Christmas Wrap

December 26, 2007

 

I’m in a blogging blitzing mood lately, aren’t I?  You folks who blog from work are in for a jolt checking in here when you go back in a week or so!  So let’s talk a bit about Christmas and where I am at the moment in my thinking, reading and studying.

 

Christmas was a swell time this year.  If you read my Christmas message you might see I’m in a better headspace as to what the season means.  And I really am more relaxed although I wasn’t necessarily so heading into it with last minute stuff to get done.  But it feels good to decompress.

 

Anyone who reads me regularly knows I have a bit of a crazy orthodoxy at work in my faith.  One of those aspects surrounding this particular season is the treatment of Santa Claus with the kids.  Our oldest has developmental delays on the autism spectrum, so he spared us from really having to deal that much with it.  Our youngest at about 6 is ripe for this sort of thing, so we have had to deal with it in the way that works best for Arwyn and me.  We avoid it.

 

I’m not against people who want to make a huge deal out of Santa Clause.  It is definitely a cultural thing, and people who want to engage with the larger culture don’t offend me.  As long as the larger culture isn’t getting all over me about this issue, I won’t get all over them.  I’m not coming right out and telling my kids there is no such thing as Santa so they won’t blab and spoil all your fun.  But they are going to figure it out soon enough on their own, anyway because he did not visit our house.  We don’t leave cookies out or hang stocking on the fireplace.  Sounds rather bleak, doesn’t it?  But I’m not the Burgermeister.

 

They watch Santa shows and movies and sing Santa songs and decorate the tree.  And they get presents just like your kids.  But they are not from Santa; they are from their loving parents and from each other.  We open our gifts Christmas Eve, so pretty much all thoughts of Santa are abandoned once they get their loot.  Although the youngest did make mention of it this year, with those 3 words every parent eventually hears whenever kids open presents; “Is that all?”  But Arwyn deftly and tactfully told him he should appreciate what he has or we would ship him off in Santa’s sleigh to an orphanage in some third world country.

 

The big hit for them was the Lionel train I got off eBay.  It was opened once before 30 years ago as there was still tinsel in the tracks but it may have never been run since opening day.  It’s now happily being run to death now, however.

 

Arwyn got an mp3 player which she can use while using her brand new elliptical trainer.  She had been going on about wanting a treadmill but this thing looked much more cost and space effective plus the workout is more complete with the arm levers.

 

I got underwear and a shirt.  But I was lucky to get that as Arwyn has no money since she is sweating off the debt she ran up last summer.  But I am totally okay with not getting stuff because I can play with the train as well as use that elliptical machine and I have.  It does give a more complete workout and I shed 500 calories this morning according to that nifty digital counter in 30 minutes.  Arwyn did 15 minutes, but she’s just starting out and is way out of shape.

 

She was most appreciative but there was no sex last night, as we were up late fiddling with the mp3 and I had to finish assembling the elliptical.  And that was fine, too.  That’s part of that whole differentiation thing, where giving and disclosing are done without any expectations of it being returned and being okay with it.  I am unsure how to react to a sexual advance at this point, anyway.  I miss it, but I am not hankering for a double scoop of controlling-guilt-based stuff.  But my body says otherwise.  Ugh!  I wish it would just shut the hell up!

 

Back to Santa for just a minute, Arwyn and I are pretty much in agreement on this.  We just don’t want belief in him to be our children’s first crisis of faith.  Yeah, he’s real the same as Winnie the Pooh.  Both are lovely and heart warming characters who occupy positions of fondness but the business of building a belief system around this particular fellow is mass psychotic silliness. And I’m not keen to have this particular madness be any more significant to my children than I have to.  They love presents as much as any kids and tying Santa to a stash of presents puts the fat guy pretty high up in significance to them.  I’m not going there at all.  So we sort of play the smallest of roles in perpetuating the cultural psychopathology.  Discovering that Santa isn’t real won’t involve even the mildest of trauma for my kids.  I’d be happy to indulge more if the fat old guy was paying my mortgage or even just the cable bill.  But he’s not, so he can seek credit, cookies and glory elsewhere.

[Ha!  After writing this but before posting, I ran into this story about parents facing tough questions about the myth.  My question is this: why teach them the myth in the first place?

