Monday, October 10, 2011

Uncle Henry Torments Deacon Wayne Just A Little

From the archives:  a fictional vignette

Uncle Henry was crazy, that's what Deacon Wayne said. And Henry had a few odd ways about him, in a sublime sort of New England way.

When he worked on his truck, he’d take a brown paper bag and roll it up until it was about six inches deep. Then he'd jam it down over the top of his head to protected his hair from any oil that might drip down from the chaise. When he was done fiddling with the engine, he'd forget to take it off. He'd stroll up the back stairs and wander in through the kitchen doors to where Aunt May was just pouring tea for the Ladies Garden Guild. He'd stride in with that bag on his head, grab Aunt May and kiss her on the cheek, then help himself to the cookies she was serving up with tea. Aunt May didn't mind. But it got all over town that Henry wore a brown bag instead of a hat. It was that sort of thing that made folks wonder about him.

One day Deacon Wayne stopped by the house about a blueberry pie Aunt May was baking for the church bake sale. Henry came upstairs to see who had arrived for tea. Naturally he had a bag on his head. Deacon Wayne pointed at it and announced that it was prideful to be odd. Uncle Henry said Deacon Wayne was prideful enough for both of them since he was so proud of being humble. Deacon Wayne choked and tea came leaking out from between his lips unexpectedly. The Deacon sniffed and poked at his mouth with a paper napkin then blew his nose. Said he was doing the Lord's work and that he'd just be about it now if Henry and May didn't mind. He stuffed the napkin in his pocket, snatched up May's pie and headed for the door.

"If that fuzzy old man you call OUR father wanted us all the same - don't you think he could have managed it hisself?" Henry hollered as Deacon hurried away down the walk. Then he noticed the Deacon's hat sitting on the radiator under the window. He opened the door and tossed it across the lawn like a Frisbee. The Deacon scrambled after his hat with the pie balanced precariously, all the while praying out loud that the Lord should bless him and save him from Uncle Henry.
--- Mar Walker, 2006