The Saturday Morning Syrup Monster
[I was looking for some way of talking about our own responsibility for the universal spread of sin in the world – i.e. we do much of the work ourselves. This is what came out.]
One of the highlights of the week for my family is Pancake Saturday. The girls love getting up in the morning and playing with dad for a while so mom can get a little extra snooze time. Then we head for the kitchen to make the pancakes. Heat the water for mom’s tea, get dad a cup of coffee, set the table, and we’re good to go.
Then it happens. Every week. The Syrup Monster.
I can see it sitting on the table, looking all innocent in its clear plastic home. But I know the truth. I know that it’s just waiting for some unwitting victim pull open its top, releasing its corrupting power into an unsuspecting world.
You doubt? Try it. Give small children something sticky to eat. Pancakes with syrup. It’s amazing. A few drops of syrup on the table. The monster unleashed. A tiny hand carelessly placed. Sticky fingers. The corruption begins. But, it’s far, far from over. Sticky fingers in the hair, on the face. Sticky fingers on the butter container. The butter passed. More sticky fingers—dad’s now. The monster spreads. By the end…sticky forks, sticky plates, sticky glasses, sticky chairs—even sticky cats. The monster grows. It’s everywhere.
I’m pretty sure it’s nefarious plan is to take over the world.
And it wouldn’t be very hard either. One hand to the next. With each touch its power grows.
In 1918 a flu pandemic swept around the world. In two years, it spread even to the most isolated places, killing 50 to 100 million people and infecting many more. Almost no one escaped its touch as it spread from one person to the next. Even those who looked perfectly healthy, may actually have been infected, carrying the virus with them, spreading it to everyone they met.
The Syrup Monster is like that. That’s what makes it so devilishly clever. It doesn’t actually do anything. It just sits there. We do all of the work. We pass the stickiness along, corrupting others and extending its power. If we wake up one morning and the Syrup Monster has taken over the world, it will be our own fault.