Dishing Out Dirt

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

(I Timothy 5:13)

I have a neighbor whose chief delight is to search out damaging information about her various neighbors and pass it on to others. She claims to have relatives in law enforcement who help her out by consulting police computer records. “Did you know that so-and-so was in jail for embezzlement?” And if there’s no data forthcoming from the cops, she can always fall back on, “I saw/heard/heard about so-and-so doing this or that reprehensible thing.”

My wife and I have received many of these communications, although we’ve never asked for them. I shudder to think what she’s telling other people about us.

You know what really mystifies me? I can’t imagine why this turns her on. I mean, some of it is to get back at people who have problems with her thirtysomething waste-of-space of a son. She treats him like he’s six years old, with predictable effects on his behavior. Gee, I yelled at him for playing loud crappy music all day. I wonder what she’s dug up about me.

When Our Lord said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34), He was teaching us something important–a lesson that hardly anyone has ever listened to. Most of us have enough trouble without being inundated with our neighbors’ misdeeds. I know I do.

Nevertheless, the Internet is packed these days with websites offering to fill you in on everything bad or illegal that anyone in your town has ever done. I guess it’s something to do while waiting for the Apocalypse.


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