Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?

"50 First Dates"

Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
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or Search by State

Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)



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11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue


It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations

Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"

Mail Trillian here

Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)


Alliance for the Great Lakes

Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras

The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.

Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.

Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Life(?) of Trillian

Thursday, November 12, 2009  
The Great Lake State is, well, great.


Detroit Rocks.

Here's one reason why.

Moo. Moo.

Moove over Linda McCartney, there's a new vegetarian frozen entreé in town and lemme tell you, they're good. Real good.

And based in Fashionable Ferndale.

Moo Moo's
, we salute you.

If you're not near a Meijer, why not ask your local grocer to stock them?! Power to the people, right on and all that. And it's a great way to show support for Michigan.

I'll be showcasing the good things about Michigan and Detroit, maybe once a week or so. I'm sick of the Detroit/Michigan bashing. Sick of it, hear me? S-I-C-K sick of it. I want the world to see and know the great things about the Great Lake State. With all the bad and negative news "the media" just loves to pounce on about Michigan, I've decided to try to spin the negative spin backwards by showing off the positive people and things about Michigan that never, ever seem to get any media attention. Combating negative with positive and all that. (Yes. A special Compassion Snuggie® for the entire state, upper and lower peninsulas.) It's an infinitesimal drop of positive in a huge negative bucket, but it matters. If you feel so inclined, show some love for the good people of Michigan follow the links I post and tell your friends. So when yet another negative news story comes out of Michigan or Detroit (and they undoubtedly will) you'll know it's not all bad. You'll know there are some good people - intelligent, talented, creative, nice, hard working people - in (and from) Michigan.

I'm especially proud to launch this brigade with Moo Moo's. By the way.

Labels: , , ,

8:15 AM

Tuesday, November 10, 2009  
For the most part spending time with my mother is a really good thing. Especially the past few weeks. A much needed departure from whatever psychoses I was battling in October. I’ve yet to sort it out well enough to define and label it. Depression, I guess, but I dunno, it seems like something different. I think depression is “just” a symptom of whatever the actual issue is. Fear, I think. Though that doesn’t explain my hygiene and underwear issues. (I’ve been wearing underwear (clean) every day since October 28, thank you very much. And I haven’t had a cookie, baked or otherwise, in that span of time, either. Yay me.)

Fear does explain the uncontrollable, unpredictable shakes I get now and then. And the shortness of breath. And the episodes of momentary paralysis. And the episodes of not-so-momentary “checking out.” Panic attack symptoms. Niiiiiice. So yeah, that’s new.

You know my mum? Yeah. Well. I love her. A lot. I like her a lot, too. Even if she weren’t my mother and I didn’t have to love her and respect her and like her I would love her and respect her and like her. But she’s kind of driving me nuts.

To say I’m stressed is the understatement of the millennium, right? Right. I think we can all agree I have most of the key stressors going on in my life. Loss of a parent. Loss of a job. Loss of a pet. Impending loss of a home. Financial difficulties. Major health issue. Caring for a handicapped parent. Single. Need I continue? All in all I think I’m handling the stress, you know, okay. (Hygiene, underwear and cookie dough and panic attack symptom issues notwithstanding, of course.)

I’m generally keeping my temper in check and for the most part I’m strangely positive and upbeat.

But crimony. My mother. She’s doing old person stuff. The house is always blazingly hot because keeps the thermostat set at 78. She buys day old bread and keeps it in the fridge. (Perhaps as a way to save money to pay for the swutting heating bill.) She’s crotchety sometimes, her patience (which used to rival that of Jesus)gets lost now and then. She doesn’t want to drive on a freeway and doesn’t want me to, either. She eats dinner at 3 in the afternoon. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not standing in judgment. She who didn’t wear underwear for a few weeks and existed on a diet of cookie dough and Diet Pepsi is not in a position to judge anyone, least of all her own mother. I’m just sayin’, suddenly my mother is behaving like an old person. It’s out of character, not the mother I’ve known all my life, and it’s a little disconcerting. And kind of annoying.

I know. I know. She’s stressed, too. She has two unemployed daughters. And a house in suburban Detroit. And she misses my dad like you can’t believe. It’s horrible. Just horrible. She misses him so much that it makes me cry at least twice a day. She’s just sad and lonely and upset and confused and forlorn and scared and sad and lonely. So I’m a horrible, horrible, terrible, Satanic daughter for having moments, albeit brief moments, of frustration with her.

