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6:46 a.m. - 2005-03-02

FONDLING GRANNY'S HAIRLESS SKULL


It all started innocently enough.

On Monday, I'm sitting at my desk at work and going through my mail when I see a letter to me from church.

Normally, our church sends out about three dozen letters to us each week, reminding us about every minute detail going on there throughout the week.

So I don't read them.

But for once I read this one letter.

Basically it said that the church was planning a surprise for Susie's bible study group on Tuesday, March 1st. At the end of the Bible Study, they wanted all the women's husbands to come in and put their hands on their heads for some unknown reason.

Fine. What time?

7:30.

Fine. I'll be there. Whatever.

So I get there last night at 7:32 because I'm not really a big fan of hanging around with 5-6 other guys beforehand talking about all the wonders that Jesus can do.

I open the door.

And there's like 50 guys huddled around the preacher and an easel.

The preacher has already started telling the guys everything we have to do so we don't all look like a bunch of jackasses during this "moving ceremony".

"Moving ceremony"???

The letter said we're just going to put our hands on our wife's head. The only "moving" I was planning on doing was grabbing her ears and yanking her head toward my crotch as a small joke.

...And I do mean "small". (Ba dum BUM!!)

So I'm at the back of the huddle and wouldn't you know it ... I can't hear a thing.

No worries. I decided I'll just get in the back of the line and follow what everyone else does and that way I cannot look stupid.

So the preacher breaks up the huddle and tells everyone to turn around and start going down the hallways towards the sanctuary.

And because I'm in the back, when we turn around ... I'm now at the front of the line.

Some guy points at me and says "Go!"

Huh??

Go where??

I start slowly walking down the hallway ... I guess you could call it "creeping" down the hallway ... hoping someone that actually knew what the hell we were supposed to do got in front of me.

No such luck.

Some energetic guy for Jesus jumps in front of me and says "Come on! We have to hurry!!"

Oh yes.

Let's hurry.

I explained to him that I got there two minutes late and was at the back of the huddle and couldn't hear a thing because the preacher was whispering and I was about 100 feet from him.

"Just follow me," the guy says.

Fine. Thank you.

So now we're standing in this darkened hallway and luckily two other guys got in front of me.

I'm #4 walking into the sanctuary.

"Watch out for the luminaries," a guy says.

Okay.

I'll watch out for the luminaries.

Just ... what the hell is a luminary?

Nobody asks because the other 49 guys either know what a luminary is or they're doing like me and just following the guy in front of them.

The doors opened and we're ushered in.

Immediately, I am overwhelmed by the amount of women in this room.

There's easily 400 ladies sitting in the pews.

I'm wearing my biggest fake smile because I was told this was a big surprize for our wives and I've got the phrase "I'M HERE!! I'M HERE HONEY!! AREN'T YOU SURPRIZED?!? I'M ACTUALLY HERE!!!" going through my brain.

So naturally, I'm walking while looking for my wife.

That's when I found out what a luminary is.

A luminary is a lit candle inside a paper bag placed on the floor that, with the help of about a thousand other luminaries, is lighting a pathway for us through the dark.

Ah.

Naturally, I stepped right on a luminary.

While I wasn't burned, the bag was knocked over.

Luckily, there was someone there who immediately righted the bag back up before I accidentally burned the church down, killing 450 people in the process because rather than watching where I was going, I was trying to find my wife in this sea of women's faces.

We walked all around the group of women like we were vultures swirling over our prey. Finally, we stopped.

So it's dark in here with the only light coming from the billions of candles in the room.

And the lady on the stage is talking in her deep southern evangelical voice. The kind of voice where the word "Jesus" is pronounced "Jeeeeeeeeeeezuuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssss".

All the men are standing still, all the ladies are facing forward.

And I'm panicking because I forgot what Susie wore yesterday.

Out of 400 women, at least 300 are blonde, making it even harder to find the wife.

So I'm keeping my head facing the stage, but my eyes are about to pop out of my head as they race around my skull trying to find my wife.

This gives me a headache.

Finally, the first two rows of wives get out of their seats and go to the altar to kneel.

Now comes the hands on the head part of the program.

Guys behind me start moving forward to get behind their wives and put their hands on their heads.

