Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Like a pebble dropped in a pond.

The things we do.

We are so powerful, but we have no foresight. We can't see the consequences of what we do. We intend one thing to happen, and it doesn't. Or if it does, it's slightly different than we expected. The changes spread beyond what we can see. The ripples of our actions travel across the waters of our lives.

When I younger, I was arrogant. I was powerful. I was willing to interfere in people's lives because I obviously knew best. But ... of course ... I soon learned that being able to do things doesn't mean you should do them.

I learned how things could hurl out of my control.

I learned how people could break.

I learned how love could turn to hate.

Now I choose to be powerless. I refuse to shoulder the burden of power and the guilt of unintended and unexpected consequences. I choose to be free. I choose to be innocent.

But sometimes I'm tempted. Sometimes I hunger for that feeling of power. Sometimes I want to stretch forth my hand and drop a rock in the pond and ride the ripples to hell and back.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

It could happen

Excerpt from Return of the Floozy

Someday soon, you might be chased by a huge reptile, a huge fish, huge cockroaches, huge prehistoric birds or a huge land shark that has genes of a human. This happens to people all the time, as evidenced by the endless number of movies produced by the SyFy Channel. Here are a few important survival tips should such a calamity occur.

First, your chances of survival are much greater if you have both a first and last name. When introduced to anyone, make sure to say both. Insist everyone call you by both. Because if you're referred to as Private Simmons or simply Nurse, you will be eaten by a strange alien beast. If you're just "Hey, you," you might as well shoot yourself immediately. Likewise, if you're beautiful and/or handsome but not the heroine or the hero's girlfriend, you're simply there to heighten suspense so wander off to take that hot, steamy shower and make it easier for the alien to dine on your doomed bones. If, however, you are the Brawny Shy Scientist (male) or the Brainy Frigid Scientist (female), the odds of your survival go up.

Second, try to be the only person of your skin color or ethnicity. If there are two blacks or Hispanics or Native Americans of an unknown tribe never discriminated against by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or whatever, only one of them will survive. So if you see someone like you, kill him or her as soon as you can.

Unless, of course, that killing changes you into a Crazed Military Man or Evil Corporate Toady. Then the alien will kill you terribly, but you will have a lot of fun bedeviling the hero and his blonde scientist girlfriend before the alien sucks out your brain through your nose.

Third, if you are called on a mysterious mission to a mysterious military complex located on a mysterious island, in a mysterious volcano, at the mysterious North Pole or under the mysterious ocean, don't go! Leap out a window, head for Latin America, and never look back. But if you have to go, make sure you're divorced and that your former spouse has to go with you, even though your ex vowed to insert pencils in your eyes if he/she ever saw you again. It helps if you are still secretly in love with your ex underneath all those layers of seething hatred and disgust, because you will end up falling in love again before the danger is over.

Fourth, after you shoot the monster or cut off its head or drop a car on it or gas it to death, go over there and cut its head off! If you don't, you can count on it rising again to menace you. Just pretend it's a budget produced by Congress and keep hacking away pieces of it until the budget balances or it's dead, whichever comes first.

Fifth, genetic tampering ALWAYS produces a monster. As soon as someone mentions it, immediately start planning to face a hideous creature with superhuman strength and an insatiable appetite for human flesh. You'd think scientists would learn, but right now some highbrow is mixing the genes of an innocent bear with the genes of Anthony Weiner or some other horrible creature.

Sixth, radiation will also always produce a monster. And if you throw in some alien DNA or other genetic tampering, you've got real trouble. It's well known that most of the contestants on American Idol are the result of just such experiments.

Seventh, never go off alone. Unless you've always had a hankering to find out what it feels like to be dismembered. If you must be alone, take your portable stereo along and play Celine Dion's Greatest Hits. Monsters will either flee from you or decide that you'd make a lovely bride. Either way you're alive, although if the latter happens, you might not want to be.

Eighth, most aliens want to devour us. Beware them. Yes, I know it seems strange to travel across hundreds of light years just for a snack, but humans are the galactic equivalent of potato chips. We're just dang tasty as most of us know.