She’s come to the conclusion that a five bedroom house on two acres of land is a) not necessary for her and b) too much for her to handle.

Unfortunately she reached this conclusion about ten years too late. I dare you to find a buyer for such a home in suburban Detroit.

Obviously she’s going to have to sell at a huge loss. If she can sell at all. (Fat chance.)

Putting on my best positive face, I said, “Okay, Mum, let’s get a plan together. Let’s aim for putting the house on the market in the Spring. Between now and March we’ve got a lot of work to do. Fortunately you have two unemployed daughters. We can help you.”

Sounds good, right? Making lemonade out of lemons, right? Being unemployed gives my sister and me more time to help my mother, my mother who needs a lot of help right now. Fortuitous timing, even, right?

Sister, exit, stage left.

Okay. So helping has never been my sister’s strong suit. No expectations there. When the going gets tough, my sister gets going as far away as possible. But I did hope maybe, maybe, in this situation, she might see her way clear to a few hours here and there. So far, not so much.

So that leaves me to help to my mother sort out a long, long, long marriage comprised of one “you never know when you might need…it’s perfectly good why get rid of it” pack-rat and one “…and this is the jacket our first born wore to her first day of third grade” sentimental saver. That marriage included three children and four grandchildren. You can do the math on the amount of stuff accumulated during that marriage.

During the past few years my mother has slowly gone through stuff. She has gritted her teeth, shored her sentimental courage and made progress in meting out some of the truly “important” stuff from the stuff only she deems sentimentally significant.

And over the summer my brother and I made some huge dents in the stuff my dad swore would come in handy some day (but never did). Seriously. How many bolts does one person honestly need to replace in a lifetime? Three? Ten? Maybe 30 if the person is handy around the house? Why, then, would my dad have seven, count ‘em, seven one-gallon paint cans full of bolts of varying sizes? Snow chains have been illegal on roads in Michigan since the early ‘70s. Why, then, would a person, in the year of our Lord 2009, be in possession of five, yes, five, full four-tire sets of snow chains? Why, for that matter, would a person be in possession of five full four-tire sets of snow chains even when they were street legal? I don't recall that we ever had five cars at one time... I beseech thee, pray thee, please tell, please shed some insight, a window of understanding.

Nuclear winter? Yeah, well, my dad was ready for post-apocalyptic life in the frost-belt. He was ready to strap on the chains and lead a convoy south of the Equator, I guess.

So now we’re down to the hard stuff. The stuff that really is tough to let go. The stuff that makes you go, “awwww” or “remember when Gran…” or “that’s been in the family for six generations” or “this is valuable, we can’t just chuck this off to charity, we need to keep it in the family or auction it…”

You have to be hardened...tough...determined to get through the sorting of that kind of stuff. It’s difficult. We do it in baby steps, a few hours a day at most.

The problem is that I’m on the brink of foreclosure. My sister is hoping to move hundreds of miles away, soon. As it is, we are getting rid of all but our most essential stuff. My brother’s wife issued the ultimatum that she will throw out anything over a year old that arrives from my mother.

My sister is AWOL and my brother is pussywhipped. (Oh yes, I said it.) That leaves me. I don’t want to be the custodian of the family stuff. To say nothing of the fact that I don’t give a mouse turd about my brother’s sixth grade wood-shop class project or the vase that held flowers my uncle sent my parents when my sister was born. Call me a bad person, but I just do not care. And I don’t care if they care. But our mother cares. And since I’m the only one handy she’s trying to pass the baton of sentimentality to me.

Maybe I’d feel more invested, more altruistic toward the stuff of my siblings’ life if I had more stuff of my own.

Selfish, horrible, childish rant in 3-2-1: Why is it always my stuff that gets ruined? Basement flood: The box containing my dolls got hit. Freak escaped cinder from the fireplace that would have burned down the house were it not for the Christmas stockings hung by the fire with care? My stocking was the one that took the hit and blocked the cinder from landing on the wood floor or family pet or Dad’s chair. House: Saved. Stocking: Charred beyond recognition. Mouse family seeking refuge from the coldest winter in 40 years: Made a nice, cozy nest in the attic by chewing and shredding my Girl Scout uniform and beret.

