Going to Heck in a Handbasket

Le Porc est degoutant!

My Parents belonged to a strange religion. Some people might argue that all religions are strange in one way or another, but I can only speak for myself. The Russian Group of Believers was called “The Molokans” which translates to “milk drinkers”. I have only  had a superficial relationship with these people, but my Sister, if she becomes brave enough one day to write her own blog, had along with her husband, more than enough contact with “The Molokans” to fill many books, only later to be filed in the “Crazy” section of the library.

They, The Molokans that is, followed a lot of the Old Testament (read Bible), including the strict enforcement of the food laws. No Pork, or fish without fins and other normal, crazy kind of a thing rules and regulations applying to all Molokans.

Our neighbors, who also were Molokans were once caught in an unpleasant situation. They were eating canned beans for dinner, when they suddenly read the label. The beans were processed with, or contained Lard, which is also known as Pig-fat. They proceeded to wash our their mouths many times, and then having to brush their teeth until the deed was done. Think of it, ending up in Heck, just because you ate the wrong type of beans!

My Parents adhered to these food laws, even though others  outside of the Molokan Community might think them to be rather strange. It wouldn’t be so, if they had been of the Jewish Faith, as they too were involved with that Old Testament kind of thinking. My Father in later years wrestled with some renegade tendencies, announcing that Bacon was all right to eat. He liked to eat Bacon you see, but he still feared that he would end up Going to Heck in a Handbasket. There are products that call themselves “Bacon” but are not to be confused with the Real Thing- handbasket-wise. Turkey Bacon can be found, but if you really want your cholesterol numbers to soar, then it’s best that you hold onto the real thing!

I once attended a church camp one summer in California. We were driven up to a place called Hume Lake, where we could be humiliated by our friends, feel like dying was the only way out of being at Church Camp, and accepting Jesus as our personal savior, which is a real package deal, let me tell you. The Molokans were fed “special” food which meant that it was without those bad, bad things related to “heck in a handbasket”. It ended up that we ate a lot of Oatmeal and Corn Flakes while the other tormenting, bullying children were guffing down Bacon and Eggs for breakfast. I, of course, wanted to do the right thing, by my Parents and God, which meant that I followed the advice of the Church Elders and half-starved with the rest of my buddies.

Back home and a few years later, my Parents did the right thing by each other getting a divorce. I still don’t remember if my Mother, breaking the bonds of “That ol’ religion” and beginning to eat Pork, but the release from our old Church was evident. My Father on the other hand, was still fighting his devils by not eating those forbidden products, only perhaps still secretly eating Bacon then hitting his head against the bedpost, or the wall, just like Dobby the House Elf did so often in the Harry Potter books.

I had a hard time going over to the other side, which meant that a lot of those early memories still haunt me today. My sisters, on the other hand, never once looked back to the old ways, meaning that they had chosen the path of so many other Americans, dooming themselves to separation from Big-G until the end of time.

I had a good friend who in a surfer-like way told me: Hey Dude, That’s sooo Old Testament-like, When Little-J came along, he abolished that old stuff. Dude! He had also told me that religion was man’s way, and Big-G and Little-J were the real way to be. I have refrained from mentioning their real names, in case that this blog becomes to offensive to all otherwise non-believing, agnostic type of readers!

I wish I had been learning French back then, as being able to use language in real situations really helps to make those funny terms stick in your mind.

Le Porc est degoutant!

The Pork is disgusting!

Which would have warmed the cockles of my Russian Grandmother’s heart, if she had heard me denouncing the Devil’s food in that way! It could be that she could speak Russian and English, but not French as I recall.

The point is that we have come full circle with this blog, beginning and ending with Pork.

I guess in all fairness and with respect to my Father, I should dedicate the last lines in this blog to him. They might sound something like the following, remembering for you to use Google Translate, if the final message is in any way unclear:

Le Bacon est délicieux!

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One thought on “Going to Heck in a Handbasket

  1. The sad bookend to this story, or at least the part about the fanaticism about Molokan food laws is this: During the Depression Mom’s family was near starvation. A neighbor gave Grandma (not the one mentioned in the above blog; the other one) a ham. Grandma knew she couldn’t in good conscience throw it away when her family was nearly starving, but she also couldn’t justify eating it herself. She fed it to her children figuring it would not be a sin since they were too young to understand the concept of sin, heaven, and hell. But she refused to eat any herself. Common sense and necessity won out.

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