Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BUG (04/06/17)
- TITLE: A Case of PTBD
By Phillip Cimei
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I know what you are thinking. Love your wives as your own bodies and as Christ loved the Church. You just don’t understand. Let me explain.
Initially, I blamed my father. He instilled in me the drive to work hard. Even if my company was on strike.
“Strike?” my wife cried out, “we just got married yesterday. What about our honeymoon?” I picketed for a week. It was the only time I ever signed up for unemployment to support my family–not once in the next forty years. My father taught me to work hard and don’t accept handouts from the government. No food stamps. No Medicaid. Nothing. I took that to heart. I worked hard, the family grew by leaps and bounds, but I never made more than minimum wage. We were at the lower end of the economic scale. Well, let’s just be honest, we were dirt poor. But I always found a job.
“I got a job honey,” I said with hesitation in my voice, “I start tomorrow with Terminix.”
“Terminix! You squeal like a little school girl at the sight of a harmless spider. And you almost killed us that time your son thought it would be funny to tell you that a spider was on your shoulder. While you were driving!“
“Gott’a eat, Babe,” I said as my stomach rumbled. It could have been because of hunger, or just the thought of bugs.
I sucked it up and tried to become the Terminator. Well sort of. My job was killing roaches and finding termites. I didn’t mind crawling under houses with snakes exiting as I entered, or rabid cats weaving erotically as I put it in reverse like a demolition derby car avoiding elimination. It was those creepy, crawly critters I hated—specifically spiders. Instead of looking for termites, I would break out into a cold sweat, in the dead of winter, looking for spiders—tarantulas, black widows, and brown recluse. Add to that the roaches.
Roaches are nasty little critters. One house I walked in had roaches wadded up in the sheetrock corners. My first task to get rid of them was to flush them out. Spray would kill them instantly, and tell me where they were hiding. When I started spraying, thousands scattered. They dropped from the ceiling, ran up my pant legs, down my shirt, and in my hair. After a year, I had to quit that job.
“What about hitting your wife?” you ask. I’m getting there.
Several years later, late at night, I lay there tossing and turning, bugs everywhere, crawling on the ceiling, falling on me, and right in the center of them was a big, black, furry spider. I couldn’t scream. I tried. We all have nightmares where we scream but nothing comes out, or falling but can’t wake up, or are near death but don’t feel the gun shot, knife stab or crushing metal in that bad car wreck. All of a sudden, the spider let go. I swung at it frantically, it kept falling. And then the unthinkable happened. I swung so hard my fist landed right square in the center of my wife’s chest.
When my wife got her breath back and understood what happened, she, the forgiving person she was, forgave me. Jesus said to forgive seventy times seven. I think the jest was unlimited, but there is only so much abuse a woman can take. I have to admit this wasn’t the last time I hit her…or kicked her…or…
It was a harmless balloon type boxing glove—missed left hook to grandson’s head, right in her snout. Also, while practicing a Tae Kwon Do roundhouse kick, my foot landed on top of her head. Oops!
“It’s a case of PTBD—Post-Traumatic Bug Disorder,” I would tell her. “I’ve got bugs, not bats, in the belfry. Remember what Jesus said.”
Slept on the couch.
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