Sunday, October 16, 2005

Howdy, Father! Sorry it's been so long since my last confession. Let's just say I've been busy, and leave it at that.

A week or so back I was standing at my post, counting the seconds off as I waited for quitting time. Suddenly I found myself face to face with a very...odd old fellow. He was dressed in an immaculate, somber grey suit with a cowboy hat and leather carrying case to complete the look. Something about him told me he was religious before he even opened his mouth. It wasn't a Sunday, in case you're wondering, and the man's face was as leathery as his pouch, which I'm almost positive contained a Bible.

He started firing off questions with a sort of half smile combined with a steely squint that disturbed me. "Do you have 'What Hath God Wrought' by Grady?" he asked. "No? Well you should get that, it will make you have to unlearn everything you know. Here's another one, do you have 'Lincoln the man'? Oh you really should get it. You need to read that book. That changed my mind. I used to think Lincoln was a good man. But he wasn't a good man at all, he was a dictator! He had 56,000 people rounded up because they didn't agree with his war against the South. He destroyed printing presses. Where do you think Saddam and Hitler got their ideas? He never declared war against the South under the Constitution. That's illegal. He was going to kill 315 Sioux Indians to make an example of them, but the other countries were against it. So he only killed 115."

I peered at him, nodding ever so slightly so he wouldn't accuse me of being a heretic or a traitor to the nation. Despite the serious nature of the "discussion" -- read "lecture" -- that odd half-smile stuck to his face. I had the feeling he does the evangelical thing a lot.

He went on: "Good books are hard to find. Other books you can find anywhere. You know, that's because they don't allow these books to be printed. That's real censorship! They don't want you to know the truth. George Bush Sr. -- we call him King George the First -- well he and Bill Clinton were friends. They did drugs together in the mountains of Arkansas. They had a plan to distribute drugs all throughout the area. They had planes with fake noses and they hid the drugs in there. Two young boys found out and they had them killed with rifle butts. Those are KNOWN FACTS."

He paused, gauging my reaction. I knew that any dissent would only provoke a longer tirade so I decided to weather the storm as best I could. "You don't say," I remarked, stroking my chin. He nodded sagely. "Hillary Clinton was implicated in over 60 murders while her husband was in the White House. Moreso her than him! You really ought to read these books, they'll open your eyes. Keep an open mind 'til the end, but they'll really change your mind."

He sputtered out fairly quickly soon after. I think he was one of those people who prefers a hostile audience to battle against, and I was providing him with no argument against his nutty claims. Just then his wife arrived, resplendent in her extremely ruffled, emerald green dress. She took one look at me and exclaimed, "You look just like Paul McCartney's family! You know, Paul McCartney from the Beatles? The spitting image!"

I managed to stifle my laughter somewhat as her husband nodded and squinted at me even harder, trying to agree with her. Still, let's face it: I do not resemble Macca in any way, shape or form, unless you count the caucasian factor. She waddled off for a minute and I thought I was free at last, only to have her return with a McCartney book, showing it to another customer who was browsing. "See?! Doesn't he look just like him?"

The poor guy murmured something softly and tried to get away but she kept pointing to me and shoving the book in his face. "It's amazing, they're like twins! I'm going to put this right here on the counter." She grabbed a plastic book display base and installed the book on the counter in front of me. Then she stood back to admire her handiwork. She nodded happily to herself and they finally turned to leave. She called back to me over her shoulder, "You should sign that, I bet you'd sell it right away!"


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