Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My ... I look so natural

Tonight Debbie, Laura, and I attended a free preview of the upcoming movie "Evan Almighty." (Keyword: "free") I was invited because I was/am/will be a pastor. Whatever. By the way, GREAT MOVIE. Go. As soon as it comes out. No they did not pay me to say that. I still had to shell out $13.50 for popcorn and cokes but it was worth it.

So the entire theatre was filled with pastor types, their wives, and in our case their son's girlfriend. We were seated on the lowest row of the stadium seating section. Before the movie began I turned around, sat on the railing, looked at the people behind me and said in a semi-loud voice, "So. I suppose you are all wondering why I called you here tonight." Most people kept up their own conversations and ignored the doofus down front. But the couple sitting behind us asked me where I pastor. I told them that I didn't any more. They asked why. I told them that they did not want to know. They said that they did want to know. I told them again, "No, you really don't want to know." They insisted. Sooooo ... I told them.

Big mistake.

They asked where I was working now and my wife proudly told them that I was an "Airport Customer Transportation Transition Specialist" for Enterprise. I beamed. Yes, I really did.

The man of the couple, obviously a pastor somewhere, stood up and slid down so that he was hanging right over me. He put out his hand and I shook it. He did not let go. Instead he launched into a TEN FREAKEN MINUTE STORY to drive home his point.

What was his point, you ask?

I am going to die. God is going to kill me. I am called into the ministry and because I have accepted a job outside of my calling I am doomed.

We are talking death here.

I was not able to engage the man in a conversation. He held my hand tightly in his the entire time and he never NEVER never stopped speaking. Every time I would try to say something he simply spoke louder. Then you know what he did? He prayed over me. You know what he prayed? Neither do I. I was afraid to close my eyes and listen. I figured there was an outside chance that he was packing at least a knife and was going to appoint himself as God's messenger or avenging angel.

Drat. This is so inconvenient. I had so much to live for. My oldest son is getting married in one month. He and I have been planning the trip of a lifetime the week before the wedding. We have already bought airplane tickets, made hotel reservations, procured a rental car, purchased New York Waterway Ferry tickets, and have tickets to watch the Orioles play in Baltimore and the Yankees in New York. As if that was not enough I now realize that I have never spent the night in Toledo. I don't know why that makes me so sad. It was not important until I found out that it was not going to happen.

There is a lightening bolt with my name on it. Or a car bumper homing in on my tushy. Or a meteorite plunging in my direction. Or a sinkhole preparing to swallow me alive in bed tonight. Or a hot dog prepared especially to lodge in my esophagus. Perhaps an insidious disease is multiplying its evil cells in my body right this very minute. Bailey the Killer Beagle may be ready to pounce and live up to her namesake.

It really doesn't matter how I go. Oh crap, I just polished my shoes yesterday. What a waste.

Well, it's been a good life. I cannot complain. And there is no use running from God. In my experience when He shoots, He scores. So I'd just like to take this opportunity to say ... it's been good knowing ya. Sorry to leave so soon. I'll try to get my various messes cleaned up before I go. Debbie, keep what you want, let the kids go through the rest and sell the remainder on e-bay.

One last time.... Airport Customer Transportation Transition Specialist ... OUT!

P.S. Please note that I am resisting the urge to say, "So long and thanks for all the fish!" But now I suppose I've said it. So nevermind.