It was just like these sons of bitches
To send the goddamn preacher in here
The very moment I’d finished off my steak
(Which, to be fair, wasn’t half-bad)
So as to be sure as to ruin my digestion.
He slipped in with the standard priestly soft-shoe,
And cooed softly about how no soul was ever truly lost,
But once he started on God’s love, I stopped him short.
Lemme tell you about love, Reverend, I barked at him,
Holding my thumb and pointer finger so close
You couldn’t squeeze a buffalo nickel between ‘em,
Love and hate live about this far apart,
And I’ve known many a good man,
Many a smart man for that matter,
Who couldn’t tell which bunk which of them slept in.
Mebbe your God could do us all a favor,
And be a little clearer as to which was which.
He stopped for a second, then went back into his spiel
(He was no more interested in listening to me
Than he was about the price of tea in China),
And he talked about Heaven as a beautiful, pastoral place,
All fields and lambs and sunshine,
And at that point I absolutely crowed with laughin’.
Livin offa the fat of the land, hey, Preacher?
He was taken aback for just a moment,
But he allowed that maybe it was at that.
Well, Reverend, I all but snorted,
That’s all well and good for those
What want and deserve all that,
But as for myself,
My dids and didn’ts are written in the ledger book,
And I have seen
All I care to of farms and farming to last me
Any number of lifetimes.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This was cobbled together for the Thursday challenge at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. The challenge involved writing something from the point of view of a character from literature. As I mentioned over there, I have gone to that well more than anyone has a right to, but this came to mind in connection with a Canadian Broadcasting Company story I stumbled across the other day in connection with the execution of a low-IQ prisoner in Texas. Apparently, the Texas Department of Justice actually uses the character of Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men as part of their methodology to determine whether a convict is mentally competent, and thus eligible or not to receive the death penalty. Now, it is neither my intention nor my desire to enter a debate pro or con in regard to capital punishment, but I will say this—Using a fictional character as part of the process which decides who lives and who dies is some Texas-sized jackassery.)