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Thursday, January 31, 2002

Baptisin' Bobby in the Bathroom

Obviously, 12 years of public school had an effect on me. So, here's another story.

My high school had about 1,000 kids--not small, but not large enough to have much in the way of programs for the "special" kids. Those kids had one teacher whose classroom was close to the restroom, but they also spent a good deal of time just melded in with the rest of us. Which I guess was fine, depending on how you looked at it. There were folks who thought, "They need to assimilate." Then, there were others who thought they needed a wing of the building or a separate school that could give them what they needed.

I won't get into that debate. What I can talk about is Baptisin' Bobby.

Baptisin' Bobby was one of the special kids, and he listened to a A LOT of television and radio evanglists. In the bathroom between classes, he could do their whole spiel, about how you were going to hell if you didn't accept Jesus and get baptised IMMEDIATELY. Jesus was knocking at your door. He wanted to scrub your heart clean. Why do you turn him away? Why?

Bobby knew how to alternate between the ministers' gentle pleading one minute and threats of damnation the next. It was a good cop/bad cop thing, and he had it down. Being from Alabama and Eastern Kentucky, I'd been to enough Southern Baptist services to know. The only thing Baptisin' Bobby left out was the invitational hymn about "Just As I Am."

Anyway, as he was preaching, Baptisin' Bobby would fill up the sink with water and invite those in the bathroom to step forward for baptism. I let him do me once, just to get him off my back. After that, all I had to do was give an occasional deep "Ayyyy-men, brother" to appease him.

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