Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank you for killing my dog

                Whenever someone said the words, “Congratulations on graduating from college!, what I heard was, “Someone you love is going to die.”
                It was a slightly superstitious idea to believe, but not unfounded. When I graduated from high school, our beloved 18-year-old van The Golden Girl immediately bit the dust. It seemed only logical and poetic that something else would be taken from me as I transitioned from one phase in life to the next, leaving behind college and embracing the real world; embracing new people and leaving behind (to be determined) because he/she had died.
                I didn’t have to wait long to find out who it would be. Once I had unpacked my bags at home, my dad came to me with grim news. “Audrey , it’s time to put Jake down.”
                Well, at least it wasn’t one of the grandmas, I thought.
                It was really no surprise that Jake was going to die. Our cocker spaniel had been on his last legs for a while, mostly due to the arthritis.  Going for walks had lost their appeal, and car rides now seemed daunting because he could no longer make the leap into the seat.  Even our devil of a cat couldn’t liven him up anymore. He would lie on the floor as she jumped or gnawed on his head. Jake spent most of his days corralled in the kitchen where his daily bouts of incontinence were easier to clean. Some days, he would look my mom dead in the eyes as he pooped on the linoleum. He was also two years older than we had always believed, so at the ripe age of 17 ½, it was time for Jake to die.
                Between me, my sister and father, Jake was pet continually in the sterilized room as we waited for the vet.
                “We’re going to sedate him first so the final shot isn’t as difficult,” she informed us when she walked in. “It will take a few minutes to kick in.” She administered the shot and left.
                Jake began vigorously pacing around the room, like an old man mumbling to himself about the rowdy kids outside but not leaving the room to do anything about it. We watched him expectantly. Soon, he will topple over and wonder why he can’t move his legs. Remember, that’s supposed to be sad, not funny. He looked disoriented when it happened, like a baby who knows he can walk but can’t make his legs follow his brain. Eventually, his breath became shallow and he calmed down enough to be killed.
                The vet returned and frowned at Jake. “It’ll be easier to administer the shot if we shave his leg.”
The razor buzzed to life and rattled Jake in his stupor. He flipped his head at the vet and nipped at her, growling with the vehemence of a much younger dog.
                “Oh, a bit cranky today are we?” The vet said nonchalantly.
                You are trying to kill me, Jake thought.
                She administered the shot quickly. It didn’t take long for Jake to return to his sedated state.
                Soon, I heard the vet say, “I’m sorry.”
                It seemed like she paused. Did she pause?
                “I’m sorry, but something went horribly wrong. We turned your dog into a zombie.”
                “I’m sorry,” the vet said. “He’s gone.”
                Oh. Well, that was expected.
                She quickly scooped up his limp body and took him to the back to be bagged.
                We meandered to the car. When Adrienne turned to face me, she was laughing hysterically, pointing at the tears streaming down her cheeks as if to say, “What is going on with my face?”
                One of my old classmates from high school carried bagged Jake to our car. My first reaction was to say, “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while, Roni! Thanks for carrying my dead dog!” But perhaps I finally received the gift of common sense, because I said nothing.
                I had already moved to Alaska when my family held the memorial service. My mom sent me this message about it:  
We had a service for Jake today. Aunt Pam read a poem (for dead dogs) and we had a lovely service. His stone was placed and Aunt Pam brought two hostas to plant next the stone. She started singing Kumbaya but lost a number of us at that point.
All in all, a good day.       
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Monday, August 20, 2012

7 Reasons Why Jesus is a Badass: Part I

                 I used to think of Jesus as a sweet, mild-mannered man. The kind of guy that if I told him any sort of joke, the best response I could ever receive would be a small, polite smile followed by a terse reprimand that I shouldn’t be laughing about things like that. But then I actually read my Bible and realized he’s a badass.

1) The king wanted him dead                                                                        (Matthew 2:2-16)
Little baby badass Jesus was born with a death warrant on his head. It was a very Voldemort- Harry Potter type situation. When King Herod heard that the King of the Jews had been born, he was quite peeved and wanted the Chosen One dead. But, instead of storming the manger with a wand at the ready, Herod chose the sneaky route.
“Oh the King of the Jews has been born? Why don’t you go find him so that I can worship him?” He told his Magi, as he stroked a fluffy cat on his lap.
The Magi found baby Jesus and were so excited they almost reported back to Herod. But, unfortunately for Mr. Herod, the Magi were swiftly informed in a dream of his evil plot and decided abetting child killing plans weren’t really their forte. Herod’s back up plan of using the Avada Kedavra curse obviously didn’t pan out either.

