Just across the county line of the area that I grew up in sat a dilapidated structure that if you weren’t looking closely you wouldn’t realize even existed. Any weekend nights a lovely sound of country music melody, laughter and just plain ole redneck fun could be heard for miles around.
Although the place advertised a good time, the pub had been known for some pretty serious roughnecks. Rumor has it that a man was involved in a domestic dispute with his blood brother that ended with one of them being taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Many stories emerged from the locals about the attempts of the use of sharp objects to harm others. This was about as common as politicians telling little white lies while under oath.
To give you a better idea of the likes of this fine establishment there are a few things that you need to know. When entering the front door the unfinished wood floor creaked as if it were begging you to remove your body weight from its support system. The pool tables positioned throughout the one room building seemed to be positioned along the joists supporting the feeble planks that easily could have been removed to discover the ground below the building. This was the kind of place that you wouldn’t let momma know you had attended.
After entering, I realized that if I wasn’t with a few of the locals I might be a little out of place. The owner and operator of the tavern was enjoying himself leading the crowd in country music favorites from a cheap karaoke machine. He was really getting the crowd into it. The only issue was that he suffered from throat cancer and had lost most of his voice due to the treatments. His act along with the words through those speakers wouldn’t let you know that there was any issues with his voice at all.
When nature called, the structural issues of the building were never more prevalent. The trough that represented the urinal I’m sure provided water for farm livestock at some point. The normal toilet had duct tape holding the water tank together. I’ve seen port-a-john’s that were more stable than this latrine.
In all of the oddities of this place, in the corner of the restroom sat a table with a giant printed King James Version of the “Good Book.” We are talking about the family size version that never left the coffee table at your grandparent’s house. If you are too young to understand, the words would favor that of the Bible app on your mobile device magnified by 125 %.
The Good Lord’s office isn’t confined to the preachers desk filled with the Sunday school books and the small couch used for marriage counseling.
He also works at a beer joint in the middle of nowhere with a guy lip syncing Willy, Waylon and Hank. Also, in a shack that surely wouldn’t pass inspection by the county building code police. His words seemed larger than the others on the open pages in that restroom. They were written in red and they jumped off the page.
“I love Sinners.”