A Sunday Sermon

“Beloved family! Gather around and feast your eyes on the bounty I have brung!” I carefully place the black MilSpec courier’s bag on the table, unsnapping it’s side-fasteners and ripping back the velcro.

On Sundays I often trek into Hollywood for the Farmer’s Market on Ivar. Many fresh and beautiful things await my grubby money there. “You don’t need to wash it before eating it,” the Peach-Peddler tells a Little Old Lady. “Unless you can’t handle a little dirt. It’s totally pesticide and hormone free.” The Little Old Lady hands the Peddler a quarter and takes a big bite. “I can handle a little dirt, methinks.”

I nod sagely, these are Good and True human beings, helpful and honest. But my moment of Peace with mankind is destroyed when a nearby OverBearingMother snatches a grape from her small child in order to swab it quickly with a handi-wype. I howl and smack the stunned woman at the base of her skull, causing her to gibber wildly and look around, eyes rolling back in Extreme Fear. “Keep up that sort of behavior, you bovine creature, and your child will have No immune system by the time it reaches High School. She’ll drop dead of a common cold the first time she gets a tongue slipped to her under the bleachers,” The OBM has recovered from disequilibrium and snarls at me: “How dare you call me a cow? I’m fucking skinny, pal”. The Little Old Lady moves in quickly, handing a piece of fresh fruit to the OBM’s child, who is unconcerned by all the ruckus and happily playing with a piece of corn husk laying on the ground. “It’s the eyes, you dumb beast” I inform the OBM. “Not the waistline, that makes a Cow.”

“Take it, dear,” croaks the old biddy. “Have a taste. It’s organic.” The child happily complies, clutching the corn husk in the other hand. “Ah, Savannah, no! That is dirty!” shrieks the OBM, forgetting me as she snatches at the corn husk with a manicured hand. The Peach-Peddler steps in between them, holding out an armful of fruit to the OBM. “Hey c’mon, sister. It’s not like she’s picking up an empty Jack In The Box container, or a used condom. You’re a good Mom, we can all tell. What the Reverend is trying to tell you is that Kids get dirty. They learn from experiencing, not from being shielded. You’re trying to do the right thing, but you’re overdoing it.” The Woman turns her wide eyes to me, and I nod. I take her in my arms and hold her, like a confused child.

“There, there,” I murmur. “It’s OK. We’re like the little ones, sometimes: we learn by experiencing. Grow with your daughter, don’t stagnate the both of you,” She starts to weep, leaning into me. “I just… I keep trying, but I’m So Tired! And the Bubble I had her in is so hard to get out of the house!” The Woman collapses, tears soaking my shirt. I pat her on the back a few times and hand her off to the Biddy and the Peddler. “Thanks, RevDoc” says the Old Biddy. “I think you’ve made a difference. Again.”

I nod, trying for wise, probably failing. “It’s what I do, Old Mother,” I begin. I can feel a long-winded schpiel coming on. The Voice is filling my chest. I begin to climb up on an apple-barrel: it’s time to cut loose on the Farmer’s Market!

“Old? Fuck you, Syn. I’m 39. I’ve never been liposuctioned, padded, injected, or eaten a single non-organic food. I’m preservative free, and not ashamed to look natural.” I climb back down from the apple barrel, ashamed and guilty. I climb back on my Tin Pony and kick it’s leaf-blower moter into unenthusiastic action. I motor home to The Compound and embrace my Family with open arms.

“Beloved family! Gather around and feast your eyes on the bounty I have brung!” I carefully place the black MilSpec courier’s bag on the table, unsnapping it’s side-fasteners and ripping back the velcro.

I leave them to deal with the spoils of my trip and head over to the ridiculously hi-tech Writing Station. I strap myself into the ejection seat Prof Victory is supposed to install into the system some time, and flip back the safety-cap on the firing trigger. I lower my blast goggles and hear the system humming to life. “Better stand back, Boy” I tell my son. “I feel a sermon coming on.” And while he dances to The Irish Ceili Band, I begin to type…

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