does a perfect man struggle with evil?

Does a perfect man struggle with evil? Wait a minute!  I’m a typical guy, you may say, forty, or so, a cherished wife, two kids, a dog and a slight beer gut.  I have my vices and voices in my head who tell me I’m not perfect, but I’m doing okay.  So why worry about the guy who is perfect?  I’ve never met him over the back fence or out on the golf course.  I don’t even think I’ve met him in church.  I met a guy fishing, once, who must have been mighty close.

No one is perfect (who would dare claim it?) because he is immune from evil; he would only be perfect because he consistently makes correct choices when confronted by evil.  How many of us do that?  Consistently? 

 These are not random choices.  Nor are they usually your-soul-is-damned-to-hell-if-you-do-this serious.  Never the less, choices can make us stumble.  Should I have flipped that guy the bird because he cut me off in traffic?  If my neighbor’s dog is constantly coming over to my front yard to leave his package of perfume, am I pulling my shotgun out of the safe?

 Who doesn’t make these choices?  But on the other hand, who said am I obligated to make them over and over again?  I could decide in advance that tomorrow, I’ll just grab the scooper in the garage and sweep the lawn because… who says my dog isn’t occasionally doing the same thing in his yard?  Is it look-in-the-mirror-time-to-see-who’s-the-guy-without-sin?  It isn’t me.

So, I put the stones down and remember that these bad habits are made by learned behavior with remembered circumstances and consequences.  If my neighbor’s dog keeps fertilizing my lawn, but I never discuss it with my neighbor, I’m the one who is going to bust a blood vessel some day.  Over that?  The road to perfection is made by increasing the frequency of avoiding potholes and pitfalls.

 The trend we suffer to forget our history, and are, therefore, doomed to repeat it, is overcome by remembering our mistakes, what led to them and making honest appraisal of what proper choices would avoid them in the future.  Perfection is an impossible, collective ideal.  But is it possible to become perfect in one characteristic at a time, then master another, and another?  Even so, the process will never take us from confrontation.

 We should know well enough that even a perfect man will always struggle with evil even if he has learned to bypass it and continue on his way.  I figure if the pursuit is worthwhile, I can deal with an occasional pothole, even the ones that cut me off in traffic.


Lord of the Fly Swatter

a pregnant pause for menopause

William Golding’s 1954 novel, “Lord of the Flies” evokes disturbing images of a severed boar’s head impaled on a wooden pole, swarming with flies.  It seems there is no one who actually likes the common house fly – a slight simplification because there are more than 16,000 fly species in North America – other than those few who study them to acquire such facts.  Everybody else, and many animal species, have either artificial or natural fly swatters just to enjoy a moment’s peace without the burden of their constant buzzing about.

Fair warning: this may not be a pleasant read, but it will be informative and beneficial.

 Flies have either very short life expectancy – one week – or rather long – one year.  For the shorter version, it may seem indifferent, but a single mating pair may produce a million kids in several succeeding and multiplying generations in just a few weeks, so their control is a serious matter to resolve.  Flies are more than momentary nuisances; they can be a threat to good health. 

Flies are flying, buzzing, darting, consuming and regurgitating carriers of a number of potentially serious diseases too easily contracted by humans.  They are likely the source of large populations of illness, particularly in less cleanliness-prone third world countries.  Their gut is the living quarters of millions of small, disease-carrying organisms.  Their wings and legs and bodies carry billions more because they frequent rotting vegetation and flesh, and then our homes and picnic areas.  Every landing, and they do so very often, deposits many thousands of these organisms.  If then ingested by an unsuspecting human in sufficient quantity, infection has begun and proper medical treatment is going to be necessary very soon.

Their eating method is particularly repulsive and disease-laden.  Lacking the ability to ingest solid food, the first course is actually the last course eaten which is regurgitated (okay, it is vomited) onto the intended next meal, but added to it is the digestive acids in the gut (and all those microbes, remember?) which then break down the intended meal that is then ingested as a fluid.  Enough of that.

Fortunately, this process takes a bit of time, so the initial landing, if disturbed by an attempted swat, avoids the first step, but does not avoid the deposit of the organisms living on its body, so…

The esteemed, but not so preventive fly swatter appears out of sight of the fly, hopefully, and catches it unaware.  Result: splat!  A dead fly; maybe two if lucky.  But what was thousands of little bugs on legs is now billions in the midst of the swatter’s revenge left on whatever surface was swatted.  It must be cleaned and sanitized right away (the swatter, too!), or it has resulted in an invitation to attract more flies until the effect of “the Lord of the Flies” is right on the kitchen table.

Disgusted, yet?  Just clean it up, and call an exterminator if the problem persists.

Articles by Richard Heket

First, let it be said that most women agree that there is nothing funny about menopause. that said, it might as well be approached with humor; every woman who reaches an age when menopause creeps into like is going to experience it. It might as well have a lighthearted side. After a life-long struggle with monthly female issues, month after month, year after ragged year, maybe it is time for some levity when, some time into the creep, you suddenly realize: Oh. No more periods. Isn't that worth celebrating?

So, what have you to look forward to if the creeping paws of menopause have not yet set upon you? It is a slow process. If you were expecting something that would be a quick-change artist, a dash into the walk-in closet, throw on a new frock - old lady threads - and repeat it over the cycle of the moon, and voila, you're now a completed woman (oh, but there is something incomplete), you need the quiet, pregnant pause to reconsider. don't take too long in contemplation. It's a long time going down the road, but the road has a quick beginning.

The first thing you might notice - and it may be a couple of months before it slaps its dose of reality - is that your periods stopped. there may be a sudden twist of regret in the womb: it is the finality of youth and procreative power. Never again, it echoes, never, ever... Motherhood has its joys and sorrows. the sorrows lose their sting after a time, but the joys last forever. Never, ever again. You may suddenly feel like you are the next model, a female this time, for the Old Man of the Year with a scythe draped over your shoulder. You are bent over, hobbling. With the end of the year comes the sudden realization: no more periods! Life did not end, after all. In fact, a look in the mirror and you may not even see a wrinkle or a gray hair. Isn't that worth celebrating?

Wait! Why am I lying here in bed, middle of the night in the dead of winter, and I’m having night sweats?  I’m having lunch with my daughters -- two married, one not yet -- the next afternoon.  The fan in the restaurant is right over our table, and I’m having day sweats!  “Hell's bells, is it hot in here or is it just me?”  They look at me, shrugging.  I’m positively drenched.  Is there a fire?  Did the sprinklers just turn on?  They don’t have a clue!  Just you wait for mother’s revenge!  I’ll get you, my pretties.

I’m looking in the mirror; just waking up, putting on my make-up, and, even though it is “that time of month,” I suddenly have a happy tune rolling through my head.  “I’m as corny as Kansas in August, I’m as normal as blueberry pie…”  The creeping paws have delivered another piece of pleasure pie: no more mood swings!  Finally, for the first time since we were married thirtummmmmmmmy mmm-mmm years ago, my husband may be able to look at me, listen to me, and he will likely understand everything I said.  Did he change, or did I?  Who cares?  If I was from Venus and he was from Mars, we have finally coordinated a landing in the middle on Earth, but it feels like heaven.  Isn’t that worth celebrating?

 Take off the sad face, hold for a good, long, pregnant pause and celebrate the creeping paws of menopause.