That's cool, I step out of the way and take advantage of the hubbub to search for Susie.

I don't see her anywhere.

So now it becomes painfully obvious ... Susie hasn't been coming to a bible study every Tuesday night after all.

She's out sleeping with Kobe Bryant or somebody.

MY WIFE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A LARGE NEGRO BASKETBALL PLAYER!!!

Oh. Wait. There she is.

On the other side of this massive sanctuary.

And she's scanning the group of men framing the ladies, wondering if I had somehow shown up.

I started to wave my arms frantically in order to say "I'M HERE!! I'M HERE HONEY!! AREN'T YOU SURPRIZED?!? I'M ACTUALLY HERE!!!"

But just as I'm about to throw my hands in the air and wave 'em like I just don't care, I get a nudge from Jesus' Best Friend Forever in front of me.

I look at him and he motions his head toward the women kneeling on the altar.

I wanted to say "Dude! We're in church! We shouldn't be scoping out the chicks kneeling on the altar!"

He nods at me and then nods more emphatically toward the altar women.

Ah.

I then remembered hearing something along the lines of "If there are women by themselves up on the altar, we need to fill in and go put our hands on their heads because some women are either widowed or single or their husbands didn't bother coming."

So I walk towards the altar, all solemn and shit.

And there's an elderly woman whose lost most of her hair in patches.

It's like she was a waitress at the Chernobyl Cafe for most of her life.

I walk over and stand behind her, hoping that her scalp isn't covered in open sores.

The preacher gives us the head motion to let us guys know that we can go ahead and get a little head now.

I reach out and place my hand on Granny's head and she winces at first because I don't think she was expecting anyone to touch her head.

Then we pray.

And pray.

And pray.

So I'm standing there, tired, eyes closed, trying to will my knees not to lock up and have me tumble on top of this lady.

I make it through the prayer, thanks for asking.

The ladies all then stand up, turn around and hug their husbands.

The ladies who don't have husbands turn around and see whose hand was on their head.

And the men hand their women a scroll which is a gift of some sort.

Except ... guess who forgot to get a scroll on his way up to fondle Granny's skull??

Yep.

So this old lady gets up, looks at me and is all "Who the hell are you?"

She notices all the other men handing the ladies their "gifts" and searches my hands for her gift.

"I owe you a gift," I whisper to her solemly.

She's got tears in her eyes.

I felt like saying "Good God woman! It's just a scroll for Pete's sakes!"

Then I noticed other women crying who HAD been handed scrolls.

Oh.

Forgive me for not noticing, but apparently this was a very emotional and spiritual moment for these women.

So I walk back to the end of the line and then I notice Susie's row had been called up front.

So now I'm frantically pushing guys out of my way as I try to make it back up front because I'll be damned if I did all this and not get to surprize Susie with my hand on her head.

Some guy was scoping out Susie, already standing behind her.

I walked up and touched him lightly on the arm, all Christian-like.

Then I gave him a look like "Go find some other woman whose husband's home drinking beer and watching Cinemax to grope."

He scooted over one woman.

I gripped Susie's head and while we were praying and everyone had their eyes closed, I beat out the drum part from "My Sharona" on Susie's head with my fingers so she'd know it was me.

We get done praying and she turns around and is shocked that I showed up.

"Thanks for coming," she whispered as she hugged me.

"That's not come," I whispered back. "It's urine droplets."

I went back to the back of the guy line and waited for my next call-up.

Which was for the next batch of women.

As it turned out, I put my hand on nine women's heads.

Once, I had to cover two women at once with my hands on both of their heads.

I had only grabbed one scroll, so once again I had to apologize to a woman for not giving her a gift and having her cry in my face while the other lady gloated that she got a scroll and her friend didn't.

This went on for an hour. A solid hour of standing there silently broken up by periods of walking to the front, grabbing a woman by her hair and making her cry.

It wasn't fun.

Or enlightening.

Or emotional for me.

It was just ... there.

Mainly because ... like all the other men ... we had no idea what had been going on in there before we got there.

And if I had to guess from the amount of tears flowing, someone had told these women that if their heads got touched tonight, they'd die within a week.

Kinda like "The Ring".

That's my guess anyway.


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