Thursday, August 9, 2012

Connie's Dilemma

When the pastor announced testimony time the other night, the chapel crowd chanted for Connie, the Mission's village idiot, to stand beside the pulpit, microphone in hand, and favor the congregation with another dizzy metaphysical ramble.  I've decided that Connie, with his startling pyramidal stack of blond hair rising above his slightly stunned face, is the real deal:  not affected or exhibitionist in the manner of many street crazies, but genuinely confused and demented, head full of overlapping facts and jumbled ideas from the Bible,  movies, old songs and, especially, nature and animal worship. 

"Okay," he begins.  "I saw something in Courthouse Park this morning that I wanted to share with everyone.  As you know I love animals.  They have smaller brains than humans do, except for dolphins maybe, but I love them anyway.  There are lots of animals in the Bible, one day maybe I'll count them or maybe it's already on the Internet, there are lots of good sites to learn from."

"Remember the Lord, Connie!" one of his supporters shouts. 

"Well," Connie continues, "everything is the Lord's creation, so no matter what I talk about it's about the Lord, that's the way I see it.  Anyway, I was in Courthouse Park looking up at the courthouse which always makes me feel really small, because of all the stuff going on inside.  Lots of crimes and judges and people paying for tickets, and I think there's a whole lot of trouble in this world and I'm just one person so what can I do?  One thing I want people to stop doing is riding their bikes on the sidewalk, it's against the law and pretty dangerous, and once a guy on a bike yelled at me to get out of the way and hit the back of my head.

"So while I was just standing there and looking up at the courthouse, I heard a little boy laughing really hard and I looked down and saw a boy chasing a squirrel around a tree.  The squirrel was already up on the tree but it wasn't going any higher, just running around in circles with its claws and this boy was running around and around trying to catch the squirrel and laughing really hard and saying 'Squirrely! Squirrely!  Be my friend! Be my friend!'

"Well, I know how he feels because I want animals to be my friend, too.  But I didn't know what to do.  What if the boy hurt the squirrel? I couldn't understand why the squirrel didn't just climb higher and higher and get away.  So they ran around and around.   And then I thought the boy might get bitten and might get rabies because nobody vaccinates squirrels. 

"But what could I do?  I thought about yelling at the boy but he was really young and laughing and having a good time.  And I thought maybe I could scare the squirrel off the tree, but I didn't know who was watching and I wanted to look around and see if the boy had a parent or guardian, but I was sort of frozen watching them go around and around in, just like in cartoons.

"People are always asking, what would Jesus do?  Well, I don't think there were squirrels in Jesus's part of the world.  Maybe there were.

 "Finally, the mom, I guess it was the mom, grabbed the boy and yelled at him, 'Stopping messing around with squirrels!'  and took him away.

"Then the squirrel started climbing up and up and finally disappeared right up into the sky, I mean it looked like right into the sun where it was too bright to see it anymore.  So I guess the squirrel ended up okay.   That's my story and I did mention Jesus.   Amen!"

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