Of Flies and Men

I read an article recently about how men (not mankind so as to include women, but men) love war. They love the thrill of pitting their manliness against each other, just to see who’s the toughest. Each wants a turn to prove that in a real life and death situation, he would pull out on top… or at least alive.

My first thought was that the whole idea was bologna. I’ve never been a guy who likes the much physical “pitting.” Take wrestling, for example; who wants to wrap their arms around a greasy sweaty guy in spandex – I mean really?! I’d rather pin a bald goat. And as for the grunting manliness of the all American football game? Let’s throw a ball at someone and then pile as many people as we can on top of them – while wearing a helmet, shoulder pads… and yes, spandex. And this is a national pastime?

So when it comes to the real deal, with guns, utility belts, and assault weapons, I’m not big on the idea. (At least they wear real pants, but still…).

I realize that part of my issue may have something to do with the fact that I’ve always been something of a wimp. I was the fastest runner in my class – the only thing in grade-school that earned me bragging rights, but only a useful skill when faced with school bullies. I outran the best of them.

But today I realized that there might still be a hint of that manly bloodthirst in me when I was suddenly faced with an obstacle of nature that was bent on my misery. And not only one such creature, but many, which came at me in random intervals throughout the day.

When they come, I go on a sort of rampage, a complete man vs. beast episode.

And what is the object of my man-fury? That freak of nature; that billion-eyed, filth-seeking, speed-demon, parasitic creature, the housefly. I can be sitting in compete comfort at my work desk, listening to soft music, and calmly pressing on with the task at hand, but when I hear that little drone behind my head, I grab the swatter and become Chuck Norris meets the Hulk. All my man-rampage instincts fly into hyperdrive and I become an instrument of terror – well… to the fly, anyway.

My first approach is stealth, sneaking up with my weapon drawn for the ambush. When that fails, I go for strategy, switching off all the lights in the room and opening the door of the well-lit bathroom. When my little friend finds his way in, I slam the door and go into Jackie Chan mode, crashing and banging around until one of us dies. Gratefully, so far it’s always been the fly.

Okay, so I’m no Old-Spice guy. But when it comes to buzzers, I get my fair share of blood, sweat, and guts. Ah! Just saw another one… Mwa, ha, haaaaa!!!!

Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: Abram Rescues Lot

A funny thing about a lot of the forgotten stories in the bible is that while they are often interesting stories, they contain no particular lesson. Perhaps that’s why they are forgotten.

One such story involves a little mess that Lot, Abram’s (Abraham’s) brother got into. You probably remember that when Abram and Lot first arrived in the land of Canaan, they divided the land in half, and each took a half. Well, there were still people and cities in those lands, and Lot picked a land that was more fruitful, but it was also in the middle of a pretty nasty war.

Lot built a home on the outskirts of Sodom. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were apparently losing the battle, because the armies of those cities fled to an area that was full of “slime-pits,” or bitumen pits – a sticky, petroleum-based goop. The few who were left back at home fled into the mountains, and when the opposing armies collected spoils of Sodom, they took Lot and the people of his household prisoner.

Among the group taken, one escaped and ran to tell Abram about it. Abram, not involved in the war, but having a decent size household of his own, sent his men to rescue Lot.
After having success, two kings came to Abram – the king of Sodom and the king of Salem, who’s name was Melchizedek. Melchizedek blessed Abram, even offering Abram some sort of sacrament.

Sodom, on the other hand, tried to cut a strange deal with Abram. Having retrieved much of the spoils that the captor army had stolen from Sodom, Abram had returned the stuff where it belonged, but the king of Sodom was more interested in having people than stuff. He offered Abram the recovered stuff in exchange for the recovered people.

I don’t know exactly what Sodom wanted with the people, but remember that the city of Sodom was deeply entrenched in homosexual practices – so much so that Lot later had to flee with his family for their lives while being chased by overanxious Sodomites.

Of course Abram flatly refused any kind of deal with the king of Sodom.

Here’s the account:

Genesis 14:8-24

8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;
9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.
10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.
11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.
12 And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13 ¶ And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.
14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17 ¶ And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

The “Join the Navy” Mystery

This is a home video my friends and family did together many years ago, and it’s one of my favorites.  General Stickybun is a general in the U.S. Navy, trying to prepare the world to go to war against Iraq.  But at the same time, there are some random murders taking place.  Can the murderer be discovered before… well, you’ll just have to watch the show.

My role is the annoying TAPS player.  Incidentally, I really was playing as best I could, and did better in the video than I usually do.

Thanks to my sister, Shelly, for editing and posting this on Youtube!

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