Originally published in 2003

One fine morning in September, I was awakened from my sleep by Dear Son informing me that someone had stopped by the farm and wanted to buy a goat. We used to breed and show Alpine dairy goats for 4-H. Groaning, I crawled from the bed, performed the bare minimum of morning hygiene and slipped on a poly/cotton knit, red dress that was covered in small white stars.

I met the gentleman out by the pasture fence where he was talking with Dear Son. He was the typical older farmer I had seen locally….leathery face, small and stooped wearing khaki pants with a tidy plaid button down shirt and baseball cap. I introduced myself and we began to discuss the merits of the dairy goats and what he wanted the goats for. I pointed out their excellent bloodlines and milking history but was interrupted.

“I have no interest in papers and registries. They are idolatrous.”

“But a registry tells you how good an udder a doe will have, how much milk she is likely to produce. The number of stars in their pedigree indicates exceptional milkers…,” I explained.

“I’m not interested in bloodlines or any of that idolatrous registry stuff. I don’t care if they are show goats. God will give that goat as much milk as I need.”

Ooookay. I then pointed out which goats were for sale. He immediately dismissed Sylvia and wanted a price on two junior doelings who were clearly of a better quality than Sylvia. He was certainly no fool when it came to recognizing quality animals.

“How much fer those two?”, he said, pointing to the pair.

“One hundred dollars per goat.” These were quality goats from good bloodlines and I wasn’t about to sell them for less just because Mr. Farmer Dude had a theological objection to registered goats.

He turned to me and practically spat out his words, “You raise your goats in an idolatrous and evil way. If God had intended goats to be registered, they would be born that way. In fact, your dress you are wearing is idolatrous with those stars on it. God says we are not to make any graven images.”

Slightly taken aback by this turn of conversation, I replied, “My Bible says we are not to make graven images of God and worship them. I don’t worship stars.”

“Oh, yes, you do. Those stars are a graven image and your dress is an idolatrous worship of stars.”

Throughout my years in the South, I had encountered the occasional religious goof such as the cashier who had a fit of anti-Christ apoplexy over my $6.66 purchase total but never had I met such fire and brimstone resistance to an article of my usually very modest clothing. Mr. Goober was wearing a pink/purple plaid shirt and obviously saw no hypocrisy in wearing such a garment despite the fact that had God intended for pink and purple to align themselves into repeating columns of perpendicular lines, He would have created it that way. Clearly he was idolizing plaid and I needed to administer correction for the sake of his soul.

“Pardon me but it looks to me like you are worshiping plaid.”

At that comment, he turned on his heels without further ado and walked as fast as his decrepit old legs could toddle him back to his truck. He had been in the presence of an idol worshiping, star-wearing woman on a farm from the depths of Hades that bred demonic goats and he couldn’t make his exit from this evil fast enough.

“Have a nice day,” I cheerfully called after him while waving. He didn’t acknowledge me but climbed into his truck, sprayed gravel backing out the driveway and nearly got killed pulling out in front of a large semi-truck in his haste. I watched him depart with some sadness knowing that yet another deceived plaid worshiper had not come to a saving knowledge of polka dots and tie-dye.

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Has Greed Become Socially Acceptable?

by admin on August 26, 2014

Several UK readers submitted the following link to a article about how brides are using more creative ways to drain their guests dry of money. I can’t say I’m surprised since wedding greed appears to have become more socially acceptable despite many people claiming they would never act so crass or support someone who was. If there really were a negative backlash to wedding greed, wouldn’t there be a corresponding decline in people being greedy?

Read away!

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It may be old but the fundamental truth is still relevant!

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Feel Good Friday – Graceland

by admin on August 22, 2014

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The Bus Driver As Babysitter

by admin on August 21, 2014

I was riding on the bus today, and one of the stops on my way home was at a small plaza with a convenience store. The bus stopped, and a woman came running towards the bus, with her two small children; a toddler son, and a preschool-ish aged daughter. The bus driver waited for them to get on, which is fine, except the mother left the children on the bus, and ran BACK into the store, without them. The children were very cute, and were telling the bus driver, “We’re brother and sister!”; and excitedly showing him the bubble gum their mother had bought them, but it still seemed rude, because this mother was holding up an entire bus full of people, all of the people in the cars behind the bus, impeding traffic at the nearby intersection, and forcing the driver to “babysit” her children while she ran back into the store (the driver was a good sport, but babysitting isn’t part of his job). Maybe I’m the one who deserves to go to E-Hell for thinking this way, because the kids didn’t do anything wrong, but my thoughts on this are, public transit is public. If you want to put the kids on, and then run back into the store, well, that’s something you do with a private vehicle in a parking lot, not a bus in the middle of the street.    0814-14

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The Ice Bucket Challenge

by admin on August 20, 2014

I was wondering if ehell would comment about the “ice bucket challenge” movement currently sweeping Facebook. As I understand it, when someone “challenges” you, you have 24 hours to either donate $100 to a charity (ALS research seems to be the most common in the US) or have a bucket of ice water dumped over your head. In some versions, it’s $100 or do the ice bucket and only donate $10. Then you challenge someone(s) else. The majority of the videos are celebrities who can easily afford it. Still, I find the concept of calling someone out in a public way and essentially demanding they donate to the charity of YOUR choice or engage in a ritual of public humiliation extremely rude, besides just being out and out dumb. Yet these videos are all over Facebook and people seem to love them.

It’s currently making the rounds on Facebook among the teenagers and young adults of my acquaintance.   My thought is that, knowing who I see dumping ice water on their heads, it is quite unlikely they donated any money whatsoever due to their own limited financial ability to do so.   I don’t see any information on Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) so the ice water dumping doesn’t appear to even have a positive educational aspect to it.   It’s merely a summer fad…a video form of a selfie doing something everyone else is doing without any real conviction as to why one would submit to being doused with ice water.

I had a chuckle yesterday when a young friend of mine, a mother, mistakenly thought she had been tagged in a Facebook post to do this challenge. Her response was, “Really scared there that you tagged me and I would have to be like: ‘Hahahahahahaaaa. No.’”    You gotta love that gutsy polite spine.

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Driveway Right A Way

August 19, 2014

Dear E-Hell, I would like to get some suggestions from the moderators and readers concerning a bit of a parking inconvenience I am currently experiencing. Please bear with me as while this may seem a simple question of a “polite spine”, there are several details that are rather important… I live in a lovely semi-historic […]

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Is There A Doctor In The House?

August 18, 2014

This happened a long time ago, but it is one of those things that wanders through my mind periodically and I wanted to see if my indignation is justified. I was visiting the beach house of my best friend’s sister. I had a nodding acquaintance with sister “Jane” and husband “Don” and Jane had stated […]

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