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Sin while you can
by Mary Tompsett

Okay, kids, let's talk sin. As in the seven "deadly." Can you name them with me? Pride, Greed, Envy, Grumpy, Gluttony, Sloth, and…the last one….?

Dopey! Somehow I imagine these sins as short, and whistling. Nevertheless, they torment me, not with guilt, but with a nagging sense of failure. My weekly sin quota has plummeted, and when I do kick up a spree with the demons…gosh, this is painful to admit …well, my performance sucks.

Has anyone else lost the groove? After years of diligent practice, one would hope to be increasingly proficient at sinning. Many of us believed that good diet, exercise, and a dash of depravity would yield a lifetime of satisfying, damnable offenses. We'd enjoy a proliferation of evil deeds with only the rare misstep into virtue. But, no. What woeful, wicked, wanton, twisted iwony! Irony. Hear me, O young people-sin now, before it's too late!!

Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things.

Hieronymus Bosch painting of
The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

In second grade I gushed with Pride when wearing my Brownie uniform to school. Screw merit badges, I grooved on that dress and beanie. When teenage zits turned me into a mountain range with glasses, I auditioned for Ten Commandments: The Musical, and landed a singing role as the lead female leper. But lately my Pride has fallen off. Yesterday I sported one blue sock and one yellow, certain no one would notice. After all, since I stopped wearing dentures, everyone stares at my gumline.

Greed. Oh please oh please gimme another chance at this one! I blew it big-time in my Hippie years. Now, to help our economy, I strive to be a patriotic A-more-ican by buying lots of crap. But daily I battle with the urge to declutter. Verily, hot coals of shame do I bear.

Growing up in a big family, I embraced Envy with a blind zeal and hated anyone without siblings, especially orphans. Later I included blonde cheerleaders, plus Mousketeer Annette. But the green monster has wilted. What, you're retired already? Gee, that's wonderf-See? See? I should be frothing over that! Man, I need to quit meditating.

Thanks to persistence and comprehensive psychiatric benefits, I progressed from an undercurrent of Grumpy to glorious, spit-flying Anger. In a screaming fight with my manager in downtown Boston, I invented new hand gestures, burned all employment bridges, and sent passersby scurrying across the street. Multi-tasking at its finest. Last year a stylist botched my haircut, so I shaved my head?just to "get even." She goofed again today, but this blunder maketh me not upset. On second thought, anyone seen my dog clippers?

Gluttony roared off the charts. Many a gingerbread house was destroyed at Christmas by "those damn mice" until I became ginger-intolerant. And every Sunday dinner I achieved indigestion so vile it left me bleating like a beached whale in labor. But moderation has crept into my-ooh, goodie! A double yolk!!

Then there's Dopey - or is it Lust? Hard to tell them apart. For all important matters, I've learned to trust the guidance of my deep abiding Inner Dopey. But Lust, that little stinker, has abandoned ship and left no forwarding address. Gotta say, that really frosts my pumpernickel! What am I supposed to do with all those props and costumes under my bed??!! Sure, I still rubberneck at tanned road workers swaggering through a cloud of testosterone. But my heart's not in it. Well, maybe the heart, but definitely no other body parts.

So I'm counting on Sloth to restore the energy needed for a satisfying gallop in sin! To this end, I recommend a weekly spritzing of ammonia window spray in the air for that "clean" smell. Plus, if we spritz the house while wearing ice skates, the carpet tracks will look like we vacuumed.

And to hell with the laundry. Let's splurge on a pizza, and shop for designer jeans in a larger size. Hey, three in one? Sloth, Gluttony, and Pride!

Ah, there's hope.

Copyright © 2008 Mary Tompsett

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