Mood: don't ask
Topic: "OK Baptist Chorale" (4)
The following relates to a 57-42 vote in the Arkansas House of Representatives on Wednesday. That august body approved a bill allowing concealed handguns in churches. The bill now goes to the State Senate (for true).
Occupying all of the pews on the right-hand side of the OK Baptist Church in Bonanza, Arkansas, were the followers of former Arkansas Governor, Michael Huckleberry. The left-hand side of the wooden structure was populated by those who retained a certain fondness for the performances of former Governor Woodrow Jackson Clanton. The Huckleberrys and the Clantons were similarly united in celebration nearly every Sunday in the largest house of worship in Bonanza. Since nearly every person in town was named either Huckleberry or Clanton, there was little purpose in even counting those who gathered elsewhere.
This was a different Sunday however. Years of disagreement regarding such issues as paternity, maternity, fraternity, and statolatry had spilled over from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Fate it was that had determined this to be the same Sunday in which concealed handguns were first allowed in the churches of Bonanza. At least that is how it was reported in the local newspaper, "The Bonanza Gold", published by the Cartwright family.
According to the newspaper, services opened that fateful Sunday morning with the OK Baptist Chorale singing "A Closer Walk With Thee." More prophetic words could not have been chosen to chronicle what would follow. One of the Huckleberrys apparently took offense at the stare put upon him by one of the Clantons, who was probably just trying to figure out if that was a banana in the pocket of Old Man Huckleberry, or what. In any event, the Old Man removed all doubt by pulling a .44 Magnum out of said pocket and created an abdominal entry into the liver of the unidentified Clanton. This sparked a certain amount of consternation among the assemblage, according to the newspaper.
"Wild Bill" Clanton was the first to respond. His sons gathered about him and they simultaneously proceeded to pepper the Huckleberrys with hollowpointed bullets. Witnesses in defense of the Clantons later testified that the "hollow points" were filled with a family "secret sauce" which was later used to flavor the chicken prepared for the afternoon church social.
The Huckleberrys retaliated under the leadership of "Ike" Huckleberry, who had, at one time, been the Pastor of that very congregation. Ike produced an antique German Luger from underneath the orange armband he wore so well, and he took deadly aim at the posterior of "Mother" Clanton. Mother Clanton was Secretary to the Town Mayor (who happened to attend the church on the other side of the tracks that run right through Bonanza to this very day). Mother Clanton survived the assault despite the fact that Wild Bill seemed to be drawing fire from the Huckleberrys as he saddled up closer to Mother Clanton.
Once the gunfire ceased, probably resulting from a shortage of ammunition, since it was the first Sunday under the new law, the assemblage gathered out by the river, and cleaned their weapons. The Pastor, having suffered a superficial wound, was not inclined to proceed with the usual dunkings and hallelujahs that fateful Sunday. Once the chicken dinner was served, things got peaceable once more, although several of the Huckleberrys seemed somewhat disturbed by the aroma of the secret sauce adorning the chicken.
Monday mornings edition of "The Bonanza Gold" carried the byline of the cub reporter who witnessed much of the happenings that day. The banner headline read "Gunfight at the OK Chorale." The editorial page was dominated by the words of the publisher, Old Man Cartwright, who wrote that the truly righteous should put their true faith in God, not guns.
Frodo says, "Amen."