Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Worst Crutch To Lean On

This month has not been a good one for me as far as hero worship is concerned.  First Donald Miller, one of my all time favourite Christian authors, writes this article claiming that the biggest problem with the church is that it's too focused on scholarship and education.  That just rubbed me the wrong way for a lot of reasons but eventually I calmed myself down and decided not to vent about it on my blog (though I may have left a snarky comment or two on his facebook fanpage's link to the story).  There is a chance I'm over-reacting and the article is written in pretty ambiguous/slippery language.  On the one hand, I can agree - if all the church does is argue dogma and split theological hairs and it never helps anyone then what good is it?  On the other hand though it seemed to me to be talking down to academia in general, calling education pointless.  Again, that could just be me.  It did seem to echo the populous notion that education and scholarly pursuits are for out of touch elitists and that real, salt of the earth, common sense folks don't need none of that thar book larnin' to know what is right.  Also, pretty sure that the problem among Christians is not too much education, if anything it's the opposite!  I'll get back to that before the end of this post.

Anyway, so just today The Slacktivist, one of my favourite bloggers in the universe, discussed the very Pat Robertson video I posted in my previous post and he (unlike me) came out in support of Pat.  Actually I've been meaning to do a follow up on what I wrote previously because I did get thinking on the matter.  For one thing, I'll give the Slacktivist that much, the video shows a far softer and less dogmatic Pat Robertson than the one who usually comes on TV to kick suffering people when they are down.  There did actually appear to be a glimmer of empathy in his reply.  I still disagree with his advice though.  The Slacktivist post did make me realise that I should perhaps just clarify a tad and expand on what I said.

First of all, like I took pains to point out, I have nothing but the deepest empathy for people who has a loved one suffering from Alzheimers.  Pat was right, it's a truly hateful disease.  Frankly if I was diagnosed with it, I'd go the same route as Terry Pratchett and choose to die as myself, not an incoherent mess that couldn't even be called a shadow of who I used to be.  But I get that is not what everyone would choose for various reasons and that is why there needs to be some frank discussion and planning for the future when a disease like this is diagnosed.  If the subject of the letter to Pat Robertson and his wife had sat down together and discussed the way forward and she agreed that it would be best that eventually he move her into a facility and move on with his life I would agree with Pat's advice.  BUT - and that's a big but - this was clearly not the case.  This man's wife went into that long night fully confident that her husband was going to take care of her the way he promised in his wedding vows and then he changed his mind.  He started off taking care of her, got frustrated, found someone else and is now going to move on.  That, I can never agree with.  If you said you were going to be there to the end then you better be there to the end.  The commitment you make is the commitment you stick to.  That is why I found Pat's advice so offensive, because it was such an after the fact rationalization made in order to justify and excuse a course of action that has already been taken in bad faith. 

Just a little bit of honest planning would have changed the way I responded to that situation.  Of course planning ahead was never going to happen, much the same way it didn't happen when my grandmother got sick.  The problem is that just like the man with the sick wife, my family are fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christians.  People like us, when faced with dread medical conditions, tend not to plan for the future the way we should because we have a crutch we lean on.  Unfortunately this crutch is weak and brittle and can never give the support it promises.  It doesn't look it though, it looks ancient and noble and trustworthy.  We are all taught early on to trust in it completely.  It's not a cheap crutch either, it asks a lot from us.  It asks that we cheerfully deny reality, that we stay positive and believe and trust and above all never give in to the temptation of accepting the facts.  This crutch is faith that God will heal.  This crutch will make you fall on your face every time.  It may ask for a lot but it will give you nothing but disappointment and bitterness.  It won't even let you have that though, you're not allowed to be disappointed or bitter or voice any doubt in the claim that the crutch is sturdy and true no matter how many times it has demonstrably failed to be that.  So really, it takes everything from you and leaves you with nothing.