 

I’ve been reading some of Passionate Marriage but have spent more time reading stuff off the Reveal website.  It’s fascinating stuff and I’ll post a lot more thoughts on that a bit later.  But the more I read the more I see I was formerly linked with the ICC movement in my former dealings with the fundamentalist group.  Both are on the cult watch lists and both did business in a similar manner.  My discipling was very much like what they did and I’m not sure we didn’t use the same curriculum.  But we didn’t follow anyone named “Kip.”  We followed “Jim.”

 

Like Kip, Jim left the movement he started only much earlier. 

 

Happy Holidays!

 

D.

 

 

Advertisements

Emotional Gridlock

December 24, 2007

 

Hahahaha!  I laughed out loud when reading chapter 4 of Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage.  He spends a lot of time setting up the interplay of other-validation v self-validation, self-presentation v self-disclosure and fusion v differentiation.  Basically, Schnarch describes a process that begins during courtship when we are poorly differentiated and seek emotional fusion.  We then seek validation from others (our date/perspective partner) and get all fused up.  Once we get emotionally fused we discover that many things we might otherwise do, say or feel make our partners anxious which makes us anxious.  And often when we seek validation it sometimes forces the other person into saying what you want to hear instead of how they truly feel thus creating this sense of self-betrayal.  So we end up presenting something from almost the outset that violates our own integrity instead of real disclosure.  Sometimes we disclose in the hope that the other person will validate us in addition to disclosing something about themselves.  Often, neither happens which frustrates us.  The icing on the cake is when our past disclosures become ammunition during heated fights!  We become walking wounded, and pretty soon a stony, icy silence sets in.  Total emotional gridlock.

 

This, according to Scnarch, is the perfect and most fertile place for true intimacy to blossom!  Hahahaha!

 

No, I’m not kidding.  Emotional gridlock happens when we run out of accommodations, we are tired of the mask, and we refuse to violate our integrity anymore.  Basically we have run out of patience and tricks and now must choose to confront ourselves because we are not making any headway with changing our partner.  Ain’t that a hoot?!?  According to Schnarch, I’m on the verge of some real electric sex, here!

 

In this section of the book, Schnarch just doesn’t confront contemporary psychology and marital counseling; he stands it on its head.  It’s not a problem of communication as emotional gridlock can only happen when the communication is really happening.  Otherwise one partner would still be blathering on and trying to attack the stone wall.  But when both partners know the score (I’m not changing and I’m sick of trying to change you!) and silence ensues progress can be made.  It looks like “falling out of love” but we are truly incapable of love “until the honeymoon is over and gridlock arrives.”(p.119)  

 

What finally made me put the book down and begin writing this was a statement Schnarch made about self-confrontation.  Basically when we are finished confronting our partner in an effort to either mold and shape them or seek validation from them (it ain’t coming) then we have to deal with who we are.  We have to differentiate.  “Only when we confront our own essence do we become more tolerant and accepting of everyone else, including your partner.”

 

It’s taking the plank out of our own eye before deciding to remove the speck in someone else’s.

 

So marriage and emotional gridlock and anxiety and tension and trying for intimacy and not getting it and being all angry and frustrated are all just steps up that staircase to a new level of growth. 

 

Arwyn and I are definitely in that whole frozen tundra area of emotional gridlock.  That blow up of the last entry which took place over a month ago is almost a last gasp of confrontation in trying to get her to move.  And she is not budging.   Talking more is not going to get us anywhere, and I can see that now.  More confrontation isn’t going to work at the moment, until I know I can handle where ever it ends up going.  I’ve accommodated way past my comfort zone.  At least reading Schnarch’s take on icy conditions around here makes me feel better about it!

 

But I still have questions here.  Schnarch does a swell job of incorporating emotional and spiritual intimacy into the whole sexual arena.  But I still wonder about the concept of attraction here.  I guess I’ve had people tell me I look good since dropping the fat and I feel better about it.  But how in the world would I expect her to ever light up physically if she’s just not attracted to me in that way?  Yeah, yeah, sex has a lot more going on in terms of intimate connection but a body has to get naked and in the sack at some point, right?

 

I feel like I just took a step backward right there.  Oh well.  I’ll keep reading and writing as the mood hits.  This particular subject also has some implications as far as our other discussion at Unsolicited Advice, but I’ll get to that later.

 

D.


Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2007

I have the pleasure of teaching the Sunday before Christmas and the Sunday before New Years.  I wonder if anyone will show up.

