If one were driving through the tiny Missoura town of Tightwad (really) and happened to look at the grass lot beside the Soul’s Harbor Worship Center, one would see a large tent. The tent isn’t housing a revival, although that would not be an unreasonable guess. No, it is selling fireworks.

The vendor of these explosive and in many cities illegal wares is Osceola Assembly of God Fireworks (really).

I am not certain what Jesus would do here, but I hope it would be something besides his SOP of driving out the buyers and sellers and overturning the tables. Something’s liable to go boom.


Putting aside for a moment the fact that I had to read this story in the Washington Post, not the paper of record where it actually happened (which would be in Kansas City, where I actually live)….

One of the nice things about being an adult is that the irrational fears of childhood are finally gone. [Ed.: In the interest of space and focus, we shall not discuss the fears that have replaced those.]

For example, one of my biggest worries when I lay in bed as a child was that the town water tower would tip over and wash me away while I slept. That was assuaged somewhat by a neighbor who assured me she was a great swimmer and would save me if disaster struck.

My other big worry was seasonal. I hated leaving my bedroom window open at night, because I was convinced a bird of prey could fly right through the screen and…attack me? Ask to listen to my little red AM radio? Caw “Nevermore” and leave? I don’t know, but suffice to say it was a concern.

Now, 40 years later, I learn that not only is this a valid fear, but I don’t even need the window open for it to happen.

See you in my dreams, birdies.

Give me your tired, your poor

As I was taking my after-work constitutional on this sunny day, I was greeted by a young man in the middle of the sidewalk on the main drag. “Do you like me in my uniform?” he asked. I replied yes, it was very nice, and I meant that.

Given my prolonged exposure to the military, however, I would not have called it a uniform. He was dressed as Lady Liberty, complete with a foam crown. I would have called it a costume, but perhaps that does not convey the gravitas he was looking for.