there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
hid, that shall not be known.
did a major remodeling on our house. One of the Hideous Things That Had to Go
was a brown plastic intercom. It looked like a spaceship console from a cheesy
1950s sci fi movie.
new intercom system had a nice, white, modern-looking master console for the
wall next to my computer in the kitchen. It came with several replacement
speakers for around the house. They all hooked up to the doorbell. Ooh! So now,
when people came to the door, we could decide whether to let them in, or keep
pretending we weren't home. Perfect! The wiring was already in place, so
installation would be a snap, the salesman said.
when the intercom workmen arrived, ˇarriba!
All they could speak was Spanish.
smiled broadly and nodded their heads with enthusiasm. But as they tried to
hook up the wires, I saw them peering into closets, frowning, and arguing in
rat-a-tat Spanish. Then when I'd walk by to check their progress, they'd smile
broadly and nod their heads as if everything was dandy.
ˇTacomargaritaelgrandemegustoarriba! they said when the job was done. They smiled broadly and
nodded their heads, handed me a thick manual, and vamoosed it, ˇundule!
the thing never worked right. Deafening static would erupt from a speaker in
the middle of the night. We had to shout into it so loud to be heard, we could
just as well holler across the house. The doorbell worked for a while, then
guys from the company came out a couple of times and tried to fix it, but it
resigned myself to intercom-less living. At least the radio played. But
eventually, that died, too. I grimaced every time I cast eyes on that useless
box that I had picked out with such high hopes.
one day, it totally fritzed out. The little LED sign kept switching from
"listen" mode to "talk," with bursts of loud static:
static, static, static)
turned every switch off. But it still did it. There was nothing to unplug. It
was horribly distracting. I had a writing deadline to meet, and couldn't stand
the noise. So I did the only thing I could, given my vast engineering
I leaned a heavy ceramic flower pot up against the button,
and duct-taped it tight.
Blissful silence! That fixed YOUR wagon, you worthless slab of plastic.
I proceeded to forget all about it. Over the summer, the kitchen was the scene
of many, many conversations. With a man and wife, three young-adult children, a
5-year-old, a juvenile delinquent Labrador, the main house telephone, and
various comings and goings of a large supporting cast of visitors, that kitchen
was Verbal Central.
all of the talk within those walls was happy, peppy, positive, wholesome and
uplifting. But I never thought a thing of it.
evening, though, Maddy and the dog, Sunny, were cavorting in the kitchen. Maddy
was singing, "Sun Bun! Doodly doodly! Oh, yeah! Oh, yeahhhh!" and
other fascinating lyrics. I slipped outside to get the newspaper from the
what do you think was blaring out all across the front yard?
BUN! DOODLY DOODLY! OH, YEAH! OH, YEAHHHH!!!"
gazed stupidly at the doorbell's long-forgotten outdoor intercom speaker. After
several seconds, my pea brain perceived a truth:
SUMMER LONG EVERY WORD THAT HAD BEEN SPOKEN IN THAT KITCHEN HAD BEEN BROADCAST
TO THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!!
did I THINK would happen, taping that heavy pot to the button so that the LED
read "TALK" at all times?!?
doodly! Oh, yeahhhhhhh. . . .
cringed at what I might have said that might have been overheard. The gossip!
The harsh rebukes! The . . . questionable word choices?!?
was so, so busted.
THAT why my neighbors smiled kind of funny lately? Every heated discussion,
every judgmental remark, every bit of salty language, everything we said to
each other in what we THOUGHT was total privacy, had gone out there for the
world to hear.
needs TV soap operas and sensational reality shows? Let's stand outside the
Williamses' and get an earful of outrageous juiciness!
I waxed philosophical. Maybe this was a God thing, to make us clean up our
verbal act. If we conducted ALL our conversations as if the whole world were
eavesdropping ALL the time, we would watch what we said. We could get a lot
more stars, and a lot fewer frowny faces, on our "charts" in heaven.
smiled. Thank You, Lord. Lesson learned.
. . . how many SECONDS do you think it took me to rip that duct tape off that
flower pot, yank it away, and stop that accidental broadcasting?!?
doodly! Oh, yeahhhhhhh!!! †
By Susan Darst Williams | www.RadiantBeams.org |
From Radiant Beams Vol. II | © 2016