 

The format will be extremely informal.  I just want to know where everyone is, spiritually speaking.  Are there challenges with the Christmas season that are unique?  What are they?  Why are they more challenging now than other times during the year?

 

What are you most looking forward to this season?  Maybe the holidays being over?

 

“After the holidays” is something that is heard a lot more this time of year.  People put off things until after the holidays.  They put off weight loss, starting a new habit or breaking an old one.  Conducting business this time of year can be a challenge.  Everything from construction projects to just getting in to see the doctor.  Try traveling by air for a good time.  It is difficult to get anything done’

 

In our church group we are every bit as much caught in the web.  Family night supper…not until after the holidays.  Choir practice…after the holidays.  Church office….closed for the holidays.

 

All in the name of celebrating the birth of Jesus.  But when Jesus was born, people still were living their daily lives.  They were in the midst of being counted for a tax declared by Caesar Augustus. They were tending vineyards and flocks, fishing, making and dying clothe, trading, bartering and selling.  

 

We talk all during the season of lent about anticipating the coming of the baby Jesus.  It’s an odd thing to talk about this.  Wasn’t he already born?  Why do we look forward to the birth of the baby all over again?  Why do we insist on putting Jesus back in the manger every year?

 

It is a good time of year to celebrate the coming of Christ.  We commemorate this event because it is when God came to live among us.  God loved the world so much the He came here to be one of us.  Why?  It wasn’t to bring some more laws and commandments.  He already sent Moses and the prophets for that.  It was not to set up an institution.  The Jews had a fine institution with a temple, synagogues, priests and other leaders to judge and interpret the law.  The scribes and Pharisees carefully preserved the laws and traditions during the exile and during various occupations and persecutions.

 

God did not need to come to Earth in order to set up a religion or a religious government.  There were already elders, priests, teachers of the law and civil authorities in place.  In fact, the Roman Empire afforded unprecedented opportunities in civil government, leadership and  peace and security.  There had already been prophets, judges and kings. 

 

The institutions and laws set up by God were not going to suffice.  God has a bigger plan which He had from the beginning.  God wanted His creation to be able to walk with Him as Adam did in the Garden of Eden.  People needed God but God wanted a people who would know Him.  A people who cared about knowing Him.  The only way to restore that relationship was to deal with the problem of sin which ruined that relationship in the first place.  That relationship can only be restored by somehow dealing with sin.  Jesus, God with Us, was the only solution that would do.

 

All the hoopla is about God being in relationship with us and us being in relationship with Him and each other.   It is about restoring a relationship broken by sin.  Without relationship, Christmas makes no sense.  It’s no accident that many broken relationships are often restored this time of year.  People who don’t speak to each other any other time of year seek to connect around Christmas.  Why?

 

I think it is because relationship is hard wired into our psyche.  We’re made in God’s image and God created humans especially to have relationship with Him and with each other.  Once relationship is broken (on account of sin) we are in a state of unrest until we can reconcile.  This time of year is about human relationship for most people but for God it is Him reconciling people to Himself.  And it all began with the baby in the manger.  It is all difficult to understand unless we consider how we feel about our own broken relationships.  In order to truly reconcile we need to physically connect and touch.  And that’s what God did.  He reached His hand out to us.  Will we reach back?  Will we return the embrace?  God leaves that entirely up to us, but He’s there whenever we decide to show up in the relationship. 

 

Through being in a human relationship where only one of us shows up at a time, I’ve come to understand how God feels when we do that to Him.  He understands rejection in the most intimate and personal way possible.  It happens to Him everyday on a massive, global scale.    

 

D.

[This morning the lesson went swimmingly well as the other folks really did bring their game on and we had some dandy discussion.  Even a few resolutions about getting along with hard-to-take relatives based on this lesson which I started out reading Matthew 1:12-25 (I think) focusing on “God with us” and what it means.]


Envy

December 23, 2007

 As you can see, the post below was written over a month ago.  But I figured it was time to start releasing a few of these things (old unpublished posts) otherwise they might never see the light of day.  And this may yet be an important bit of backstory for anything that happens down the line.  But don’t hold your breath.  This process has been glacial, at best.

