Dancing At St. Arbucks
The Usual Suspects were there when I arrived and, after exhausting the topic of the Chicago Cubs Baseball team, they began to talk about “Tele-Evangelists we have known.” This had nowhere to go but down and it did so very quickly.
After summarily dismissing the disgraced and the dull such as the self-destructive Jim and Tammy Fay Baker who let greed and ego get in the way, and Jimmy Swaggert who just couldn’t keep it zipped, we moved on to some of the more ostentatious and flamboyant Bozos who littered the airways with their – oh, how shall I phrase it??? – I know – Nonsensical and Twisted Non-Religious Flash and Dazzle.
Reverend Ike came to mind. He, who shouted about not waiting for your pie in the sky, but having it now, here on Earth. His best bit came at “Donation Time.”
“I don’t want to hear no change rattling around in the basket, just the soft and lovely sound of folding money.”
Can I have an Amen?
Ike knew what he was there for – and it wasn’t church lady cooking.
Then there was Rex “Humbug” Humbard who ran his action from the Akron-Canton, Ohio area. He never let the fact that he had, earlier in his life done some hard time for Fraud and other Bunco charges. He was doing OK in the “God Game.”
His world HQ was housed in an enormous structure that he had built to serve as his broadcasting beacon and family restaurant. I never stopped in for lunch, but I sure did see the place. It towered high over the Ohio landscape and was known locally as, “Rex’s Erection.”
There is something inbred about “The Usual Suspects” that seizes upon a topic like this and dives into it like a pack of hungry Sharks into a school of wounded Tuna. After they taste blood they don’t let go until threats from the Baristas are made. For example –
After Rex Humbard was dispatched someone said the name “Benny Hinn.” Benny Hinn – He of the white suits and perpetual tan who conducts “healings” during his harangues (aka Sermons).
It took less time than a shallow breath for things to spiral out of control.
“Oh yes, Benny Hinn. He has the little old ladies hobbling up the aisle to the stage…” It was not enough to just say it – it had to be acted out, sort of like a very strange interpretive dance. One of The Suspects stood up and demonstrated the twitching and jerking of the afflicted as they moved toward Benny and his tan. “And they are wailing and moaning in pain…” he was starting to get louder and the other customers were now staring in disbelief. “And then Benny slaps them on the forehead – BLAM – and they are HEALED!
“And once they are healed the little old ladies begin to dance for joy!”
At this point our Storyteller whipped into a Dance of Joy whooping and waving his arms over his head like a marionette controlled by a chimpanzee. Now, this might not have been so noticeable if he had been 5’8” or so, like me – a bit more petite, shall we say, but this fellow is about 6’3” and 250 pounds.
At this point we are all laughing like the fools we are and I turned to check on the reaction from the Baristas. They were hooting and applauding. The other customers were sitting there with their chins hanging loose like cheap fanny packs. It occurred to me that the Store Manager must not be in her office. I think if she had been around all of us would have been 86’d from the place, the staff fired and the store closed by the Suits in Seattle.
I don’t know why it is, but on some days things just explode in your face. The last time it was like that was during The Great Circus Cake Fiasco earlier in the year. I wrote about that, but if you want to read about it you’ll have to hit the Blog Archives. I’m not going to look for it – it’s still all too painful and sensitive a subject. Let’s just say that there is a new Bakery Manager at the Kroger Store and the Manager at St. Arbucks watches our every move., ready to pounce.
Say Amen somebody!