General principles

Luke 18:9–14

I Had a childhood friend whose mother yelled at her a lot. Her mother's ravings, however, were rarely attached to identifiable offenses. Asked why she was yelling, she'd snarl, "On general principles!" It was a free-form thing. Sometimes she'd yell about real crimes, but Tina was innocent of many of them. Her mother was unbowed. If Tina hadn't done that particular bad thing, she'd done plenty of others, so the yell would be applied to something Tina had gotten away with.

Once, Tina asked her mom to yell at her for everything, past, present and future, and thus be done with it--one good yell of five, maybe six days. Had her mother possessed a sense of irony, that could have been a wondrous thing.


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