11/19/2007

 

Envy

 

Yesterday, we went to our perspective churches.  While I was rocking the boat with the Reveal video, Arwyn was listening to a sermon on envy.  When we got home, she was keen to talk about envy.  It was a pleasant discussion, namely because I don’t have typical envy issues.  I’ve never wanted the big houses cars and possessions others might have.  Arwyn, OTOH, has struggled with these exact issues.  My weight loss and financial plans have been driven by a desire to live better but not in comparison to anyone else.

 

However, I do have one very deep envy issue.  It didn’t come up right then, but it did later.

 

This morning, I had the boys set up with a video and I brushed my teeth while Arwyn was in the shower.  She, in typical fashion, got defensive by cutting her shower short and grabbed her towel as fast as she could.  I undressed and got in while she was toweling off and we did embrace and kiss for a bit.  But her body betrayed her physical defensiveness.  My erection was at half mast as we hugged, her being carefull not to get close to it or touch it.  And then I brought up the envy discussion and disclosed my deepest envy.

 

I envy the physical intimacy other couples seem to have.  I don’t fault other couples for having it, but I want it in my own marriage.  She listened for a bit and then offered some of the same things I hear every time I try to discuss where we are.  She brings up all the past hurt, and that she has a lot of healing to do.  I tried to convey to her that she was engaged in hurting me now and I’d like to move on from the past.  Yeah, we’ve each done our share of hurting each other.

 

While this discussion is taking place, she is in the process of getting dressed while I’m standing there buck naked.  That earlier erection was long gone.  I finally put my underwear back on.  She asked, “Aren’t you going to take a shower?”

 

“We need to talk about this.” was my reply.  So talk we did.  Or we tried to.  The boys began banging on our bedroom door and that put an end to it.

 

So I’ll see if I can hit the main points…

 

-She complained that I didn’t seem to want to do things with her and the boys.  I told her that it was difficult to spend time with someone who found me so physically repulsive.  This is borrowed from 2Amsomewhere.  I thought it was very poignant when I read it and still do.  She had no real reply to this.  Fact is, I’m not turning her on.

– She wants me to go to her church meeting/recovery group to begin working on myself.  I told her we would be better served going to see a counselor.  Her church does, in fact, have two they have hired one of whom is a Christian sex therapist.  BUT, I told her we need to get off the idea of curing one another.  Fact is, I have made dramatic changes in my life that have positively impacted my life and hers.  However when it comes to marital intimacy, I haven’t been able to make a dent.  Her recovery group thing has made zero impact on us as a married couple.  She has yet to show up.  I’m not keen to join her little cult group.  Maybe if I saw some results.

 

– After some time, she was throwing everything into the conversation.  An inability to hold an erection (the result of being psychologically neutered) the fact she had some history of painful sex, the fact that she would never, ever, ever want to have oral sex of any kind, and how she felt like she had been somehow sexually abused by me.

 

Yeah, there’s a buttload of issues there.

 

Not very detailed is it?  But this is what happens when we have a direct confrontationIt quickly devolves into blaming one another and comparing who hurt who the most.  I would like to move on, but Arwyn is stuck, stuck, stuck.  Subsequent entries after this confrontation illustrate that I have been trying to get unstuck.  Without much success, though.  Holiday/year-end madness has reigned.  The problem with therapy is that it seems to be process driven, meaning that it has to be done regularly and over a period of time.  Like weight training, diet and exercise.  However, unlike those other things, it involves regular interactions with a professional making it more like seeing a doctor or lawyer.  Or chiropractor.  That means an appointment and finding a convenient time.  Egad, I can’t even fit in or find time for a 15 minute phone conversation with a therapist!  It’s been frustrating, but I’ve been coping.  Having Schnarch’s book to read has been helpful but I’ve struggled to find time for that, as well.  That thing takes a degree of mental effort which isn’t conducive to late night reading marathons.  It’s not like a story that reads itself.

 

Okay, enough of my commentary.  Let Fly.

 

D.

 


Differentiation

December 12, 2007

I’m bringing some of Schnarch’s discussion over her from Unsolicited Advice WP because this nicely dovetails into some discussions we’ve had here and there.

As I said before, much of Schnarch’s view of marriage and sexuality takes on some very spiritual dimensions. Differentiation happens to match up to where I am in one aspect of my relationship. Like much of Schnarch’s perspective, it flies in the face of conventional understanding.

If you think of a relationship as a continuum with total disengagement on one end and emotional fusion on the other, differentiation would be in the center. It has some things in common with an independent-dependent continuum where interdependence is the center spot.

