June 18, 1739
On the road to the First Baptist Church of Raccoon County in Pine Knot, Kentucky. I am thinking back to the time when I was considering joining the Holy Mackerel Club at Oxford. It was August of 1732 when Polycarp Simons approached me. He mentioned that he and the other ministers in the club had been watching me for some time.
These men included: Pillory Palmetto, Thomas Cokenlocken, Spencer Grommet, Charles Haddon Ducknee, Vinnie Boombana, and Pastor Cotton Mills.
He revealed to me that the name came from their own belief that Jonah had been swallowed by a "specially created giant mackerel". Mr. Simons explained that they believed Jonah had originated the phrase, "Holy Mackerel" and "Something is fishy here!" Members would have the sign of the fish tattooed on their forearm, and would greet other members with, "Am I herring you right?" as a code, verifying membership. Several other ministers meet each month to discuss problems and work out creative solutions.
For example, at the last meeting, Reverend Simons told me the council had decided to always refer to ants as Salvation Army ants. Months before, they decided to rename the "bishops" in their chess set to "pastor/teachers" as in keeping with their own church polity.
This all seemed to me to be a waste of time and energy, and I openly challenged Polycarp Simons to separate himself from such nonsense and join me in my circuit riding ministry. He then denied everything he had told me and said he must excuse himself because of a sudden illness.
I am now beginning to realize his intellect was rivaled only by a small garden tool with a broken handle.