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Column: Spirit invades body, wreaks havoc

Posted: August 2, 2018 3:09 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The channelization business, where the spirit of somebody who has been dead for thousands of years moves into your body and starts talking out of your mouth, may be new and exciting to people like Shirley MacLaine, but not to me.

When I was 11, the spirit of a 10,000-year-old loudmouth named Marvin moved in with me. He has been a terrible pain.
He caused me to flunk ancient history in school.

“What do you know about the Punic Wars, babbling hag?” he said to the teacher, as she lectured one day.

I tried to explain.

“That’s Marvin talking,” I said.

Naturally, the babbling hag didn’t believe me, and not only did I flunk the course, I still don’t have the slightest idea how the Punic Wars came out. Marvin would never tell me.

It was even tougher having Marvin living with me at home. He never  came out with any guidance or advice for living. All he ever did was get me into trouble.

“What would you like for dinner?” my mother would ask me.

Before I could answer, Marvin would say something like, “How about fried sloth and stewed toads.”

I would try to explain about Marvin again, but it wouldn’t do me any good, and my mother would wind up serving me liver, which I hated.

Marvin got me beaten up by the school bully, Frankie Garfield, too. Normally, I referred to  Frankie the same way as the other petrified wimps did: “Hello, Mr. Garfield, sir.”

Not Marvin. “You witless Neanderthal,” Marvin would say to Frankie, out of my mouth, and Frankie, a quick-tempered witless Neanderthal, would commence to pummel me.

I tried everything to get Marvin out of me.

I went to see the town witch. Turned out, she and Marvin were friends in another life and I had to sit and listen to them talk about old times while smelling the toads the witch was stewing in her pot.

Desperate, I sent a check to Oral Roberts to see what he could do.

He wrote back and said he didn’t cast out spirits for less than $500, which I didn’t have at the time.

Recently, however, Marvin moved out of my body on his own.

“This is goodbye,” he said one day.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I got a great offer from Shirley MacLaine, the actress,” Marvin said. “I have to clam up now, but in her next life, I get to do all the talking.”

I think the happy couple will do quite well together, at least until the new wears off, in a couple  of thousand years.

(Lewis Grizzard was an award winning and much beloved Southern writer and syndicated columnist. He passed away in 1994.)

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