Breath of God III

Good morning, y’all. I was promised rain and only received sprinkles, barely. I wonder if the sponsors of the Channel 11 Whiz O Meter feel as cheated as I do. I’m sure they’re spending big bucks to get their products mentioned during the twenty minutes or so of the news that the weather occupies.

I’m not sure that if I had a product, especially one that involved some precision, like dentistry, that I’d want to tie my fortunes to a show that was only eighty eight percent accurate. Eighty eight percent accurate is after giving themselves a fudge factor of plus or minus five degrees. Who would want to go to a dentist that promised to pull the right tooth eighty eight percent of the time, given a proximity factor of five degrees left or right? Not me for sure.

Speaking of dentistry, let’s get back to my Sunday update. I’m sitting across the table from Bubba Hoakum, who has come to the IHOP for the same reason I have, all of the pancakes we can eat. With Bubba, it’s probably more of a necessity than an indulgence. Bubba is missing most of his teeth, “North and South”, as Cat Stevens used to sing. I’m sure that eating only foods that required minimal chewing plays a part in Bubba’s razor thin body type. While my BMI is about 300, I’d calculate Bubba’s at about 10. He’s so thin you could read a paper through him, as Daddy used to say. In spite of Bubba’s various afflictions, he always has a smile on his face, and today is no exception. He is grinning like a mule eating briars.

Bubba opens with,”We missed you today in church”. I explain that I was in church, just not the “Little Church In The Valley”. I go on to say that when I go to the services at the “Crystal Palace” I can stop at IHOP and get all of the pancakes I can eat. My logic is unassailable, and Bubba can not counter. I duck my head back into the menu like there’s some big decision that needs to be made about whether I’ll have sausage, patties or links, bacon or ham. The waitress appears and I choose to go “whole hog” and get links, bacon and ham. Bubba opts for the pancake special and then we are left with nothing between us but the silence.

Bubba does not like silence and asks, “Did you hear what happened at church today?” His grin is from ear to ear, and his face is so red I think he looks sunburned. I reply, “no”, and I fear the worst. I can’t afford for the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread to have another incident, like before. I’m just starting to break even on carrying him and his brood for several months at TackyToo. I can’t afford for the Right Reverend to be hospitalized again, or worse yet, out of a job.

Bubba is bursting with the news and can’t contain himself, even though social convention might dictate that he should. The long and the short of the story is that Alva Bread, Dale E. Bread’s wife and mother of his seven children, was wearing a special pin that the Right Reverend had given her. The same pin was being sported today by Ms. Anita Goodman. According to Bubba, the two women noticed the similarity about the same time and flew into each other. Bubba did allow that it was more Alva Bread flying into Anita Goodman, but that Anita Goodman did give a good accounting of herself.

Bubba related that Ms. Goodman did a fine job of defending herself, even though she was outnumbered five or six to one. Some of the Bread’s older children had joined in the fray. Devin, the eldest Bread, was doing the most damage with a hymnal he had picked up. Eventually both combatants were retired to their respective corners, or pews, and the service got under way.

Now, here is where Bubba’s face took on as serious a look as I’ve ever seen. “Bud, do you know what the sermon was on?” Bubba asked. Before I could answer, Bubba blurted out, “As you reap, so shall you sow”. The actual quote is from Galatians, 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” To be honest, I’m not one for “signs”, but just about everyone that I know believes in a silent messaging system from the great beyond.

Bubba was completely convinced that the “spirit” was working behind the scenes and setting the table for the day when Bubba would take his rightful place as the pastor of the church. Bubba believes that since his great granddaddy founded the church, and each of the first born sons had followed great granddaddy, that it is Bubba’s birthright. If “taking hits for the team” was a qualification for making the team, I’d say Bubba has paid his dues.

The reality that the sermon had probably been set at least a week ago did not occur to Bubba. The fact that the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread was not prepared to change his sermon on a moment’s notice did not challenge Bubba’s belief that the “Lord was working in mysterious ways”. 

Like the ham, I need to chew on this further.