User:Bradaphraser/UnBooks: The Perfect Lawn
There is a legend that is told in Possum Trot, Kentuckistan. I heard in from old Mr. Morgan. I didn't used to believe it, but seeing as how he swears it's true and, given his reputation as a teacher-turned-farmer, I'll take his word over the Bible's, I guess I do believe it now. It concerns a barber who lived many years ago, a fella by the name of Gene French. He worked in the competing barbershop to Rommelman's Beauty Shop, back when such a thing was nearly impossible; but that's kind of the man French was, always oblivious to everything that was obvious to everyone else.
Well, needless to say, times were rough on this guy, what with him owning the "other" barbershop, and all, so he had to take a side job now and then just to keep going. Now French, well, he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, so he'd gained a reputation as an easy prank. This meant he'd get asked to do all manner of strange things, and bless his heart, he'd never catch wise, sometimes not even after someone had shown him how he'd been had.
Well, there was a fella by the name of Rory Williams, who was a tobacco farmer who regularly patronized French, and one day he noticed his scissors were just as dull as the man using them. He made a comment somewhat to this effect (though obviously in a more polite way), and Gene apologized and went to sharpening his tool. Well poor old Rory, he felt sorry for French, looking at his old piece and, taking into account how often he came there and such, felt it was his civic duty to get French a new pair of haircutters.
Of course, he was going to pull a prank first. Such an perfect pranking opportunity doesn't come every day. It was as if God Himself was ordering him to mischief, and Rory, being a God-fearing man, considered it his sacred duty to carry out God's Will. So, of course, he sought counsel from God's closest friend in town, Reverend Gunn, who'd had much experience with doing God's Work, usually of this very nature.
So he went up to the reverend, told him what he was about, and asked if he had any Divine suggestions. Now, this was obviously before the reverend passed away, but he was pretty far along in his palsy at this point, so so he had a grave shake about him that made word he uttered sound profound. "You leave the man to me, son," he said, "and head off to town to get him a new pair of shears. I've an idea that's sure to have you slapping your knees and gasping for air."
This was just what Rory wanted to hear, of course, so he took his pickup and headed off to Paducah to the general store. He had to pick up some fertilizer anyway, and so it wasn't out of his way. The preacher needed a haircut, too, so their roles were perfectly suited to what they were needing to do that day.
In the barbershop
So the preacher headed off to French's barbershop. Of course, he had to stop by the courthouse, talked to some bankers, and drop off some mail first, but it wasn't long before he was sitting in the barbershop, reading the paper and waiting for Gene to come out of the restroom.
"Aw, geez, I didn't know anyone was here!" said French as he zipped up his trousers right before wiping his hands on them. "Sorry reverend," he added after getting a stern look for his language, "What can I do for you Today, Father Gunn?"
"Ohhh, I need a haircut," replied the sly Preacher, "I've got a lot of work to do Today. A piece has fallen off the lawnmower and I'm going to have to figure out how I'll cut the lawn around the church before services on Sunday." Seeing as how it was good Friday afternoon, and Sunday was Easter, this gave poor French an idea of the gravity of the situation and how time was running out.
"Well, geez reverend, you shouldn't be out there mowing anyone's yard, anyway, much less God's yard." The reverend had an excuse all ready to go for why none of the Deacons could do it, seeing how they were all at a Cardinals game and weren't due back until Saturday night, but I'll tell you, with these two men, there was no battle of wits, it was a massacre. "Is there anything I could do to help?"
The old man's eyes sparkled with mischief, though with his arms shaking as they were, it surely seemed like just happiness to poor French. "Well, I'll tell you. I've heard that a lawn that's cut with a pair of scissors is the most beautiful lawn on this Earth. So I thought that, if you could at least cut the front lawn where the congregation comes in those scissors of yours, it could be the best after-Easter luncheon ever."
Now French (who'd begun cutting brother Gunn's hair at this point) was taken aback by this somewhat. He didn't really care for outdoor work, and had never really used his scissors for anything other than hair, and couldn't promise it'd look all that great, but he eventually ran out of excuses and agreed to be at the Church at 8 o'clock the next morning.
The preacher thanked him and left a whole dollar as a tip for the haircut (which was quite a lot considering how little hair the balding man had left to cut), with the promise of a dollar an hour for his efforts the next day. He then went back home before getting an urgent call to head to the hospital in Paducah right away, as Ms. Wood's brother-in-law was in terrible condition and was likely to pass on, soon. At this, Father Gunn hitched over to Baptist hospital, where over the course of the night and Ms. Wood's brother-in-law's worsening condition, he forgot all about French and the prank.