Sunday, December 20, 2009

The seven deadly sins

My parents were flawed human beings, and I think my grandparents were too. That's as far back as I care to go. I've been to Germany and I've been to Poland but neither trip changed my life. Sure, tears welled up when I crossed the Neckar at the same ferry crossing my mother did when she was a child. And drinking vodka and piwo like my Uncle Tony in Warsaw's Stare Miasto gave me a woozy sense of destiny for a night. But pissing into a doorway isn't anarchy, it's just boorishness. I am what I am, said Popeye. Me too. A very unoriginal original sinner.

I figure the ingredients that go into human nature are the same for everyone, even if the proportions vary from soul to soul. Here's my recipe:

1 qt. Pride, preferably the inordinate kind, manifesting itself as coy acceptance of praise. The best brand is "Aw Shucks -- I couldn't have done it without you."

2 cups Avarice (if you've been laid off). Add an additional 1 1/4 cup once you're employed again.

1 tsp. - 2 tbsps. Lust, more or less depending on your age and who's in the kitchen with you. Sweet or salted.

1 whole Envy. Cut away the green rind, discard, and only use the bitter heart within.

5 lbs. Gluttony, whatever brand you regularly use as a substitute for happiness. ("It Runs in the Family" is a particularly good one.)

A few generous pinches of Anger, tossed liberally at those who can't fight back.

3 scoops of organic Sloth, brought up to room temperature. Don't worry if it melts, someone else will clean it up.

Mix all seven in a 170 pound sack of flesh, cook at 98.6℉ for a lifetime, and let the result loose upon the world. Serves one right.

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