Not that the pilgrimage got off to a very good start. Though Lephari had promised that he would drive every teacher who taught evolution out of the classroom, his early efforts in that direction weren’t very successful. At Abingdon Elementary School, the principal assured him, "We took evolution off the curriculum last year. We believe in God and America and freedom in this town, and we’ll tar and feather everyone who doesn’t agree with us." This pleased Lephari so much that he ordered Sonny White to break open the magic pinata. Unfortunately, all that came out was raw sheep liver and anchovies. This was when he realized that he had no control over what the pinata dispensed - it was at the whim of a higher power than he.
At Fairfield, his party triggered a security alarm when it tried to get into St. Brigid of the Hedge Clippers Primary School. The ensuing battle with police has already gone down in local folklore, particularly the attempt by Sonny Black and Sonny Green to heave one of the cops into a pile of cow manure, while Lephari roared out, “IOWA POLICE ARE TRUTH-HATING, BIBLE-HATING, AMERICA-HATING, NASCAR-HATING SERVANTS OF THE ANTICHRIST!!!” But thanks to their pepper spray, the police finally won the battle, pinning Lephari in a half-Nelson while holding off his followers with stun guns.
Miraculously, the Lephari Pilgrims did not get thrown in jail but were merely shown to the town’s borders. When they reached the next town, though, they discovered that the Fairfield police had put out an all-points warning about them, and that they were decidedly unwelcome anywhere in southeast Iowa. The pinata continued to be unforthcoming; all it dispensed in those days was vegetable compost, freeze-dried grasshoppers, and cat food. By the time they reached Keokuk, even the Sonny Brothers were grumbling.
I’ll let the Epic Poet tell the rest of the story.
“Be not disheartened!” bold Lephari cries.
“‘Tis we who shall be Raptured, while those turds
Are squashed within the Winepress of the Lord!
I am the great Lephari, and my powers
Put those of any Demlib cop to shame!
Behold! Before us lies the Mississippi,
The mightiest river in America.
The Lord will bear me up upon its waters.
Now watch, and worship me as I deserve!”
And as his followers exclaim in awe,
Lephari sets his foot upon the water.
Behold! The Mississippi bears him up!!!
He walks - he even dances - on its waves.
He lifts his arms and laughs maniacally.
But even as he laughs, the water boils -
A huge white head, an open-gaping maw,
A thrashing tail that churns up ten-foot waves -
It is Leviathan! A harbinger
Of Armageddon! When its mouth snaps shut
Lephari is no longer to be seen.
Directly, with a monstrous sucking sound,
A final flailing of its giant tail,
Leviathan sinks back into the deep,
And deathly silence falls...
.....to be continued.