Home Country – Slim Randles
“It’s June, by golly!” said Doc. “Isn’t it great? I mean, all the summer to look forward to. Fishing, swimming, camping, heat stroke, dehydration, skateboard accidents and the occasional case of appendicitis.”
“That’s what we like about you, Doc,” Steve said, “always looking on the bright side of things.”
“You know what June is, don’t you?” said Bert. Bert is usually quiet, so when he does speak up, we tend to listen. We were listening. He started off kinda low and slow, like a revival preacher just getting warmed up on sin by starting with jaywalking.
“June is the annual man trap,” he said quietly. He looked at each of us in turn. “How many of us wouldn’t like to relive a particular June in our lives when we were led to the slaughter, er, the altar, that is? To have that chance once again, before the organist even warmed up … to survey life in the past and prognosticate life in the future and to perhaps amend a decision? Oh yes. Many of us.
“MULTITUDES of us.” He stood and waved his coffee spoon as we in the orchestra sat in awe.
“Was man created just to live in bondage? Does free will mean NOTHING? Were we designed to wear SHACKLES?”
It was Doc who finally caught Bert’s eye, flat in the middle of his best sermon ever. It was Doc who flipped his eyes to Bert’s left and gave a quick shake of his head. Bert glanced that way in mid speech and saw his wife, Maizie, standing with her hands on her hips.
“What man among us,” Bert said, “would consider the holy sacrament of marriage to be shackles? Not a real man, I say. Not a man who is a real American. Not a man who understands the precious relationship between a man and that certain special woman. Do I get an amen on that?”
“Amen!” we all chimed in.
“Well,” Bert said, sitting again, “that’s all I have to say about June.”
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