived from Old English Hel; Helle) developed around 30 CE, but this is in error: Hell came about on October 13, 1841 when settler George Reeves was asked what he thought the town should be named. The moonshine-loving Mr. Reeves graciously replied with “You can name it Hell for all I care!”
Sister Madly wasn’t certain what she’d find along the Road to Perdition, but according to most religions she would encounter the damned (political candidates) lost souls (telemarketers) eternal punishment (asparagus) and of course, fallen angels (Canadian Geese).
She would later find out she was right about the Geese.
As for the terrain, literature has promised her anything from a Lake of Ice to a Lake of Fire; instead, Sister Madly found a roadside attraction that was unapologetically kitschy! The main stretch is a little more than a dirt lot between two buildings (the County Store/Post Office and the Gift Shop/Ice Cream Parlor) with the Dam Site Inn a little further on down the Road Paved with Good Intentions- somewhere around the 5th major pothole.
It is here in Hell that the position of Mayor is retained only for a day. Sister Madly briefly considered this second honor for one of the Professors, but when she realized that they would not be amused, the urge became almost irresistible- almost. You see, Sister Madly has employed the Get Lost request on occasion, and while the Professors have yet to do so, their sense of humor once strolled off into the darkness one moonless night, and has yet to return.
And one’s duties as the Mayor of Hell begins at 5 AM.
Yes, it was all too tempting…
For those of you who may find themselves wandering through the Abyss, allow Sister Madly to provide you with a few fun facts:
– Hell does, in fact, freeze over
– It does break loose, as it did on June 6, 2006
– Round trip from Hell, MI in the Lower peninsula to Paradise, MI in the Upper is 666 miles (from the edge of one town to the other, utilizing shortcuts, private roads, trespassing and quite possibly, teleporting)
– The Post Office is more than willing to set fire to your mail
– Took several years to build a Miniature Golf course
– Mini Golf is now complete, but never seems to be open
– Painted a picnic table to entertain you while you wonder why the Mini Golf is never open
– There are Canadian Geese
And while you are sitting there wondering why the Mini Golf is never open, some mysterious stranger- who looks a bit like a werewolf in mid-transition- just might hand you a little card that reads:
And the Lord saith unto John: “Come forth, and ye shall receive eternal life.”
But John came in fifth, and won a toaster.
THEME SONG: Highway to Hell, AC/DC
All Images from Tumblr except:
6) getty images
Some years ago, Sister Madly found herself employed at Utopia, a bazaar of sorts that was once described as ‘a bunch of weird people doing weird things.’ While slightly out of place in an ultra-conservative town, at times Utopia seemed more characteristic of that friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and strange lights pass overhead while they all pretend to sleep.
It was at Utopia that one’s interest in primitive blow darts went largely unnoticed, that phenomena such fertility gods popping off the walls was common, and it was here that Sister Madly discovered that she can watch a burning stick of incense – Patchouli Forest – for hours and be completely happy. Make no mistake, there were weird people at Utopia: Sister Madly called them ‘Customers.’
She should have known that something was up that day when her boss pawned off one of these customers on her, but Sister Madly was not yet attuned to the subtleties of that class known as Management. No doubt the boy had a question that Management deemed not worthy of their attention.
He had a question, alright: the boy wanted to know the magickal properties of every quartz, crystal and gemstone in the joint, which was no small feat. Amongst other things, the walls of Utopia were like a rock quarry with pendants, beads and other jewelry all bearing natural stones. And no, the boy wasn’t looking to purchase anything: he just wanted information.
In a manner most dramatic, the boy pulled the chain out from under his collar to reveal a Star of David.
“I’m a Wiccan!”
Now let’s not jump to conclusions, Sister Madly; perhaps he is near-sighted and picked the wrong star out of the box this morning. Surely he is not mistaking a Jewish symbol for a Pagan one.
“For my Book of Shadows!” upon which he had painted another Star of David.
Nope, not near-sighted. Just dumb as a rock.
Star of David ~ Pentagram
A single line makes all the difference
Without being asked, the boy went on to explain how his mother stumbled upon him practicing witchcraft. He was in the garage casting a spell – a shape-shifting spell, if you must know – when she barged on in, crossed herself, picked up his stone altar and tossed it out the picture window. She then set fire to all his spell books and pentagrams, and told him to stop playing his Metallica so loudly. The neighbors are complaining.
Allow Sister Madly to ask the question that is on everyone’s mind: is there a picture window in the garage, or did his mother haul the stone altar into the living room for the sole purpose of chucking it out the window? And if this mother actually did pick up said altar and pitched it out the picture window, perhaps she is the one from whom to seek assistance on all things magickal.
Some say that everything happens for a reason, that there are no coincidences. Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created, Sister Madly: perhaps you can prevent him from further alienating the Pagan and Jewish Communities by converting the poor sap to Pastafarianism, to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (bless his noodly appendages.) In turn the new disciple, still basking in the glow of new-faith euphoria, shall honor the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Parmesan be upon him) by supporting the struggling Italian Restaurant down the street with his patronage.