This is where I started to lose it with my mother. I haven’t got too upset, outwardly anyway, about the loss of my stuff. It is, as my brother’s wife insists, just stuff.

And after all, my merit badge sash did survive the mousing unscathed. And even though my baby dolls couldn’t be saved, my precious, precious Barbies and Air France Stewardess doll are, for the most part, okay. And after my mother leaves the house I won’t have a chimney to hang my Christmas stocking, and Santa isn’t likely to find me, so I don’t really need my Christmas stocking…

And taking an objective step back, it is funny. There is a comedic aspect to it. A Charlie Brown “I got a rock” sort of comedic aspect.

But my mother feels bad for me. That unspoken, “Awww, crap, not Trillian, again. The girl can’t catch a break,” kind of feeling bad. It’s no secret I’m the jinxed one of us kids. My sister floats through life on her blond hair, blue eyes, good looks and party girl attitude. My brother is just plain lucky. Period. (Maybe he hears his Greek Chorus, but I think he’s just one of those people who are inexplicably “graced.”) Me? Yeah. Not so much. I’m the inverse reaction to my sister’s good looks and bimbo skills and my brother’s luck.

My mother feels bad that every day, every day we discover some fate has befallen my stuff but not my siblings’. So she tries to assuage my loss of stuff by trying to tie me into the story of my siblings’ stuff. “You can have your brother’s Boy Scout shirt, it would probably fit you and it would make a cute outfit with jeans and you were there when he made Eagle, remember? You and that Jones girl played in the nursery during the ceremony.” “Your sister never liked dolls, you can have her doll, it’s like new. You always wanted to play with it when you were little, why don’t you take it?”

Huh? Really? Really? I mean, what the…? I love my mother, I really do, but that’s just lame.

Life epiphany in 3-2-1…
My parents spent my entire life trying to compensate to me for my siblings’ good looks and good luck. “You don’t have blond hair and blue eyes because you’re special!” “You didn’t win a new bike but since your brother did we have extra money to buy you new wagon!” “Your sister got a modeling contract but darling, you’re smart! And funny! You don’t need to rely on your looks to succeed!” “Your brother got a fabulous job because someone where he was interning had a freak helicopter accident and died, but sweetheart, you’re smart! And creative! We’ll pay for grad school for you! You don’t need luck!” “Your sister and brother have fabulous children, the grandchildren we adore, but honey you have a career and we just adore your cat and the kids love you. You don’t need kids of your own, you can share your brother and sisters’. “

Awwww crap.


How could I have lived my entire life and not realized this until now? How is it possible that I never saw through my parents’ lame attempts to make me feel better about being the smart, funny, creative but jinxed one? Especially since our sibling roles are deeply etched?

The past few years have proved that. We are who we are, we have our roles, we know our characters and we play the part and recite our lines in Oscar-worthy performances. My sister, “the pretty one,” smiles and flirts and tosses her blond hair through every situation or flakes out and is nowhere to be found the second there’s a man or a party to be had. My brother, “the lucky one,” just lets life unfold secure in the knowledge he’ll come out okay. Even when bad things happen it’s quickly balanced by something equally, or, more usually, better. He remains completely unaware that this is not normal, not how life happens to other people. Therefore assumes no responsibility or compassion for others. And then there’s me. “The smart/funny/creative one.” The one, who, by default, is the reliable, responsible, diligent one.

Hence me ending up as the lone one going through a house full of a lifetime of stuff with my mother. I’m not complaining, really…I guess…it’s the only role I know. I wouldn’t know how to behave or react if my sister suddenly turned ugly and smart and responsible or if my brother started having a run of bad luck. That would be a different movie, different characters, different lines. It would be like trying to act out Gone with the Wind with a script from Dude, Where’s My Car?. (Actually…that could be kinda funny…)

But, the realization of all this is kind of a hard pill to swallow. And every time my mother tries to compensate to me by trying to give me one of my brother's or sisters’ memories it makes me want to lash out at her. Which is weird because I’m not mad at her. She’s just trying to make things feel more fair to me. She’s just trying to adjust the personality balance among her children. So I pull the leash on my tongue, wrap her in a sympathy and forgiveness Snuggie®, smile and say, “No, thanks.”