Ninth, watch out for the so-called friendly aliens. A relationship with them will only end in heartache for all concerned. The "friendly" aliens will cause a lot of death and suffering, be imprisoned by the military and/or secret government agency, be tortured, and then leave and/or die in a all-consuming explosion without giving us any of their amazing technology. For advanced beings, you'd think they'd do a bit of research on us before landing. Just watching one reality show should give them plenty of reasons to stay a few stars away.

Tenth, never ever ever wear a red shirt. This is a death sentence.

Following these tips, it's entirely possible that you might survive the ordeal. I regret to inform you that if you do, you'll suffer a fate worse than death -- you'll be asked back for the sequel.

(Copyright 2013 by Stephen B. Bagley. From Return of the Floozy. All rights reserved. No copying of any kind permitted. Thank you for reading.)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

I warn you. This is a harsh post for Mother's Day. Feel free to skip it.

Even though this is Mother's Day, I've just been reminded during a phone call with a friend that some mothers mistreat their children in terrible ways. I was very blessed with my mother who made her children a priority in her life. My prayers and thoughts are with those children who are not and were not as fortunate as I was. If you're a mother who loves her children more than herself, then may God bless you and reward you richly. He is proud of you. If you're not, then I promise you that there will be a harvest of sadness and sorrow that you will reap. If you mistreat your children when they are young, you will not be their friend or even loved when they are adults. Why would you expect them to act otherwise?

Everyone seems familiar with "honor thy father and mother," but are you as familiar with Ephesians 6:4? It starts:
"And, ye fathers." -- This is directly addressed to parents and then gives two duties that parents must do for their children.
First duty:
"Provoke not your children to wrath." -- Unreasonable rebukes and furious scoldings, bad and cruel language, broken promises, neglect or cruel usage will rightly cause resentment on the part of your children. The Bible doesn't say that you can justify such behaviors. In fact, it's quite plain: You have a duty as a parent to "provoke not your children to wrath." No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you mistreat your child, God will not be pleased because you are not following His instructions. This doesn't mean there shouldn't be spankings or punishment, but that you are to remember that your children are precious and to cherish them.
Second duty:
"But bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." I see many parents who don't bring their children up in church and don't provide moral instruction, then are seemingly amazed when their children take drugs or steal. Yes, children have free agency, but they will do as you have trained them to do. If you cuss, cheat on your taxes, lie, behave badly, take drugs, drink to excess, then your children will do as you do and not as you say.

It seems that some parents base their love on conditions. I love you if "you make good grades," "you clean your room," "you excel in sports," and so on. Some parents try to make children into their slaves or their clones. Those parents are breaking their children's hearts. And they are committing sin. They should remember God's example: although He expects and requires certain behaviors from us, He always loves us. There are no limits on His love or on His forgiveness.

I've been talking with a friend whose parents were alcoholics and drug users when he was young. There were many times when he and his brother didn't know if they would get breakfast or supper, but thank God for a federal program that saw to it that they would get lunch. Now his mother -- who has reformed -- thinks he should allow her to live with them. But he won't do it. He remembers those childhood days -- and although he tries to forgive her -- he can't. He doesn't want her around his children. I believe in the power of forgiveness to heal, but I can't fault him. She sowed a crop of neglect and cruelty -- she never spoke to him without a scream when he was young -- and now she is reaping the harvest.

He does need to forgive her for his own sake, but forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting. It also doesn't mean trust. I support his right to protect his children from her -- even if she is no longer the woman she once was. If she wants to buy a house in the same city and be available to his family so that trust can be built, great, but otherwise it's unfair to expect him to open his home to her -- particularly since she does have enough money to live on her own. She shouldn't expect "son" behavior from him now when she didn't show "mother" behavior to him then.

This is a harsh post for Mother's Day, but my loving and wise mother never minced words. She called them as she saw them, and I think she would like this post. Children are precious, and they grow up. Cherish them while you can. Love them while you can. Because if you wait, it will turn out to be too late.