exposed to a lot of different “beliefs”. I went to baptist, pentecostal, lutheran, episcopalian, jewish, seventh day adventist, and many other services of many denominations.

There was a baptist preacher up the hill from us, in a little house he’d mostly built with his own hands. he was a decent enough man that my Father had no issue with him, but he had the classic preacher’s disease: His children were abject hellions.

His oldest, whose name was Jarlen but which was pronounced Gaylen was the worst of the lot. He had a nature that was… adventurous. On hearing that farts were composed of methane and thus flammable, he decided to experiment on his own.

Bic lighters had JUST made their appearance on the scene. They were still a couple dollars, so not everyone had them- there were still packs of matches in a bowl on every counter in America. Anyway, Jarlen had one, and had pulled his pants and underdrawers down as he felt some heavy duty gas coming on. He leaned back and lit the lighter and let go.

Jarlen had grown up, mostly, in the deep south, and his drawl was strong and probably never left him. He also probably never met a girl whose lock he couldn’t pick based on his drawl and his curly blond hair and boyish looks that lasted him into his 50’s. At the time of this incident, though, he was barely fourteen. Old enough, though, to have a thick bush of curly blonde pubic hair. He screamed and hopped into the living room hollering “Mah nuts on fiaa!! Mah nuts on fiaa!!” in front of the preacher’s sunday afternoon bible session, the smell of burning fart and burning hair following him into the room until he grabbed one of the congregations drink and used it to extinguish his nether regions.

Needless to say the bible study group moved on to other venues posthaste.

He had a couple wives and a couple girlfriends and ended up doing time for something petty. I don’t know, and I don’t care. Just that the mental image of him hoppity-hopping, pants around ankles, fanning furiously at his pecker while yelling “Mah nuts on fiaa!! Mah nuts on fiaa!!” will probably never leave me.