So I’m going to attempt to describe my understanding of differentiation as it applies to one area where Arwyn and I have had to adjust. Namely within the context of our church affiliation and involvement.

We both began attending the Methodist church soon after moving to this area. We had gone to and visited other churches, but this one seemed like a good fit. But over time, it seemed to fit less and less. Five years ago, I actually visited several other churches in the area, looking for something different. I was looking for a church with a purer Biblical orthodoxy than that manifested by the Methodists. In Georgia, it’s pretty difficult to swing a dead cat without hitting a Baptist church, so I visited a few in the area. No I didn’t visit any of the poison-drinking, snake-handling sort but stuck to fairly conservative brands. What I found was fairly consistent: people going to a meeting on Sunday morning, doing a few activities during the week and then doing whatever they want the rest of the time. I think I was hungering for a more holistic experience not unlike some groups I had experience earlier and the intentional communities Emily and Desmond have described.

Arwyn also wanted more but had even less of an idea of what to look for than I did. Her religious background was pretty much from a Lutheran-type background before becoming a Methodist. She does want more knowledge and grounding in the Bible and get closer to Christ. To be sure, our goals were not incompatible. We both wanted a more fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ and other believers. Does that sound too radical?

After looking around, I decided to keep my involvement with my current church and work on deepening my relationships and involvement there. Arwyn, while involved, never really bonded in as much as I did with other couples our age. She felt like an outsider and her engagement with others became less. She was involved with the kids and their programs and activities, but nothing with other adults.

In October of 2006, Arwyn decided to make a move. She had spoken to a couple other moms about this other church that was big and growing, growing growing. It was the one I’ve been calling Saddleback East but it could also be called Willow Creek South. She felt this is where God wanted her, and would not be convinced otherwise. For a few months, she sort of straddled between the two as the boys were involved in the Methodist children’s choir and programs, but by January of 2007, she had disengaged the boys and was going to Saddleback almost full time.

I continued to attend and teach at the Methodist church, but was very distressed by Arwyn’s seemingly unilateral move. It was seemingly a move away from me as well as the church. So I had a choice to make.

1. I could continue to do my own thing at the Methodist church

2. I could join her church

3. We could look for a 3rd church.

My attitude was basically one of resentment. I didn’t feel God calling me out. But I was willing to go in order to keep the family intact. Option #3 was never a serious option as Arwyn was so convinced this was the church for her.

I chose option #2 back in March. I began attending services with her and we actually began trying to start a small group. The small group effort was disastrous as while everyone seemed to think they needed to be a part of it, no one wanted to actually do the simplest of things to build a connection. Stuff like emailing, talking and staying in touch throughout the week, in addition to regular church meetings. The thing just disintegrated because no one would commit. Everyone wanted to be fed without doing any feeding. Yeah, the flock can be amazingly stupid. But they’ve been conditioned to be that way by the blind guides who are in turn pressured to give people what they want which is a sort of Twinkie religion. It feels pretty tasty but is actually pretty empty.

Arwyn got baptized into the church back in March. That baptism more resembled running cattle through a dip tank than consecrating and celebrating a decision made for Christ. I attended the new member class and got the low down on membership requirements. After learning their basic theology, beliefs, practices and culture, I decided that I could not do it. I could not join this group and maintain my integrity.

And this is where we get back to Schnarch’s idea of differentiation. When a couple becomes emotionally fused, any change one person makes necessarily changes the other person’s position and challenges his/her integrity.

If I would have stayed in that church, I would have had to sacrifice my integrity which would have created a butt load of resentment. Insisting on Arwyn to go to my choice of church would have forced her to sacrifice her supposedly divinely inspired move and thus challenged her own integrity.

I went back to the Methodist church, but I was not the same as when I left. I began re examining church, worship, spirituality and how we do all these things. I knew something was wrong, and it was bigger than any single denomination or even nondenominational churches. God had showed me something important through Saddleback East and the small group experience. It was not that people did not want to connect, but they had no idea of how to do it. They were so used to going to the over-sized feed trough every Sunday and having the pastor feed them they and had no idea how to do it themselves. They had become totally domesticated and not in a good way. We aren’t designed to have our needs met by one person, not to mention the same person. We are designed to feed one another according to the gifts distributed amongst each other. We don’t all have the same gifts and neither does anyone have all the gifts. And the fact is that Saddleback East is the Methodist church’s main competitor. Given the pressures exerted by members departing to go there (Arwyn’s departure sent a few waves of its own) it’s not surprising they felt the need to adopt many Church Growth Movement (CGM) tactics, programs and practices.

