For an old-fashioned guy, the Lord sure loves the Internet. I guess after thousands of years of relying on unpredictable humans to get His message out, He finally took matters into his own miracle mail.
But what's up with orders like, "Thou shall not delete, thou shall forward to 10 people, thou shall forward within seven minutes, thou shall be blessed for following directions," and "thou's children's children shall be cursed if you do not"?
Saturday, I opened a piece of e-mail, from a well-meaning prophet, with the commandment, "Thou shall read and scroll all the way to the bottom." I did. Halfway down the page it read, "Thou shall think of a wish to make." I did.
Two-thirds of the way through, the message ominously promised, "Thou shall send this to 5 people in 5 minutes or suffer bad luck for years!"
"Whatever," I thought, but stayed with it.
At the conclusion, the following words greeted me: "Congratulations! Thou shall have your wish come true in the number of minutes equal to your age [a creative twist]. Thou shall send this to 10 additional people; something major that you've been waiting for will happen. This is scary! The phone will ring right after you finish!" (First miracle, I suppose)
Even though I did the reading, scrolling and wishing, I didn't pass it on. I closed it, still expecting my phone to ring. It did not.
"What a hoax," I said to myself. But, as I rose from my chair, I noticed the receiver off the hook. (First curse)
Sunday, leaving a local convenience store with my four children in tow, a friend entering the establishment alerted us to an orphan kitten hiding behind the newspaper box. (Second curse) My tender-hearted offspring plotted against me saying, "Mama, can we help it? Can we save it? Can we keep it? It's one of God's creatures." (Third curse)
When we got home I checked its gender. Female. (Fourth curse)
My husband, miffed at my weakness in telling the children the kitten could stay, grumbled words like, "exit strategy" and "pound." (Fifth curse) Recognizing the effectiveness of our progeny's tactics, I repeated, "It's one of God's creatures." He retorted with words like, "burlap bag," "rocks" and "lake."
The children collectively whined, wailed and lamented. (Sixth curse)
Then they put plan B into action: they created permanence by naming our stray, Uno (I sense No. 1 will be a fabulous multiplier when she meets a tomcat purring seductive lies of come hither my numero uno). (Seventh curse)
Uno cried all night, and my spouse awoke Monday morning more perturbed than when he went to bed Sunday night. (Eighth curse) He threw the helpless baby out to meet its fate.
It didn't. (Ninth curse, and nine times ninety-nine to go)
Monday afternoon, the third day of my epoch of ill fortune, I decided to attempt to undo the damage. I clicked on my old e-mail folder and opened the message again. This time I read, scrolled, wished and forwarded just as instructed. The first person I blighted with it was the friend who pointed out the kitten.
I waited for my phone to ring. It didn't. Mailer-Daemon returned three of my forwards due to addresses with fatal errors (foreshadowing), and I received a message from email@example.com in response to FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD This is sooooo scary that my "request for information or parts has been received and is being processed."
Needless to say, my last-ditch, second rate effort fell short of expectations. And it looks like I'm stuck with nine lives of bad luck.
(Lucy Adams is a Columbia County native and a McDuffie County resident.)
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