Axe And It Shall Be Given Unto You

I had one of life’s most embarrassing moments at church today. I arrived early enough to get good parking and my favorite seat in the center of the third pew from the front. I tamped my afro to a reasonable height so the people behind me could see the worship leaders. The sisters to my right and left were well rehearsed in the call and response tradition of a traditional black church. Our “Amens” and “um hums” were so in sync they seemed rehearsed. After 30 minutes of passionate praise, I began to notice a slight odor accompanying each of my hand claps. I leaned my head to the left and right, praying it wasn’t me. Well, it couldn’t be me because I showered right before I dressed but it could have been my dress betraying my clean image. I recalled tearing the laundry tag off when I got it out of the closet but I also recalled the last time I wore it. The occasion was my uncle’s 80th birthday party in the sweltering heat of E. Texas. Sure enough, I soon realized the cleaners (now, my former dry cleaners) missed a couple of spots and my Secret was about to become very public. The heat was rising with our Holy Spirits and between that, menopause, and my medicine, my body was warm enough to bake cookies on. Well, I switched from clapping to stamping my feet. That worked until my Pastor decided that today of all days he should teach on unrestrained praise like King David exhibited. Nah, brotha Pastor, not today. “Raise your hands! Shout unto the Lord,” he urged. I shouted and bent my arms at the elbows. I looked like a cast member from the March of the Penguins documentary. Finally, we sat down and got into our Bible but I was dreading the end of service when you are supposed to hug your neighbor. I thought about trying to stick a small Altoids under each arm but I wasn’t sure how curiously strong that might become. So when my temporary neighbors went to hug me, I just kept my arms at my sides like a 9-yr old boy lacking in social grace. Okay I lived. Maybe I won’t change cleaners. They charge less than three dollars an item. I pay more than that for a 2-pc meal at KFC. Hmmm, I’ll just take the dress back and ask them to clean it again. Then, I’ll put it in the microwave or oven for 30 seconds before I wear it to test it. Will that melt my buttons though? I bet King David had a good dry cleaners.

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