Wednesday, August 05, 2009

"My Garages Runneth Over"

“I don’t want pie in the sky, bye and bye, when I die,” the Reverend Ike shouted to his congregation. “I want my pie right now, with ice cream on top.”

He got it. Or, as he used to say, “My garages runneth over.” Among those who followed him were his many believers, the IRS and the Postal Service. I rather suspect the latter two were not among the devoted followers mentioned first.

The Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter preached a gospel of material prosperity (the material man, not to be confused with Madonna’s material woman). “Close your eyes and see green. Money up to your armpits, a roomful of money and there you are, just tossing around in it like a swimming pool.”

He followed his own advice, selling some sort of sacred [talcum] power to be flushed down toilets, prayer cloths and ties. He prayed for and preyed on the superstitious Caribbean people (more pre- than pra-). Wilson Mizner’s Alaskan gambling line, “Never give a sucker an even break,” sure applies here.

So, the Reverend Ike died on the 28th, fated to meet his Maker. He got his pie, not in the sky, but on earth and with ice cream on top, as he wished. One can only wonder what the conversation was like on that day.

God: “Got what you wanted.” Ike: “Oh, sh*t.”


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