Or you could just make up magickal properties on the spot.
Sister Madly opted for the latter:
- GARNET ~ invisibility
- ROSE QUARTZ ~ whitens teeth
- OCEAN JASPER ~ protects against gluten
- MOONSTONE ~ turns any rug into a flying carpet
- ONYX ~ telepathy
- LABRADORITE ~ turns thine enemies into pickles
- BLOODSTONE ~ guarantees a conveniently located parking space every single time
- TURQUOISE ~ summons ladybugs
- AMETHYST ~ fertility
- SODALITE ~ protects against diet soda
- JADE ~ leads you to the lost treasure of the Templars, then kills you immediately after
- MARCASITE ~ will make you beautiful in the eyes of anyone named Marc
- ADVENTURINE ~ immortality
- ASPHALT ~ makes you the god of another planet
With his list now complete, all he had to do was obtain some candles, see which of these stones he could find at the gravel pit, “…and tonight, I shall do something I have never done before!”
“Cast my spell by Ozzy!”
Good. Metallica would have been a dead giveaway.
THEME SONG: I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star, Linda Scott
Image 1) fangoria.com
It was some years ago that an adolescent Sister Madly attended the youth group at a local church. Wednesday night ice breakers in this particular denomination ranged from TP-ing the pastor‘s house to passing a marshmallow around the room, using only the toothpicks clenched between their teeth. Perhaps it was that last one that inspired their youth leader to make certain they were all familiar with the Facts of Life.
And in order to allow for brutally honest discussions, the boys were to be separated from the girls.
Now Sister Madly, along with the rest of the girls, already knew about the Facts of Life; what they really wanted to know was the secret workings of teenage boys from the viewpoint of teenage boys. They wanted to know what boys talked about when not in mixed company, other than their tendency to belch a little more enthusiastically than appreciated.
So what better way to accomplish this than with a secret recording?
Not only did Sister Madly have a tape recorder, she had a wicked deploy, simultaneously pushing record and play like a warrior queen. Someone else would have to supply the cassette, however, as Sister Madly used those to secretly record – heaven forbid – rock music off the radio and was in short supply. She was quite fond of power ballads at the time.
It didn’t take much stealth that night to find that the girls would be meeting in the church office while the boys met in the kitchen- which was so unfair, because the kitchen was notoriously stocked with a variety of treats. It was also unfortunate, as the most convenient place to hide a recorder of that size was on top of the refrigerator under a bag of candy – Dum Dums, come to think of it.*
*Who knew that this particular candy would one day figure so largely in her life?
The next 45 minutes were the longest any of the girls had ever endured. Sister Madly all but devoured the curtains waiting for the moment the tape recorder would give itself away upon reaching the end of the cassette. Fortunately, their apparent lack of cool was attributed to the girls reluctance to talk about the Facts of Life, as was the speed with which they made their getaway at the end of the hour, cramming into that rusty heap of a hatchback. Actually, that last one probably raised some questions…
And just what do teenage boys talk about when uninhibited by their coeds?
Why, they talk about the Pope’s Mitre, of course! Yes, Coming of Age boys will develop an unholy fascination for Papal Couture. Before long, they will be singing hymns and bathing in the baptistery while trippin’ out on communion wafers. If parents don’t talk to their children about the Pope’s Mitre, who will?
That would be Kevin, of all people: inexperienced at basically all that life had to offer, 22-year-old Kevin was the last person the girls wanted leading a frank discussion on the secret workings of boys. Sister Madly found the man, if he could be called such, as annoying as a smoke detector in hell.
But even worse was the fact that every word on that tape after the Great Mitre Debate turned out to be completely unintelligible, from Kevin’s incessant droning to the boys’ refusal to articulate. They might as well have been speaking with a mouthful of marbles. Sister Madly couldn’t have gained more insight on boys if she had spent the evening cooing at the moon.
This indecipherable droning was interrupted by the sudden, soul-sucking cacophony of plastic, indicating that a disembodied hand was fingering its way into the bag of Dum Dums. It was a moment of major suspense for the girls, waiting for some indication that their crime had been discovered; the retrieval of the recorder and subsequent escape had been accomplished with ninja-like precision, with no one sticking around to find out if they were actually in trouble.
Their patience was soon rewarded, as a few moments later the refrigerator kicked on, serenading them with a 15 minute duet of appliance humming and plastic rattling- which, admittedly, was more entertaining than Kevin.
That is where the tape ended.
Based upon the evidence, Sister Madly was able to conclude that raging hormones of teenage boys lead to meaningful discussions about Vatican Fashion over fistfuls of Lollipop Treats.
And there you have it: the answer to the Great Mystery of Teenage Boys. So, so disappointing.
Now, who wants to talk about soybeans?
THEME SONG: Forever Young, Alphaville
In ancient times
Cats were worshiped
As gods ~
They have not
~ Terry Pratchett