ItSo…C: Chapter 4
Despite it not being his job, Jesse spends all afternoon helping Lindsey get her farm ready for the wienie roast. So long, in fact, that Jade gets there and gets all excited about the I’d Enjoy Going to the Wienie Roast Very Much.
Given the number of times [Lindsey had] asked him or Jade to church functions, she’d been pleasantly surprised when Jesse had agreed to come to the party. He’d been more than clear on a number of occasions that spiritual issues were on his no-call list.
Ah. So he’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to do these things, and you just keep asking him, anyway? I guess “no” never means “no” when it comes to nonbelievers coming to church, right, lady?
We seem to be getting back to usual RTC ground, here. Too bad; I thought we had been introduced to that rare, tolerant Christian fiction heroine.
Also, she has known them for one week. How many times has she invited them to various functions? More to the point, how many activities does this church have in a week? Damn.
Jesse and Jade leave to freshen up and then come back for the I’d Enjoy Going to the Wienie Roast Very Much. They get there about half an hour after it starts, and Lindsey is starting to freak out, except that she was the one who said the festivities would start at “sevenish,” so what’s she on about?
Oh, and it is mentioned that this I’d Enjoy Going to the Wienie Roast Very Much takes place under a “hunter’s moon,” which I did not know until now is the moon following the harvest moon, so once again, my blog teaches things!
We also meet the pastor and his wife, Cliff and Karen. The pastor…
…had once spent more time in the county jail for drinking and disturbing the peace than he did in church. Just looking at him reminded Lindsey and everyone else of the amazing redemptive power of God’s love.
Karen and Cliff had yet to conceive and every child held special interest for the pastor’s wife.
Okay, I’m sorry, but that phrasing is…kinda spooky. Like the pastor’s wife is scouting for specific kids for her dark rituals under the next full moon or something.
Speaking of kids, a friend of Lindsey’s has just found out she is pregnant with Spawn #4. Money is tight and they already have three and the husband is “shell-shocked,” but Baby Jesus hates birth control.
Also, they are playing volleyball, which seems a weird thing to play at night in October.
Once Jesse and Jade get there, the fun really begins, because Jesse is immediately suspicious of…well, everyone:
Some self-righteous churchgoer standing out there in the half darkness sucking down a hotdog…
…might have even been involved in the shady deal that had left him a homeless orphan.
Lindsey made the introductions. “This is my pastor, Cliff Wilson.”
Jesse’s surprise must have shown because the clergyman bellowed a cheerful laugh. “If you were out killing preachers, you’d pass me right up, wouldn’t you?”
Cliff looked more like a pro wrestler than a preacher.
Still, though, WHAT??? Killing preachers? So that’s the first place your mind went, eh, Cliff?
Jesse meets a few more of Lindsey’s neighbors, but none of them are anywhere near as interesting as Pastor Cliff and his serial killer fantasies!
Lindsey’s church family, as she called them, was fast destroying his long-held view of Christians as either stiff and distant or pushy and judgmental.
Pushy? Nah, in order to be pushy, a person would have to invite me to multiple church events over the course of a mere week, despite my firm and consistent “no” for an answer.
Lindsey goes to give the kids a hayride or somesuch, and Jesse is left alone with yet more random neighbors, who get to talking about Lindsey’s grandparents. And they finally reveal their names, which is apparently a huge deal for Jesse:
At last, he had someone to blame along with his stepfather. Lindsey’s grandfather, the man who’d stolen this eighty-acre farm from a teenage boy, was named Charlie Mitchell.
I like that it is admitted that Jesse is looking for someone to blame. But I hope we get some actual evidence soon, because this is so far making Jesse look a bit thick for a grown man. Does he know that the grandfather knew he was “stealing”?
And he still feels guilt, so that’s good.
The real takeaway from this chapter? Lindsey’s preacher is one weird dude.