And then…the Universe gave me a small present.

Before I was 6 Jesus was my best friend.

Oh. Yeah.

I think maybe I haven’t mentioned that.

You know how kids sometimes have imaginary friends? No big deal, right? Normal, really.

Except when a kid’s imaginary friend is Jesus. And not just a random imaginary kid coincidentally named Jesus.

The actual Biblical Jesus. I was the smart/funny/creative/religiously zealous one for a while.

I’m sure it all came about because someone said something about Jesus always being with me and I took it literally. Voila, my own personal Jesus and invisible BFF.

It did make for some comedic conversations in our house for a few years. “But Mum, Jesus HATES roast beef, remember? Don’t give him any. And if Jesus won’t eat it, neither will I.” “Jesus wants us to read Where the Wild Things Are tonight.” “DAD!!!! You’re sitting on Jesus!!!” “Jesus and I are watching HR Pufnstuf.” “Can Jesus go to the ice cream shop, too? He wants fudge ripple in a sugar cone.” “Trillian, what happened to your clothes, you’re filthy muddy!” “Jesus and I were playing in the woods and he pushed me into the pond.” “No, Trillian, Jesus cannot take a bath with you, he’s a boy.”

One of the reasons, okay, the main reason, I hate the Beatles is because my sister is a huge Beatles fan. From the day I was born until the day she left for college we shared a common bedroom wall. And from the day I was born until the day she left for college I was forced to hear the Beatles. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. I have nothing but deep sympathy for Guantanamo prisoners. I know their pain, I lived their torture, I endured years of endless repetitions of the same songs blaring at me. Ticket to Ride provokes such deeply disturbing feelings in me that just typing those three words together makes my fingers clench and spasm. It’s Pavlovian for me.

Since my discovery that John Lennon is the Unemployment Svengali I’ve been feeling a little guilty about the animosity, contempt and venomous loathing I’ve held for the Beatles all these years. Then again…She loves you yeah yeah yeah. Aaaack.

One Friday night my sister had a date. My parents were at a party. My brother was babysitting me. And by babysitting me I mean he and his friends were launching bottle rockets off the roof and I was left to do whatever I wanted. It was our deal. I didn’t tell on him about the friends, the bottle rockets and the roof, he didn’t tell on me for watching Twilight Zone repeats (which I was not supposed to watch, blog for another day), making a clothing optional Barbie and Ken hot tub in my parents’ bathroom and not going to bed on time. Fair deal, right?

Jesus and I were en route to my parents’ bathroom with Barbie, PJ and Ken for a little hot tub action (yes, a fashion doll three-way with a five-year-old and Jesus) when I noticed my sister’s bedroom door was ajar. That was rare. Her door was always, always closed, tightly. No little sisters allowed. Period.

Jesus told me she left the door open for me because she knew our parents wouldn’t be home and she was on a date and what with all that free time on my hands it would be a good time to see how a teenaged girl’s room compares to a five-year-old girl’s room. Jesus was always good that way. He always assumed everyone else was as kind and giving and thoughtful as he was and always assumed the best case scenario.

So Jesus and I just marched right into my sister’s room.

I remember thinking it was really cool and really not that big of a deal all at the same time. Jesus liked the macramé owl. I liked the lip gloss. Other than that it was just a lot of stuff we didn't care about. It was one of those life lessons: The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s just an optical illusion. A matter of perspective.

We were walking out of the room when Jesus noticed the stack of records. On top was Sgt. Pepper.

Jesus slept and played in my room so he had to endure the same Beatles torture I did. Jesus hated the Beatles, too.

Jesus thought Sgt. Pepper looked sinful. Jesus told me if I loved my sister I would scratch and break the record.

I didn’t want to do it. I knew we’d get in trouble.

Jesus said he’d do it, then.

I begged him not to do it. But he was Jesus and I was just a five-year-old kid and the next thing I knew Sgt. Pepper was scratched and bent and chipped and “Have a Nice Day” smiley faces were drawn in ball point pen over all the faces on the album cover. (Jesus liked the Have a Nice Day smiley face. He often wore a have a nice day smiley face t-shirt. A lot of people don’t know that about Jesus.)

