My Conversation with a Bumper Sticker

Reproductive Rights are Human Rights

Said the bumper sticker on a lime green, lime-shaped hybrid. Why waste a red light when you can give an ethics lesson to the lucky chap behind you? Bumper stickers are the ultimate one-sided argument.

So rather than slam down on the accelerator, I had a conversation.

Bumper sticker,

I don’t disagree with your assertion, but I do believe you’re being wily when you say Reproductive rights are human rights. To reproduce or not to reproduce, that is the right. The question, however, is what you mean by reproductive. Because I’ve a sneaking suspicion you mean we have the right to kill a certain subset of our reproductions.

Not that you’re in favor of killing. That’d be ludicrous. If I’m scraping cherry pie from my plate into the trash I’m not killing anything. We’re talking about cherries here, you’d say. Void and viscous lumps. Certainly we’re not talking about the heirs of rights: humans.

That’s what’s up for grabs, oh Bumper Sticker: just who is human? Who deserves these rights? Only some. Would it surprise you to learn slaveholders assuaged themselves with similar rhetoric?

I’m all for most forms of birth control, including that fail-safe: a word called no. But if you simply must have sex (I understand), it’s certainly and absolutely your right to erect a blockade for either eggs or sperm, your choice. That’s your choice.

Thanks for listening, Bumper Sticker.




God, Why? Why These Candidates?

Dear God,

I want to be an educated voter. I want my vote to count. Does my vote please You if I decide for either of these wretched scraps of humanity, vomited up by our obviously faulty electoral system? I’m stunned like the rest of normal-America. Sucker punched. God?

Hillary Clinton had an idea. (I mean, she’s got lots of ideas, but this one was good.) “Can’t we just drone this guy?” She said of Assange, the Wikileaks founder who’s supposedly got further dirt on her and is about to share it tomorrow via video because it wasn’t safe for him to do it today from a London balcony.  I doubt there’s anything earth shattering. If this earth aint shattered by a cheating, lying president, why should it crack under the sins of his wife? Besides, what could possibly be dirtier than these, our candidates?


We may never know… Assange may have a sort of accident. With a drone or something. Hillary’s Assange-drone solution is similar to her stance on social issues, so I give her credit for being consistent. Children– the live ones, those who eat, who require education, insurance and all manner of infrastructure– they weigh down an already-extended welfare system. A welfare economy can only survive if lots and lots of babies fetuses clusters of cells are aborted. Affordably. Conveniently.

Not only is it economically solvent to kill unwanted babies, those clumps of cells products can be sold and their price stimulate the economy. That’s a dark genius I never, in my wildest dreams, would have imagined. Then again, I never thought I’d hear a prospective Commander-in-Chief suggest openly, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” At least she’d mete out a quick death. With a drone attack, you don’t even know what hit you. And abortion. Bam. You’re dead. I’ve never been aborted, but Planned Parenthood assures me it’s completely painless for the mother and the child fetus clump of cells. Bam. Dead.

The next president could possibly appoint four supreme court justices. The only way abortion is going anywhere is through the placement of supreme court justices.

And, inconceivable as it may be, the only hope for the unborn may be Donald Trump. God, I pray Trump does what he says he’ll do. If I vote for him, I’ll do it for You. For my conscience I vote for a man who seems to have a very miniscule one, at best. God? Stop me before November if I’m in the wrong.


I have a friend who may do just that: change my mind before November. I’m considering his rhetoric, and it goes like this: In light of the fact that neither candidate is remotely acceptable, the God-honoring response is to choose a candidate who represents our values. A means justifies the end sort of tack. It’s no mistake. I know my Machiavelli. My friend believes these times may call for a stress on process rather than on product, because the product (a moral governing body) has already been lost or is unwinnable. Hmmm… so what I should do with my little vote? As for my friend– he found a write-in option that doesn’t torture his conscience: Darrell Castle.

As to Hillary’s drones, that’s not how we solve problems. Kindergarten ethics, ma’am, we can’t just drone our political enemies or our inconvenient witnesses or even the scads of little breather-eaters who tax the overtaxed voters and constipate Mother Earth. I’m not suggesting we solve our political problems with two well-aimed drones, but that’s only because I don’t have the same mindset as our candidates. I have to admit, it scares me, her cavalier attitude toward life. Everyone talks about Donald Trump’s heavy finger on the nuke button, but neither of them inspire confidence.

