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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesdays with Gindy. Dinner with the Preacher

Happy Valentine's Day!

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.

Let me start out by saying that this story is completely made up.  So many of our visitors have asked that I tell them when a story is true or made up that I feel I should make that clear from the beginning.

The character Freddie Saidso is based very loosely on my very good friend Eddie Bledsoe.

Eddie Bledsoe was the youth director at Flat Rock Baptist Church.  For our stories, I have renamed it Flint Stone Baptist Church for our stories.

My very good friend Tim Harris had asked me to come visit his church, Flat Rock, but I kept putting him off.  I had a home church that I attended most Sundays. I was raised Southern Baptist.

One night, Tim Harris and his twin brother, Steve, along with our friend Phil
Brown were coming home from a movie and Tim saw Eddie in his car heading in the opposite direction from the way we were headed.  We were both stopped at a red light.

I performed what I called my “Patented I Turn” on the spot. This was sort of a modified U-turn.  In my mind, it was like turning on a dime.  In reality, it probably was just a U-turn.

Anyway, to make a short story long, as I am wont to do, we followed Eddie to Stewarts Restaurant, which had formerly been a Waffle House. It was so much like a Waffle House that most of us still referred to it as Waffle House.

I was introduced to Eddie and we went inside to eat.  I have a very strange sense of humor that most people tend to ignore because many of my deadpan jokes are not funny.  However, Eddie laughed at practically everything I said.  I told Tim that Eddie was drunk, high, or crazy.  I went on to say he could be a combination of all three.

Later, my family and I visited Flat Rock Baptist Church and joined that same day.  I will share more about Eddie and Tim in later stories but for now, without further eloquence, is our story, Dinner with the Preacher. Remember this is ALL made up.

Freddie Saidso was the preacher at Flint Stone Baptist Church. He was not married, so each Sunday one family or the other would treat Freddie to Sunday dinner. Sometimes they would take him out to eat.  Other times they would invite him over for a home-cooked meal.  Either way, Freddie was happy he was eating a meal he did not have to cook.

The church members had secretly set up a schedule of families so that they were sure Freddie got invited to dinner.  It seems that on the Sundays that Freddie had a dinner invitation, the congregation would be out the door by five minutes to twelve.  On the rare occasion that Freddie did not have an invitation to dinner, the sermon was good for about two hours.

Freddie had a way to make his voice sound something like fingernails on a chalkboard on the Sundays there was no dinner invitation.

It was the Bird family’s turn to feed the preacher.  Mrs. Bird made great
fried chicken and biscuits.  Freddie could taste the chicken as he preached.  This particular Sunday, church goers got the Reader’s Digest Condensed version because Freddie’s ever-growing tummy was sending him signals to wrap up the sermon.

Freddie went home with the Birds and they sat down to the table.  Mrs. Bird had fried up three chickens and made a whole passel of biscuits, along with collard greens, black eyed peas, potato salad, deviled eggs, and big old glasses of Southern sweet tea.

Mrs. Bird, like any good Southern lady, made her tea with so much sugar that you could stand a spoon up in it and it would not touch the sides.  The sugar would hold up the spoon.

As they were eating, a storm blew in.  There was all manner of thunder and lightning.  The rain was coming down in buckets.  Pa Bird noticed there was only one piece of chicken left and offered it to Freddie.

Freddie really wanted the piece of chicken but knew it would not be polite to take the last piece and so he declined the offer with a polite, “No, thank you.”

Well, the last piece was offered to each member of the Bird family and each member, in turn, politely declined it because that was the proper thing to do.

About the time the last member of the family politely declined the offer of the last piece of chicken, a large clap of lightning hit nearby and the lights went off.  Shortly after the lights went off, there was a loud scream and then the lights came back on.

There was Freddie with his hand holding the last piece of chicken with eight forks stuck deep into the back of his hand.

Don’t get between a Southern Baptist and fried chicken.  The results are not pretty.

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