Monday, March 21, 2011

Check In/Check Out

Have you ever seen the video by Ray Stevens “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival” that was popular a long time ago? Women are shouting, hands are raised in the air (along with other items) and a general commotion has struck the congregation of this poor little church.
Well, this church wasn’t little. Women were shouting, hands were raised in the air (along with some other items that I won’t mention here) and I was sure that there was a squirrel somewhere nearby. And to top it off, I don’t think he spoke any English, because they were all hollering in some language that I had never heard of before.
So I sat back down among all of the hulla-balub and watched for the squirrel when he passed by. My grandfather had taught me to love to eat wild squirrels, and if no one else was gonna help themselves to him, I figured I would.
Hmph, it seems that there was no squirrel. Things sure were squirrelly all right. Mom-in-law was turning red and bouncing up and down, Wifey looked like she was a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car, and the girls were cringing and eyes darting, looking for a route of escape. Of the 3 options, I had just about decided that the last one was my recourse too. But it settled down, and the preacher got up and started preaching. He kept thanking and welcoming the “Holy Ghost”. I kept looking around, trying to figure out how Halloween had got here so fast. I thought that Easter was still a few weeks away.
Holy Ghost. Wait a minute. We used to sing something about the Holy Ghost. Oh yeah, I remember now. Okay, I guess this is just a different version of our Holy Ghost song. Alright, back to listening to the message. Yada, Yada, Yada. Same poop, different church. Finally, we get to leave.
“Run Forrest Run” is what would have been in my head if the Gump movie had been out then. But instead, something intrigued me. At least these people didn’t sit stone faced for an hour. All of that jumping and hollering surely meant that someone was going to get hurt (and I hoped it wasn’t me), but at least it made it interesting to watch.
So from time to time, especially on holidays (don’t you know, it is mandatory in the south to show up at church on Easter and Christmas, whether you really wanted to or not… at least the wife can show off all of the new clothes that she picked out for her family.)
So, our Check In/Check Out was pretty easy, except for the time that DST started and we arrived at the service for Easter as it was ending. Embarrassing.
My life had changed somewhat. I didn’t party as much anymore. I still drank on the weekends, although not until I had gone to church and come back home on Sundays. Now that I was sober most of the time, I started wanting more. Our mom’s never quit harping on us to attend church, and finally, a radio show convinced me that maybe I should.
(next segment … Turn On Your Radio)

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