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Not My Fault

Taking a Gander: This year's open letter from God



Dear Kiddies.

It's been a whole year since I last wrote to you. Hopefully, this letter will reassure you that I am still here, that I love you dearly and am very concerned about all of you. Even to me, the current world situation is a bit disconcerting.

I realize that only one letter a year may seem parsimonious, but you have to realize that a year is only a few seconds for me. Every time I turn around, it seems I'm being burdened by having to send another letter to you. Frankly, it sucks. The ongoing challenges of parenthood are a constant source of irritation to me, and, when you have as many kids as I do, the problem is enormous. Kids, you'll just have to chalk it up to, what can only be described as, my overwhelming load of responsibilities. I do hope you can appreciate my plight; correspondence is so difficult to stay on top of.

There's no question that my perspective is different than yours, and I apologize that I didn't plan it better; having two totally different references for time was probably a big mistake. I should have made human time correspond more closely with heaven's calendar. That said, let's get on with it. You may think that I'm responsible for the tragedies of 2020, but that's not entirely true. I'm going to do a "Trump" here and blame it on somebody—or everyone—else. (That seems to have worked pretty well for him.)

I know it's a cop-out, but some things are simply out of my control. I'm certainly familiar with the human maxim, "The buck stops here," and it would seem, at first sight, that, as the ultimate head-honcho, that applies to me as well. Though, I'd like to note that the "buck" never stops here. Despite the gazillions of tithe money collected by all those churches, I've never received even a single penny.

Well, let's get onto the subject of my letter. 2020 was awful. Case, in point: That little earthquake in Utah was just an accident. I scheduled it for the purpose of humbling a few people who really needed it. (You probably get my drift.)

Like all of you, I'm finding myself more dependent on that little miracle called a "cell phone," but, as you know, electronic devices can have their glitches. When I planned the earthquake, I used the phone's GPS capabilities to select the destination, but, somehow, "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" ended up being downtown Magna—go figure! That really stymied me. At first, I thought that maybe I'd missed paying my cellular bill, but I checked, and it had definitely been sent out on time. Then I looked at how many bars were showing; that, too, failed to disclose how the error had happened.

I'm really sorry about that earthquake, folks. All that rattling and falling bricks was just a big mistake, and I'm totally embarrassed about it. I know; it was a small thing, but no one likes to see their homes crumble. The important thing is that it wasn't my fault. It seems totally appropriate, here, to enshrine my denial in a new scripture. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I, the Lord thy God, claim no responsibility for the tragedies of the world." I realize that disclaimer could be upsetting to you all, but you simply can't make me responsible for everything bad that happens. While I'm about the creation of new scripture, let me add another: "Verily, verily, I say unto you. Though a man waves a Bible in a churchyard, you cannot assume that he's any friend of mine."

Because of certain events, I've decided, for lots of good reasons, that I loathe the color, orange—probably because virtually every one of my favorite news channels had far too much of it. And so, I may be discontinuing the familiar orange sunrises and sunsets that you kids always love so much. I'm thinking of turning them green. Sorry, children; orange has become my pet peeve.

As for the terrible pestilence of the fires across America's West, I'm really sorry. But, they, too, were not my fault. Then again, a few million acres and a few dozen deaths are pretty insignificant, so quit your complaining. Except for the everlasting burning in hell, I have to admit that fire is something I have little control over. Once again, I'm going to blame my cell phone. I had programmed both the target areas and the wind velocities, but a glitch messed it all up. The fires were supposed to hit Mar-a-Lago—not my beautiful forests. Could also have been my cellular signal or a network failure; it's possible that the whole fiasco was due to Russian hacking. Damn those computers and the worldwide web.

And, the pandemic; I can't very well forget that one. I personally designed the RNA for that virus, but something went terribly wrong. I had planned it as a very specific plague that would only affect lawyers and politicians. When it became totally non-discriminating, I had to go back to the lab to see where things went wrong. Once again, I have to absolve myself of any responsibility. By the time my package reached the world, it had already undergone the consequences of natural selection. What arrived was not what I had sent. You got a mutated form, and evolution is something that's totally out of my control.

And so, my children, while taking no responsibility for the tragedies of 2020, I'm taking this opportunity to wish you, if possible, a merry Christmas season and a much better new year. Ciao!

The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and the beloved ashes of their mongrel dog.