Crossposted from My Cult Life
Warning! Salty language & disrespecting of religious leaders ahead!
When I was younger I worked for an air freight contractor that had contracts with several major air freight lines that didn’t have official offices in Baton Rouge or New Orleans. It was a good job back in those ancient days when three bucks an hour was minimum wage. As a contractor I made a steady thirteen bucks an hour. I was licensed, bonded, and I carried a pistol. I knew how to use that gun too, as long as I didn’t have to shoot too far.
I was done each day no later than 2 pm, so I took afternoon classes at Louisiana State University. The pay was enough that if I lived frugally I could also afford to pay for my education. I’d get up at five am and call the 800 number to find out the arrival time of whatever shipment I was scheduled to pick up and deliver that day. I could be going out to the New Orleans airport to pick up freight or over to the Baton Rouge airport and making deliveries anywhere from Geismar all the way out to the prison in Angola. In those days airport security was a joke. At both airports I could pull up to a side gate leading onto the tarmac, pop the always unlocked lock and cruise right on in. The plane would arrive and we’d unload the cargo onto the tarmac, sort it all, and load it into the backs of our trucks before going out to make our deliveries. You’d pull an on-call weekend and Friday night duty once every eight weeks, for which you would receive blessed overtime! It was a good job, except for one thing: assclowns like Jimmy Swaggart.
Late one Friday afternoon I got a call telling me to head out to the airport, pick up three large packages and deliver them to a certain address off Bluebonnet Lane. Now, in those days there was no Mall of Louisiana or anything of any interest out on Bluebonnet. It was acres and acres of empty land, the one exception being the first building of Jimmy Swaggart’s organization, church, and Bible college. I remember it being a long nondescript concrete gray building. I pulled up outside and saw there was no delivery area. Hell, there was barely a parking lot. But there was a hellacious sea of mud, everywhere.
By now it was around 6:00 pm on a Friday evening. I had to pound on the front door to get someone to answer since everything was locked up tighter than the offering after church. Some man in a suit answers the door. I tell him, “Hey, I’m here with the delivery.” He fusses and frets because it’s just him and a few other guys in suits there. The part of the building where they need the computers delivered hasn’t had a concrete pad or drive poured there yet. He wants me to pull my truck up through the mud towards the back door and carry the boxes into the building.
When I had picked those three large crates up, the nice guy at the Delta air freight terminal had loaded them onto my truck with a forklift. They were HEAVY, they were HUGE! I’d called from Delta when I was loading to get my boss to call down to tell the recipients that they needed a forklift or a pile of strong men to get them off the truck. The boxes were all marked “Fragile computer equipment inside – Handle with care”. So I call my boss and tell him that I am at the delivery destination and that there’s only a handful of people around, no fork lift, not even real access to the back door since there was no way in hell I was driving my heavy truck in the mud. So he calls them up, some nasty words are exchanged and finally I am told to pull my truck into the parking lot as close to the back door as possible and then the guys there would hand carry the boxes in. And they do, sweating and straining, ruining some fancy suits and leather dress shoes in the muck and mud. They get box number one, they get box number two and as I’m behind box number three and I start pushing it forward I hear this voice, a voice that’s not unfamiliar to me. It takes me a moment to place the voice, but it’s Brother Jimmy Swaggart himself. I peek around and he’s huddled with the guys, no one is paying any attention to the fact that I’ve shoved the final bit to the very end of the truck. I come out and ask the guys if they are ready for the last box.
There I am, standing in my uniform of gray pants, and a gray button shirt with my name and company name stitched bravely in whites and reds on the breast. Swaggart comes over to me, takes one look at me in my uniform with my short punk rock hair with the spikes on top and launches into a lecture to end all. He starts telling me what a disgraceful woman I am, looking like that, not wearing a skirt, lesbian hair and, worst of all, I’m taking a job away from a MAN! For shame, for shame! And then he attempts to tell me this is all why I need Jesus.
By this time I had had enough. I shoved the heavy crate forward, running on pure adrenaline. It landed with a big old plop right into the deep Louisiana mud, splattering Jimmy and his sycophants with mud. I said, “Fuck you Jimmy Swaggart!” Then, I jumped in my truck and I burned rubber out of there so fast. No, I didn’t get in trouble for this when someone from the ministry called to complain. Ha! I still laugh thinking about the looks on those stuffed-shirts faces, particularly after I told Jimmy to fuck off.
Through the years I saw how he and his folks acted in Baton Rouge and it was with something less than honorable. My father told me for many moons before he was exposed as a prostitution aficionado that he’d see Jimmy in this high end restaurant or that with expensive hookers, out for a meal. When all of that went down with Swaggart crying from his pulpit about his sins he lost so much money that he just about killed two banks in Baton Rouge. He lived just down the street from my in laws so we’d see him and his around and about. Truly evil guy.
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About the author: Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Kool-Aid she left nearly 6 years ago. Now she is the admin at No Longer Quivering –http://www.patheos.com/blogs/
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce