June 17, 2011

Anecdote: A Strangely Prescient Sermon

Oil and Hell
"Brethren," he said, "the Lord made the world round like a ball."
     "Amen!" agreed the congregation.
     "And the Lord made two axles for the world to go round on, and He put one axle at the North Pole and one axle at the South Pole."
     "Amen!" agreed the congregation.
     "And the Lord put a lot of oil and grease in the center of the world so as to keep the axles well greased and oiled."
     "Amen!" cried the congregation.
     "And then a lot of sinners dig wells in Pennsylvania and steal the Lord's oil and grease.  And they dig wells in Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, and in Mexico and Russia, and steal the Lord's oil and grease.  And some day they will have all the Lord's oil and grease, and them axles is gonna git hot.  And then that will be hell, brethren, that will be hell!"

[] By William P. Brannan, from Tall Tales of the Southwest, An Anthology of Southern and Southwestern Humor, 1830-1860, edited by Franklin J. Meine, pp. 253-255.  Copyright 1930 by Alfred A Knopf, Inc.  Reprinted in A Treasury of Southern Folklore, edited by B. A. Botkin, copywright 1949, Bonanza Books, New York, pg 112.


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