God, do you want me to throw away (one could even use Biblical terminology– sacrifice) my vote as an act of faith? It’s no trouble to me, if I know that’s what You want. Many times You’ve worked in situations where the right thing to do was not the sensible thing. Gideon, Joshua, Peter, etc. Is this one of those times? We are blessed with a responsibility. What is the purpose of my vote? To effect my world view upon my world? To protest a broken system? To put as much free stuff in my pocket as possible?

I ask God and I ask you, because, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. I don’t care what the polls say. No one ever imagined we’d be here. I remember getting laughed out of a room for suggesting Trump could pull off the nomination. That was just over a year ago.



What the Alien Said

earth“Again. Slower. Why did she go to… punishment,”

“Jail,” I said.

“Yes, same thing,” he said. This was our third year having these beach-side discussions. This year I felt ready for his Socratic mind games. Every May my family rents a condo in Oak Island, NC. Every year since I turned 12, he’s come to talk. Only to me, he said. Only on my night beach walk.

“You wouldn’t like me during the day,” he said. I believed him. I didn’t much like the looks of him at night. It was like walking next to a web. The rare times we passed other beach walkers he plopped into the water as if gravity snatched him. In the black waves he’d float along, and as soon as we were alone he’d rise again and match my stride with his.

He took no notes, but I’m sure he was recording because sometimes he asked me to repeat a phrase, swiveling his head so my lips were close to the thing that looked like an undulating heating vent on his neck.

“Why she leak?” He said.

“Because she’s going to jail for killing her baby,” I answered.

“On my planet we can kill who we wish,” he said, “We are similar species, you and I.”

“We are not allowed to kill each other.” I said. I didn’t mean to sound haughty. I could swear he snorted, an alien snort.

“Of course you are. 1,300 humans are killed every day by their human counterparts, and you collectively cull 125,000 offspring a day. Why does this one go to punishment for doing what you do every day?”

“You mean kill, and it’s not the same.” I said.

“To cull is to selectively slaughter on a large scale. I stand by my word. ”

I sighed. “People who kill other people go to jail, but with babies, it’s the mother’s decision.”

“I don’t understand why a mother can make that decision sometimes and not other times. This leaky one should be rewarded for taking time to think it over.”

“Look, I don’t expect you to understand, but being pregnant is no walk in the park. While that baby’s inside the mother, it’s the mother’s business.”

“Like excrement. It doesn’t bother anyone while it’s inside. Once it comes out, everyone makes a stink about it… Haha! My first wit… makes a stink… but I think I finally understand. Your offspring and your excrement are interchangeable until such a time as… at what point do they become different?”

The waves were cold against my ankles, the little shells piled up in a tide pool. I walked with cupped feet to protect my arches from the sharpened bodies of the sea. The alien and the ocean were always one. Effortlessly, he glided along beside me. I was beginning to hate him.

“Does your planet have a lot of water,” I asked.

“Oh yes,” He wrapped a clear tendril around my arm. I felt the slither go around several times. “Does this subject make you uncomfortable? I’m just trying to understand. If it was hers while it was inside to do with as she pl–”

“Look, I don’t know how it goes on your planet, but here on Earth babies cost a ton of money; they require 18+ years of sacrifice and they bust you up like an egg on their way into the world. Women shouldn’t have to put up with that if they don’t want to.”

“I agree. You should be able to kill your offspring any time you wish, until they no longer depend on you. Eighteen, yes?”


The alien rose up, a twenty-foot high wall of water that hissed and foamed and threw arcs of spray. I was drenched. He still had my arm in a frothing grip.

“Foolish human! Time doesn’t change essence. I am me: today, yesterday, and tomorrow. You are you. The passage of time does not alter matter. If you can kill at six weeks old, you should be able to kill at six years old, even sixteen years old. Until you’re free of the little buggers.”

My guts melted like when I’m caught in a lie, but I had to make him see; I had to defuse him. Never before had I seen him like this: dangerous. I willed my voice to be a solid fist over the surf. “The difference is, a baby feels it. The bunch of cells inside a mother… there’s no there, there.”

The rushing water arched over me, blocking out the night sky.

“How do you know the baby doesn’t feel it?” He said, “If I slice off your head in .45 of a second, you won’t feel it either. And you’re a bunch of cells, are you not? The only difference is the passage of time, which means nothing. I have already told you this. I thought we were alike, you and I, but I’ve come to a different conclusion. You humans: I wonder if there’s any there, there.”



Practice What I Preach

The assignment: To use a specific voice, not of your choosing, to condemn a social evil, of your choosing. This is an assignment I’m giving to my 5000 Words Writing Class, ages 13 & up.

I give four (4) choices for voice.

