Thursday, April 21, 2011


On April 22, 1991, the television show 20/20 featured the first ever televised exorcism.  And I saw it: A girl, strapped down by nuns and priests, alternately screaming at the top of her lungs and making strange guttural noises while those around her prayed and invoked the Holy Spirit.  The demon (or whatever you want to call it) that was possessing her claimed to be an African named Minga, and I will never forget the voice that came from the girl, bellowing "I AM MINGA!!  MINGA DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE!!"

Needless to say, this program scarred me for life, and I have never been the same since.  The only reason that I was watching this show in the first place was because my parents were out and my friend Jessie's older sister was babysitting us.  In her defense, I was twelve years old (which I am sure is a perfectly acceptable age for watching exorcisms), but I was not a normal twelve year old.  I was (and still am) more than usually susceptible to scaring.  For instance, my Mom merely has to widen her eyes and say "Leave us alone" in a monotone voice to send me running from any room in hysterics.  (Apparently it is a reference to some old horror movie.) And, for some reason when I am scared or caught off guard, my athletic abilities increase tenfold.  I can sprint at amazing speeds.  I can pack a dangerous punch.  Once I jumped four feet in the air when someone came up behind me in the copy room at work and simply said, "Hi!"

So, in response to my new extreme fear of Minga, Jessie developed a terrifying face.  She would turn to me with her eyes slightly bulged and her top lip curled under to showcase all of her teeth and say, "I am Minga!" in her best demon-possessed girl voice.  And, it got me every time, every single time.  On one particular summer evening, we were walking around town with a group of friends, when Jessie turned to me with her best Minga face.  The darkness intensified her evil face, and the sound of her voice echoed through the stagnant summer air.  I was immediately stricken with unbridled terror.   My super strength kicked in and, without a thought, I punched her in the face and went sprinting down the street at mach speed. 

Lesson to be learned: there are consequences to scaring me.



  2. NOOOOO!!!! It's all coming back to me now! Just as I remembered it!