Let’s step into the Way Back Machine and return to last Monday. It was Halloween. I took my adorable little boys Trick or Treating. That adorable little tradition where we encourage them to put on masks and accost complete strangers in their homes for candy. We also throw in a threat (trick) if they don’t cough up the goods. It sounds like the little tikes are being trained to rob banks. Most of the kids seem to be dressed in a costume that embodies violence anyway, adding a little more credibility to their threat. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but in my mind it was tainted this year by what I found in one of my children’s Trick or Treat bags. As a responsible parent I of course check through my children’s bags of goods when we return from our annual neighborhood extortion spree just to make sure some psychopath isn’t giving out popcorn balls full of rat poison. I often even go so far as to eat all Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups just to protect my children from the potential for future clogged arteries. This year I found something worse than rat poison. Someone wasn’t trying poison my son’s body, they were trying to poison his mind. No, it wasn’t as bad as Republican re-election propaganda, but it was close. On a small bag of chips someone had placed a sticker with a bible verse on it about turning away from the power of Satan to God. At that moment, after reading the deeply moving scripture, I had an epiphany. An awakening of sorts. I realized that one of my neighbors was an a-hole. What kind of a nut job uses an innocent children’s holiday to try to recruit followers? If I want to take my children out to worship Satan in my own neighborhood don’t try to ruin it with your wholesome goodness! I didn’t know which neighbor it was who had committed such an atrocity on one of the best days of the year, but if I had known I might have said, “Hey moron! You may be holier than thou, but you’re definitely not smarter than thou. The kids going door to door asking for free candy are not worshipping Satan. They’re worshipping the great sugar buzz they’ll be annoying their parents with for the next week. If you want to prevent Satan worship why don’t you go out into the woods and find a group of black clad people chanting and preparing a human sacrifice. Give them your f-ing chips! If chips with some nice sour cream and onion dip isn’t proof of a loving and benevolent God, then I don’t know what is. You might want to throw in a six pack of beer with that. A cold beer beats a cup of warm blood any day.” Does anyone remember Jim Jones and his cult in Guyana 20 years ago? They drank Kool-Aid didn’t they? I wonder if that was just to wash down their chips. That’s all we have to do to battle the forces of darkness. Just have better snacks. I think I may start my own church based on that premise.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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