Hello folks, let’s chat… Calling my parents’ house and getting Papa on the phone can feel like you’ve wandered into a comedy routine. Mind you, Papa and I both know he’s looking at the caller ID when he answers the phone, but that doesn’t stop him from clowning.
“I’m sorry,” he responds when I say hello. “You have the wrong number.”
“Papa, it’s me. Shellie.”
“Well, hey Shellie. How are you?”
“I’m fine. How are you?”
Papa usually reports that he is “finer than frog hair split nine ways and sanded down” or “better than he was before he got so good.” Either way, after a bit more small talk, we go into the second half of the routine.
“So, how’s Mama feeling?” I might ask.
“She feels pretty good to me,” he might respond.
Too much information. I’ll try again. “Papa, is Mama around?”
“Nah, she’s pretty tall.”
And yes, I laugh in spite of myself. “Papa, is she nearby?”
“Oh, not near enough.”
“Papa, may I speak to Mama?”
“Why, sure, baby, all you had to do is ask.”
Indeed, Papa loves to misunderstand me on purpose. Most misunderstandings, however, are more of an accident. Like the following story sent in by one of your fellow porchers. At the close of his Sunday morning sermon, the pastor invited anyone who needed prayer to come forward. Bubba was the first one to the altar. The preacher asked Bubba what he needed prayer for.
“My hearing,” Bubba replied.
With that the preacher put his hands on either side of Bubba’s head covering his ears and sent up a beautiful prayer that surely had the angels weeping. Many parishioners raised their hands toward Heaven as tears rolled down their cheeks. It was such a super charged moment the whole church felt sure God was honoring the prayer immediately, as did the preacher. As soon as he finished praying he removed his hands from the side of Bubba’s head.
“Bubba,” he said slowly, “How’s your hearing now?”
Confused, Bubba spoke just as slowly, “I… don’t… know… Preacher. It… ain’t…’til… Monday.”