I remember a lot of things about my grandmothers disease.  Some of the worst memories however are not the one's where she didn't know who I was.  The darkest memories are of my grandpa furiously praying over her, rebuking the devil and praying the healing power of God over her.  My grandpa leaned on that crutch more and more as my grandma got worse and worse and sure as day, it dropped him on his face every single time.  My grandma never got better, why would she, she had Altzheimers!  It's an incurable, soul crushing disease!  It's not caused by devils and it's not healed by the hand of God.

My dad used the same crutch for over a decade when my mom's kidneys started failing.  There was fasting, and praying - so much praying - she was anointed with oil, demons were bound, healing was claimed and...  well what do you think?  That crutch kept collapsing but we kept believing in it right up to the day she died.  Also, my dad stuck with my mom all through this decade plus long illness which I knew wasn't easy just like my grandpa did.  So again, while I have tons of empathy for someone living with a loved one with an incurable disease I will never have sympathy for you if you decide to call it quits because it's too hard on you.  That choice runs contrary to my very DNA.

I too leaned on that crutch and for most of my life pretended it wasn't as worm eaten and rotten as it demonstrably was.  I trusted in it as a child when my mother and grandmother were ill, just like the rest of my family. I leaned on it while my dad lay dying in the hospital.  I leaned on it desperately when I got cancer - even though I should have known better by then.  I don't like to talk about my own disease, mainly because what I faced wasn't as bad as what my parents and grandparents had to deal with.  I had the weak, sissy kind of cancer that spreads slowly and grows at a snails pace.  The only reason it almost killed me was because I kept going to prayer lines and healing services instead of a hospital.

If you or a loved one is sick, don't pray about it, go see a doctor and get help.  As someone who grew up hearing countless sermons about how we're supposed to put our faith in God and not reality I know that won't be easy to do, so why not start small?  Try this simple test.  Next time you get a headache, pray about it but do nothing else.  Did the headache go away?  How long did it take?  Now, if you get another headache pray again but this time also take some painkillers.  Pretty sure the headache went away pretty quickly this time, right?  OK, now repeat this a third time but this time just take the painkillers, don't pray at all.  Any difference?  It's a simple experiment that anyone can do and it's bound to demonstrate reliably which works best:  prayer or medicine.  Jesus Himself said in Luke 16:10 that: "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dis honest with much."  Doesn't it then follow that if modern medicine is trustworthy to fix headaches you should also trust it if you have cancer?

See, this is why Donald Miller's article got to me.  Me and my family trusted and leaned on a rotten, unreliable crutch not because the church is run by teachers and scholars but rather because the teaching we got from church was no good and definitely not scholarly.  I think if anything that points to a lack of good teaching and scholarship in church, not an abundance!

Now if you are a Christian and you've actually read this far, congratulations.  I really didn't think you would because this post moved into heretical territory real quick!  I appreciate you hearing me out at least, unless you were just skimming this post while planning a rebuke in the comment section.  Anyway, maybe you know exactly what I'm talking about, maybe you've tried this crutch and fallen on your face many times too.  Maybe you know that feeling of having that gnawing feeling that there is no help coming from above, only to have to convince yourself that somehow it will work out because the very idea is blasphemous.  I've been there.  So for you I offer this compromise.  Pray, OK?  Pray all you want.  But please, treat prayer as a complimentary remedy, not an alternative to seeking medical attention (or in the case of incurable disease, realistically planning for the future at least).  I get it, lots of people call that having "weak faith" and will blame you for the inevitable happening.  Forget those guys.  Trust me, when the inevitable happens anyway (as it is wont to do) they won't have anything for you either except platitudes and perhaps more guilt.  I may have only had the sissy cancer but I've met lots of people with the scary real deal when I go in for treatments.  I've seen that for many, trusting God to heal them offers much needed hope and strength when undergoing treatment.  I'm not a complete dick, if you need to hold on to that crutch for comfort I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't.  That is really up to you.  Just don't you ever lean on it exclusively.  If you do that, it's pretty much guaranteed to fail you.  No matter how many amazing testimonies you may have heard about miracles happening, take this from a real person who has lived through some real events that were anything but miraculous.  Prayer alone is no substitute for treatment.  That way lies nothing but bitterness, disappointment and disillusion, not to mention a deep well of anger you're not going to be allowed to acknowledge.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pat Robertson vs The Sanctity of Marraige

