The Holy City II
Good morning, y’all. It’s getting warmer, but not intolerable yet. I feel lucky to have been getting enough rain to not have to worry about wildfires. Those poor folks up in Canada have sure been taking a beating. I guess my mind thought that anything that far North was constantly covered in ice and snow, and completely unburnable. Looks like I was wrong yet another time.
I can’t imagine the horror of having a whole city try to evacuate at once. We’ve already seen what the emergency services in Georgia are capable of from the Snowpocalypse of 2014. That was just people trying to get home from work, not evacuate. God help us all if they ever need to evacuate Atlanta. The tragedy would be incalculable.
The TV images from Canada are so disturbing that it’s hard to look. What really pulled at my heartstrings was the fellow that watched his house burn down on his phone. He had one of those security systems that let you see inside your house via the internet. He actually watched the inside of his house and all of his belongings be consumed by fire. That is, until the cameras didn’t work anymore.
Well, while we’re talking about disturbing images, I need to get back to Sunday’s service at the “Little Church in the Valley”. Over the years, I’ve seen some pretty wild things go on at the altar call and testament of faith. I’ve seen people so dispossessed of themselves that they ripped off all of their clothes. I’ve seen people so “spirit filled” that they went into a catatonic state for hours and lay stiff as a board on the church floor. I’ve seen people speak in “Tongues” and I’ve seen people “heal” one another by the laying of hands. I have never seen an eight year old swing a six foot timber rattler by his tail like he was trying to throw a lasso. Not until this Sunday. The fact that Devin, son of the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread, was able to place the rattler back into the box without incident should go down as one of the miracles of our time.
Now, I don’t use the word miracle lightly. I’m probably more judicious in my use of the term than the Catholic church when they’re proposing someone for sainthood. I just happen to witness something that seemed physically impossible to the logical mind. If they hadn’t pumped that rattler full of sedatives before the testament of faith, then that was one wrought up rattler in the box. I can’t imagine anyone being foolish enough to tempt fate by bringing out the rattler for a second performance.
As I mentioned before, Bubba Hoakum is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, it has been said that Bubba is, “one fry short of a Happy Meal.” I can only imagine that Bubba felt compelled to act as he did because of the recognition that little Devin’s performance had shocked the congregation. I surmise that the congregation was given an awareness that jettisoning the Right Reverend might be a hasty move.
To the surprise of all, Bubba flew from his perch in the choir to the box housing the timber rattler in front of the altar. Without giving it a second thought, or perhaps the first thought, Bubba reached in and pulled the rattler out of his hideaway. Holding the snake behind its head in his right hand, Bubba carried the snake aloft while Bubba did his version of the “Tap Dance for Jesus”. I must admit, Bubba had moves, but Bubba must have recognized that this was no ordinary dance off. After a couple of minutes of spinning and stomping, Bubba stomped loudly several times to get the congregation’s full attention on him. Well, unless you’ve seen pictures of those crazy snake handlers in India, you’ll never guess what happened next. Bubba brought the snake around in front of him, and then kissed him full on the lips. It might be sacreligious to ask if there was any tongue, but if so, I think it was just the rattler.
Afterwards, Bubba was shaking like a dog trying to pass a peach pit. The sweat was pouring off of him like a ditch digger in the Amazon. He passed the snake up around his head one more time as if to say, “see, look what I did”, and then put the snake back in his box. I don’t know much, but I do know I don’t want to be the next guy to open that box. I think the Right Reverend figured that out, too. He did a cute little trick with a copperhead in one hand and a water moccasin in the other, but didn’t go near the rattler box. I guess he figured the “Little Church in the Valley” had run through its allotment of miracles for the day.
As is my custom, I snuck out of the church before I had to shake hands at the door. I drove home back to TackyTwo trying to analyze what I had seen. If somebody hadn’t dosed the rattler with gasoline to make him drunk, then I’ve been present for an event that will be told for generations. The fact that no one had to go to the emergency room bolsters the convictions of the faithful. It sure plants a seed of doubt in us infidels.