2) His parents tried to be upset with him once, but it didn’t work               (Luke 2:41-51)
When a child talks back to his parents, usually the kid ends up in even more trouble. Unless if the child is Jesus.
After the Passover festival, Jesus’ parents boarded their donkeys and began traveling merrily back home. It took a full day for them to realize that something was missing: Jesus wasn’t with them.
This is almost unbelievable in itself. It’s one thing to lose your kid. It’s one thing to lose your kid for an entire day. It’s a whole different ball game when you lose your kid for an entire day who also happens to be the Savior of all Mankind.
Also, do Mary and Joseph only talk to each other on these 3 mph journeys?  
Mary: How did you like Passover, dear?
Joseph: It was awesome. As usual. What did you think, Jesus?
No reply.
Joseph: Ah, our boy’s the strong silent type. He’s probably thinking about something wise.
Maybe after a few more silently wise responses, Mary and Joseph decided to actually turn their heads to see the wise face of their wise Jesus. Once they realized he wasn’t with them, they probably had a minor meltdown and rushed back to Jerusalem as fast their donkeys’ legs would allow. After  returning to Jerusalem, it still took them another three days before they found their son. They found four-day lost Jesus chilling out with some teachers at the temple courts, and Mama Mary was not amused.
“Why did you treat us like this, Jesus? We’ve been worried sick searching for you!” she exclaimed.
“Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Jesus retorted, in a very duh-like moment.
Ooo, Jesus has you there, Mary. But the one time Jesus gave lip back to his parents, they didn’t even understand what he was talking about. Typical parents. Typical wise Jesus.

3) He can use the classic “They’re not dead; they’re just sleeping” excuse        (Luke 8:40-56)
                If Jesus was a superhero, he wouldn’t be the kind to swoop in at the nick of time to save the day.  He would meander over when He was good and ready and when everyone was already in a tizzy over the horrendous event.  Take this event for example.
                After a long journey of traveling and doing miracles, a bunch of people had gathered to welcome Jesus back. A synagogue leader named Jairus was happy to see Jesus because he thought Jesus was cool, but also because his only daughter was dying. He approached Jesus and begged him to save his girl.  
“Sure, but let me get through this crowd and heal some people first,” Jesus probably said.
“What? She’s dying! Right now, she is dying.  Time is of the essence, because if you get to her too late, she will die,” Jarius definitely replied.
Jesus walked his usual pace through the crowd, because not nobody tells Jesus what to do. But then, in a twist of events, a woman who had been perpetually bleeding for twelve years stole some of his miracle juice.
“Whoa! Someone just touched me. Who was it?” He demanded.
“You’re in a crowd, Jesus. There are loads of people touching you,” Peter said, oh so wisely.
“No, someone touched me. I felt the power go out of me,” Jesus explained.
Verse 47 says that because the woman saw she could not go unnoticed, she came forward. She must not have heard of the term Get lost in a crowd. How difficult is it to hide from one person? This leads me to believe that Jesus has sniper-like identification capabilities, or mystical powers of echolocation.
She spewed her story of healing to Jesus, and he was impressed by her faith. Apparently, Jairus was still at Jesus’ side, waiting anxiously for him to get a move on and save his daughter, because a synagogue leader approached him while Jesus was still mingling.
“Jairus, your daughter is dead. Don’t bother Jesus anymore,” the leader said.
“Hey, don’t listen to him. I’ve got your back,” Jesus said reassuringly.
Eventually, the pair made it to Jairus’ house, where an assortment of distraught people were bawling profusely over the girl’s death.
“Stop crying. She’s just sleeping,” Jesus boldly announced.
They stopped crying long enough to have a good laugh at this.
Jesus walked over to Jairus’ daughter, took her hand, and said, “Get up!”
She stood up at once, and the whole house was astonished.
“Get her something to eat,” he instructed.  Then he put on his shades, and said, “She’s been through a lot.”
(to be continued...)