I remember that back when Pat Robertson made his immensely horrible comments on the Haitian earthquake Jon Stewart did this amazing response to it, pointing out all the great (and Biblical) responses Pat could have made instead.   That was one of the clips that got me started watching The Daily Show because I thought it was just such a smart and well thought out response that showed Pat Robertson for the insensitive jerk he was.  Apparently not everyone thought so though.  In the comments on that clip I was stunned to see many comments along the line of "How dare you criticize God's anointed?", "Pat Robertson is a man of God, shut up about him!",  "Pat is a prophet speaking the Words of God, you will be judged for opening your mouth against him!" etc.  And I remember thinking "WTF is wrong with you people??"  Do you really think this failed apocalyptic prophet, this ghoul who has never found a tragedy so heartbreaking that he couldn't turn it into an opportunity to take cheap shots at the groups he dislikes, this horrible, cruel, self righteous old man - you think he is God's anointed prophet?!  How ugly would your God have to be for that to be true?  How damaged would you have to be to actually buy into such a claim?

Long story short, I try to avoid Pat Robertson because he's really bad for my blood pressure.  But now he's gone and said something else that I simply can't ignore:

So if your wife has Alzheimer's disease, consider her dead, consider your commitment to your marriage vows done and go find yourself someone else.  Just be nice about it and at least dump your spouse at a care facility first - just dumping them on the street just wouldn't be Christian after all!

Lest you think I'm upset just for the sake of dogma or ideology, I'm not.  I am all too familiar with the horror that is Alzheimers.  My grandmother, the only one I ever knew and who I loved dearly, had Alzheimers and it was hell.  It's not like most bad diseases where someone gets it, gets worse, dies and then everyone gets to mourn and move on.  No with this hellish disease you get to watch for years how someone you love turns into someone who doesn't even know who you are.  I've never lived through anything worse.  So I get how hard it is, I understand fully just how badly one wants to escape from it.  But I would never agree that it would be OK to forget about them and move on as if they are already dead.

See, her illness was hard for me - it was hard for everyone in the family - but no one suffered due to it like my grandfather.  I just had breakfast with him last week, he turned 93 and the man is still as sharp as a tack.  I can't even begin to imagine how it must have felt for him to watch his wife of about 50 years slowly deteriorate day after day until there was nothing left of the woman he married.  I can't even conceive of that kind of pain.  Here's the thing, he never bailed on her.  He stayed with her, taking care of her all day and every day until the day she died.  Just by doing that, my grandfather taught me more about what it means to be a real man and far more about what the term "sanctity of marriage" means than every lecture, book, sermon and talk I've heard on the subject my whole life. 

A real man, doesn't take the easy way out.  A real man stands by his loved ones until the very end no matter what.  Marriage vows mean something.  Phrases like "in sickness and health" and "for better or for worse" are not just idle words, if you speak them you better mean them.  The vow you make is the vow you live by.

I don't think anyone ever called my grandpa an "anointed man of God" but I have to say, I think he is a million times the man Pat Robertson is.  If I can live to be half the man my grandfather is I would not have wasted my life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rob Bell Fixes Calvinism

Right, so I did all those posts on "Love Wins" before it came out and then just one short one when I got it and then I never got around to giving my final impressions on it.  Not that anyone asked...

I'm sure that by now you can find all kinds of reviews of the book online both positive and negative so I'm not going to do a review.  The book was interesting and well written but not quite what I expected.  Not that I'm all that sure exactly what I expected.  Rob came out both for and against orthodox Christian theology.  Simultaneously.  In short, Rob Bell fixed Calvinism.