And that is how I got my first spanking, my first two-week grounding, my first “I will not blame other people (especially Jesus) for my bad behavior” written 100 times, and my first forfeiture of allowance.

My brother, who was supposed to be watching me at the time of the Sgt. Pepper deflowering, also had to help pay for a replacement copy of Sgt. Pepper. He, in turn, made me surreptitiously pay him for his portion to keep him from telling on me about the Twilight Zone fashion doll hot-tub escapade. Yes. He blackmailed me. And Jesus.

Even though Jesus was the one who drew have a nice day smiley faces in ball point pen all over the cover I was the one who got in trouble for a) using a ball point pen and b) drawing on my sister’s album.

Even though Jesus broke my sister’s copy of Sgt. Pepper I was the one who got into a lot of trouble. A lot of trouble.

The infractions were numerous. Breaking and entering. Malicious destruction of property. Leaving the scene of a crime. Lying under oath.

When my sister arrived home from her date pissed-off-teenaged-girl-shit hit the-dorky-little-sister-with-Jesus-for-an-invisible-friend fan.

I was roused from my sleep by a scream. And then, “MO-THERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! TRILLIAN WAS IN MY ROOM!!!!!! AND LOOK WHAT SHE DID!!!!!! YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HER!!!!!” Another scream, a shriek, actually, “AND SHE BROKE THE RECORD!!!! THAT’S IT!!! THAT’S IT!!!!”

The next thing I remember my sister was silhouetted against the hall light storming into my room. She grabbed me by the shoulders and jerked me up and out of bed and dragged me into my parents’ room where my mother was getting ready for bed.

My mother was half-dressed, her dress unzipped and folded over at the waist, one stocking off, one on, and her robe haphazardly strewn around her shoulders. She was holding the have a nice day smiley face enhanced Sgt. Pepper album cover.

“Trillian, you’re a very naughty girl. I am very disappointed in you. You know better than to ruin someone else’s things. You will be punished and you are going to pay for a new album. Apologize to your sister and promise you will never go into her room uninvited again.”

“But Mum I didn’t do it. (looking at my sister, shrugging the open palmed shrug of the innocent) I didn’t break your record. Jesus did it. (pause, wide-eyed reverence and hushed tone affected) Because Jesus hates the Beatles.”

At that point things took an even more serious turn for the juvenile delinquent turn.

My father was summoned from downstairs.


My dad was a music enthusiast and ardent record collector. Records were sacrosanct. Summoning my dad in punishment situations was rarely good. Summoning my dad for a record defiling violation couldn't possibly have an up side. Summoning my dad from his nightcap after a party was uncharted territory. As far as I knew this was a first. I instinctively knew it was going to be bad. Real bad. I assumed I’d be given up for adoption the next day. I started a mental packing list of what I’d take with me.

My dad appeared. His suit jacket off, tie loosened and shirt collar and cuffs unbuttoned. Belt buckle loosened. He looked at my mother in her state of half undress holding the defiled Sgt. Pepper and my sister still in her date outfit tears running down her face, and me in my pajamas, still bleary-eyed with sleep, "What's going on here?"

The situation was retold. The evidence was shown. The Jesus alibi was used. A verdict was quickly reached: Lying will not be tolerated. Lying and blaming it on Jesus will really not be tolerated. Justice was swift.

I don’t remember that the spanking hurt physically. But the fact that my parents were so mad at me and so disappointed in me that they would actually spank me did hurt.

Oh, I was guilty, all right. Guilty of damaging and defiling my sister’s record, sure. But the guilty conscience over disappointing my parents weighed even heavier than the punishment for breaking that stupid record.

Note that my brother, and Jesus, were notably absent in the moment of reckoning. Yes. Jesus forsook me. What a friend we have in Jesus, indeed.

I was too young to have a clue about the whole “Beatles are bigger than Jesus” bruhaha. It wasn’t until many years later that the full ironically humorous impact of Sgt. Pepper Jesus incident hit home.

