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Heaven may be more lively than we believe

I've always been told don't beat a dead horse, but no one ever said don't beat a dead tiger, which Tiger Woods is lucky he isn't. By most news accounts, his potential mistresses now total a minimum of nine, yes, that's nine "side" women.

I know Tiger is a miracle worker from the hazards, but he better be able to top raising Lazarus from the dead. To explain nine slip-ups. He might explain one affair by saying he travels a lot and in a moment of loneliness and weakness fell prey to a conniving sexpot. He might claim another was a result of drinking too many with the boys and being taken advantage of.

But, I have a feeling by the time he gets to No. 9, he'd be better off to claim a Tiger look-alike is going around bedding women, using his fame and name and now causing him trouble. Maybe like the man caught by his wife in bed with another woman, Tiger can exclaim, "Honey, it ain't me."

While Tiger deals with his issues, I'm left to wonder who on God's green earth first decided it is a good idea to dress 4-, 5- and 6-year-old children up like sheep, donkeys and Jesus and have them sing in front of large audiences? Of course, it is now a rite of passage that each child, well, actually each parent, must now endure. My kids were in three such extravaganzas this year. I can only conject that either (1) they are so talented everybody wants them or (2) they are placed in the play so everyone else will feel good about their kids and can talk about mine.

All I can say is there are three things guaranteed to make one need to pick one's nose: a cold, being placed in a MRI machine and apparently performing in a Christmas play.

While Winter Wonderland played joyfully, I watched my 5-year-old boy put his entire hand in his mouth, pick his nose, pull his shirt up over his head and put his whole hand into his pants. For a moment, I thought I was at a Madonna concert.

My 6-year-old daughter spent half the time with hands clasped over her eyes, peering outward, hoping, I suppose, her ship might come in. The other half she spent yawning, which, come to think of if, so did I.

In one of the plays, my little boy was dressed as a sheep, along with several similar aged children. I must say they all resembled sheep except that sheep are normally more dignified, cleaner, quieter and better behaved. One of his friends, exhibiting a great grasp of realism, decided to take a nap during the play, which I guess sheep do from time to time.

Another decided to leave the herd and meander into the church audience. A third, perhaps watching too many "Transformer" cartoons, decided simply to disrobe and transform back into a person.

I'm sure they all had a good biblical message, but it's hard to know for sure. I do know the Bible says to enter the kingdom of heaven, you must become like children. If that's so, I have a feeling heaven is a lot more lively than we've been led to believe.

To contact columnist T. Gamble, e-mail him at t@colliergamble.com.