A letter written to my children, at a time when I was supposed to be preparing an Institute class on Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and found that I could not keep my eyes open owing to the events of the previous night, alluded to in the following verses:
1. Beloved, blessed to be called children by the grace of God and our desire to never have more than twenty dollars at any one time ever again,
2. Greetings and salutations, from thy mother, bleary-eyed and not very amused to be awakened at this most ungodly of hours,
3. For doth not the clock read twelve-forty-three? Yea, it doth.
4. And didst I not dispatch thee to thy beds a mere two hours ago? Yea, I didst.
5. Wherefore, then, dost thou see fit to roam the halls of our house? Wherefore didst thou shake my shoulder, whispering "Mom, mom" in such manner as to merit thy mother's grumpiest of faces?
6. Thou sayest, "Jake barfed. All over."
7. And I search-ed the heavens for a sign that this wast nought but a vision, albeit a really cruddy one.
8. But, woe is me, most wretched of mothers!
9. For 'tis not a vision, nor a dream, nor even the workings of a mind plagu-ed by the consumption of chips and salsa after the hour of the fourth watch, which being interpreted means, 'bout nine-thirty.
10. Nay, but it is true. Thy brother hath indeed barf-ed.
11. Fetch him hither, and gettest thou a bunch of towels
12. And stoppest thy gagging already. 'Tis thine own fault that thou and thy brother and thy sister have all forsaken thy personal bedrooms in favor of sleeping in the same room as though thou wert pioneers or perhaps hillbillies,
13. For have I not said, yea, umpteen times, "Gettest thou thy room clean, yea, clearest all this garbage from off thy bed, and sleepest thou therein, like normal people do."
14. And hast thou not ignor-ed my counsel? Behold, I say unto you, yea, thou hast ignor-ed it like crazy.
15. Therefore, it is thine own fault that the aforementioned barf hath grac-ed thine own pillow. Dealest thou with it, and fetch me now thy brother.
16. Now, my son, wherefore hast thou dealt thusly with me? Yea, wherefore hast thou barf-ed all over thy sister's white carpet, and thy other sister's pillow, and thy first sister's copy of "Fox Trot"?
17. Art thou blind? Knowest thou not the path to the potty?
18. And whilst we art on the subject, what is the cause of this barfage? Hast thou contracted the flu? The pox of chickens? Art thou smoking again?
19. Nay, I perceive that it is none of these things. Thou hast barf-ed because thou wast a glutton at dinner.
20. Verily, I perceive, both by the workings of my olfactory glands and the vision of noodles amidst the barfage, that thou didst eat ramen and grape soda in gluttonous quantities.
21. Yea, I am persuaded that thou didst hog the grape soda for thyself. Didst thou leave any for the rest of us, hmm? Behold, I say unto you, nay.
22. Furthermore, I now see that there wast also much consumption of Doritos, yea verily, thou didst pretty much put away the whole bag.
23. Wicked, wicked son! Have I not said from the beginning that thy mother dost not travel the long road to Costco, facing the perils and travails of shopping in such a loony place, just so that thou canst consume every item purchased, including the jumbo packages of butter, within the first six hours of her returning home?
24. Yea. I have. Est.
25. And now, my roamin' son, thou hast receiv-ed the wages of thy transgression. Yea, in spades hast thou receivedst them. Thy wages, I mean. Of, thou knowest, thy transgression. Oh, for heaven's sake, just re-readest it already.
26. Thy mother sorrowest that thy gluttony hast caus-ed thee to upswallow, yea, to spew, yea, to hurl, to vomit, to basically befoul the entire upstairs and seriously frost thy sisters, who seem now unable to refrain from retching despite dire warnings from me, their mother, that if they, too, vomit, I will bring down wrath upon their brows such as to make Sodom and Gomorrah look like a fairly pleasant place to settle down and raise a family.
27. I kid thee not.
28. Therefore, repent ye, my son. Forsake thy hoggish ways. Yea, let thy belly be fill-ed with saltines and Pepto Bismol, and never more return to the greedy piggishness that hast brought you to this darkened hall at this ridiculous hour.
29. Yea, remember, remember my son, that moderation is a virtue, that a little goeth a long way when it cometh to Doritos, and that ramen doeth gruesome things to vacuum cleaners.
30. And above all, my beloved children, remember,
31. That grape soda wast for all of us.