  1. Light-hearted, flippant, funny
  2. Solemn, serious, deep
  3. Sarcastic, arrogant, educated
  4. Silly, informal, uneducated

My social evil: Abortion

My chosen voice: light-hearted, flippant, funny (I thought this one would prove particularly challenging to use with abortion.)

Here goes…

Human-anatomy-organ-diagramParts, Schmarts

Oh, pish. Body parts! What a silly little thing to be all in a bunch about. I mean we’re talking about a few ounces of flesh here, flailing our arms about for the punctuation, when we should be talking about the sentence: Viable Humanity has enough problems of its own. The whole Planned Parenthood fiasco is milk and water, I tell you, I’ve scraped more flesh off my knee. Pro-lifers call them “babies.” Did these babies even have a single thought in their wee heads that we should so fuss? Does my pinky finger have a right to sue if I bite my nail? Being born’s not all it’s cracked up to be, anyway. Amen? It’s practically a favor, what Planned Parenthood does for this country and to those future homeless welfarians they rescue from the jaws of depravity– a favor that promotes the cause of science and frees up the horizons of countless young ladies. Amen, amen? I’m all over women’s rights. You know, darling, there are so many more important things in the world to be worrying our pretty heads over, so many more alive things in the full sense of the word. Alive as in, can appreciate a California Merlot or box seats for Phantom of the Opera or a petite filet mignon, rare. You know, alive. Fully. Gloriously. All this silly talk about body parts just makes me bite my nails. And that’s rude, biting one’s nails. Not to mention, unhealthy.

Wormwood Weighs In on Planned Parenthood’s Private Parts

IMG_0063Don’t fool yourself, the Planned Parenthood scandal is dangerous to us in hell. When everyone’s talking about our work, someone will see the artist’s fingerprint. Not in the sense of “There’s a demon,” or “The devil made me do it,” but every expose shines an unwanted floodlight. Just like Planned Parenthood, we in hell hold privacy in high regard.

As a result of your efforts in the Los Angeles judicial circles, not nearly as many of our patients will see the Planned Parenthood videos, but shackling the press may not have been your best move. Under the tutelage of my sagacious uncle, Screwtape, I’ve been making my way up the ranks of hell, and I’ve learned a few things about humanity along the way. You may think you’ve made a keen chess move covering up Planned Parenthood’s private parts, but when the whore dons a habit, suspicion isn’t far behind. I tell you, we do better to deal in the open. To prove my point of brazen-works-best, I used to invoke the example of the relative safety of smoking pot on the White House lawn, but our efforts on that front have been so effective that soon one will be able to have a marijuana picnic on the White House lawn. Relativism, I get high on it alone… but I digress.

Every up-and-coming tempter feels the need to try something fresh and original and over-the-top macabre. That gets you on youtube, for sure, but it doesn’t get your patient tubed, if you pardon my pun. I just love puns. And being funny in general. Nothing does more for our cause than crass humor. If you can get your patients to mock and laugh at righteousness, you can consider them your next meal, burnt as it may be. Again, digressing.

The collateral damage we demons have taken by these images of lilliputian arms and legs, torn apart and scattered on a pie dish or the blitheness of Dr. Nucatola as she describes just the right way to crush a person so as not to waste, cannot be understated. Though you think your efforts with the restraining order are commendable, anyone with a molecule of discernment will see a neon flag barely less obvious than the hastily-sewn fig leaves. Cover ups serve only to scrawl our Father’s name in large letters. A restraining order was the worst move to make and belies your vanity.

If you can’t learn to work in anonymity, you’ll never get anywhere in hell. My advice is to use the subtler brush– delegation. Think about it. The first victory we had was in the garden, inciting that wench to do our work for us, to awaken in her a coveting for a power that wasn’t hers and would make her ours. Now, to her daughters who find themselves in a position to play god with the life growing within them, we give them that same damning power, and they wield it marvelously. They use it and call it a “right.” Makes me want to giggle. This Dr. Nucatola, a great physician if ever there was one, feels justified in desiccating smaller copies of herself, all in the name of scientific progress or Lamborghinis or “breaking even.”

To make the decision on when a person becomes a person has never been ours to make. Or theirs. But what a grand victory to delude them into usurping it… well, we’re sensational, I tell you. Absolute genius. And no resting on our toasty laurels– we’ve got scads of tempters working tirelessly to make sure that the person or faction who calls our spade a spade, is dubbed ignorant, dogmatic, extremist. Oh, I could go on, but you know all our names. Sticks and stones and names, even symbols– all useful to us.

We need to get busy, cleaning up your mess in California.

Warm regards,