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Frying Spam
& Other things to do Before the Rapture Excerpts:


tasty slices from the forthcoming memoirs by
samuel saint thomas


So after ten years of Mom weeping and wailing, I arrived.  Mom’s ten year project.  A boy that she could raise up to be a preacher.   A preacher of the Gospel.  Just like Dad.  That was the plan.  “You were sent to me by God.  Don’t ever forget that, boy,” she’d say.  Sent was the way Mom put it.  Straight from heaven to... 
 
I’d heard Dad preach that Catholics thought there was a place in between heaven and hell.  I imagined it was like getting cleaned up for a visit to Grandma’s at the rest stop on the PA Turnpike on our way to Scranton.  If you got struck down by lightning or Jesus came in the rapture, you could stop by to wash your sins... 
 
Every time Mom would catch me not going to school, she’d slap me silly and ask me the same questions all over again. “Just what are you doing up in this alley?”  I hoped she’d slap me in the face again so my lips would bleed and run down on my shirt.  It hurt bad, sometimes for days, but at least... 
 
I stuffed two oranges in my shirt like breasts and drew a crayon mustache on my face.  I shook the oranges up and down.  The boys laughed real hard and pointed.  The girls covered their eyes.  Someone told.  My Ms. Souder and the other Ms. Souder came rushing out the door and...
 
We never ever had deviled Spam.  Even when it came as a love offering at the Harvest Home  Revival Meetings. “Over my dead body,”  Dad said.  “None of the devil’s food will be served at this table.  No devil’s food cake.  No deviled eggs.  Not in this house.  Not ever. I’m laying down the law and...” 
 
The devil’s got a hold of this man,” Dad said, “He is possessed with the demon of homosexuality.”  It was like Dad had hit a home run at Veterans Stadium.  Everyone got louder and louder, saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” and speaking in tongues, their hands up in the air and...
 
Once a day, Mr. Softy parked over there by Lukens fence.  He had to take a pee, I saw it run under the truck in the middle of the guy’s feet.  My sister saw it too and that’s why we weren’t allowed to get a cone from Mr. Softy . “He’s got no way to wash after touching his thing,” Mom said.  “Even if there was, he’s colored, how can you tell if their hands are clean?” And...
 
Watch this, ya sissy,” he said.  He poked the gun in my stomach, held it there and laughed.  I’d only seen guns in the comic books.  They weren’t that scary.  This was scary.  I could die.  A hole blown straight through my stomach where my breakfast used to be.  And there’d be blood.  And I had sins to confess to Jesus first.  I’d just been looking at naked pictures down in the... 

The real men in those pictures drove hot rods, so I knew that men with hot rods had foxy girls.  It was all there in the pictures.  Girls in bikinis with their legs wrapped around stick shifts and draped on leather seats or hand-waxed hoods like sacrifices on an altar...
 
The Bible says that Jesus is coming like a thief in the night.  Not like the way robbers rob banks and corner stores with guns and baseball bats.  No.  It’ll be magical stealing, snatching all the saved people up into the clouds, dogs and cats and sinners left behind to drown in blood and fry in flames... 
 
Bleeding, screaming, dead people, sinners on top of sinners.  Blood.  And the frying would come.  It was the end.  No more baseball or chocolate Easter bunnies or new pairs of shoes or Christmas presents or going to the Dairy Queen.  I’d never have sex or...

Dad stepped back, then lunged, hitting her forehead with his hand.  “In the name of Jesus, come out.  You demon of lipstick?  Come out this minute in the name of Jesus. Barbara Rae then...
 
I stood there in the middle of the room wearing nothing but a jock-strap and a pair of white socks, a hundred pounds of pimples and fear.  When I finally pulled the pants on, I felt my baseball career drain through the bottom of my feet.  The shirt was worse.  My uniform was big, very big. And now...

She was warm.  Her long black hair fell across my neck.  Her hand slipped under my school jacket.  “Have you ever French kissed?” she asked.  She must have known I hadn’t from the way I looked at her.  I’d kissed Becky and Darlene, and Naomi, the preacher’s daughter from Maryland, but as far as I knew, none of them were French... 


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