Make Sport for Our Neighbors

One of my primary functions in life is to serve as an object of fun for others. It is a high calling, and only a few of us are able to pull it off with the requisite panache and savoir faire.

As Jane Austen said, “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”

This weekend I was the comic object lesson for our study of Exodus 18 (the chapter in which Moses serves as judge for the entire community of Israel, and in which he is taught to delegate by his father-in-law).

Moses probably looked almost this regal.

Moses probably looked almost this regal.

Fearing, perhaps, that class members would not be able to come up with their own complaints, my nemesis co-teacher distributed pre-written grievances to some 20 of our class members, and lined them all up in front of me to be judged. He may also have taken this as an opportunity to highlight a few of my past foibles and character defects, as you could possibly surmise from the nature of the complaints:

  • Tim Edgren stole a jar of nutella from me. When I asked him for it, he gave me back a half-empty jar and said we were square. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren came into my house and left hair all over the house from what I assume is that thing he calls a beard. He refused to clean up his own mess. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren sold me a six-pack of diet coke. When I got home, I found that the cans had been drained and filled with water. He told me water was healthier for me anyway. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren gave me a wooden nickel – literally a coin made of wood. He told me it could be used to purchase something at the AWANA store. The only thing I could get with it was another wooden nickel. I ask for justice.
  • I told Tim Edgren that I wanted a stuffed animal for my birthday. He gave me a bag of pistachios instead. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren claimed he was a magician and could make water become blood. All he did was add food coloring and said “Ta-da!” I ask for justice.
  • Every time I play a board game or card game with Tim Edgren, he cheats. He still loses the games and cries about it, but he still cheats. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren told me he would co-teach a Bible class. On his week to teach, he showed horse videos and taught us how to cook. I think I actually know LESS about the Bible now. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren blogs every day, but usually the blog posts are lies about his brother. More like slanders than lies, really. I ask for justice.
  • I bought a car from Tim Edgren online. He told me the car was a sporty Toyota Corolla. In fact, it was a rusty Gremlin. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren agreed to drive me to Portland for a meeting. Instead of a direct route, he took me on a road trip that somehow included parts of Canada. Suffice to say, I missed my meeting. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren told me he was a handyman, so I paid him to build an addition to my deck. Long story short, my house has now been condemned by the city. I ask for justice.
  • This week, Tim Edgren arranged to have meals made for him as he recovered from appendix surgery. Yesterday I found out he hasn’t had an appendix like a regular person for a year. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren was asked to organize the cookie baking ministry at my church. His definition of ‘organization’ was to have people drop off delicious snacks at his house, and then telling people at church that all the cookies had been eaten by the youth group. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren thinks that Peter Jackson’s inclusion of the character Tauriel in The Hobbit movies was a good idea. For this, he should be burned at the stake (both Tim and Peter Jackson). I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren invited me over to watch the first Star Wars movie. It turned out to be Star Trek instead of Star Wars. My eyes were literally bleeding from pain. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren spent the afternoon throwing water balloons at cars and people on the street. To avoid punishment, he told the police that I had done it. I ask for justice.
  • I paid Tim Edgren to design an online database to track AWANA attendance at my church. His program spread a virus throughout the church computers and broke the internet. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren sold me a box of what he claimed was authentic manna. It was a box of Frosted Flakes. I ask for justice.
  • Tim Edgren came over and tried to fix my wireless network. Not only do I still not have WiFi, but every time I turn on my router, my house catches fire. I ask for justice.

I began to notice a consistent theme, and (personally) I think it detracted somewhat from the object lesson. Surely not ALL the complaints Moses judged were aimed at him specifically? I also learned why Moses was in danger from being worn out by judging the entire nation of Israel — if his situation was anything like mine, he probably went home each evening with an aching stomach from laughing all day at the petitioners.

Trying for a more contemplative and judicial expression, I thought I was doing pretty well to keep a straight face.

Trying for a more contemplative and judicial expression, I thought I was doing pretty well to keep a straight face.

Of course, each of the complaints had a minuscule grain of truth, twisted into the snake-like ball of lies, which made them all the more diabolical and hurtful. Hopefully those who know my past and who have attended our Sunday School class will not be deceived, as the scripture says:

For false ‘christs’ and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24

In my role as Moses, I simplified matters by insisting that all plaintiffs be treated the same, regardless of their complaint, proclaiming that each should receive a severe beating (the staff came in handy, after all). I figured if I was going to play Moses’ part, I might as well enjoy the perquisites. Now if I can only get the ground to open up and swallow my nemesis co-teacher …

Hmmmm. That gives me an idea for an ‘object lesson’ for next week. Maybe we’ll make a side trip to Numbers 16, instead of teaching on the next chapter of Exodus. I wonder if the church would mind if I constructed a trap door in our meeting room? I’ll ask my co-teacher to play the part of Korah …

As Tim mentioned earlier this week, we’re all working on getting healthy and counting calories. I’ve been so encouraged to use blood boost formula to improve performance of my weight loss progress – foods consumed, exercise accomplished, as many would know I suffer from Diabetes.

Well, tonight’s dinner was just a little too tasty. It wasn’t the buttered shrimp or even the marinated salmon that put me over the limit. I think it was the brown rice. I usually don’t eat a heavy starch in the evenings, but I was hungry and the big pot of short grain, delicious smelling brown rice just cried out to be eaten.

I only had a half a cup.

And then topped it off with another half. Heh heh. By the time I recorded my food I realized that I was going to need to take a good LONG walk to burn off some calories.

One of our neighbors has a garden in his front yard.
One of our neighbors has a garden in his front yard.

Thankfully it’s spring and the clouds cleared up late this afternoon. Plus we live on a nice, peaceful street. And I have several family members who are wiling to walk with me.

Flowers down the street.
Flowers down the street.

First Tim and I walked a mile and a half together. Then I walked a mile by myself (while making a phone call – multitasking mom here). Next Sarah came out and joined me (barefoot no less). All in all, I walked over an hour and logged in enough calories to keep me on track for the day.

A single blossom on a pretty tree.
A single blossom on a pretty tree.

Whew! Thanks for walking with me, Tim and Sarah. After the walk I prepared myself a nice tall fruit smoothie using the hurom high speed blender picked up online.

Selfie with Sarah!

Project 365, Day 74

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3 thoughts on “Make Sport for Our Neighbors”

  1. Let’s add a 21st complaint: Tim Edgren spread slanders against my name by claiming I made up these complaints rather than having gathered each complaint from others over the course of the last few years. I ask for justice.

    1. Aha, you have revealed yourself as my nemesis co-teacher! I never actually NAMED you in my blog. If the shoe fits, put it on!

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