Sunday, December 21, 2008
The Journal of Cotton Adams #1
June 14th, 1737
I preached at Charleston, to abundantly more than the house could contain. The subject of my sermon was "Heavenly Horse Sense or the Ability to Say Nay". Some wag mentioned afterwards that he thought it was a very stable message.
As I was about to depart, a hairy, barrel-chested man asked if I would answer a question that has plagued him for some time. Without so much as a pause, he began to tell me, in detail, of his most unfortunate life. He told me incident after horrid incident. His wooden leg, it appeared, had acquired a nest of termites...he talked of his losing his glass eye during a hailstorm a mere two weeks before...he said his hair would catch fire during the monsoon season for no apparent reason...he sadly explained how his dog of eleven years had left him for another master...he mentioned how his entire forty acres of corn had popped during a heat wave last summer...he even ranted about his recurring dreams of golden plowshares and boll weevils.
After a full hour of his chronicles, I seized upon a pause in his loquacity...
"Sir," I implored, "what was your question?"
He cleared his throat, looked into my eyes, and asked, "What would you charge to perform a wedding this evening?"
"Ten pounds," I amiably replied.
He stared at me, emotionless, for what must have been three full minutes, twisted his tiny mouth and asked..."Ten pounds of what?"
It was at that moment I knew I was in the presence of a madman.