My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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July 9th, 2009

I Got Served

It was crowded in the locker room at the pool this morning, and as a result, I found myself sharing a bench with a girl who must have been about seven. She was by herself, and was working very quickly to get changed into her dry clothes. She didn’t say anything, but kept looking at me. I smiled at her. A few minutes later, while I was at the mirror, slathering various chlorine repellents into my hair, I noticed her reflection behind me, giving me a very mean stare. And not the playful, silly kind. I’m talkin’ serious stink eye. I laughed.

The incident reminded me of something that happened when I was 14. I was at Disneyland with my brother and our friend Mandy in the spring of 1999, enjoying the celebration of Mandy’s birthday. The festivities took us over to the Innoventions exhibit in the Carousel Theater. At that time, Honeywell was sponsoring a playground where kids of all ages could run around, crawl through tubes, and wound their heads. It took me about eight seconds to do exactly that. I hit my skull so hard on the red plastic that the only thing I could think of to say was “Ow. Shit!” (Side Note: For years afterward, when retelling this story, I changed that word to “crap,” so as to appear less salty. But here at The Productive Cough, we take pride in our accuracy.)

Out of nowhere appeared a little girl of about seven, adorable, pigtailed and innocent. She stepped right in front of me, crossed her arms and said, “Jehovah hates you.”

If you’ve never been damned to hell by a seven year old, I suggest you avoid it. There really is no way to properly respond. In the milliseconds that followed, only two options came to mind. A) Say “Thank you,” or B) Laugh. Since I feared the humor of option A would be lost on this Rhoda Penmark clone, I went full speed ahead with option B.

It remains to this day one of the funniest things that’s ever happened to me, but it doesn’t change the fact that Jehovah hates me.

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