Pauline crumpled the newspaper into her lap, sighing loudly as she looked up from what she had been reading.
“Woo-ie!” She said to no one in particular, “The world sure has gone crazy!”
Glancing at her over the top of his crossword puzzle book, Henry hoped she would take the hint and pipe down. He had come to the day room to catch some sun with his peace and quiet on this Sunday afternoon after church.
Unfortunately for Henry, Pauline did not catch his subtle hint.
“My goodness golly! Can you believe what is going on in the newspaper now-a-days? Folks have lost their mind!” Pauline was “Tsk, tsk, tsk”-ing under her breath as she scouted the room for someone who was listening her way. Her eyes caught a slight interest in Dorothy who was trying to watch the television.
“Ok, Pauline, I’ll bite, what are you hollering about?” Dorothy huffed as she put the TV on pause.
“Well, looka here, Dorothy,” Pauline pointed to the newspaper headlines, “all of this here fussing and fighting in Afghanistan! My goodness, the war there has been going on for years! And now they’re saying that pretty soon, war will start over there in Iran, maybe with Israel. Or North Korea is going to send out a bomb and we’ll all be in the middle of it! Oh my goodness.” She began to ‘tsk’ all over again.
Dorothy just shook her head in silent agreement, hoping that she would be able to turn the TV on again. When a few seconds went by in silence, she clicked the play button on the remote and watched as a commercial came on.
“Ugh! Always those sob story commercials about starving people in the world! Why do they show those things? They could probably pay for them all to eat and drink like kings if they used the money they’re paying for the commercials with!” Dorothy got tickled as she and Pauline laughed over the irony of the broadcast.
All of a sudden, a special news bulletin flashed across the screen and the two ladies leaned closer to give their undivided attention to what was going on. A reporter stood holding his microphone and pointing out areas of neighborhoods that had just suffered a large earthquake and several significant aftershocks. He waved his hands majestically towards the piles of rubble where homes once stood.
Both ladies shook their heads and mumbled words about what a shame that all this was happening. As they sat watching the news, they grumbled and complained about people’s craziness and repeatedly asked each other over and over ‘What is this world coming to?’
Suddenly Henry stood up and cleared his throat, tucking his pencil into his crossword puzzle book.
Pauline and Dorothy stopped their gabbing for a moment in anticipation of hearing what he had to say.
“Ladies, I have the answer to the question,” he said as he put his glasses on.
“Well, Henry, what question is that?” Pauline asked impatiently.
“You keep asking ‘What is this world coming to?’ and I can tell you exactly what this world is coming to,” he responded.
The two ladies looked at each other with grimaces on their faces. Why didn’t he ever say what he wanted to say? It seemed like you always had to drag stuff out of him.
“Ok, Mr. Know-it-All, tell us what the world is coming to,” Pauline insisted.
“Well, if you had any sense, you’d see it’s coming to exactly what the Good Lord told you it’d be coming to. In the Good Book, Matthew Chapter 24 tells us about coming wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes; it also tells us about those crazy people running around saying they’re Jesus, or that they know what day the world is going to end,” he gathered himself up and began to walk away.
“Well, you sure don’t seem to care a thing about what’s going on, Henry. You don’t even bother to watch the news, or read the paper, so you can keep up on current events,” admonished Pauline.
Henry stopped and kind of laughed.
“Ladies, I read the Good Book every day; it tells me not to worry about any of that stuff, so I don’t. The best part is, I not only don’t have to worry about any of it, but I already know who wins out at the end of it all.”
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