Sunday, January 13, 2008
RALPH on the Screaming Glory Road
We pick up the tale of RALPH’s current whereabouts where we left off a few posts ago: with the Candidate being chased by police in a small Pennsylvania town after being caught putting "The Morning After" on windshields at the local mall.
As he was panting for breath, a battered white van with the words "Central PA Heating and Air Conditioning" lettered on the side pulled up beside him and a man shouted, "Get in, quick!" Instinctively, RALPH obliged, and the van took off toward I-76. The policemen gave up the chase, though RALPH could hear them in the distance calling "...and don’t ever come back!"
The driver didn’t look much like an HVAC guy - he had nothing in common, for example, with the tattooed skinhead who installed this blogger’s new water heater two days ago. He wore a long white beard down to his waist, a floor-length homespun robe that looked like something out of the Bible (though the authenticity was destroyed by his wearing rubber boots instead of sandals), and a big cross around his neck. Another cross hung on the rear-view mirror, one with red, white and blue flashing lights that lit the van up like a strobe.
"Welcome, brother RALPH," said stranger. "Yes, I can see your surprise that I know your name. But among my flock your writings are revered like those of Revelation. Would that they were so revered everywhere!"
"THEN YOU AREN’T REALLY AN AIR-CONDITIONING MAN?" gasped RALPH.
"Not literally - this van is a device to allow me to travel incognito. But perhaps metaphorically, since my job is to save America from the burning flames. Allow me to introduce myself; I am the Reverend Thomas P. Zacharias, pastor of the Screaming Glory Tabernacle in Bedlam Junction. We have heard your warning, and it has touched our hearts very nearly. In my church we are making a study of The Morning After as all Americans should do. At tonight’s service we’ll be doing a special presentation on The Morning After; my daughter Zipporah will read from it while walking a tightrope above an open fire pit. I know you will love it. My home is yours, brother RALPH. I am honored to have you in my car, shining beacon of purity that you are."*
At this, RALPH began to sob and embrace Reverend Tom. "THE LORD HAS BROUGHT ME AMONG MY FRIENDS! I HAVE BEEN PLUCKED FROM THE JAWS OF MINE ENEMIES AND LED TO GREEN PASTURES! I HAVE FOUND A LOYAL RAPTURE AMERICAN AMID THE MOB OF BLOODTHIRSTY DEMLIBS AND AGENTS OF VILE MURDERING PIAPS THAT SURROUND ME!!! TAKE ME TO BEDLAM! IT IS WHERE I BELONG!!!!"
So off they rode into the Appalachians, while back in Dubois, his entourage remained scratching their heads. "I thought we're supposed to be rehearsing for debates," said a campaign worker who identified himself only as "Henry".
* We’re not sure whether Rev. Tom has heard about the goat yet.