The next day my sister discovered what "I" did to Abbey Road. It was Jesus who did it, obviously, but I took the hit for it. I took one for Team Jesus and fessed up before more teenaged-girl-shit hit the dorky-little-sister fan. But it was clearly the work of Jesus. Anyone could tell He was behind it. The Fab Four were ball point pen retrofitted with dorsal fins, gills, tentacles, bulgy round eyes and webbed feet. Jesus did a good job converting them to Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Jesus? Fish? I mean, duh, clearly that art was the work of a seasoned fisherman. But I knew no one would believe me so I just took the heat for it. It was in keeping with my aquatic artistic theme at the time so I knew the circumstantial evidence was stacked against me. "We" didn't wreck the Abbey Road record itself, just the jacket, but I still had to pay for a new replacement.

I was five. I didn't have a job. My only viable steady source of income was a 25¢/week allowance. I asked Jesus to tell God to make my teeth loose so I could bring in a little extra cash via the Tooth Fairy. He wouldn't do it. I can trace the start of my religious disillusionment to that incident.

Having Jesus for an invisible friend ain’t all it might be cracked up to be.

No regrets in one respect, though. Jesus and I got a nice reprieve from at least one Beatles record.

But the horrible guilt over being such a naughty girl consumed me. I’d never been than bad. Or in so much trouble.

I carried that weight a long time.

To this day everyone in my family (even people who weren’t born at the time) quote at even the most remotely apt situation, “I didn’t break your record, Jesus did it. Because Jesus hates the Beatles.”

If anything, anything even remotely Sgt. Pepper comes up everyone says, “Jesus hates the Beatles.” If something is suddenly mysteriously broken, in unison: “Jesus did it. Because Jesus hates the Beatles.”

Many years later I was rummaging through a record swap meet in London. I noticed one of the Beatles specialty dealers (of which there were way too many for my taste) had a copy of Abbey Road in a plastic bag clipped up on special display. I gritted my teeth, took several "God grant me the patience to deal with the Beatles and please don't let anyone I know see me at his table" breaths and sauntered over to have a look at the album. It was signed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. There was no way to authenticate the signatures, but the album and the signatures showed signs of wear. If they were fake signatures they were old fake signatures. My sister is in the Paul McCartney camp. I talked the seller down a few pounds, had him throw in a near mint Sgt. Pepper and walked away with a copy of Abbey Road with two old signatures on it. I gave it to my sister for her birthday. I know. I know, okay? I know. You can't buy atonement. I know. But. I already bought her a replacement copy, this was above and beyond the necessary apology, right? Yeah. I think so, too. But she didn't seem to really appreciate it. She still has it, she took it to a BeatleCon once and one of the Beatles authorities said the signatures appeared to be authentic. Yay me, right? Score, right? You'll never get a hint of gratitude from my sister for that. In her mind I still owe her.

So. Here we are many years later and I’m helping my mother go through all our family’s stuff. We were quietly going through some boxes from the attic when my mother suddenly burst out laughing. I mean, uproariously laughing. My mother hasn’t laughed since my dad died.

So this was a big deal.

She was working on a box of my sister’s odds and ends. Miscellaneous crap mostly going straight in the trash. But there, on the bottom of the box, was the have a nice day smiley face enhanced Sgt. Pepper album. Just the album jacket. And there was my mother laughing so hard she was doing that silent-almost-can’t-breathe-going-to-snort-in-a-minute-weak-in-the-knees kind of laughing.

I’ve been carrying around a lot of guilt over that stupid Sgt. Pepper album for a lot of years. It was the first time I disappointed my parents. The first time Jesus got me in trouble. You don’t forget stuff like that. And there was my mother having the first laugh she’s had in 15 months over the same stupid album.

I didn’t see the humor in it. I was embarrassed to be confronted with it again after all these years. The proof was right there before me. Jesus may have been working through me but no denying it, it was my handiwork. I felt like a very, very naughty little girl again. But instead of punishing me, this time my mother was laughing at it.

My mother saw me standing there biting my lip and looking guilty and said, through choked laughter, jabbing at the record jacket, “Jesus did it. Because Jesus hates the Beatles!!!!” She blurted out ‘Beatles’ in a fit of hysterical laughter.

Okay, yeah, very funny. Very funny. Let’s all have a good laugh over my life altering misbehavior.

