That Cody, he's one lone maverick.
He sticks out like a sore thumb around here. Everybody else yaks about
girls and sports. But Cody dotes on all things religious, especially slick-talkin'
TV preachers. All the other hired hands love to give him a good ribbin' about
it, though it's all done in fun. For the longest time Cody was so broke he couldn't
afford to take his girl friend out to the Coke machine. Just when you thought that sweet guy couldn't fall any deeper down
in the hole financially, he'd dig it deeper himself. Cody just wouldn't wake
up and smell the coffee. Anyhow, this is how I remember it.
Another Saturday night and all the cowpokes leave
the ranch to go whoop it up in town with the ladies. Not Cody. He's got the bunkhouse all to himself again, and I stick my head in the window and moo a hello at him. Well, Cody feels so lonesome he starts tellin' me all his troubles. He says to himself: "I must have a few screws loose, talkin' to a dumb animal, but nobody around here takes
me seriously anyhow. They just call me a Bible-bashin' fanatic. Hi, feller,"
he says to me.
Cody and me, we're best buddies now. Cody likes
to share his bag of nachos with me whenever we watch his TV preachers together. I
just stick my head in the window and watch the whole program with him. Even though Cody knows I take TV preachers with a grain
That was some guest they had one night on Prey
TV, Brother Jubal. He's a tall, skinny guy with a big puff of gray hair and beady eyes.
His face is long and lean like a fox's. Brother Jubal's pretty agile for
an old guy. He skips across the stage like a frisky calf, shoutin' hallelujah and talkin' about how God can make you rich
if you'll only open your wallet wide to show your faith. The music rises and falls like a cowpoke breakin' a wild mustang
. With every jolt of the chorus Brother Jubal jerks his head back like he's been
struck by lightnin'. He shuts his eyes tight and begs the good Lord to help people part
with their dollars to show their faith. His long, skinny fingers wiggle as he
stretches 'em out. Brother Jubal's hands look baby-soft, like he's never put
in a man's day in his whole life.
I heard Cody snifflin' as that voodoo music played. The preacher said Cody's miracle might never come unless he promised the Lord a big
offerin' of sacrificial faith. The bigger, the better, and it should be at least $2000.
Even if Cody didn't have it yet, he should go ahead and make a down payment
on that vow. Rob Peter to pay Paul, that type of thing. The hair stood up on
Cody's head when the organ in the background belched out a tear-jerkin' chord in cadence with the preacher's plea to give
till it hurts. Brother Jubal made moanin' noises and quoted Ecclesiastes 11:1. He used that verse to tell Cody to cast his
money upon the waters of the US Postal Service, 'cause after many days, it would swim back to him on every wave.
I don't know about y'all, but I tend to suspect
that bread that's been swimmin' out in the ocean would taste mighty soggy after
many days and you wouldn't want it back anyway. Kiddin' aside, I believe that Scripture refers to spiritual bread, not hippie
bread made out of paper.
I stood at the window and mo-o-oed at Cody, tryin'
to warn him away from that poodle-permed crook. I wished with all my might I could talk some sense into his thick skull. But
Cody got so aggravated at me, he told me to git on back to the barn and bed down, 'cause I was drownin' out an important message
from the Lord. Now I know better than to beat a dead horse, so I just left to hit the hay for the night.
Sad to say, Cody fell for that Colgate-smile preacher
and sent him just about all his paycheck as a "down payment" on his "vow of faith". Just like Chester
always comes back to the bunkhouse broke after blowin' his money on lottery tickets.
Know what made this ol' longhorn see red? Some line of bull Brother Jubal said about how Cody had better not make a deal with
the Lord and then welsh on it by stoppin' his payments on his "vow of faith." That preacher must serve some strange god I
know nothin' about, a mean one who'd beat the money outa Cody's hide if he didn't cough up his protection payments regularly.
Wasn't long after that, Cody was walkin' around
moanin' to the other guys about his tooth achin'. Clayton, he was no churchgoer,
but he had a big heart. Clayton asked Cody why he didn't just go see the dentist. Cody said he was broke. Clayton asked
him how he could be, seein' as they'd all just gotten paid, and Cody never went nowhere or bought much of anything for himself. Well, Clayton and Chester
wiggled it out of Cody and they just couldn't believe their ears. All of Cody's
paycheck had gone to some rich preacher with diamond rings on his pudgy fingers! Clayton didn't hesitate. He
dug deep in his pocket and gave Cody two hundred dollars to go to the dentist to go get his bad tooth fixed. He said for Cody
not to worry about how long it took to pay it back.
Then ol' Sluefoot appeared as an angel of light,
just like it says in II Corinthians 11:14. I just happened to be hangin' around when the guys said "see ya" to Cody and headed
off somewhere. Once they were out of earshot, Cody let out a joyful shout: "I
got it! I'll cast MORE bread upon the waters!
If I sacrifice the dentist today, God MUST give me back a hundred times as much!
That's twenty grand! I can get my tooth fixed before it rots out, pay Clayton back AND buy me my own pickup truck!
Praise the Lord!"
* * * * *
Sounds like ol' Cody's about to get himself in
the doghouse with good buddy Clayton. Stay tuned to see what happens next...