“It sure is a beautiful Sunday, Miss Jewel.”

“Oh, it certainly is, Eddie, it certainly is. A blessed Sunday. You know, I joined this church 65 years ago.”

“That’s quite a record.”

‘Some years were easier than others. Like when that Reverend Pickleton was here back in nineteen and seventy one. Never preached a single sermon out of the Old Testament. Four years and not a word about God’s wrath and eternal damnation of sinners.”

“I see.”

“And now we have that Dr. Rostertutle and his ‘love everybody’ hog wash. Come on, who loves everybody? You can’t love everybody, now can you?”

“Well … uh …”

“You can’t. Get used to it. You can’t love everybody is this church, Eddie. You know how the Bible says love your neighbor?”


“Well, the Bible don’t say nothing about loving those harlots who wear white after Labor Day.”

“I see.”

“Me and Lula Argon, Mattie Arabella and Tut Luckfor are changing all that thanks to those Guardians of The Holy Word in the Legislature.”

“And how are you going to do that?”

“We’ve formed a new committee. Me, Lula, Mattie and Tut are the Gun Packin’ Grandma’s.”

“The …”

“You heard me right. Just as soon as that bill passes that makes it legal for us have handguns in church, I’m getting a Glock, Mattie wants a Sig Sauer Eliminator, Mattie has a Luger her late husband brought home from that war, and Tut got a .45 from some guy she met at Margaret’s Meat and Three. It’s a beauty. Doesn’t even have any serial numbers on it.”

“Miss Jewel, do you think it’s a good idea to have hand guns in church?”

“Are you kidding? Somebody has to straighten things out around here. Aren’t you getting a little tired of the mystery meat they serve at Wednesday Night Suppers? And what about those rutabagas? Only left wing Commies eat rutabagas.”

“So how is a gun …”

“Easy. You don’t think the cook will have second thoughts about rutabagas after Tut sticks a .45 under her nose? Bathrooms will be a lot cleaner too, you can count on that.”

“But what about ‘do unto others?’ ”

“What about it? We’re doing unto others to set them straight. Just like Jesus and the moneychangers.”

“I don’t think Jesus had a Luger”

“Should have.”

“Uh …”

“And I’ll tell you one other thing. All it’s gonna take to get the preaching right around here is for me and the girls to sit on the front row one Sunday with our pistols on our laps. You’ll hear a lot less of this peace, love and harmony twaddle coming from the pulpit and a gracious plenty more about God’s wrath against Democrats and heathens who listen to NPR instead of Glenn Beck.”


“Now come on and sit down here next to me. Church is getting ready to start. We gonna sing some great hymns … “Onward Christian Soldiers,” “A Mighty Fortress,” “Marching to Zion.” Dr. Rostertoddler or whatever his name is wanted to sing ‘Rescue The Perishing.’ Hogwash. The perishing can rescue themselves.”

“Why did he change his mind?”

“Preacher was out gunned is all. We are truly blessed, Eddie, truly blessed. Praise God.”

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a professional mentalist and mind reader who presents his unique and unforgettable program to conventions, college and universities, sales meetings, private parties, business and civic clubs and more. He has also appeared at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta and produces, along with Jerry Farber and Joe M. Turner, Atlanta Magic Night at the Red Light Cafe in Midtown. He is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Georgia Magic Club,Buckhead Rotary Club and Friends of Jim The Wonder Dog. You can learn more at www.MarkJohnsonSpeaks.com. He is the author of three books: "Living The Dream," the story of the first ten years of FedEx; "Superman, Hairspray, and the Greatest Goat On Earth," a collection of mostly true stories;, and "Yes Ma'am, You're Right: The Essential Rules For Living With A Woman."  Mark's day job is as a freelance writer and communications and marketing consultant. Mark has traveled around the world twice but has never been to Burlington, Vermont. He does not eat beets or chicken livers, and he has never read "Gone With The Wind." He is the only person he knows who was once a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists. He is a fifth generation Atlantan,  the father of three, and the grandfather of five. All offspring are demonstrably perfect. He lives in Smyrna with his wife Rebecca (aka The Goddess) and two dogs: Ferguson, an arrogant Scottish terrier; and, Lola, a Siberian husky who is still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing in Cobb County.