See, Calvinists say that God is the omnipotent, omniscient King of the Universe.  Therefore it's impossible for Him to fail - to even suggest that people go to Hell because God failed to save their souls would be blasphemous.  Therefore, people only go to Hell because God ordained ahead of time that they were meant to go there.  Thereby, the Majesty of God remains unblemished because everything happened exactly the way He wanted it to all along.  This is why Calvinism always left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Rob took the same concept and turned it around.  He pointed out that salvation, Heaven, Hell (and how you end up there) is nowhere near as neat and formulaic in the Bible as Christian theology suggests.  (Fun fact - he uses the Bible to prove it! )  He tackles the unblemished Majesty of God slightly differently than the Calvinists.  Simply put, God wants to save the world and therefore God will find a way to save the world.  This means everyone.  Even the bad ones.  If it takes you some time in Hell to be cured of your evil then so be it but in the end, Love/God wins out and everyone is reconciled with Him.  Not that he suggests Hell is more like Catholic Purgatory.  In fact, he mused that Heaven and Hell may even be the same place.  For if Heaven treats all races with love and respect then that Heaven would be Hell to a racist for instance, or if everyone shares freely then it would be Hell for the selfish and so on.  Anyway, point is that you don't just die and end up either immediately perfect or eternally damned.  Everyone gets sanctified over time until they are able to fit into Heaven's way of doing things.  So really just like the Calvinist, Rob believes that God is the omnipotent, omniscient King of the Universe.  This God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to save it and this God cannot fail since He is the omnipotent, omniscient King of the Universe - eventually then He saves everyone and to suggest otherwise would be blasphemous.  That's a taste I can live with.

Is he right?  I don't know, but I hope so.  Having a God that actually turns out to be benevolent and good at the end of the day is really good news.  I can totally see why so many people were upset with this book though!  Lots of believers aren't that happy with the Gospel being good news.  It was that way even in Jesus' day...  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Amazing Ancient Herbal Wisdom!

Usually I don't like to put ads on my blog but I think maybe this time I'll make an exception.  I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Johannesburg on Saturday when someone gave me this flyer.  I admit that I've always been baffled why people still flock to sangomas (witchdoctors to you ignoramuses out there) and herbalists when we have good, scientific, evidence-based medicine readily available to all.  Well suffice it to say, I get it now.  Surely no "doctor" with their "medicine" and "science" can offer you half of what these folks can offer you with their magic spells and herbs!

Can your doctor make sure you win in the casino while making you a well endowed sexual dynamo?  Didn't think so!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

FAQ's by Random Googlers

Usually, when I write a blog post, I try to to offer something meaningful.  Granted, it doesn't always work and my posts may not always come out as thought provoking as I may have hoped, but still.  I like to imagine that every now and again someone coming to this blog finds the very info they were looking for, especially if it's something they were searching for specifically - as opposed to those who arrive here hunting for LOLcats.  Hopefully at least someone out there finds some of the things I post in some way helpful.  However when I look check out the search engine queries that lead people here I have to admit that some visitors had to come away deeply disappointed.  I have empathy there, I really do.  I know exactly what it feels like to go googling for something and find that the helpful search results are really not that helpful (especially those sites that just feature a fuckton of keywords to generate traffic but offer nothing;  I hate those guys with the burning fire of a thousand suns!)  In my recent quest to learn what the heck a "dirty party" is (still unsuccessful I may add) I learned all about the disappointment of finding a promising link on google only to find the opposite of what you were looking for.  So, I'm going to be helpful! 

Here are some of the stranger google searches that led people to my blog.  Don't worry, I'm not going to make fun of you!  Instead, I'm going to try and help you.  You came all the way here with your really weird search and I'm going to do my best to not send you away empty handed.  Empty headed?  What's the right term here?  Anyway, in alphabetical order:

80s church waiting rooms
Right...  OK, look I've been in a lot of churches in the past 30 years but I'm pretty sure none of them had waiting rooms, not even in the 80's.  Why would they?  It's not like a hospital.  I mean even at churches where the pastor also does counseling, there usually isn't a waiting room.  People just show up for their appointments or the pastor goes to see the bereaved.  Sorry, I'm not going to be any help here at all, I have no idea what you're talking about.  But if anyone out there knows anything about church waiting rooms, especially from the 80's, be a good neighbour and post something in the comments.  OK, that wasn't a very strong start...

