Judge Sings a Sentence
THE IDLE AMERICAN
Commentary by Dr. Don Newbury
When my aged Uncle Mort tells a story that is not “truth-proofed,” it merely means he heard it somewhere, and details may be accurate–or, more likely–figments of his imagination. Herewith is his most current tale.
An habitual criminal–swearing to lead a new life on the straight and narrow–still owed society some “slammer time” for transgressions committed on life’s crooked road.
When his sentencing date was set, he asked a Southern gospel quartet to compose a short ditty he hoped the judge would use to “sing the sentencing.” The singers thought it to be a strange request but came up with a short tune the judge could warble. Here ‘tis: “Our God above has love aplenty, but you’re still getting ten to twenty.”
My friend Edith Minor, the 12th of 13 children of the late Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Daniel, grew up on a dry land farm nearly as far back in the sticks as Uncle Mort did down in the thicket. Nobody ever passed their house going to town.
The first 11 siblings were born at home, and Edith and her younger sister were “hospital born.”
“My dad always said, ‘If that’s the kind of products the hospital puts out he was glad we were the only two’,” she laughed.
Wife of Jim Minor for 54 years before his passing last year, she and her dozen siblings attended schools in Itasca, Texas — “home of the wampus cats.” (I had to get that in, since this is the only school I ever heard of with such a mascot.) I asked her if the mascots’ babies are called “campus kittens,” and she couldn’t imagine their being called anything else.
During their marriage, they laughed much–often at each other, but not always.
An example of the latter occurred a few years back when a neighbor left an old recliner on the curb. It was there for the taking.
Soon, a man driving a pick-up screeched to a stop, left his vehicle and walked over to the chair.
He examined it carefully, taking down measurements, testing sturdiness and determining how much “cush” was left in the cushion. Then, he sat in the chair, reclining in it for a few minutes. Finally, he loaded it onto his truck and drove away.
The whole process required a dozen minutes or so. Edith and Jim got big laughs, wondering if–in some circumstances–beggars can indeed be choosers.
Finally, this. Sailor, our rescue dog, likes to accompany us on errands around town, particularly when there are stops involving dog treats. His tail is at maximum “wagging” when we use drive-through at the bank. His ears perk up when I request a “withdrawal” for my dog. Things went as usual recently, except I failed to endorse a check.
The canister–perhaps the size of an ear of corn–was sent back to me. I endorsed the check and hit “send.” Moments later, a voice on the intercom said, “Go ahead and return the canister.” I thought I had already sent it, so I scoured the floorboard and opened the door to see if it had dropped outside. I looked at Sailor, who looked guilty. I know he’s capable of eating homework, but no way could he swallow a bank canister. Maybe there was a bank error; maybe a new hire was looking at the wrong tube. Soon, the “voice” said the canister was found and extended a warm apology. I was glad they didn’t have to call in a repair person to clear the tube and that Sailor was relieved that he was no longer implicated.
A column postscript: Dr. Ronny Marriott, our pastor, and wife Robin recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land. They were relieved to learn that the locusts the Apostle Paul ate were NOT wiggly insects. Ronny said in biblical days, fruit plucked from the carob tree was called “locust.”
Dr. Newbury, long-time university president, writes weekly and speaks regularly throughout Texas. Contact information: Phone: 817-447-3872. Email: email@example.com. Facebook: Don Newbury.