Vol.XX No.IX Pg.8
November 1983

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

A Kentucky preacher, answering the knock at his study door, was greeted with an enthusiastic handshake and a joyous "Congratulations: This church has been chosen to receive one million, six hundred thousand dollars:"

It is possible, even probable, the preacher seemed a bit surprised and skeptical, but the caller hastened to explain. "The Lord told me to bring this gift to you, with these stipulations: one-twentieth (only $80,000) goes for preaching; and nineteen twentieths ($1,520,000) must be used to help poor people." The caller led the bewildered preacher to his car trunk, and there in splendor lay eight or ten rocks — seemingly a variety of common Kentucky fieldstone. With great care the right stone was selected for the recipient and delivered into his hands.

To make it "legal" the speechless preacher was then given a note which read: "I give one rock something like three pounds, to... (name of church), located in ...(name of county), Kentucky, off my farm." (Syntax is bad — but goes well with 1.6 million.) On the back of the paper were some figures ("1414, 1416, etc.") and "Union Carbide, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, main office; Maple St., Knoxville, Tenn." There was also a notation: "uranium 60, gold 60" which the man explained was the content of the fieldstone. Finally, there was a line, almost like a reminder, reading: "Next...(unclear) headquarters, Nashville, Tn." Maybe he meant to take a rock to the Gospel Advocate office.

Now you know as much about this as anyone (the donor has disappeared). Take your choice of morals. (1) "If his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?" (2) Child-like giving is not only humble, but generous. (3) A gift is not as important as the thought or desire to give. (4) There's more than one way to clear a rocky field. (5) The general public glorifies material assistance far above soul saving. (6) Influence of religion on punk rock. (7) Some things seem to be done for no other reason than to furnish stories for STUFF ABOUT THINGS.

And who do you suppose ended up with the rock worth (?) 1.6 million? The editor of PLAIN TALK, that's who; and the house is now open for bids.