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Getting Through : Creative Writing

Family Birthday Fast Days

from ErikMagnusLehnsher - Monday, March 07, 2005
accessed 1454 times

I read over this and found it be juvenile, stupid and disgusting but I guess that’s what I get for suppressing “foolishness” for all those years. Read at your own risk. It might be more appropriate in "Lighten Up" but hell...for the most part the damn thing does rhyme.

I was having a difficult day at work…
experiencing considerable frustration.
I casually glanced at my calendar
and had a moment of thoughtful meditation.

I shook my head and smiled.
It was February 18th and I concluded
That this “holiday” on MY calendar
would never, ever be included.

There's a whole lot I don't miss
when I reminisce about my strange past.
Foremost in my memory right now:
The dreaded Family Birthday Fast.

Praying and reading for 3 days
would have been punishment enough.
But my empty, growling teen-aged belly
I was not permitted to stuff.

One year a shepherd announced that
1 ton of free yoghurt we'd received:
"No buying or preparing tea and soup this year."
At the time I was probably relieved.

In years past I would start each day
with tea and have a bit of soup much later.
Sometimes luck into a sinful carrot
That somehow eluded the dreaded the grater.

Maybe that cheapskate shepherd
Was onto something, you see...
'Cause normally on day 3 I be dying of hunger
from only eating soup of celery.

A large “Yogurtchino” for breakfast;
Some Yoghurt parfait for lunch;
FROZEN yoghurt for dinner
or whenever on something I needed to munch.

On the last day I felt perfectly fine
Then I sensed my impending doom
Like Paul Finch in American Pie:
I literally hauled ass to the bathroom.

On the toilet I leaned, I rocked
and I reeled to and fro.
My mind tried to apply the brakes
My body said, "Kid, I gotta go!"

Between the toilet and the bidet
I awkwardly and painfully shuffled
All the while restricting my mobility:
My drawers persistently ruffled.

"Erik, open the door!
You've been in there half an hour!"
"Uncle Handyman, trust me...this
Ain't no safe place to take a shower."

I’ll admit this tale may be difficult
to hear much less believe sight-unseen.
But, dude, I was eventually delivered
of the “Widowmaker”…as in K-19!

So one recommendation to Family folks
Who think staying in the group won’t hurt:
Don’t ever spend three days reading, praying
And eating absolutely nothing but yoghurt.

Reader's comments on this article

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from AnnaH
Monday, July 31, 2006 - 13:37

Wait a minute...I seem to remember a Family Holiday where we provisioned shitloads of doughnuts and that's pretty much what we ate all day, I think it was February...I thought it was the 2nd though. I loved that holiday! Man, I hope we're not talking about the same holiday, cause then it sucked to be you.
(reply to this comment)
From Rain Child
Thursday, August 03, 2006, 18:17

I sure missed out on the donut holiday, whatever that was! I actually loved the 'fast' days, I think I must have had anorexic tendancies. Because I wasn't allowed to officially fast, I would do it in secret, and I'd see all the adults with their special soups and milk drinks bought especially for the occasion moaning about how hungry they were, and I'd feel so proud knowing I was stronger than they were, here I was fasting without any of the special extras and not saying a word about it. Twisted, huh.(reply to this comment
From vixen
Thursday, August 03, 2006, 23:07


It's not twisted, babe, just the old scorpio resolve :-) Oh damn there I go with the old astrology again.

I think what Anna is remembering might be one of those rare 'activity nights' they would have from time to time where they'd reenact the 'good old early days' when all they had to eat was provisioned doughnuts. It's the only thing I can come up with to justify it. Kinda like how once in a while they'd make us all have a 'sock hop' or whatever the hell it was called, and there'd always be root beer floats because Sara D. had mentioned in some letter somewhere that they'd had that once in the Teen Training at Bergs home. God what nonsense we had to put up with. Oh, or fucking Cowboys and Indians night with singing songs (yes, more fucking songs) around the imaginary camp fire, and oh joy, popcorn for snack.

Everything was always exactly the same, like a never-ending series of cookie-cutter experiences. Drove me mad. I HATED the way you were just supposed to automatically enjoy whatever lame 'activity' they came up with (for the hundredth time, no less), just because they said you should.

But dance nights, yeah, they were fun.

(reply to this comment

From Rain Child
Friday, August 04, 2006, 02:08

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
But Cowboys and Indians? That would never have been allowed in my part of the world. We had plenty of gypsy nights, though, around real bonfires on the beach with toasted marshmallows. One night a man was sitting watching us and I went over and talked to him. He asked me all these questions about what we were doing and I explained everything. He was like, "Well, you people are pretty weird, but, I'll say this, it's wonderful for parents to be out here including their children in something like this." (Come to think of it he was smoking a joint and he gave me a beer. That was pretty bad.) One good thing about 'you can dance', it was the beginning of a little more freedom during dance nights, and we all learned to dance like we were in the 50s. Maybe we were in the 50s in a sense, just breaking out into the first hints of freedom.(reply to this comment
From vixen
Friday, August 04, 2006, 05:19


Heh, well it was called cowboys and indians but really it was just a glorified inspiration (sitting crosslegged on the floor instead of standing up - big fucking deal!). Yeah, I remember doing the old gypsy night and roasting marshmallows, too, a couple of times. It was actually quite a novelty for us cuz no one roasts marshmallows in DK.

