aired March 23, 2014 on Dave’s Gone By. Youtube clip: http://youtu.be/KkjlBJyVOJc
Shalom Dammit! This is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of March 23rd, 2014.
When it’s raining outside, and I have to go driving somewhere, I hate it. Because the roads are slippery, it’s hard to see, I’m stepping into puddles getting in and out of the car, and, at night, you can hardly see where the yellow lines are on the road, so you’re all over the place. Rain makes everybody drive like people from Massachusetts. Worst of all, when there’s a downpour, you have these great honking rivers in the street, and you try your best to steer clear of them so you don’t flood your brakes.
This is a normal response to automobiles and water. And yet, there are women – crazy women – who feel compelled to drive their vehicles into the ocean, usually with other family members in the car. Where is this coming from? It happened again just two weeks ago. A pregnant mother of three from Florida was having trouble with her husband, so she packs the kids in the minivan, and on the way to her sister’s house, she says, “Oy, I forgot to pack lunch. Let’s go get some fish . . . from the source.”
She drives to Daytona Beach, and even the kids realize something’s wrong, especially when she stops at a traffic light to put on scuba gear. Her oldest son tries to wrestle the steering wheel from her, but she still manages to dunk the car in the ocean. Lucky for the children, witnesses were there; they swam over and pried the kids out of the back seat. Meanwhile, mama starts walking down the beach in a daze, which is where police pick her up and arrest her for attempted murder, child abuse and blinding a school of trout with her headlights.
Now, this nutjob, Ebony Wilkerson, had already been under psychiatric evaluation. In fact, the cops stopped her just a few minutes earlier when her sister called them and said, “Stop her, lock her up, she’s crazy.” The police realized Ebony was a few tentacles short of an octopus but couldn’t hold her on anything because she was calm and seemingly in control. Which is good because you need to be in control when you’re getting your Dodge Caravan to do the backstroke.
What puzzles me about all of this is that she was hearing voices, and that she talked to both Jesus and demons. What is it about voices in people’s heads? Why do they always tell crazy people to do bad things? How come you never get a psychotic who says, “I was home alone in my bedroom, and my cat told me to donate clothing to UNICEF.” Where are the strange voices that convince a schizophrenic to pay a meal forward at the local TGI Fridays? Why is it always, “Go shoot some woman in a car?” Or “You. Rifle. Rooftop – 20 minutes”? Or “pack your kiddies in the van and visit Seaworld – with permanent free admission.”
We need to round up all these disembodied voices and give them a good talking to. Show them that there’s more to life than causing death. Maybe these voices are frustrated by being invisible, or illogical. I mean, how would you like to be coming out of the mouth of a dog that lives with an owner like Son of Sam? I feel bad for Jodie Foster’s voice. Not only is it raspy and with a speech impediment on those esses, but she loaned it out to some wacko who tried to kill President Reagan.
As of this writing, Ebony Wilkerson is being held on more than a million dollars bail, and already the pundits are discussing whether to deal with her as a criminal or a crazy person. Legally, alas, it’s kind of hard to do both. Of course she wasn’t in her right mind, but you could say that about anybody who tries to take a life. Or listens to smooth jazz. I just hope some scientist somewhere comes up with a pill that a lunatic could take and it scrambles the voice in their head, the way cable TV used to scramble the porn channels. (Not that I would know about such things…) But the pill would function as a prophylactic buffer. A few words and phrases would be allowed – so the lunatic would still have someone to talk to – but they’d be words like rainbow, unicorns, herbal-essence shampoo. However, words like murder, devil, car keys, Second Amendment – these would be so garbled, by comparison they’d make Ozzy Osbourne sound like Charles Osgood.
It is my hope that one day we’ll have a better understanding of the true workings of the human brain – especially how a switch gets flipped, and suddenly, a normal person goes stark-raving Wilkerson. Until then, maybe Pfizer can work on that pill idea, GM can build cars with water wings, and maybe God can make some women a little less meshuggeh. I know, tall order – but He’s God; it’s what He does. Unless there are voices telling him not to… Oy.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection from Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York.
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