Please Don’t Make Me Write Anything!

The retired mailman continues to do a good job of looking convincingly busy.  I don’t know what he does all day, but whatever it is must be impressive — or else he is an extremely fine actor.  He is so busy that I cannot seem to get him to do what I think is important.

Some mailmen bag groceries to avoid boredom once they retire.  Mine, to my great delight, is going to enroll in the River Church School of Ministry (RCSM).  They used to call him Pastor Paul and Parson Paul at the P.O.  Now he’s apparently going after the real thing.

I had been bugging him for days to get his application for RCSM done, since it is due tonight.  He couldn’t see what the rush was until, GASP! we noticed he had to write a 250 to 300 word testimony as part of the application.  Last night he finally worked up enough gumption to get it done.  I heard a whining sound, like unto what a humongous disgruntled mosquito would make, coming from the direction of Paul’s chair.

“What’s the matter?”
“I think they are being awful hard on us, expecting us to write all this!”   Whiiiine!
“Paul, 250 words is not ‘all this.’  It’s a very little bit of writing.”
“I don’t know.  I haven’t got that much to tell.”
“Well, talk about what a great inspiration your wife has been to you in your Christian walk, then.”

I encouraged him to do it in Word on the main computer.  He insisted on doing it in Wordpad on his laptop, and then copying and pasting it into his e-mail, and sending it to himself, and then opening his e-mail on the main computer.  From there, he pasted it into Word.  Of course it did not come out the way it was supposed to.  Too much paste will turn anything funky-looking.  I sat down to fix it for him, knowing he would not have the first idea how to make it look right.  The word count — 495 words!  This, from the man who was sure he wouldn’t be able to come up with 250.  (I knew it!)

I proceeded to hack at it to get it down in size. Acid-free paper is always best.  This would not be an acid-free paper, as the editor-wife was being quite caustic. All the poetic phraseology had to go — including the flickering candles in the military chapel where he gave his life to Jesus.  Description of the guitar-playing lady who led him to the Lord — hack.  Explanation of his search for God through Eastern religion — hack.  How long his hippie-looking fellow converts’ hair was — hack.  Paul likening himself to the Apostle Paul in his religious good intentions previous to conversion — hack, hack, hack!  My husband, the budding Charles Dickens.  It wasn’t a testimony; it was an epic saga!

The testimony is ready to go now — respectable, likely to qualify him for inclusion in the school, and not nearly as interesting without the Apostle Paul thrown in for color.  At least we know that Paul will have no trouble whatsoever completing the required five-page term papers.

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