September 23, 1739
I have been in the town of Los Ankleese for three three days now, and have found a friend in the newly appointed mayor, Virgil Hackenpoof. Have a spot of tea on his porch, our discussion zig-zagged through various subjects.
"Cotton, your shoes look a bit tattered and worn. I know someone who would gladly make you a brand new pair. I will pay for them as a service to you. You have blessed me so with your sermons. His shoes are of the finest leather and his stitching is beyond compare."
"Virgil, I humbly accept your kind offer. You are an answer to prayer. Did you know that in Florida they use alligators to make shoes...and bags!"
"It's amazing what they can get alligators to do these days!"
He stared blankly for a full nine or ten seconds, then resumed our conversation as if it he had not paused at all.
"I know a doctor here in Los Ankleese that will treat you for your muscle aches also. He is just around the corner from the church."
"Extremely kind of you."
"He is a very nice. He treated me for double-pneumonia and only charged me for one pneumonia."
Again, in an almost trance-like state, Mayor Hackenpoof is stock-still for clearly twelve seconds, then begins again.
"I have a Hebrew friend, who is an unsuccessful mystery writer."
"Why is that?"
"He always reveals the killer on the first page!"
This time, a full fifteen seconds of unblinking, motionlessness.
"...Unfortunately, my writer friend is now serving thirty days in jail."
"If you don't mind me asking, what is the charge?"
"Oh, there's no charge. Everything's free."
I was starting to realize this was going to continue throughout our discussion. I waited for what seemed a half minute and asked him,
"Who was the last traveling preacher to visit your church?"
"It was a minister by the name of Sycamore Jones. He was a very boring preacher. But, at the end of his sermons, there was always a great awakening!"
When Virgil froze this time, I took the opportunity to mount my horse and depart away. I had time to leave a note explaining my sudden exit and entreated him to see his doctor friend.