He reminds of me Hamilton Jordon, except older and fatter, no wait, it doesn’t remind me of Hamilton Jordon at all except for the combed to one side hair. Hmmm, maybe Jimmy Swaggart, yeah, that’s a lot closer. It’s that Southern Fat Man combed to one side leaving a slight ridge thing going in front. And he always wears a suit when he’s grocery shopping. That’s a dead give away right there that the man is a few eggs short of a basket.
I know him from work and even though he doesn’t work with me he does work with people I know and even though he isn’t in a position to make my life any harder than it is he can and likely would take it out on people I like if I was downright nasty rude to him, which is coming. There are few things that irritate me more than the sanctimonious but having someone I don’t like put their hand on me pushes the bar into the red. He’s a toucher. He has to reach out and put his hand on your arm when he speaks to you because he knows damn well most people are going to start trying to get away from him as soon as they can. I’m the Chow dog of our office. Everyone knows I have a greater sense of personal space than most people do. At a meeting one time this guy grabbed my arm, I pulled away, and he advanced a step and grabbed me again, like some high school football player not realizing he’s not supposed to put his hand on every woman’s breasts.
“Keep your hands off me” I said in a voice loud enough to cut through the small talk in the room and it floored him. Oh, I am so terribly sorry I didn’t mean anything by it. I didn’t say you meant anything by it I said keep your hands off of me. It’s a different world these days and when it comes to work stuff most companies would rather drag an employee out in the street to be gang raped by wildebeests drinking gin than face a he-touched-me lawsuit. I have no intentions of filing a lawsuit I just want the man to stay about three feet from me.
So this guy will go to the local grocery store every Sunday and try to guilt people into going to church with him. If you are in that store about 9:45 on a Sunday morning this guy is going to tell you that you ought to come with him to church and they’ll even keep your groceries in a refrigerator for you. I’m not sure he’s ever really talked anyone into this but he’s hit me up twice for it, all before I embarrassed him in front of about fifty people. We haven’t spoken since. So today I make the mistake of going into the store a bit too late in the morning, or too early, and there’s Mr. Hair Ridge Bad Suit God Wants Me To Stop Your Shopping And Come With Me Let Me Touch Your Arm. I check my cell phone and realize he has ten minutes to save my soul before he’s late.
I pretend I don’t see him but just as he’s about to walk towards me one of the stock guys walks by with a long cart loaded down with stuff. I walk beside Cartman and away from Hamilton Swaggart. Bad Suit stands there staring at my buggy and realizes that I escaped. He makes a big effort to pretend to look through the discount meat section while waiting for me to return. Twice he stops and looks around. His prey has vanished. I’m over by the snack aisle watching him through stacks of Doritos. He checks his gold wrist watch and has to move on. His own buggy clanks and he pushes it, clock, clock,clock,clock! I grin. This could be fun. Soul Saver Arm Grabber turns left at frozen food and I slip out and grab my buggy and hit the aisle in front of frozen food. I can hear the clock,clock,clock, of his buggy as it stops. He’s going to check to see if I came back. I head towards the other end of the aisle to study the contents of Tide Detergent. I can see him spot me, and he goes back to his buggy, clock, clock, clock! He’s pushing faster now to get to me before I get away. I push my buggy to the end of the aisle and I can see him in the reflection of the glass in the meat department. But time is on my side. He has to leave soon.
I circle around and sure enough he’s at the check out and I can see him looking around for me. I ease back into the soup section, where I can see the door and he stands around, waiting to see if I reappear. I wait until he goes through the automatic doors before I hit the check out myself.
“That guy is so creepy” the woman says and I smile because I know who she’s talking about. I look out of the window I can and see him standing out front, but he’s out of time and he is out of luck. But time has run out on him. He has to go with no soul in tow.
I wonder, seriously now, if anyone has ever walked up to the man, grabbed him by the arm and said, “Well gosh! The goodness and holiness of your life makes me want to wet my pants it shines through so brightly, please hold my eggs while I go to church with you!” Do you think that has ever happened? If you’re one of those church inviting people why is it that people don’t go to your house and ask you what church you go to because you’re just everything they want to be?
Why is this, do you suppose? If your church isn’t turning you into something other people seek out then what in the hell is it turning you into?
I live out in the middle of the woods without no one else around. If there was some omniscient and omnipotent being who wanted me to go to your church I burn enough bushes I think he would have all the opportunity he needed to speak to me about the subject. This morning I got up before dawn, made some coffee and then walked around in the woods to watch the sun come up in a light rain. I’m certain my church is better than yours at this point. If you can’t find your soul in the woods before dawn with a group of dogs you won’t find it with a man with ridge hair, a gold watch, a bad suit, and who wants to put his hands on people.
And if I am wrong at least I’m not bothering anyone else.