The Tapeworm Gallery: Candy-Coated Catnap

October 29. Just hearing someone utter "pumpkin" gets you giddy like a high school cheerleader. But not this year…

Despite what Pastor Mike says, Grace and Christian should attend the Monsters' Ball. They will make a fine vampire-ballerina and zombie-policeman for this innocuous school dance. Besides, they haven't dressed up since grade school.

People need to relax with the whole "Halloween is evil" bit. Since when is fun a bad thing? Since half-baked, fanatic, church weirdos said so? Just don't let their Halloween pictures land on Facebook. You don't need Pastor Mike's wife getting into your business . . . again.

Speaking of meddling . . .  your dread pirate mother-in-law, a.k.a. Crabatha Christie, arrives tomorrow. I've made sure you can think about nothing else. I'll see if I can delay her flight by about four hours, so she's madder than a wet cat by the time she arrives at your door.

You know she'll stir up a witch's brew of trouble for you the next eight weeks. Not one for compassion, I do feel sorry for you. Just kidding—I don't. I will cherish every nanosecond watching you squirm through her head-shaking and snarky comments. By week two you'll be rolling your eyes so far up, you'll see your frontal sinuses.

Thanksgiving followed by Christmas will arrive faster than you can say, "Crabatha Christie's Atrocious Apricot Sage Stuffing." And then she'll go home. By the way, I agree with you—fruit doesn't belong in every dish, and cooking with pomegranate does not automatically make one a world class gourmet chef.  But Mark sure thinks his mother cooks like Giada De Laurentiis. "Mom's Tenderloin…Mom's Pork Chops…Mom's The Bomb.com."

Mark says he finds it sweet of her to give you a break from cooking. But you know better. She thinks her son receives substandard nutrition, and therefore feels she must hijack your kitchen. She ought to just nurse him to sleep every night to ensure he gets the full complement of amino acids.  

But don't let her ruin your fun with the kids. You know Crabatha disapproves of Halloween—the classic reason to let them participate this year. Her seeing them in their "devil clothes" will make for a toothsome treat. Maybe monster-in-law can chaperone the dance. She won't even need a costume.

Now before you start feeling guilty—remember this unpleasant woman who has yet to mind her business has no respect for you or your home. Granted she recently lost her husband. Still no excuse to make you want to gouge out your own eyeballs with a spoon.

Of course, Mark would never tell her to cease and desist. He hangs on her every word like she's the Mother of Jesus. But that would make him Jesus. And we both know he's not.   

He sure can't forget how radiant his mother looked on her 50th birthday—only two decades ago.

"She was always such a beautiful elegant lady."

Disturbing that a man would think of his mother that way.

But you lose ten pounds and buy a new Ralph Lauren dress to reward yourself (which looks stunning on your newly toned body, by the way). Does he notice? Nah.

"Well, I see you every day, so I can't tell if your stomach flattened out, but it probably has." 

Charming. Will this man ever notice you? Not while his mother's in town. But don’t worry. I'll make sure someone notices you. I promise.

Happy Halloween.


Warning: The faint-hearted should proceed with caution. The Tapeworm Gallery has as its main character, Tapeworm, a demon out to undermine Christian women. Inspired by Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, this fiction satire series exposes the author's interpretation of what a demon might say to a Christian audience. With data collected from current events, the news, articles, theological study, and face-to-face interviews to uncover context and paradigm, the author feels the blog practically writes itself. Enjoy and please comment.

Blessings, Salma

American-born Salma Gundi graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2017 with a Masters in Biblical and Theological Studies. Salma has a passion for leading women, and has led women's Bible studies, and multiple small groups for women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. Salma enjoys speaking at women's events, and is known by the catchphrase, "Stop faking the funk—start keeping it real." She hopes to continue ministering to women through writing, speaking, and teaching. Salma, who grew up in California miles from the Pacific Beaches, came to saving faith in 1991 after a Campus Crusade for Christ Creation vs Evolution debate. The (unofficial) black sheep of her family, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Feather Ruffling. Her consanguineous relatives consume a strict vegetarian diet, and were it not for lobster with lemon butter sauce, she would do the same. Salma's husband is a psychotherapist, and also at graduate of DTS.