“Listen to these words,” Preacher Zoidboro commands from his pulpit of power, shuffling the first page back to the top. He’d been reading it all afternoon and then one evening and then another afternoon after a morning break for contemplation. It had been slipped under the door to his parsonage out back at 7:15 on Tuesday by the blackest of hands, as dark as licorice candy. “‘Four’s Company, parentheses, Three’s a Crowd, close parentheses,'” he starts, reading the title first of course. “‘Let’s make this,’ ahem, ‘shit happen.'”
Gasps from the audience, but not from the pronouncement of the word shit, deemed a cuss word in this here neck of the woods. They couldn’t hear that part the preacher said it so low. Instead: the inferred defamation of the Holy Trinity. It was in the name of the church! What in Hell’s Bells was the Preacher thinking, doing this? they thought as one.
“‘Let’s begin with a,’ uherm, ‘joke, quote unquote,'” he continues to read from Sepisexton’s text on the mount. Sweat beads on his forehead. Dare he go through with it? Alvin would be please, though. He always liked Alvin. “‘A Spade walks into a bar with a Heart,'” he ventures forward into a brave new world. “‘The audience says nothing.'”
The audience says nothing.