Altar Call - Opelika-Auburn News
Walter Albritton
May 7, 2000

Two funny stories that my wife wonít let me use in sermons

My wife has good judgment. There are some stories she simply will not allow me to use in a sermon. I respect her opinion so some of the cutest stories I have ever heard have never made it into the pulpit. I thought you might enjoy two of these side-splitting yarns.

The first is about some children. On the last day of kindergarten, the children brought presents for their teacher. The son of a florist handed the teacher his gift. She held it up, shook it, and said, "Why I bet this is some flowers." "Youíre right," the boy said with a grin.

The daughter of a candy store owner placed her gift in the teacherís hands. Again she shook it, looked puzzled, then said, "I bet this is a box of candy!" "Thatís right," the little girl said.

Next came the son of the liquor store manager with his gift. As the teacher held it up to shake it, she noticed it was leaking. She touched a drop of the liquid with her finger and tasted it. "Is it wine?" she asked. "No," replied the boy. The teacher touched another drop to her tongue and asked, "Is it champagne?" "No," the boy said again.

"Well," said the teacher, "I give up. What is it?"

"A puppy!" said the boy with a big smile.

So I admit my wife is right. Stories should be selected on the basis of good taste. That story does not have good taste.

The second story is one shared with me by my missionary buddy, Sandy Toomer, who flies planes for Missionary Aviation Fellowship in Shell, Ecuador. The scene is a picnic and as Sandyís story goes, this fellow, John, has fixed himself a beautiful ham sandwich. In fact, it was perfect: a thick slab of ham, on fresh bread, with crisp lettuce, pickles, a slice of onion, and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard.

Johnís mouth is ready for a bite of that sandwich. His jaws are aching with anticipation. He carries it out in the backyard to the picnic table, picks it up with both hands, is ready to sink his teeth into it, when he is stopped by his wife who is suddenly at his side. Thrusting their six-week-old son toward him, she says, "Hold Johnny while I get my sandwich, please." But let John finish his own story:

"I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers. I love mustard. I had no napkin. I licked it off. It was not mustard! "No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue. Later my wife said, "It gives new meaning to 'Poupon.' "

Now I am certain both these stories could fit nicely into a good old "hellfire and damnation" sermon about the coming judgment, but alas, I cannot use them. They do not meet the test of good taste. And I must admit it, Mama is right again.