Saturday, March 16, 2019

Angry God, vengeful God! Yes, I think I know what you’re up to

This is a strange but true story.  (It’s pathetic alright, but true!)  One night in January of 1974, my mom said “Doug, will you do me a favor honey?  Would you go downstairs to the Old Room and make sure your Dad got all the toys out of there?”

In the basement of our farmhouse, at the bottom of the cellar steps was a crooked door that led into a musty room.  Two of its walls were lined with shelves of ancient wood planks and it was not a pretty sight.  Shortly after we moved to the farmhouse in 1970, us kids were told to never go in there.    

We didn’t need convincing or told twice—basements were scary enough but this room had a particularly creepy vibe to it.  (And even if we did want in there, Dad usually kept a padlock on it’s creaky latch.)

A couple weeks prior to my mom’s request, it was Christmas Eve and all us kids were sent to bed.  Normally I’d be the first to high-tail it upstairs, but I had started 7th grade at Jefferson Morgan Jr-Sr High School that fall & turned 12 on Halloween.  So I asked if I could stay up a bit longer to watch a tv-movie.  Around 11pm, my mom said “Don, you better get started...”  and my dad went down the basement steps, clopping back up with an armful of toys.  Mom said “Doug, you don’t want your Christmas ruined, so go to bed.”
I said “Where did he get all those?”  Mom said “We hide all the unwrapped Christmas presents in the Old Room.  That’s our secret, okay?”  What the—of course!  The padlock, the warnings to stay out of there… it all made sense now.

Getting back to Mom’s request 2-3 weeks later, she gave me the key to it’s padlock and I headed down there.  As I’m inserting the key, my little sister Donda comes down the steps and asks what I’m doing.

Okay, this is where things go oh-so-wrong.  I said “I snuck this key off of Dad’s keychain, I just gotta go in this room!”  Donda’s eyes widened and she asked why.  I said “The Gordons (our elderly neighbors) told me the original owner of this house went mad after going into the Old Room and shutting the door; I want to see if it’s true!”
WHY DOUG—WHY.  I went inside, shut the door—waited a minute then yelled “It’s happening, it’s happening!” and began laughing like a crazy person.  I heard my little sister shriek and run up the steps, and I knew right away:  This is not good.

I waited a few minutes for the drama to subside, then (with my head hanging low) went up the steps.  My Mom was standing there.  “Give me the damn key.”  Then she said “Go to your room.”   I said “Um… can you tell me for how long?  Because tonight’s the premiere of that new show Happy Days, and you know I’ve been waiting weeks to see it.”

Mom said “Get your ass upstairs and go to bed!”   WHAAAAT??!!  I know I probably scarred my sister Donda for life, but the entire country was excited for the premiere of this show!

January 1974 TV Guide

As I sat upstairs glowering, I could hear my mom downstairs:  “See that girl’s dress with the doggy embroidered on it?  That was called a poodle skirt and all us girls wore one!”

Aargh!  This was too much.  I went to my bedroom window and slid it open, and a blast of icy air hit my face.  I thought “I hope I get ammonia, when I’m in the hospital I’ll tell my mom I couldn’t shut the window but wasn’t allowed to come downstair—"

The window (which we kept propped open with a ruler in the summer) slammed down on my right hand.  Blinding pain!  I knew what just happened—God heard my angry, crazy-ass thoughts and He let me have it.

When I was a kid, and believed everything I was told (as in Noah building that ark and Charlton Heston parting that sea), I always saw Jesus as a kind, warm n’ glowy figure with chestnut brown hair & baby blue eyes, lots of cool powers and the patience of a saint—unlike his dad, who had white hair and wore a beard and a frown, and showed no mercy.

I used to pray to Jesus, not God—“Jesus, if you’re listening… I’m sorry for lying to my mom about eating her Ayds chocolate diet candy, but if I tell her the truth I will surely die.”

I’d then imagine Jesus saying “Doug, I know you are sorry and I believe you about your mom.  But I have to tell my Father, so I can’t promise anything.”

Sure enough, in the day or so that followed I’d bang my knee or step on a tack or run into a wall—“God’s doing!”   Just a little punishment to let me know He’d heard my latest and wasn’t pleased.
I’m remembering all this crazy talk now, because here I am, a 57 year old man and starting to wonder if God is punishing me for having these awful thoughts again… because every time I see that corrupt, lying PIECE OF CRAP Donald Trump or one of his godforsaken toadies--Mike “Pinocchio” Pence, Mitch McConnell or that oaf Sarah Huckabee Sanders on tv—and now these “Fox News” cretins like Sean Hannity & Tucker Carlson—I grit my teeth and wish the absolute worst things on them.  

Then I take a deep breath and microwave the gel-packs for my face wrap, because this awful TMJ (or TMD) which returned in November is still with me, God knows why.

God knows why… yep!  I bet He does.


  1. That had me laughing so hard it physically hurts.
    And FYI I didn’t scare easy, you just scared the living hell out of me often. Remember Dracula’s anniversary during our summertime walk? I do!��

    1. Haha--thanks Donda Lin, I'm glad you can appreciate my warped brain now! I gotta admit I don't remember Dracula's anniversary but it sounds like I could've used a little more punishment :) Well, I am sorry again for my Old Room stunt!

  2. I was crying-laughing so hard, I had to stop reading a few times to see clearly., I could just hear Mom saying, "give me the damn key" 😂😂

    1. I'm guessing that's you Courtney? Thank you, glad you liked the memory :)


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