“Can’t,” C.W. said, looking up from the kitchen table. “Got some orders to fill.” Uh oh. I sensed another of his get-rich schemes, especially as he had assumed the shape of the little guy on TV that does the OxiClean commercials. He had a huge Bible to one side of my laptop and several stacks of papers on the other. He immediately returned to what he had been doing.
“Mind if I ask what you are up to this time?”
It obviously annoyed him, but he looked up to answer the question. “I’m helping those with troubled spiritual or immaterial parts of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.”
Did I tell you that he has been having trouble with his Galactic Universal Translator?
“You need a GUT check,” I said, “and how, exactly are you helping those with troubled souls?”
He didn’t answer, just handed me the top three sheets from a stack of papers, all clipped to an envelope. I looked them over.
The first sheet was a letter, I suppose from one of his “clients.” It read: Dear Sirs: I have started a small church that I hope will become a large one with a world-wide following. I am having trouble making my members give me money. The men say that their wives insist on buying food and clothes for their children instead. Please design me a doctrine to address this.” It was signed “Unobeyed.”
I flipped to the second sheet. The first thing that caught my eye was the letterhead. It read, “Doctrine Designers, Incorporated,” and listed my name as president. “What the …” I began.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “It’s just a nominal office. I needed an ordained minister’s license and they wouldn’t accept an application from a Falloonian, so I got you one. Online. It was at or for a low price.”
“I don’t care how cheap it was. I didn’t say you could make me a preacher.”
“Not a preacher,” he said, “a follower of our ‘Fisher of Men and Women Doctrine.’ Don’t you read your Bible?”
It was useless. I continued reading. “Dear Unobeyed: You best introduce the Doctrine of ‘Peter’s Anger.’ Cite the Book of Acts, Chapter Five verses One through Eleven. When your flocks see what Peter did to Ananias and Sapphira, they will know how much you love them and will surely fall in line.” My signature followed, as “Minister of Doctrine.”
I fumed, but looked at the third sheet as he continued to type. It was a bill for a thousand dollars. “Uh,” I said. “How are we going to divide up the money?”
“I thought fifty-fifty,” he said.
|Doctrines are like clothes. You just feel|
better when they fit you well. - C.W.
“Hmm. I continued reading. The next was from “Troubled.” It read, “Dear Minister of Doctrine: I enjoy travelling with my companion and visiting the major cities in the country. We make money by giving speeches that we call ‘Dealing With the Thorn.’ Since we have begun counseling attendees not to have heterosexual sex, we have been attacked and beaten several times. Could you please help us with a doctrine that will make them quit”
“C.W.,” I said. “This has got to stop now. Right now.”
“Can’t yet,” he said, “You’re about to solve a problem a client is having with his disrespectful children.” He picked up another sheet. “And here’s one from a man who doesn’t like to be kidded about being bald.” He fished another letter out. “Here’s a good one. It’s from a poor boat builder who starts thinking his daughters are cute when he gets to drinking.”
“Now, “I said. “It stops now.”
“Careful you don’t violate our ‘Apostate Doctrine’ and get in real trouble,” he said. “We do serve other religions, you know.”
Please click on an ad. Big Dope has left me unemployed again. - C.W.
And check out www.wattensawpresss.com