Disclaimer: Many of the stories are completely fictional. Other stories are fictional accounts of true stories. Other stories are completely true. Sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
This particular story goes out as a shout out to my friend, the Reverend Tony Tilley.
Tony told me and others this story years ago. Back when we were in the eleventh grade at Crescent High School, Tony would often entertain us with songs on his guitar and tell several wholesome stories.
Now, Tony is a preacher at Freedom Baptist Ministries in Anderson County, South Carolina. I bet he is a darn good one too.
Tony told the following story, which I have changed just a little because I cannot remember all of the details the way he told it.
And so, without further eloquence, is the story of Reforming a Drunk.
The Bird family lived out in the woods. This made hunting very convenient because all they would have to do is step off their back porch and they would be in the woods and in a prime hunting spot.
Virgil Bird was a young adult in his early twenties or so and still lived at home. He worked five days a week at the local cotton mill and, in the evenings and on the weekends, he did his chores like chopping firewood, mowing the grass, household repairs, and would occasionally get a side job doing something for a neighbor.
Most of the time, Virgil was a pillar of the community. He was usually in church down tothe Freedom Baptist Ministries every time the doors were open.
Virgil had one problem. Virgil loved to drink. He was always sober for work and he was always sober for Sunday preachin’, but come Friday night, he would stop by the local bar and bait shop and pick up two cases of beer. He would load them in the refrigerator when he got home Friday night and he would drink until they were gone.
Come Saturday morning, Virgil would be throwing up in the sink that was mounted on the back porch of the house. Papa Bird had installed the sink years ago so that he and the boys could wash up from the woods before they tracked mud in the house.
Mama Bird would scold Virgil and tell him, “One of these days you are going to drink so much you are going to puke your guts out.”
One Friday night, Virgil was participating in his favorite Friday night event and the natural result occurred. Virgil walked across the back porch to the sink and began to relieve the contents of his stomach into the back porch sink.
Virgil had not turned on the back porch light and, unbeknownst to him, his brother Sylvester had cleaned a very large deer he had killed earlier. Sylvester was a member of the Flint Rock Rescue Squad and they got a call about the time Sylvester was finishing up with the deer. He left without cleaning up after himself, so there was a mess in the sink.
Sylvester had left some very large deer organs in the sink when he had to leave in such a hurry. He had every intention of cleaning them up when he got back. The call took a little longer than he had expected. When he got back, he had forgotten about the deer and went to bed for some well-needed sleep.
The next morning, Ma Bird walked into the kitchen and flipped on the light. She saw Virgil sitting at the table, still recovering from his night of drinking. This time, he had tears in his bloodshot eyes as he looked up at her.
Ma Bird sat down at the table and asked Virgil, “What’s wrong, dear?”
He replied, with tears in his voice, "You know how you always told me that one day I was going to get so drunk that I would puke my guts up?"
Ma nodded her head and said, “Yes.”
Virgil continued, “Well, last night it happened. I puked until I couldn’t puke anymore. I turned on the light and saw my guts laying there in the bottom of the sink. I tell you, I was scared there for a few minutes. I had puked my guts up just like you said. There were a lot more of them than I thought possible. Yep, I really puked my guts up, all of them."
"But by the grace of God and a great big spoon, I got them all back down.”