A tale of two ghosts

American Gothic

A tall tale, by Monsieur d’Nalgar, inspired by reading this rubbish: https://levantium.com/2013/04/10/admonitions-of-sol-alinsky/


Everyone agreed afterwards that it was likely the strangest prayer meeting what ever done was. It happened during one cold winter evening at the First Tally-ho Taliban Church of Self-righteous Regurgitants, not long after they had locked and bolted the big pine doors, out by the lobby, which they called a foyer it being a church and all. Marvell and Delmar, the church’s two meanest, hairiest deacons stayed outside as sentries. Not just so they could spit Red Man, which they proceeded to do in high fashion, but also in case The War on Christianity broke out and black helicopters or black Obama showed up to take away baby Jesus and their bodacious bandoleros. They were quite a spectacle that night, Marvell and Delmar were, dressed to kill in their best go-to-meeting camouflage, what with their big bowie knives and WWJD headbands. Fact is, they done looked like a couple of peacock-proud ninja Rambos, just itching for trouble.

And it was just about then what trouble commenced, that this here thing happened. It was right after the Shay-lum Shay-lums, and after all them what had brung their shofars were done blowing and the praying for Bennie Netanyahu and that there piece of Jerusalem had commenced in earnest. Maybe it was the such gawdawful racket from blowing on them goat horns what summoned them spirits forth from the grave, but reckon nobody really knows what done it, down to this day. It was right in the middle of Right-Reverend-Rabbi Purvis bin Jayzus’s part of praying for prosperity and milk and honey and Gog and Magog and such, same as always, that this here hainted thing happened. The ghosts of George Washington hisself and his horse Blue Skin came right through those locked and bolted doors. Reckon being ghosts and such, Marvell and Delmar never even noticed.

Fact is, when them famous apparitions showed up of a sudden like Brother Purvis never made it to the “Amen” part of his long and windy prayer. He sounded just like a catfish bone got stuck in his gizzard. A few sanctified souls, looking whiter than even their normal selves, shouted “Oh Ga-lory!” while the rest of the congregation mumbled low and quiet, like in unknown tongues. Deacon Delmar suggested afterwards it was more likely them was actual some well-known and unsanctified cuss words what were spoken as them two ghosts passed right by. Ghost George and ghost Blue Skin strode down the aisle and stepped up onto the stage whereupon the plexiglas pulpit was affixed, just like them on them fancy television churches.

As it were, ghost George walked right through that plastic pulpit, he did, and turned around sudden like to face them dumbfounded fundamentalists gathered there that cold winter evening at the First Tally-ho Taliban Church of Self-righteous Regurgitants. He raised his arms, and then did commence with what people recollected later was the most peculiar prayer they ever had done heard.

“Oh Lord, Radiant Creator of heaven and earth and all therein, we beseech Thee!” Even though you could kind of see through ghost George, and he had a silver pony tail that looked a lot like Blue Skin’s, there wasn’t nothing puny about ghost George’s praying voice. It screeched like a hundred fingernails on Miss Cynthia’s Sunday School chalkboard. Some said it sounded like a thousand hounds of hell, in Hell. It rolled all over that room like Arkansas thunder on a hot day in April. It done rattled the windows, it did, and pimples big as a goose’s rose up all over among them what did hear him.

“Oh Lord, shine Thy light of everlasting truth upon these ignorant wretches! Help them discern Thy righteousness and make them to flee from the abominations of flummery which beset them. Grant them the wisdom to know the difference between Thy beatitudes and the bombastic bloviations of evil men, bigots and fascists and warmongers masquerading as patriot zealots.”

“Oh Lord, these are a besotted, beguiled folk. Lift the scales from their dull eyes, salve their pitiable yearnings for the things of Armageddon, that they may know when limbs are pulled, when lies from the Lake of Fire are peddled as cool wellsprings of Thy Truth.”

“Shelter these little lambs, Oh Lord, from the mendacities of small men who exhort a simple people to exchange their birthright liberty for a morsel of poison theocracy, birthed as it is in fancied hagiography of its foundlings, of which I once was.”

“Make them cognizant, Oh Lord, of the interrelatedness of all Thy communities and states, that they cannot sit idly by and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham and Bethlehem and Deir Yassin.  Grant them the wisdom to understand that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Make them see, Oh Lord, that they are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

“Fill them with great compassion, Oh Lord, and gird their weak minds that they may confess their idol worship of empire, of trusting in horses and chariots and bejeweled warriors, rather than Thee and Thy servants, Oh Lord.”

“Bind them all in mutual existence, Oh Lord, prick their conscience that they may believe again that there is indeed Thy judgment, and a world to come, and that the wicked will surely be called to account. Grant them courage, Oh Lord, and hasten the day when they rise up from the miry clay and occupy the high places of those who can and will, with impunity, plunder the poor, oppress the defenseless, act to pervert justice, and wreck violence and bloodshed upon this world.”

“Oh Lord, hold them fast to Thy self-evident truths, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights. Illuminate their darkened paths, Oh Lord, and make them mindful again that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish them, and to institute new Government as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  Amen.”

And that was that.  Having concluded with his sorrowful prayer, the ghost of George Washington headed for the big pine doors from whence he had walked right in. He and ghost Blue Skin, they did stop long enough to oblige the people what still had wits enough left and them fancy telephones what can take photographs. First thing what happened was ghost George did step up one leg on the back bench, where them Baptist folk sometimes linger, and then he posed, he did, like as if he was crossing the Delaware in that there famous painting. Then real quick like, he smiled his woodly smile and pointed like at some froze up shore away over yonder in Beulah Land.

After that, ghost George got down on one knee, with the ghost of his old horse beside him, acting all serious and solemn like as if he was commencing to pray all over again. Afterwards, them that got photographs said it looked just like in that other famous painting about him right out there in the snow in them Valley Forge deer woods. A mighty strange frost done froze up all sudden like around ghost George’s feet, right there on the worn down carpet in the foyer of that First Tally-ho Taliban Church of Self-righteous Regurgitants. And then, just like Jesus did all them years ago, after he made them men to stop throwing rocks at loose women, well, it seems like ghost George reached down and wrote something mighty strange and mysterious with his long bony finger, right there in that frosty rug.

Strange and mysterious it was. Some thought it looked a lot like “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” or some such complete foolishness. But fact is, none there could really make a lick of sense of them signs and ciphers. Turns out they was not written in any kind of English as they could understand, so the good people of Tally-ho Taliban Church of Self-righteous Regurgitants rightly concluded they weren’t of no account no how.


The end, with apologies to Andy Griffith, Jerry Clowers, Mark Twain, Henry Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Jefferson.

General George

American Gothic illustration:  http://www.freakingnews.com/American-Gothic-Soldiers-Pics-37975.asp

George Washington illustration:  http://www.freakingnews.com/General-George-Washington-Pics-37967.asp

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2013/04/13/a-tale-of-two-ghosts/

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