View Full Version : The Stranger

November 7th, 2006, 01:19 AM
This one's about addiction of a different kind :)

The Stranger

A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger.. He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parent's den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. His name?....

We just call him, "TV."

**Note: This should be required reading for every household in America !**

He has a younger sister now. We call her "Computer."

November 7th, 2006, 07:15 AM
Excellent Paddy!!!
My husband and I just disconnected our cable, removed the television set from the bedroom and resolved to give up T.V. at the same time we decided to go abstinent. It feels as good as being AF..new time has been created..a space to talk, to be together, to pray together, to be alive and alert to each other..the T.V. definitely has been a wedge there..it's very cunning and seductive..so very sad! I'll copy this and refer to it regularly..and also will be sending it to my daughter whose children watch way too much.

November 7th, 2006, 07:31 AM
Thanks Paddy,
This is so true.
We watch very limited tv at our house. My hubby likes sports and I have a very few shows I like .
We also have a high spam blocker on our computer so we don't have to deal with the filth that could get in.
It is very tricky though and sometimes wiggles in. It is a constant battle .
We put "on our armour" everyday to fight it!

November 7th, 2006, 08:54 AM
Very Powerful! Thank you for sharing this with us Paddy:thanks: I am going to copy it right now!

November 7th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Paddy those who know me know i do not watch tv anymore. Should have quit years before i did. I have 8 tv's and not a one of them are ever turned on anymore. One of the best things i ever did for myself. I pass this suggestion on.