Albino people porn
Stop.  Just stop.  There is no such thing as albino porn.  All you will ever find when looking for it is a) people like me telling you there's no such thing and b) other people like you also looking for it but not finding it.  So really all you'll be left with is a really embarrassing term in your search history - you google keeps those right?

Can demons make you scratch yourself?
Well that would depend entirely on who you ask.  I'd say no.  Lot's of people out there would be happy to blame every single ailment on demons - from cancer to ingrown toenails - but that's really a ridiculous belief to have in this day and age.  It's understandable why people in a pre-scientific era thought that diseases came from demons (actually in Biblical times they thought it was unclean spirits, there's a difference) since it's not like they had the equipment to find germs.  But these days we know exactly how disease works so if you have a problem go see a doctor, not an exorcist.  If someone is compulsively scratching themselves they may be suffering from Dermatillomania and they need help, not holy water.  There are plenty of natural causes for both physical and mental illnesses so no supernatural explanations are needed.  Seriously, go see a doctor.

Christian pornography
I'm sorry, you're looking for what??!  Pretty sure that's not a thing!  Don't let XXXChurch fool you, they are an anti-porn ministry.  Yes, I know, their name is a little deceiving.  That's how they sucker you in.  Look, it's an open secret that Christians looove their porn BUT they do so in secret.  No Christian ever publicly admits to liking porn unless they are giving their testimony about Jesus saved them from their porn addiction.  It's an unwritten rule.  Which I just wrote.  Anyway, my point is that you will never find Christian themed porn unless it was made as a parody by non Christians.  Mind you, I have a friend who is an engineer who refers to new part and tool manuals as "engineering porn" - did you mean it in that sense?  Because I guess you could call a Bible Commentary "christian porn" in that sense but you are going to get a lot of funny looks for it if you do.  Probably also a visit from your minister. 

Hitler three fingers
Pretty sure Hitler had all his fingers.  Were you looking for Claus von Sauffenberg, the three fingered Nazi who tried to assassinate Hitler?  Only other connection between Hitler and three fingers I know of would be the three finger salute Neo Nazis use in Germany since the original Nazi salute is illegal there now.  If you want to know Hitler's views on "the shocker" then I'm afraid I can't help you.

Hitler with dachshund
It's not impossible that Hitler was around a dachshund at some point but he was really more of a German Shepherd guy.  He owned German Shepherds from his youth right up until his dog Blondi died with him in his bunker.  Hitler's personal dog handler, Fritz Tornow did however own a dachshund and they were in the bunker together.  Best connection I can come up with, hope that helped.

Is the group Abba gay??
No, they're not.  They are very popular in some gay circles but the band itself is not.  Chalk that one up to gay people having great taste in music!  ABBA consisted of  two married couples (for a while at least).  The guys didn't wear makeup and tights.  They may have been the most hetero band of the 70's!  Their songs were also all about the joys of man on woman loving - see my blog post on the subject for more.

Lady Gaga Man Proof
For the last effing time, Lady Gaga is not a man!  Seriously, how is this even still a thing?  It's not like she just popped into existence in 2008 ex nihilo after all (though she did hatch from an egg at the Grammy's this year).  Her pre-fame existence is rather well documented and a simple google search will find you lots of proof that she's been female all her life

Well, all her life minus the 2011 VMA's...
Her Wikipedia page has a picture of her and Lady Starlight from their performance art show at Lollapalooza in 2007.  I posted a video of her preforming earlier than that as a university student and if you poke around youtube you'll find plenty of footage of her back when she was still preforming as Stefani Germanotta.  Heck you can even find videos from her early teens when she did some acting, most notably the time she was an extra in The Sopranos at age 15.  But if reason and logic isn't enough for you then here is the conclusive proof that Lady Gaga is a woman.  It's seriously NSFW though so be careful when you click on that link!

