20 Oct 2008
It was one of those weeks when I was not feeling up to par. Even though I do not play golf I felt a few strokes less than normal, and every little thing teed me off.
I just was feeling rather poorly and wandered around the house in a listless manner. It seemed like I had some kind of nervous jitters. I would sit for a few minutes and then get up and walk around and then I would sit again, all the while speaking incoherently.
It got so bad the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage noticed I was acting stranger than normal. She is an authority on the various levels of strangeness in our house, especially those associated with Yours Truly.
There is the normal level of strangeness of me just walking around with a goofy look on my face.
Then, there is the strangeness that pervades my person when I have done something wrong or have forgotten to do something I was emphatically told to do. This ranks a close second to the first one.
Of course, when I am acting strange there is someone in our house, which shall remain nameless, insists that I am not acting.
There is one strangeness I long to reach that is the strange feeling of doing something right that everybody knows about. My Better Half suggests that this is above my pay grade.
But the strangeness of this week was not associated with any of these things. It was something I had not been accustomed to before.
Finally, my wife had enough of my stranger than normal activities and took things into her hands. Usually, the thing she takes in hand is me.
''What in the world is wrong with you?''
I knew the question demanded an answer, but for the life of me, I could not think of anything. Of course, that is not unusual. I have trouble thinking of anything at anytime.
''I don't know,'' I said, ''I just feel all jittery inside.''
She looked at me for a few moments and then she made her startling announcement.
''I know what’s wrong with you. You have a bad case of poly-ticks.''
I really did not know what a poly-tick was and furthermore the way she said it I did not think anyone could have a good case of poly-ticks.
I indulged her with one of my famous blank stares and articulated my thinking at the time by saying, ''Huh?''
Then she explained to me what a poly-tick was. According to her definition, the word is broken down into two parts.
''Poly,'' is a word meaning many or more than one.
''Tick,'' is a word that means a bloodsucking varmint that gets under a person's skin.
So when you put the words together, ''poly-ticks'' is a lot of bloodsucking varmints that gets under a person's skin causing an itch that defies scratching.
I immediately wanted to know how I contacted such a dreadful disease.
''Have you been watching TV lately, especially news programs?'' she queried.
I nodded in the affirmative.
''Have you listened to any debate programs lately?''
Again, I gave her the good old affirmation.
''Have you been talking about parties, other than birthday or surprise parties?''
Boy, does she have me figured out. In thinking what she was saying I realized that I have been exposing myself to certain conditions that would indeed lead to a bad case of poly-
According to her, there is no known case of anybody having a good case of poly-ticks. This caused me great alarm and concern. What was I to do?
Immediately I wanted to know how I could get rid of this bad case of poly-ticks. What is the cure? And, how long have I to live?
She assured me that I would get over it but it would not be easy. In fact, she said a few more weeks many of the things causing this would of itself go away. That was reassuring.
Until then, I needed to exercise a great deal of discipline.
The first aspect of the discipline was simply not to watch television for more than three minutes at a time. After each three-minute segment of watching, I get up from my chair, go outside and beat my head against the cement wall for three minutes. Then, go back and watch another three minutes of television and repeat the process.
The second part of the discipline was simply this. If they say it on TV, it is probably not true. After all, everybody on TV is simply an actor reading a script and playing a character. This part of the discipline was much more productive the first part. If you believe everything on TV, my wife insists, you are just as stupid as they are.
I took a couple of aspirins for my headache, sit down in my chair with the television off and opened my Bible. I read some wonderful words. ''Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.'' (Philippians 4:8 KJV).
When you have a bad case of poly-ticks, it is hard to think clear. It is amazing how after a few minutes of reading the Bible my thinking becomes clear.
Rev. James L. Snyder