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THE HOLY HOOD CHURCH OF MOUNT MATTRESS BEDSIDE TABERNACLE
Staying true to my lineage of spirituality, I have to give credit to the church for introducing me to a whole new brand of people – heathens! Not only has church been the place where I attained an understanding of my faith, it harbored some of the most devilishly sanctified people. If that doesn’t justify a single person’s imperfections, I don’t know what does. Because of such insight, I’m well equipped to spot all the warning signs of a person that lies like the devil.
Somewhere on the corner between the firehouse and the gas station, around the block and three car washes away from home, sat a small little tabernacle where my grandmother raised her fourteen and a half children (my uncle is a midget). I’m sure it took the power of God to keep a single mother of that many kids from going all psycho every now and always. In her house, there were three rules the brood had to abide by: how to cook; what Granny said went; and the recognition of power in the name of Jesus.
Every Sunday morning Granny dressed her kids in the finest tailored window curtains and carried them to Mount Mayhem, a small church in number though great in spirit. Mount Mayhem was my family’s second home. Strong in participation from the choir to the flower club, Granny and the gang formed half of the congregation, which three generations later grew into quite the mega church. With the passing of Pastor Puss Bump, Mount Mayhem’s co-founder and Granny’s one time beau, his son, Shugart Do Right Puss Bump, a reformed pimp, reined dominion over the pulpit. Out of a barrel of a gun, time shot small changes in the church that began with a flashing yellow OPEN ALL NIGHT sign and a drastic renaming. Mount Mayhem had now become The Holy Hood Church of Mount Mattress Bedside Tabernacle. And its members were just as entertaining as its name.
People from all walks of life came to celebrate the celebrity of the new Holy Hood. It was a church like none other. Service started whenever the pastor got there. Some Sunday morning worshippers spent the majority of their week at the church because the lower auditorium doubled as an after-hours speak easy. Every Tuesday through Thursday you were sure to find some deacon’s offspring gambling away his tithes and offering in a game of spades or blackjack. But Sunday was the day when all souls could feel the heat of the lights, cameras, and action. It had gotten to a point where I, myself, had only gone to church for the show rather than the word, which later came back to bite me in the ass. I wasn’t the only one burned for messing with the Lord. In fact, the Holy Hood church was full of worshippers that misinterpreted the bible and the warnings of judgment day.
I can remember a particular Sunday morning like it was yesterday. . .