Today’s Headline – Satan says “Talk to the hand, but lend me some mittens first.”


Plunging temps are creating havoc across the eastern United States, stressing human services, weary mothers of house-bound children and the pipes of forgetful homeowners. But we’ve found an unexpected casualty of the record-setting deep freeze.

“You’ve got an issue with follow through? Not my fault, people. Leave me alone. I’ve got problems of my own.”  The devil insists this due date isn’t his. “I only run the joint. If you don’t like the climate, talk to the guy upstairs. Ever heard the term ‘acts of god?’ We’re done here.”

Hell has frozen over, and thousands of individuals are facing the unexpected consequences of what they thought were idle promises. But they won’t go down without a fight.

Like Dennis Mattinson of Dedham, Massachusetts. “I don’t care if Satan is doing triple toe loops in the underworld, I am not, I repeat, am not going to see Riverdance.”

Peggy, his wife of forty years begs to differ. “He said it, not me. What happened to ‘a man is only as good as his word? I’ve already bought our tickets, and by the way, he’ll be wearing a tie.” Sorry, Dennis, but Peggy isn’t budging.

“I’m calling a lawyer. Who’s that guy on t.v.? You only have to pay him if you win. That’s what he says anyway.”

For his part, attorney Michael Allen is ready. “This is a gray area, in my opinion. Exactly what does ‘frozen over’ mean and how do we verify the extent of the condition required to trigger satisfaction of the contract? We can’t be talking about a little frost around the edges. Frozen over implies an extensive condition of durable status. I’m not sure these agreements are enforceable.”

Human Resource professionals and former employees alike are pondering the same question–does “I’ll come back to this job when hell freezes over” constitute a threat or a promise?

“I quit that bitch, and I’ll do it again,” says Denise Garret of Pontiac, Michigan.

“We never accepted the terms of Denise’s re-employment,” adds Monica Thomas of Widgetworks Enterprises. “It was verbal only, with no consideration given from either party. Denise is not the considerate sort. Trust me.”

Grant Branch of Chicago, Illinois is ecstatic. “Finally! It’s the Cubbie’s year.” The citizens of Seattle beg to differ. For his part, David Acheson, general manager of the Cleveland Browns is backpedaling. “It’s not like we don’t want to go to the Superbowl. Cut us some slack.”

Katie Dwyer is already planning her spring break trip to Daytona. “Par-tay!!” Her parents declined to comment.

Florists are seeing a boom in business from thwarted suitors seeing a second chance with their future ex-wives, while restaurant reservation lines are the only thing burning up north of the Mason Dixon. “Finally, it’s my turn,” says Taylor Watson. “I’ve been keeping a list. The only problem I’ve run into is that a lot of these phone numbers have been disconnected, and this one,” he points to a number next to the name Emily, “is for the Rite-Aid prescription refill line. When you see this, call me, okay?”

The devil, more formally known as Lucifer Beelzebub insists he isn’t liable for third-party agreements. “What happened to all that free will stuff, tell me that, mankind? I barely have enough time to deal with politicians.” Don’t bother complaining, Lucifer isn’t interested. “And if you don’t like it, you can go to hell, but you might want to bring a coat. Just sayin’.”

All we can say here at the Mobyjoe Cafe is that keeping your agreements is up to you, but at least try to keep warm.

Blessed or screwed, I’ve got it twice over

IMG_0656According to my husband, Winter Storm Pax was entirely my fault.

When my son was home on his third straight snow day, I aired my grievance to management.

“Mother Nature,” I shouted, “Go **** yourself. Twice.”

Around here, mothers have each others’ backs. If Mother Nature lived in my neighborhood, the Mommy Mafia would have sent her to sleep with the goldfishes days ago. Nothing diminishes the affection for one’s children like extended periods of close proximity.

My husband clamped his hand over my mouth. “Are you crazy?” His eyes held the crazed look of a man contemplating another five hours behind a snow blower. He whispered. “She might hear you.”

Being subjected to repeated queries regarding “what do we have in the house to eat?” diminished my sympathy.

“I wouldn’t mind as much if I had a mudroom,” I said. My husband sighed. It’s a sore point for me. When we bought our house he said it wouldn’t matter because it doesn’t snow in Virginia. I guess he should have checked with Mother Nature before making that assertion.

So when the Weather Channel sounded the alarm, the accusations flew. “You did this. I warned you.”

I was the picture of innocence. “I wished her sex. Twice. Who doesn’t want that?”

My husband said, “I wouldn’t mind sex once.”

“Which you might get if your son wasn’t following me around all day asking if there’s anything to eat in the house.”

Still, the aftermath of Pax was beautiful, the vibrant blue singular to evening snow contrasting with the golden pools cast by the landscaping lights. The world was hushed, like everything had stopped to admire the view.

“Let’s take a walk,” I said. We put on our gear and strolled hand-in-hand down the middle of the street. The light bounced off the snow on the ground and in the air, almost bright enough to read by.

When we returned from our wandering, we saw a message scrawled into the snow on the driveway.

Never Surrender.

My son popped up from his hiding place and pelted us with snowballs. I wondered how long he had lain in wait, especially when I noticed that he was wearing shorts and a tee shirt. When the battle was over, my husband and son went inside, but I hung back a moment.

“Try not to get snow all over the floor,” I shouted. “I don’t have a mud room.” My husband shook his head.

I took a deep breath. My son would be home again tomorrow.

“Hey Mother Nature,” I called into the silence.

“Thank you. Twice.”