Men Of The Cloth


My younger brother has always been a successful businessman. For one thing, he has the gift of gab.  His demeanor is playful and he intuitively connects with people.  Consequently, his business acumen serves him well.  When I told him I was headed to Arkansas for a meeting and that I’d like to stop by, he was pleased.  Arriving at his home shortly after the regular workday ended yesterday, he joked about my inability to easily find his home.

Entering his address in my car’s GPS system after I arrived in Broken Arrow didn’t work well for me.  I’m not sure why I expressed it like that.  It didn’t work at all for me.  I got as far as entering  “B” “R” “O” before finding the letter “K” wasn’t an option.  That makes it impossible to look up Broken Arrow.    

By happenstance, he had telephoned just after I arrived in town.  I told him I couldn’t get the car’s GPS system to work. He suggested that the system should be voice activated?  Was he joking or was he serious?  I don’t know. I explained my whereabouts and he said, “You’ve done something wrong.”  I told him not to bother trying to give me directions, I’d go to map-quest on my iPhone.  Problem solved; right?

Do you ever have the sense that you’re going the wrong direction even though the tracking device reflects that you are on course?  As it turned out, I was accurately following directions to the address I had entered.  Failure to include a number can (pardon the pun) do a number on you.  When I found myself going west instead of east, you’d have thought I would have connected the dots.  After passing the sign reflecting a directional arrow to the Tulsa airport, I knew I had messed up big time.  I made the discovery about the same time my phone rang again with his inquiry regarding my location.

He and his wife laughingly greeted me with the question: “Where have you been?”  When I answered: “Over near the Tulsa airport”, they simply shook their heads and laughed.  I suggested for the first order of business, I needed to excuse myself to the men’s room. I had eaten my weight in crushed ice as a ploy to stay awake while I was driving. My brother said, “Go to the one next to the laundry room, but don’t turn on the light.” 

Did I mention you could live in Oklahoma and be weird?  Why would anyone go into a darkened room for a bathroom break?  Under the auspices of: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, I followed my brother’s instructions.  Opening and closing the door, despite the fact that it was dark in the room, I immediately connected the dots.  The interior of the toilet was lighted. I think he told me later that it is a “Glow  Bowl”.  I’m not making this stuff up and I’m not doing drugs.  Why would anyone have a light inside the toilet?  It was too weird for me.  I immediately turned on the light.  That was too strange for my comfort level.

Even stranger than the Glow Bowl was the explanation my brother provided.  They picked up the idea from watching “Shark Tank.” Are you kidding me?  That puts a whole new spin on reality television.  Shark Tank, is “the critically-acclaimed reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America”.

I once attended a conference where one of the participants of Shark Tank was a featured speaker.  To say that she had a lot of self-confidence doesn’t even come close to defining her perceived level of importance.  Why would my brother and his wife be watching Shark Tank on television?  I’ve always known that he’s done well, but I wouldn’t have intuitively thought he’d have an interest in watching tough, self-made, multi-millionaires or billionaires’ gloat over their business acumen.

 We were early in our conversation when my brother’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter turned into the drive. In addition, they had stopped and picked up my nephew’s 3-year-old son.  The two little ones are really cute playful kids.  In fact, I’m sure their picture will make it into my blog.

Over dinner, my niece had a question regarding weird people from Texas. She should talk!  Does she have any idea how weird it is that her parents watch Shark Tank and have a lighted toilet?  She wanted to talk about weird people from Texas.  In fact, she narrowed the circle down more than that.  First she asked, how I dressed for church?  Okay, I’m old school. I admit it. I always wear the best I have.  I responded: “I wouldn’t consider not wearing a coat and tie”.  I couldn’t tell from her body language whether she was surprised by my answer or not. 

She went on to say: “We have two relatively new pastors at our church”.  Actually, I’m not sure whether she referred to them as pastors or preachers.  I’ve heard the expression: “Cheaper by the dozen”, but I’d bet money (oops – I forgot I was Baptist) that they didn’t get two preachers/pastors for the price of one.  Reportedly, both came from a mega-church in Austin.

My niece wanted to ensure that I didn’t take her criticism the wrong way (I think she was referring to the Austin connection).  Both men are loved by their church and are considered at the top of the leader board. The consensus around the dinner table last night is that both pastors are very smart and very loved.  They are a perfect fit for their role. However, the Achilles heel for one is also true for the other as well.

So what’s the problem?  The problem is the way they dress for church. Both pastors wear skinny jeans to church. I don’t think the un-tucked shirts represented a problem.  The problem was definitely the skinny jeans.  Some folks can get by with that and look okay or at least marginal.  Reportedly, these two men of the cloth (pardon the pun) don’t have the physique to make that work well for them. Shall we say, “It is not their most flattering look?”  I guess you could also say: “They are too big for their britches.”

My coat and tie my be old fashion, but at least I’m not pushing the limits.  I am  also not weird enough to have a light in my  toilet.

All My Best!




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