TITLE: Be'in a Deacon Can Be a Hassle
By Bryan Ridenour
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“Elmer, can you please help me with these lights?” implored Esther his wife of forty plus years.
Elmer stirred from a relaxing nap on the couch. One eye remained closed while the other peeked to see what his wife needed. After seeing a tangled web of Christmas tree lights, he quickly closed his eye and rolled back over. Heavy, even breathing soon ensued.
“Elmer, stop playin’ possum. I need y’r help if we’re gonna get these up on th’ tree before the Pastor’s family gets here.”
“What?” Elmer sat up with a start. “The Pastor’s family is comin’ over here?” Shock and dread showed on his face. “His bratty kids get int’ everything. Last time, they found my teeth soakin’ and broke out three of my molars.”
Esther gave her husband a frigid glare and then continued to wrestle with the knotted strand.
Her husband stood and continued. “Looky here.” Elmer pointed at a gaping hole in the left side of his partial. “Our homeowner’s insurance was gonna make us pay the deductible to get my teeth fixed. Don’t’ cha remember? We can’t afford that.”
Esther sighed. “We could afford it dear, if you’d stop buyin’ chew. You’d have y’r real teeth if that stuff hadn’t rotted them all out.”
Elmer grunted and grabbed an end of lights. Unrepeatable words hissed through pursed lips as his fingers worked quickly to untie the tangled chaos. Soon, the strand was ready to adorn the beautiful Douglas Fir. Elmer passed the lights around to Esther, Esther to Elmer, Elmer to Esther, until drapes of lights hung loosely and evenly around the tree. Esther proudly grabbed the plug and inserted it into the awaiting power strip. “Are ya ready for me to flip the switch?” Esther asked expectantly.
“Come on Esther, this ‘aint Rockefeller Center. Turn the lights on!”
Esther flipped the switch with her toes. Nothing happened. She flipped it back and forth several times and then dropped to her knees to make sure the lights were plugged in securely. “Hmmmm,” she mused, “the lights must be bad. Elmer, you need to run down to the hardware and buy some new ones before our comp’ny gets here!”
“Esther, I’m not goin’ out to buy lights just because the Pastor’s family’s comin’ over.”
“But dear, as a deacon, you should always want to give y'r best in support of y'r pastor.”
Instead of arguing, Elmer marched to the laundry room. He yanked on his snow boots, stomped into the kitchen, grabbed his coat off the hook, and slammed the door behind him, rattling china in the hutch. “This bein’ a deacon thing sure can be a pain at times,” thought Elmer while backing out of the garage into a wintry wonderland.
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