Well, now that I'm on a roll about exciting, entertaining passengers I may as well toss you another bone of laughter from my recent travels.
You remember the Jesus People....right? I do. They were alive and well during my early, formative church years. Well, don't tell anyone, but I think I saw them today. In a new, fresh updated style for the year 2011. They appeared in rows 16, 17 and 18 headed to the rich, white, Republican land of Orange County. Perhaps that will explain the entire story that I'm about to tell you. And you already know how I feel about that sterile mecca. Scattered about the rows like the violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. Daddy, Mommy, the Nanny and six little kiddies. Well, there was actually a seventh child at home which I found out via an overheard conversation. Seven children. For god's sake. I immediately thought Mormon or Catholic. But I don't think it was either. I'm thinking big evangelical church. A happy-go-lucky sort of compound where there are giant screens to put the words to the hymns on along with a praise band and fancy wireless Madonna-style microphones on the pastors.
Daddy caught my eye. Perhaps it was the intense butchness of his persona that attracted me. Or perhaps it was his closely-trimmed beard with just an edge of gingerish red to it. Or perhaps it was the look that I've seen from straight men in the past when they are ushered into that uncomfortable lair of whirled up, rainbow-colored gayness. The look of "Are you gay?" The look of "Don't you even think of coming near my children." You know, trying to read me. Harsh, cold and rigid. But I think that the dead giveaway that they were the Jesus People reincarnated was their set of matching t-shirts. Each one had them. Bright, pretty sky blue in color. With their last name in large letters across the shoulders and a scripture below that: "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Oh boy, the cameras were flashing pictures of one another; the kiddies were running around like the Disciples when Jesus entered the room. Coloring books, crayons, iPods, Hello Kitty backpacks. And Bibles. Oh yeah, Mommy was reading one. She probably needed to with seven children. I know I would. And, you know, they were not much more than 40 or 45. With seven tax deductions! I'm estimating an annual tax savings of about $7,000 ($1,000 per child) for the little rugrats. Maybe I'll start having children.
And there was what I originally thought was the oldest child. A girl. Maybe 18 or 20, pretty, blonde, and clearly removed, distant, from the rest of the family. Headphones on. Singing the words to our airline's boarding music.....Drops of Jupiter by Train. Cool song. But for a church girl? Maybe that's the way they do things nowadays. But when I was in church, there was no crossover between the spiritual and the secular. There is no way we'd be singing a song of the devil. And then she stands up and it all becomes clear when I see the "Super Nanny" distinction blazoned across her back with the scripture following. She's the nanny in this family overrun with children. No wonder she had her headphones on.
Amen and Praise the Lord.