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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip Mill (05/08/14)

TITLE: Killer Karaoke
By Judith Gayle Smith


Changing the original song?

I loudly decry jealousy, spoiled child pettiness, potty-mouths, philanderers and profligates.

Worse yet, the baleful bane and cause of my rare curmudgeonly countenance, the foulest slipperiest grease that squeaks me off my feet, bouncing me into dark enveloping horror, are malicious whispering tattletales. I abhor lies, sensationalism and pray for the gouging gossipmongers among us.

Gossip pierces my wax-plugged ears with fist shattering breaks to my heart. I am accosted by it all the time, at every employment – in supermarkets, clubs, churches, schools, doctor’s offices and most shamefully, in Christ-professing homes. I myself must confront the mirror God reflects on us and face the shameful hypocrisy of my own carnality turned loose with my voluble tongue.

I don’t just try to shrug clinging nattering gossip off my unhappy shoulders, I seek to inform the offenders of its satanic evils. Did not Satan himself say that Elohim was fearful of Adam and Eve having the knowledge of, and therefore the possibility of becoming gods themselves?

I rest my case.

Oomph. “Judi, oh Judi? Oh my poor Judi. I am so sorry you are abused by your horrible husband . . .”

Nearly flattened by this little tiny gal – one I had known for barely a month, tearfully tackling, crushing and confusing me to tears one day. She flew into me, her eighty pounds unbelievably squashing me, weeping copiously, inconsolably, saying heinous things about my precious hubby, senseless hurting untruths. I was so shaken, I barely noticed those around me with their mouths gaping in horror. When I calmed her (and myself,) she wept that it was grievous that my husband horribly abused me so.


The gossip mill is grinding unwary suspects again. Like a shoe snuffs the very light from a discarded lit cigarette, forcefully mashing it to an unrecognizable pulp.

Unthinking, unkind gossip hurts all it touches. When I was in high school choir, back in 1959, we bounced to the Calypso tune of “Gossip, Gossip!” But the only enjoyment of it was the fun of singing the song itself: “Gossip, gossip — evil ‘ting, much unhappiness it bring. If you can’t say some’ting nice, don’t talk at all is my advice”. Did this wonderful song affect us? As for myself, whenever I hear or even think of gossip, this always pops up to convict me.

We were raised with the Ten Commandments, and speaking falsehood, hurting those around us, was strictly discouraged.

Gossip destroys reputations, affects employment, damaging those who are too young and vulnerable to fight back.

Why is it so necessary for people to gossip? Have they nothing better to do, nothing better to contribute to a conversation? Has communication dwindled to a whisper about so-and-so, or a snide jab about someone who needed a bucket of humiliation?

My beloved husband lies unwillingly pinned to his bed, exquisitely, painfully subjected to the cruelty of Sero-Positive Rheumatoid Arthritis, Post-Traumatic Parkinson’s Disorder, Emphysema, COPD, Severe Asthma, nasty allergies, Vascular Insufficiency. To complicate this, he suffered a devastating head injury when he was twenty-two, diving into a swimming pool – in a coma for over a month-and-a-half. Add to this seven ankle surgeries to fuse the same ankle, two major lung surgeries, Atrial Fibrillation and Type 2 Diabetes.

That’s enough to grouchify anyone.

Including me. My Chronic Fatigue/Major Depression/Fibromyalgia/Osteo-Arthritis compounded with allergies and Asthma makes me anything but “Little Miss Sunshine.”

We seldom entertain. We love people but we do not feel physically up to the energy needed to even plaster a smile on our faces. My sweet childlike sister, who abides with us attempts to read our body language, and because constant smiles aren’t frequently forthcoming – thinks we are mad at her.

Could this infrequent smiling be the cause of the gossip? But why? Why gossip at all? Isn’t there enough pain in this warped world?

When we are the gossipers, we feel no pain – until we become the brunt of gossip.

Dearest Father, please forgive me for unwittingly or willingly participating in the grievous foul sin of not loving our neighbor as ourselves. Sometimes it is hard to even love our own failing frail forms. But You do love us, and sent Your Son Jesus, the Christ – to suffer the agonies of the cross. But you didn’t stop there – you raised Him up in glory and honor to be the First of Your Resurrection, Jesus drawing us to You through Your Grace. If tongues are to wag, may they be wisely pointing to Your Gospel.

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This article has been read 363 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 05/19/14
You've taken a very different approach to this topic and have fitted a lot into this article. It's quite a 'dense' read as it has so much in it. I'm confused as to whether it's fiction (as it says at the end)or non-fiction (as you say on the forums) - I'm guessing the latter. You and your husband obviously have a lot to contend with and have found gossip to be hurtful. Thanks for sharing this with such descriptive language. It was moving to read it.
Joanne Sher 05/19/14
Very powerful piece, with extremely strong language and imagery. With, of course, truth that we ALL need to be reminded of.

Thanks for sharing!
C D Swanson 05/19/14
Your commentary about gossip and its ilk has an authentic tone, so I'm assuming it's non-fiction...which doesn't surprise me, given gossip is alive and thriving in this world.

You give a raw account about how gossip can infiltrate minds, and crush hearts and destroy in the process.

Well done, and lovely closing prayer.

God bless~
Graham Insley05/19/14
I really enjoyed your 'rant'; and I do not mean that in a negative way. It was an excellent 'I'm getting this out of my system' beginning that served as an unusual hook; and it worked.

Not so much as red ink, but more of a thought, I do wonder about the self exposure revealing, so obviously, who the author is in a Challenge entry. You even use your name. Just a thought.

Your play on well know phrases always catches my eye: 'squeaks me off my feet' and 'fist shattering breaks to my heart' are just two great examples.

I also admire your vocabulary.

Allison Egley 05/19/14
There are some great reminders here.

This may be just me, but the first few paragraphs seemed a bit too... complicated. It didn't seem to fit with the rest of it, and I got a bit lost.

The second part is great. Nice job. :)