This is where I depart from Bill Hybels, who prescribes training people to be “self-feeders.” That’s as disastrous as having a rationed feeding trough! No, people need to be rewired into feeding each other. This not only has the Christian community meeting its own needs but enables it to fulfill its apostolic mission to meet the needs of others and spread the gospel.

Getting back to differentiation…

It took some time, but I’ve gradually come ’round to not seeing Arwyn’s move to another church as being a threat to our family, our marriage or my own spirituality. What happens there really isn’t what I would call quality family time. The kids are dropped off to their place and you go to worship which consists of everyone facing the front, singing and listening. I suppose there could be some hand holding in there between couples. That would be nice. But it really isn’t family time, per se. We aren’t even all in the same room!

In the Methodist church, the family does sit together for a time, but that often involves as much of a struggle as anything else as the kids always fidget and bug each other and a fight can easily ensue. Not that I don’t value teaching kids to sit down and shut up, but it is distracting trying to make sure your own kids are not the ones distracting everyone else.

Arwyn and I actually talk more now than when we were attending the same place. We compare and review and retell the lesson of the day and then discuss. And the kids engage in what they learned. That’s more quality than anything else.

There’s a lot of confusion and ASSumptions about where I am as far as Christian community. I am still part of my group in the Methodist church. While I’m not tithing, as such, I am contributing to many missions in the UMC such as the children’s home and committee on relief. I engage with our adult Sunday school, but not the main worship service. If others choose to do that, I’m not threatened, although the reverse may not be true.

Yeah, the disapproval and rebuking are all done in the name of love…

Please. Go sell crazy somewhere else, as we’re all stocked up here! Guilt mongering and threatening are not loving acts. They are a failure to properly differentiate. Differentiation involves allowing people to go and do where they need without feeling threatened and without delivering threats. Differentiation is not “I gotta be me” either. It does involve taking a hard look at ones own integrity and loving freely without becoming so fused that one becomes incapable of standing alone when it is necessary. And sometimes standing alone is necessary if for no other reason than figuring out where you are without criticism, threats, fear, guilt and all the other tools used to control and subjugate others. Direction is welcome. Tales of personal experiences are very welcome. Busting me down without knowing all the facts or caring about them is not necessary. Differentiation does necessarily involve relationship with others; else it wouldn’t be an issue at all! Properly differentiating involves being a more complete person so that loving can occur more completely.

D.


RWB 2006 Day 5: The Lost Scene: The Destruction of the Moped and the Piggly Wiggly

December 3, 2007

I’ve been reading FTN’s Real Blogger World and I see some water skis and pointy fins approaching. Thank goodness for The Lurker and his sidekick. I’m looking for some plot, conflict and character development. Or perhaps David Hasselhof can save the day. Somebody needs to move this thing along. Maybe another mystery death or two would liven things up. Or some girl-on-girl action in the shower.

Perhaps it’s time for that long-lost scene….

Blogger RW 2006 day 5

If you’ll recall, Desmond was busy trying to bake a birthday cake for a certain birthday girl, but he was out of baking powder. I volunteered to go to the local grocery store on the moped, and Satan invited herself to go with me. This was going to be trouble, I just knew it.

Satan was still wearing her bikini but did put on some leather boots and a long, pink furry bathrobe with white trim. I was just in blue jeans and a long sleeved T-shirt.

I hopped on the moped and it cranked on the first kick. Satan hopped on behind me and held on. Wow, it felt good having someone hug my back like that! We became one, Satan, me and the moped. We drove through the Midwest suburbs, on to the main road and towards the closest grocery store. Despite my light attire I was heating up as Satan had her hands all over me, grabbing and groping. It’s amazing we weren’t killed on the way there. But we managed to survive for other death defying adventures.

The Piggly Wiggly was busy that day with shoppers getting ready for Thanksgiving. The parking lot was jammed with cars, trucks and minivans. But one corner was dominated by motorcycles, almost all of them Harley’s. This looked odd but this was the nearest section of the lot to the store. We parked next to the bikes and walked in the store.

