Good morning, y’all. Another beautiful day here in the mountains and I am bound to the sofa. My head cold has moved South and invaded my chest and lungs. I do a very good impression of Jame Earle Jones now that my vocal chords are trapped in mucous. I can do one, “Luke, I am your father”, about every two hours. It sets me off to coughing so bad that it takes me an hour or so to recover. Maybe I should stick to, “This is CNN”, it’s much shorter.
I guess the silver lining in my illness is that it has kept my from attending services at The Full Gospel Original Church of God today. Not that I’m one to get a “perfect attendance” award anyway. My attendance has always been spotty at best. I just think Mulva had attached a lot of feelings to me returning to church with her after my troubles. I really had planned on going with her, I really want to see what the Reverend Helen Handbasket is all about. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. I couldn’t see the Reverend Handbasket competing with my basso profondo cough as a good thing for any of us. Not to mention the fact that I might have misdiagnosed myself. I might have a special version of the Zika virus. I would hate to be the cause of any more upset in the community.
So, to that end, I loaded myself up with Vicks on my nose and chest, sucked on Hall’s cough drops constantly, took doses of Tussin DM, the only non-alcoholic cough syrup on the market, and rolled up in a comforter like a gigantic burrito. I was stretched out on the sofa, looking squarely into the eye of our 21 inch RCA, I didn’t want to miss a thing.
Well, maybe this one might have been a good one to miss. I can’t be sure, but I think this week’s service was geared directly for the “lamb that was returning to the fold”, me. I’m sure that me not being in attendance lessened the joy for the Reverend in delivering the message, but if the Reverend Helen Handbasket was real disappointed, it didn’t show hardly at all.
The Reverend lit right into the evils of hard drink and drugs. She was not giving a pass to “social drinkers” or folks who only used prescription medicines. The “highway to hell is paved with good intentions”, and folks who have a drink to be sociable are just tempting the Devil. By my calculation, the Reverend Helen Handbasket did a good half an hour on the perils of strong drink, leaving about fifteen minutes for the evils of drugs.
Now, I don’t know if a poll of the congregation would reveal a demographic that was supporting of the Reverends time allotments. I suspect the drug problem is about two to one the drinking problem. I don’t have hard numbers, I just know the people. I’m not even talking about all of these new members coming in either. You just know those hipsters are messing with something illegal.
Anyway, for the first time since the Reverend Helen Handbasket has taken over, there were no folks coming up to the altar call at the end of the service. I don’t know what to make of it. She was certainly fiery in her delivery, and did a mighty fine job of wrangling the serpents. She just couldn’t get anyone to get out of their seat and “come on down”. I don’t know what it looked like in person, but out in TV land it looked awful. I’m hoping the viewership on Channel 99 in Blairsville is not negatively effected by the paucity of souls saved this week. I’m also hoping that the Reverend Helen Handbasket hadn’t loaded her guns for elephant this week, and then the elephant didn’t show.
I have an excuse, I’m sick.