There was a small part of me that worried after she stopped laughing she’d remember what a naughty girl I was and punish me, again, for being so naughty and then lying about it and then blaming Jesus, of all people.

But mainly I was afraid she’d remember how she was so disappointed in me.

Oh crap.

Awwww crap.

Anyone know a good therapist?

She finally stopped laughing long enough to say, “You and Jesus. You know, Dad and I never knew how to handle that. We thought we’d seen and heard it all by the time you came along. Boy were we wrong. Invisible friends, we could deal with them. But invisible Holy Sons? What do you do with that?! Only you, Trillian, only you. The sleepless nights we had over that. That’s why Dad was so frustrated about this (pointing at the album), we just didn’t know the best way to handle Jesus as our daugher’s invisible best friend. For all we knew Jesus was hanging out with you. You had an uncanny knack for quoting scripture at the most inopportune times.”


That I don’t remember. No wonder my dad went batshit on me on the night Sgt. Pepper was compromised. It must have been the final straw. He had a kid walking around quoting scripture. With Jesus as an invisible friend. I mean, that couldn’t have been easy. And I can see the concern about taking a child like that out in public.

Guilt. Again. More guilt.

Jesus did it?

I dunno.

My mother handed me the album jacket. “Here. Put it with your things.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Someone has to keep it. It’s family history. Even the kids talk about it. One day when they have kids they won’t remember why we blame mysteriously broken objects on Jesus. Or why we laugh about Jesus hating the Beatles.”

“So this is my legacy to the family? A smiley face enhanced Sgt. Pepper album?!”

More uproarious laughter from my mother. “Jesus did it!!!!”

Okay. Really. Getting old, now. Good to hear my mother laughing, and my role as the funny one is secure, but, it makes me uncomfortable. All these years later it makes me feel ashamed to have been so bad. It makes me feel guilty for disappointing my parents. And it reminds me of how much blind faith I had in Jesus.

Okay, sure, I was five. But the scary thing is how that pious, zealous, scripture quoting kid could turn out, well, like me: Unemployed, on the verge of foreclosure, chronically single…a kid like that, a pious little kid walking with Jesus, nothing bad could happen to a kid like that, right?

Well. Not unless she lost her way, a straying lamb.

Snuggies® of forgiveness and sympathy for everyone? I dunno. I’m not sure there are enough Snuggies® to atone for how far I’ve strayed from the flock.

Or worse, the fact that don’t want to go back to the flock. I don’t like it out here on my own, but, the flock is so confining and single-minded, unwilling to consider the ideas or needs of other flocks. Life was easier when Jesus was my BFF, that is until he forsook me and left me to stand on my own to be punished. Maybe it was His was of making a five-year-old understand the crucifixion, but that seems a little harsh. A little bitter. Not very Jesus-like. But it certainly points to the start of my disillusionment with religion.

My mother convinced me to keep the re-rendered album jacket. I mean, it is funny.

And, for some reason, my sister kept it packed in a box with the rest of her teenage life junk. I suspect she kept it as proof or blackmail for use at a later date. “See? See what you did to my record?! You were a horrible, bratty, dorky, weird kid, the worst little sister ever. And you owe me. Big time.”

Sure enough, the next day my mother told my sister what
”we” found. My mother laughed, again, and then handed the phone to me. I thought maybe, finally, all was forgiven, that my sister found the humor in it, too, and she no longer resented me for trespassing against her and her precious Beatles.

Nope. My sister, once again, told me that was her favorite album and I ruined it.

“But I paid for a new one, and a new Abbey Road, too…and I found those others for you, with signatures and everythng.” I implored, shrugging the open palmed shrug of the innocent.

“It wasn’t the same. The first Sgt. Pepper was special. Kevin Wilkersen, remember, from the state finals football championship? He gave it to me. And you ruined it.”

“...and I got punished, big time, and the family has dined on that story for years. I've never lived it down.”

"Whatever. I gotta go. I have a date tonight, remember that guy from my birthday party? The hot one with the software business? Yeah, him. He's taking me to dinner. What are you doing? More box sorting with Mum?”

Sibling roles secure. One thing, one thing in my life remains stable. Reliable. Secure. I can rely on my siblings to play their roles the way they always have. I know what to expect from them. No surprises. All is right with the Universe.

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