Mars hill demon trials
I should probably ask you which Mars Hill you are referring to.  Pretty sure there were never any demon trials at the original Mars Hill in classical Athens (or for that matter in Mars Hill, Maine or Mars Hill, North Carolina), at least as far as I could check.  The Mars Hill church in Michigan, pastored by Rob Bell, seems like an extremely unlikely place for demon trials as well since they always seem far more concerned with dealing with evil in the temporal instead of the spiritual.  Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill church on the other hand seems like the right kind of place for it.  Mark is after all a vocal defender of the notion of a real and present Satan - and demons - and he seems just macho enough to stage a trail.  Unless you meant "trial" not in the legal sense but rather in the "trials and tribulations" sense.  Not sure if this will help but Pastor Driscoll did do a series called "Trial" (available as audio downloads here).  Nothing there seemed overtly about demons but then I didn't really listen to it so who knows?

Retarded Jesus
WTF?!  Really?  OK, no - just no.  You can say a lot of things about Jesus but He was by no means retarded.  I certainly never used those words (until just now) so no idea how you ended up here!  Did you meant this or this?  Not sure how either of those things would have landed you on my blog though.

Yoga to make you poop
Have you tried fibre?  Just kidding, I looked it up, there really is such a thing.  For best results, rather google "Yoga for healthy bowel system" next time, you're bound to find far more useful websites (on that matter at least) than mine!  But seriously, try fiber.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ray Comfort loves dead babies and money

Let's say you found a way to end crime and violence forever.  Doesn't require years of training or weapons or equipment.  Instead you've found some magic words that if you say it to any criminal they will immediately abandon their unlawful conduct and walk the straight and narrow for the rest of their lives.  Again, it takes no training, once you know what the words are you can turn anyone away from a life of crime in a matter of seconds.

Or what if you knew a way to end drug addiction, any addiction to any drug in fact.  Again, all you need are some magical words, so no clinics, no medicine, no detox or anything like it.  You say these words to a junkie and they will never touch drugs ever again.  What if you were an animal rights activist and you learned some a magical argument that is guaranteed to turn the most dedicated meat lover into a vegan immediately?  What if you were a pacifist who found a simple argument that will cause someone to never hurt another human being ever again?

What would you do?  Think about that for a second.

Now I don't have any strong opinions on abortion but I know that conservative Christians most certainly are very strongly Pro-Life.  So what if you were a conservative Christian and you actually found a near magical argument against abortion, much like what I've described in the hypotheticals above?  That would be the best thing ever right?  Well turns out that someone did just that.  Here is Ray Comfort, (sort of) showing his magical words:

Amazing right?  It's exactly as I described: no training and no equipment needed, just a few magical words and a Pro-Choice person becomes a Pro-Lifer for life.  Best of all, it takes but seconds.

So back to my question.  You are passionate about a cause.  You find an argument that works like actual magic that anyone can learn to use in a minute and can then go on and apply in under a minute.  What do you do?  Well I know what I would do if for instance I could stop say crime and violence like that.  I would post it on youtube, email all my friends, blog about it and then just sit back and watch the internet machine turn it viral.  It would take me less than an hour to get the word out and internet being what it is, word would spread like wildfire.  Within weeks the world would be a completely different place.  Within a month or so, crime would be something you only rad about in history books.  Sure I could hold out on people and ask them to pay me first but why would I do that?  Millions of lives would be lost while I wait to get my beak wet!  That would kind of make me a sociopathic dick, now wouldn't it?  Plenty of time to make myself some money after I saved the world after all!  But maybe that's just me.  Here is what Ray Comfort did:

See he has this magical argument and he will tell you what it is.  For free!  Eventually.  First, he would like some donations to market the thing.  Marketing, really?  Why is that needed at all?  If this magical argument works as advertised he just needs to put it on youtube and notify some churches and Pro-life ministries.  Just from word of mouth (which is free btw) every Pro-Lifer in the country would know how to convince every Pro-Choicer they encounter into a fellow abortion abolitionist.  Sure, Way of the Master wouldn't make a lot of money out of it but think of all the babies!  They plan to launch the movie in 26 days from now.  According to the CDC, about 800 000 abortions happen every year so that means about 60 000 babies will be aborted in the waiting period!  The US - if not the world - could be Pro-Life in 26 days if this gets out!  Why wait?  Why have a whole documentary if a 30 second argument is all you need?  And why ask for money for a marketing appeal when you have a product that is bound to go viral all by itself?

