Impressionable Young Minds

May 13, 2008

Kids don’t get enough credit for possessing things like . . . oh, you know. Irony. A sense of humor. The ability to dissemble with a straight face when confronted with adults who are off their rockers. This account of what it was like to be a kid whose mother was dating a Pentecostalist — those are the people who speak in tongues and thrash around during church services — shows that young minds aren’t nearly as impressionable as some adults like to think:

I know this might be hard to believe, but my brother and I generally liked being a part of the Pentecostal church. For one thing, the majority of the parishioners refrained from using birth control, so there were always tons of kids around for us to play with. For another thing, church was exciting. Who needed a television set or video games when you could simply attend the Wednesday night service?

Church services always started off quiet enough with the organ playing and parishioners quietly whispering greetings and shaking hands. But among the kids, there was a kind of electricity in the air. Half of the time, we could barely contain ourselves. We knew that if things went well, it was likely we’d see some crazy ass shit.

Reverend Bud would begin the sermon slowly and thoughtfully. He preached the wonders of God’s love and the importance of attending Church regularly. Although this was typically the most boring part of the night, we (the kids) used the time wisely. We’d make faces at each other over the pews or give random people the finger behind our Bibles. The purpose of our antics was to simply keep ourselves occupied until the adults starting yelling, “Amen!” and “Praise God!” It was at this point, we would swivel around in our seats and keep our eyes glued to the front two pews. This is where the action usually started.

When Reverend Bud’s preaching reached an end, the organs would suddenly blare and everyone would hop to their feet. The singing and the clapping would swell to a crescendo and the children would titter excitedly in their seats. The fever and shouts of religious undulation would continue until the crowd worked themselves into a literal frenzy and then…


Sister Ruth, an older woman with long silver hair, would collapse onto the ground in the front row. Experiencing her own special brand of religious ecstasy, Sister Ruth would wriggle and writhe on the Church floor until her skirt hiked up over her hips to reveal her panties. Farm Animals. Sister Ruth’s panties always had pictures of farm animals on them.

Of course, this was the jackpot the children were all waiting for. A small tremor would vibrate through the crowd as the kindly children from the front pews would whisper to the kids in the back exactly what farm animal decorated Sister Ruth’s panties today. Sometimes, it was frogs. Every once in a while, we’d see little blue lambs. Often, there would be kittens and dogs and little yellow ducks. The single time we saw cows, we had to bury our faces in our Bibles to hide the fact that we were laughing our asses off.

At this point in the service, the adults would collectively lose their fucking minds. They’d hop around in circles, screaming. They’d hysterically cry and hold their arms up towards the heavens. They’d gyrate around on the floor and speak in some unintelligible language: Bugga bugga boo! Oh, I love you Jesus! Yada gabba doodle boo boo wak!

It was fucking awesome!

I leave it to you to discover what happened during the lad’s own baptism. I promise you, it’s hilarious. (Bird-dogged by PZ Myers.)

One Response to “Impressionable Young Minds”

  1. Caveat Says:

    My brother and I used to get the same effect at our parents’ fancy cocktail parties, back when people still had those.

    We couldn’t wait until Mr Wilson (and a few others) had one too many – that’s when things became hilarious. We’d sneak in and do a few turns as bartenders to help things along a bit.

    Then we’d sit at the top of the stairs looking down at the adults – laughing OUR asses off!

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