Gosh, I haven't thot of some of this stuff in years.

(reply to this comment

From Rain Child
Friday, August 04, 2006, 15:17

I just did it to myself with the memories as well. Mentioning "You can Dance" brought back that awful song, ..."Be a happy testimony, we can even do the Pony, we can dance..." and Keziah & Joy's fake, stretched out smiles that all the teen girls tried to imitate, braiding their hair and frizzing it up like Keziah's, then wearing it in a side pony tail, then, "I can smile like Keziah, look" "No, I smile more like Keziah than you"... (reply to this comment
From vixen
Friday, August 04, 2006, 16:18


Hahahaha! OMG. I never did the pony tail and stretchy smile thing, but do you remember the Teach Me Time videos and how Keziah always spoke in that ridiculously high-pitched voice? I just remembered, there was a period in the '90s where TF was getting a lot of press in DK and all these reporters and sociologists and university students used to visit the home, and usually they'd go on the grand tour and see us in action in our jobs and whatnot. Well one of them asked us CC girls, why do you all talk in that strange voice? And we hadn't even noticed, we'd just automatically emulated that because of all those vids. From then on I made such an effort not to use the 'Keziah voice', heh.

(reply to this comment

From Rain Child
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 03:45

Oh, yes, I thought that was how you were supposed to talk to children too. Damn, those 'Teach Me Time' videos were so boring and drawn out, I really felt sorry for the toddlers having to sit while Sara D polished her ego. We could never get our kids to sit and watch those unless we fast forwarded most of it.(reply to this comment
From vixen
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 05:00


I never even bothered to show the Sara D. ones. The worst ones were those 'I can read' videos. Maxwell the Monkey, maxwell the monkey, maxwell the monkey ad infinitum, not to mention Dora's (what was her alias again? Auntie Anne or something...) german accent, heh. The kids hated those, and so did we!

Ew, I have all these 'GAP video' theme songs going through my head now. 'I can draw some people (you can draw), I can draw an aeroplane (you can draw)...You can draw you can draw you can draw, you can draw you can draw you can draw, you can draaaaaw!'; 'I take my pencil in my hand and I sit up as straight as I can, write to me I'll write to you, it's time for Writing Right!'; 'School days are happy days, learning can be fun. School days are happy days, join in everyone! School days are happy days, learning can be fun - Reading, writing, arithmetiiiiiiiiiic, come on let's learn each one!'

Yeah okay, I think that's enough of that. I'm going to go and cleanse my mind of this filth in the pure waters of Disturbed, yay!

(reply to this comment

From Maxwell fan
Monday, August 07, 2006, 03:23

During my childhood i had two cuddle animals. I named my monkey after Maxwell and my lamb after snowflake.(reply to this comment
From placebo
Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 05:21

don't feel bad, I named my turtle Kurt after Kurt Cobain... how mainstream is that?(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 14:47

Placebo! You mean you were BORN cool? How did you manage that?(reply to this comment
From placebo
Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 23:05

umm the point was that that wasn't cool at all.If I was really cool I would have named the turtle Thurston(free brownies to anyone who gets the reference)(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Friday, August 11, 2006, 03:32

I understood your point, Placebo. And was trying to point out in turn that just knowing the name of rock star like that as a child in The Family, that's pretty cool. Most of us thought Jeremy Spencer was a rock star!(reply to this comment
From AndyH
Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 11:57

Thurston Moore?(reply to this comment
From AndyH
Thursday, August 10, 2006, 13:01

I want my fucking brownies!(reply to this comment
From placebo
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 06:59

*heating up the oven(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 02:27

Oh, that's just sad.(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 17:32

Oh, and the horrible table manners that song taught, using only a spoon, wiping out your plate with your napkin at the table, rinsing your mouth at the table, etc. I refused to let the children see that disgusting display. I didn't want them to think that was normal behaviour.(reply to this comment
From Rain Child
Friday, August 04, 2006, 02:02

Oh, the memories. I really envied them the time when they had nothing but coffee and donuts! Better than nothing but rice & fish, I thought as a child.(reply to this comment
from attila
Friday, July 14, 2006 - 19:21

how cool. I love being reminded of the stupidness of their starving, just 'cause Grandpa's got the shit's. What a load of wakko's!
(reply to this comment)
From Anoushka
Friday, July 14, 2006, 19:23

go mate!!! It's like they're trying to encourage us to be annorexic.(reply to this comment
from Fish
Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 07:47

not half bad.
(reply to this comment)
from Baxter
Friday, March 11, 2005 - 04:38

Thankyou for reinvigorating an almost forgotten nightmare!
(reply to this comment)
from moon beam
Friday, March 11, 2005 - 04:32

I like it!
(reply to this comment)
from lucidchick
Tuesday, March 08, 2005 - 11:59

Très amusant J
(reply to this comment)
From ErikMagnusLehnsher
Tuesday, March 08, 2005, 17:36

Merci.(reply to this comment

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