We were sitting at our favorite table in the Holy Land Quickee's. I was sipping, in genteel fashion, a diet Dr. Pepper. Leece was woofing down a breakfast burrito. Tookie was popping chocolate-covered 'spresso beans.
DinkyDau Billy wandered in. He took his cycling helmet off, revealing the stubble that had once been a headful of dreadlocks that Bob Marley would have envied. Billy put on his aluminum foil Stetson, the 'Wes McKinley' model, and adjusted it for optimum blocking of government spy-waves.
He saw us eyeing the Stetson.
"You can't be too careful these days," he muttered, "the gummint's everywhere!"
"Well," opined Tookie, "the leftie socialists might be everywhere, but nobody trashes the Constitution like a good right-winger. The commie pinkos could take a few lessons from the 'Christian' Right, don't you think?"
"Yeah. Yeah," Billy responded, "all them socialists wanna do is take the munny from the blood-suckin' capitalists, and give it to people like me. Ain't nuthin' wrong with that, is there?"
We sort of stared at him.
"Unca Billy, you make it sound like you're a leech on society, snuffling at the public trough. I think maybe your disability checks are more like an 'accolade from a grateful nation'. That's my story, and I'm a-stickin' to it," TootSweet said.
"Well. Well, maybe a form of 'deferred compensation'?" Billy clarified.
"Well ... at least the socialists, and the Great Socialist, aren't threatening to hold us at gunpoint and shove their version of history and the Constitution down our throats, like the far right is," shared Leece.
"Yeah. Yeah. And they ain't gonna force their version a God down those throats, either," Billy agreed, "cuz as we all know, they's a bunch a Godless pinkos!"
"Steady, Billy," Leece kind of warned, "I know a lot of Democrats that are Christians, real ones, or at least, like the rest of us, trying to be real ones. Sometimes I think that's the best we can do."
"A course, all them Democrats what are Christians are, like, you know, Evangelical Lutherans or Church of Christers or ... or ... Episcopalians," Billy deadpanned.
"Hey! Hey! Didja know that Jesus drove a Honda?" Billy asked, changing the subject in his usual abrupt manner.
"What?" Tookie was nonplussed by this news. She sort of choked a bit on a 'spresso bean, causing Leece to reach over and pound her on the back. The bean popped out onto the table.
"Thanks, Cita! You saved my life!" Tookie exclaimed, in effusive gratitude. She picked up the bean, inspected it for excessive biological refuse, and popped it into her mouth for recycling.
"Yeah! Yeah! I gots irrefutable scripcherul proof, too!" Billy went on, unfazed by the drama that had unfolded before him.
"You do?" Where?" asked Leece.
"It's in the Gospel of John, chapter 12, and it's hard to get it at first, cuz he didn't talk hardly at all about it," Billy replied.
Tookie dug out her Nook, and opened up her NRSV to John 12.
"Hit me with it, Unca Billy," she ordered.
"OK. 'For I did not speak of my own Accord ...'," he recited, from memory. Billy has memorized the entire New Testament, in the KJV, the NIV, and the NRSV.
We stared at him some more. We seem to do a lot of that. I sipped my diet Dr. Pepper, while eyeballing Billy over the rim of the cup. Tookie popped another bean, her eyes in an exasperated squint. Leece went back to snuffling her breakfast burrito.