When Otis went to preaching he stopped talking as soon as he could. Otis spent some time alone, which was not new, for he was mostly alone after Enid, anyway, but this alone was different. His thoughts were forward, to when he might see her later, not backward, to when he never saw her again. He thought about eating and sleeping and set aside the moments when he had to order his breaths.
Otis did not much like talking preachers, in particular those who talked too long, well after they ran out of things to say, while still in the limits of the Spring Seed Money Preachathon. Otis mostly questioned the preachers who ordered others to send money to God but always gave their own address.
“Preachers are good for marryin’ and buryin’,” Enid told Otis one day in May before he went to war and not long after he burned down the AG Barn.
At that moment Otis did not know what he was good for himself. He had no place to stay, since he was supposed to be watchman over the AG Barn he burned down with an acetylene torch, by accident, though he had been directly told not to burn down the barn.
“Do not burn down the AG Barn,” Ed Two-Bucks, the Amerind who taught AG told Otis.
Ed Two-Bucks gave Otis this order half in jest, since anyone would know not to burn down the place he lived.
Ed Two-Bucks warned Otis about indoor fire just before he left on a purification trip to the Sweat Lodges. Ed Two-Bucks planned to open a package store just across the northern county line, eleven miles from Joshaway over toward Flurryville. He wanted to open in the summer and have the store up and running before school started in the autumn, so he needed to sweat it out, get his sign animal and complete the loan process for his building and inventory.
“”Do not burn down the AG Barn,” Ed told Otis before he went to the lodges.
“I told you not to burn down the AG Barn,” Ed Two-Bucks told Otis two weeks later.
Ed was back from the lodges, shiny and healthy looking from the purge of impurities. He had received his sign animal, Skunk, which was good, though Caucasians did not think so. They only knew how Skunk smelled when fearful. The Amerind knew Skunk to be wise, able to live in family units, defend Skunself by camouflage, smell and, when forced to fight, teeth and claws. Skunk was only vulnerable in the mating season when the rut drove Skunk wild and made Skunk prey to the giant trucks on the highway.
“I told you not to burn down the AG Barn,” Ed said again.
Otis nodded. Mr. Two-Bucks had clearly said, “Do not burn down the AG Barn.”
And, yet, there lay the AG Barn, in ashes and ruins. The school did not rebuild the barn, since the football arena needed new sod. So, the School Board used the insurance money from the AG disaster to put in new sod on the football field, since that is agriculture, too. The Board decided to use Bully Connors cousin to put in the new sod, so it cost about twice the usual price and did not grow very well.
The School Board moved the AG department uptown to an old building the Masonic Lodge would not use anymore. This building also burned down years later, so the AG department moved back to the main campus. The new School Board, remembering the previous disaster, put the Second AG Barn, which was greater than the First, away from the other buildings as a precaution. Therefore, the Second AG Barn was not touched when the ’87 tornado took all the other school buildings plum down to the ground.
The football team had to dress in the Second AG Barn and play on a field without good sod. Bully Connors’ own son played on that team. He tore up his knee but good one night, reversing his field near the fifty yard line where the sod was thinnest. He groaned and cried and was never the same again.
The irony was not lost on the crowd.
So, Otis quit talking as soon as he could stop, even when he spoke to large crowds. He established his faith mostly by writings. His disciples mostly just handed out the stuff Otis wrote, door to door, until later, when Al Gore invented the internet. Then, the women learned to copy and paste Otis’ teachings for all to see. The men played more golf.
Unless otherwise noted, references in this edition are from the CEOV of Holy Writ. We still believe Otis spoke mostly in Rural Texan himself. Our scholars believe this because of the original books frequent references to Chicken Fried Steak and Football.
We do not accept the Direct Adoration of Otis as practiced by the cultists in Parker and Palo Pinto Counties. Otis did not teach his followers had to lie down in the road between Lipan and Brock at dusk one night in May each year. We particularly disagree with the stigmatic Wearing of the Vomit on the bib overalls favored by these followers, no matter how well-intentioned. Simple is one thing but silly is another. Clean your overalls and get out of the road before you hurt someone else.
Our editors acknowledge that the Common English Otis Version is a translation only. We take it from the original Rural Texan sources where they may be found.
I Otis 1
Otis, rescued by the One True God, saved from the Narrow Turn in the Winding Road at Dusk, to the churches which are in Johnson, Tarrant, Wise, Hood, Parker and Palo Pinto Counties of Texas.
Grace to you and peace. Remember that all Scripture mentions Grace(s) mostly in relation to sin, always in judgement of sin and promise of grace to the sinner.
Grace is all the good things your Momma promised you even when she had to light up your rear end a time or two before Dr. Spock invented time out. Just take the good things your Momma promised you because she loved you all the time, not just when you were good, which you weren’t a lot of the time.
Remember this is apape love (grace): Grace occurs whenever someone loves you because it is in their nature to love you, not because you have to be worth it all the time. This is grace, shown to me by the Prophetess Enid, though I did not see it until too late.
Do not act religious. We got all the actors we need. Learn how to imitate good people where they are good and bad people when they are good for all goodness is of God and even Skunk can be good. Do not let bad people (there are some) outdo you in good, because that would make the whole thing a travesty, wouldn’t it?