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Short Story Collection

The Price Of Sin


After hearing the report from the accountants the Right Reverend Samuel “Billyboy”Gilliam called a meeting of his elders. They were the oldest and most gullible of his flock. They had been made to feel special by the good Reverend. They were the proof of their gullibility.

“Okay, we’re down 8 percent in revenue for the year.I-we can’t have that. I hate to say this but the price of sin is going to have to go up.”

There was a collective groan from the elders. They would have to explain why the ministry needed more funds. God help them if an outsider ever got a peek at the books. No, God wouldn’t help them. He’d probably send them straight to Hell. The IRS would send them to prison, which was the same thing or so they heard. It was enough to make their butts pucker up. If the love of money was the root of all evil they were in for it. They rooted around money like hogs in a pen.

Billyboy loved to preach the word of God or at least his version of it. The elders had several times had to explain Billboy’s quotes from scripture as “interpretive reading." No one knew what that meant so it flew like a bird. Billyboy had the people eating out of his hands. He made Jesse Jackson sound like a stumbling stutterer. The man could talk. As one of the elders said, 'Man, he can sure sling the shit, can’t he?’ ”

The man could spend too. He could spend the money faster than it came in. Having a driver saved him time driving to the church, time that could be spent in prayer. That it was spent listening to music wasn’t a well-known fact. Nor was Billyboy’s “secretary" who rode in with him every morning. The drawn curtains were to protect Billyboy’s eyes from the sun. He was very sensitive to that.

“Woman was put here to serve man and, man, she can serve”, Billyboy told the elders once. They weren’t sure what he meant but were certain they didn’t want to know. They did think she was overpaid for a secretary. She was also a heck of a lot overdressed, or under-dressed, for a secretary. They had a suspicion that undress was part or all of her job. Her blouses were cut so low they didn’t know how she kept her large breasts inside the blouse. Then they wondered if thinking that was a sin. They couldn’t exactly ask their pastor.

Billyboy would walk through the accounting office and grab a fistful of money that had been sent in. Since it hadn’t been counted yet he said, “If you haven’t counted it, it doesn’t count.”

Billyboy was a big believer in guilt, other people’s guilt. He had found out early that guilt paid better than the Promise Land. By sending in money people were assuaging guilt they didn’t know they had until Billyboy explained it to them. He explained it well and often.

“The problems we have are all your own fault. God didn’t invent problems and the Ole Devil didn’t either. By your donations we can fight to rid the world-”of whatever he thought at the moment. Billyboy did most of his fighting in the sauna with his secretary. This gal could never drown, that’s for sure. Billyboy claimed he was closer to God in water. It was symbolic of baptism. He could commune with God easier that way. God only know what God thought of it.

The elders finally came up with a figure that would see them in the black for the year. They needed a dollar a year more from each one on the mailing list. They sent out a letter.

“Dear sir or Madam,

“The price of sin has just gone up.”

  The Tea Protest


There is a new tea protest brewing in America. It started when the federal government, in a fit of common sense, eliminated the Tea Board. The Tea Board was entrusted with overseeing the quality of tea sold in the United States. The head of the board was very well-paid for doing absolutely nothing. He sat in an office and once a year signed a bunch of forms for tea companies declaring they met federal standards, whatever they were and if they even existed. Somehow, the funding for the Tea Board wasn’t included in the new budget. Some Senators were embarrassed by this and vowed to waste tax dollars on some other project.

The main complaint from consumers is that restaurants don’t brew fresh tea. Order a cup of hot tea and you get a cup or a small pot of hot water and a tea bag. One. Want more hot tea? OK. You get more hot water in which you are to brew with the old tea bag! My Gosh, who knows where that tea bag’s been? Not only that, after you make the tea, you have to set the soggy bag somewhere. It’s disgusting. If you order a second or twentieth refill of coffee you get coffee poured into your cup. This seems, to tea drinkers, to be both unfair and discriminatory. Who are coffee drinkers that they get better treatment than tea drinkers? According to spokesman Al “Call Me Al”Molinarino, 'Coffee drinkers are real men, and that includes the gals. Tea drinkers are sissies. We’d rather not have them in the place to begin with.’ ”

Tea drinkers say that brewing the tea wouldn’t be wasteful since the leftover tea could be made into ice tea. Yep, that’s right. Your ice tea would be someone else’s leftover. How inviting is that? If you think the ice tea is a little strong and has an odd color you now know why. You don’t even want to think about the little floaters.

To the charge that you have to use the same old tea bag, cup after cup, the restaurant industry responds with, “Hey, we use the same old coffee grounds over and over too. What, you think we use fresh grounds to make more coffee? No, we just recycle the old grounds. That’s why refills are free, twit. Heck, order coffee after midnight and you get sober just smelling the java. Me, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.”

The tea protesters also gripe about having to make the tea themselves. They say it would be like ordering eggs and getting raw eggs brought to you to cook. It would be like having to butter your own toast. It would be like having to- you get the picture. They want the restaurants to bring a cup of tea to the table, already made. Yea, the industry replied, when mules fly.

When the protesters went to the Tea Board to protest, they were met by a phalanx of riot gear-clothed police. After an hour of picketing they told the police they demanded a meeting with the board. The cops then told them there was no board. The cops would have told them right at the beginning except it was some easy overtime. A chance to do nothing, eat some donuts, and drink some coffee, not tea. The ensuing riot got all the protesters arrested. The cops never knew what happened. One minute everything was calm and peaceful and the next thing a riot was breaking out.

The President, when asked about the tea protest, said that he liked tea as well. “It’s good with a little brandy in it. It’s also good without the tea.”



Musicals are great. You have great songs, great dancing, good looking women, handsome men, and big production numbers. What you don't have is any reasoning to it all. Three sailors from the 1940's leave a bar to go back to their ship. Suddenly, dancing breaks out. What? Dancing? Three sailors in those days weren't going back to their ship by tap dancing. They were going back by crawling and puking and fighting with the shore patrol, Marines and anyone else they saw. Fact is, the shore patrol would have to drag their sorry butts back. Tap dancing? Sailors?

“Reports say these guys were tap dancing”, the shore patrol tells their captain.

“Tap dancing. Tap dancing? They'll be old and dead before they get shore leave again. In fact, I might just flog them.”Flogging was against regulations but tap dancing had to be too. Had to be.

Then there's Oklahoma. There's a drought there. There's been a drought there for 500 years. That's why the federal government gave the land away. Even the Native Americans didn’t want it. They hoped the dumbass white men took it all so they wouldn’t have to live there. That way all the stupid people would be in one place. Some day some smart President is going to clean up the gene pool by nuking Oklahoma.

“Well, sure, it'll cost you the electoral votes in Oklahoma but the rest of the country-”, the President's top adviser tells him.

No, in this story a guy comes along who can make it rain. Hasn’t rained for 800 years but this guy is going to make it happen. The Indians all laughed. They knew a scam when it happened to them and were overjoyed when it happened to the white eyes.

All the people are good looking and well dressed. No repulsive people in Oklahoma. No poor folks either. If it was a rain dance it would make sense. But it isn't.

“Ain't rainin' none but sure is kickin' the dust up a mite.”Enough to make the normal person think a tornado was heading this way.

“Well, I hopes it works. I gettin' tired a drinking this here black crap.”

Then the King of Siam gets into the singing stuff. That's fine for him. Who's going to tell him he sounds like a toad? Say that and an elephant steps on your head. Fine for him but Siam fell apart after that. It was so embarrassing they changed the name of the country. That's the gospel truth.


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