People keep making Baptist jokes lately.
“The difference between a Baptist and a Catholic is that Baptists don’t speak to one another at the liquor store. ‘
“I only invite two or more Baptists whenever I go fishing. Otherwise they will drink all my beer.”
Want to hear a really good story about a Baptist? It’s a true one, too. A Baptist walks into a casino…
Let me start at the beginning. Michael’s grandpa was a Baptist and a self-identified North Missouri Hillbilly. He talked just like the characters in Tom Sawyer; he actually said “Rubbage” instead of “Rubbish.” He played in a bluegrass band and was once part of the backup act that was set to go onstage at the Grand Ole Opry if they couldn’t get Hank Williams sober fast enough– which they didn’t, but they did paint a line for Williams to follow when he stumbled from his car to the microphone. Williams sang beautifully even while drunk, and the good sober Baptist bluegrass band never got their Grand Ole Opry debut.
Michael’s grandpa was a deacon in his church, a principled man. He didn’t smoke, drink, gamble or dance. He married a Baptist woman who had tried drinking for exactly one week; she found that she could be a binge drinker or completely abstinent, but didn’t have a knack for moderation, so she gave it up. Grandpa met her at the bus station in the tiny town near his home; the first words he ever spoke to her were, “Hey you dumb blonde! Don’t you know you have to take the other bus?”
Upon finding she was stranded, Grandpa did the gentlemanly thing and drove her to her destination himself. By the end of the ride, they’d fallen in love. They raised three children, of which Michael’s mother was the middle child. Mother-in-law converted to Catholicism seventeen years ago, but she still doesn’t smoke, drink, gamble, or dance. Clean living is a habit that’s hard to break.
Grandpa was in the army in the Korean War; there he distinguished himself as being good at spotting soldiers in camo hiding out in the swamp, because he was colorblind so camo didn’t fool him. Also in the army, Grandpa voluntarily walked into a casino and gambled, but he did it for the best of reasons.
Grandpa’s army buddy was a gambling addict. The army paid for his room and board, so he had no immediate need for his paycheck; he used to take it to the casino every payday and gamble it all away that night.
This went on for quite some time before Grandpa intervened.
He went to the casino and found his friend at his favorite haunt, the slot machines.
Grandpa gave his buddy a rousing sermon on the evils and the irresponsibility of gambling right there in the casino. The last words of the sermon were “This is the fastest way to lose a dollar!” And as Grandpa said this, he took a silver dollar, put it in the slot machine, and pulled the lever.
And won the jackpot.
The slot machine emptied itself at Grandpa’s feet; it vomited out an amount easily equal to Grandpa’s buddy’s army paycheck.
Grandpa gave his winnings to his friend, and the two left together.
Neither man ever gambled again.
(image via Pixabay)