I could be wrong but it kind of seems as if Mr Comfort and/or his argument may not be what you call "good".

It's Springtime! It's Orgytime!!

[Since it's officially Spring Day in South Africa today I dug up something I wrote back in 2007 when I tried my hand at blogging via Facebook Notes.  Since Jackie the Suicide Dachshund and the local cats are still at it, it just seemed appropriate.  ]

Suicide Dachshund taking a moment to get her Zen on before a big night of cat "chasing"

Well folks, it’s that time of year. Spring has sprung and its already on my bad side. To be fair, spring was never on my good side to start with. I am a winter person and I make no apologies for it. The thing is, most of Spring’s redeeming features lie in its days (Pretty girls in short skirts mostly*. Oh and the flowers… Yes right, let’s remember the flowers too…). On the other hand, my main beef with spring (and summer) are its nights. Night time during winter is a magical time. You have big warm dinners full of slow cooked goodness, snuggle in front of the heater with hot chocolate or brandy (or both!) before you take a long warm bath and go to sleep in a heavenly cocoon of snugness like a hibernating bear. Wintertime is what sleep was designed for! Words cannot begin to describe the wonder of lying snug under your blankets while the winter wind weeps around the house. What sleep! What dreams!

Now springtime is something else entirely. Sure, you take your 5th shower of the day just before you go to bed, but it’s still so hot that you end up sticky and smelly by the time you hit the covers. Then it takes forever to get comfy because every position is uncomfortable, nothing can touch you because it’s so hot and no matter how many times you turn your pillow around, the cool side never stays cool for long. During the night your sleep is constantly interrupted by two things: all the bugs that have returned after sweet winter sent them to their grave as well as by you constantly berating yourself for settling for a fan when your stingy ass should have just shelled out the extra R3000 for an aircon!

But is that the worst part? Noooooo, not even close! And I’m not even referring to the too soon too hot mornings that make sleeping late a distant memory, no I’m referring to the horrible fact that spring is mating season! Mating season – of all of spring’s many facets I hate that one the most! Is it because all the coupling & mating energy drives happy single people to suicide? Well yes, that too. But mostly because every cat in the whole damn neighbourhood wakes up at 3 am to find their biological clocks ticking at which point they all congregate in my backyard for the mother of all cat orgies!

Cats seem to be nature’s noisiest lovers. (If there are noisier mating rituals out there, I beg you leave me in my ignorance and for heavens sake, keep it away from my back yard!) Honestly has anyone listened to them going at it lately? It doesn’t sound like they are having a good time. Hell it doesn’t even sound like they are comfortable! Are they even doing it right?? I mean I’ve heard that cats aren’t the smartest of creatures, but COME ON!!

Pictured: Cat Brothel
Of course the reason it all happens in MY backyard is because this is also the home of the world’s dumbest Dachshund. Then again, maybe she is the worlds most Zen Dachshund, I’m still trying to figure this out… See, its not that she doesn’t chase cats. No, rather for her its more about the chase, not so much the cat. She’ll chase but by now the cats have learned that they don’t really need to run. They can sit still, she will do all the chasing and running whether they take part or not. Round and round she will go, cat or no cat. Its all about the journey for her, not so much about actually “catching” anything. Stupid Zen dog has turned my backyard into a… well um, oh hell, lets admit it – a cathouse! For cats!! And thanks to her antics, this is a cat bordello with a dog show…

Oh, and as an added bonus the neighbours added a spotlight. "So what?" you say. Well every time a cat jumps onto the wall in front of the spotlight, he/she gets projected way larger than life on my curtains. I’m enough of a man to admit that the first time I awoke to see a puma jump on my windowsill I nearly crapped myself!

Can’t wait for winter to come back!!

Winter = Awesome

*Of course you will also see other girls in teeny outfits - girls who really, REALLY shouldn’t be in those teeny outfits… But I’m blocking that mental picture.