The Pig was busy and packed. We got the baking soda and Satan had the bright idea of buying some wine to make it a proper birthday celebration. Apparently the Boone’s Farm supplied by the RW producers wasn’t good enough for her. She was used to a much finer vintage supplied on her Sugar Daddy’s estate. So she picked up 4 bottles of the most expensive stuff in the store while I was in the baking section.

She also was busy attracting attention, which is where the trouble started. It just so happened, the biggest part of the biker gang oddly enough happened to be in the alcohol/snack section of the store.

Biker gang. Booze. Satan in a bathrobe and bikini. Connect the dots.

Apparently, one of the dudes thought it would be fun to grab Satan’s butt. Normally she wouldn’t have minded so much, but she dropped a bottle of wine, which broke and splattered all over. All over her boots and fur robe. Now she was pissed. She wheeled around and kicked the offender squarely between his legs sending him backwards into a display pyramid of Schaefer’s Beer before he hit the floor and doubled over.

I was just going through the checkout line when I heard the crash of a broken bottle and then a loud “Thwack!” and “You stupid shit! These boots are Gucci and this is real fur!” Then I saw her peeling around the corner and through the produce section followed by half a dozen guys with bandanas and black leather jackets. She was knocking over every shelf and display she could in order to slow them down.

“Go, go, go, GO!” she shouted as she raced for the door. I grabbed the baking powder and reached the door with the 6 guys now joined by 6 more guys who had heard the ruckus and were now joining the chase. I shoved some shopping carts at the front of the door which slowed them a bit as some of the glass shattered and it jammed the door as it tried to open again. Then I saw their eyes get wide. I turned around and saw Satan had knocked over every Harley in the parking lot. Gas started spilling out everywhere.

We were dead.

I jumped on the moped, she hopped on and we raced away as the bikers hurled bottles, snacks and groceries at us. Three of them managed to get their bikes up and cranked them up and began their pursuit but not before one of them discarded a cigarette into the gasoline soaked pavement, thus causing an explosion that destroyed most of the remaining bikes and blew the windows out of the store. Fortunately no one was hurt beyond some cuts and scrapes.

We were in some serious trouble, though. These three guys were faster, bigger and meaner than us. The moped whined as I throttled it wide open but it would be no match for a Harley hog, especially with two of us on our bike.

This part of the midwest happens to have a lot of lakes and this suburb was built in such a way that every subdivision, it seemed, was on the shore of some lake or pond of some sort. The houses were built on high ridges, with the lakes in the back. I knew this was our only hope.

The Harleys were full speed and gaining fast. We would get only one chance. I sped up the closest ridge between two houses and down the back slope. There it was; a boat dock.”JUMP!” I yelled. Satan was on the same page and we both ditched the moped which careened down the dock and into the water, followed by three astonished bikers aboard their heavier hogs. There was no way they could stop or even slow down.

SSSLOOOOSSSHHH!

They went into the icy cold water while we ran back to the blogger house. We could hear the rumbling of other bikes in the distance as other gang members were converging on the store and then searching for us. But we stealthily stole our way back without being spotted.

Throughout this adventure, I managed to hold on to the baking powder, so we still succeeded in our mission and saved the birthday party.

But we would be fugitives for the entire year, hiding from biker gangs. As it turned out, the Piggly Wiggly was a sponsor for this particular outfit calling themselves The Hogs. We were banished from ever going there again. Photos obtained from the secuty camera were posted in every store in the chain.

So that was the demise of last year’s moped. It was actually only the beginning of the destruction and mayhem that would ensue, but you can read about that in last year’s news.

[Post Production notes: This really was a lost scene in the truest sense of the word. It really was written, but then was inadvertently cut and deleted. The cut was deliberate because I felt I had already just had a….er…climactic moment with Satan and Emily and we were rapidly heading to another one leading to a whole lotta frosting licking. This scene was over the top and did not help with the pacing of the scenes and other characters’ development. It only fleshes out some of the relationship between Satan and I in that we happened to share this one other adventure. It also tends to simply add more gratuitous violence and destruction. All in all it was not terribly essential to the plot of that story and I doubt any subsequent writers could have made much use of it. But it might explain why this year’s cast got a decrepit old castle, since producers were not going to invest a lot of money into something that might eventually get destroyed anyway. The budget is very tight this year, especially in light of a lawsuit from the Piggly Wiggly.
Perhaps this can be added to the DVD extended release version due out in stores when the Day 5 2007 is written and posted.]