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An Original Tales From The Copy Center Story


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The Preacher Man
Tuesday, February 09, 1999   By: Br'er Juan

A minister of the Lord encounters the materialism of PVB.

Br'er Juan spotted the little old preacher man who happened to be black standing at the end of the counter shuffling papers in his hands. He stood chest high to the counter, wearing a coat, and sweater and his gray hair slicked back.

 "I need some help putting this together. It's for my church program tomorrow," the preacher man said.

 Br'er Juan looked at the assorted torn and smudged papers and was laying them out in his mind when - wham.

 A perfectly coiffed and made-up, pearls and tennis dress wearing Ponte Vedra Beach woman elbowed the preacher man out of the way.

 "I'm in a hurry," she announced, nose and chin raised.

 Remembering that most grown-up yuppies never learned the basic lessons of kindergarten, such as waiting one's turn, Br'er Juan said, "This gentleman was ahead of you - I'll be with you in a minute."

 "No, no," said the preacher man. "The lady's in a hurry. Wait on her, Jesus will wait on me."

 Br'er Juan waited on the "lady" and got rid of her. As he turned back to the preacher man, another woman, this one dressed in business casual, elbowed the preacher man out of the way.

 "I'm in a hurry, too," she huffed. "I have an appointment in 10 minutes."

 "Go ahead and wait on her," said the preacher man. "I pray Jesus has given me more time on earth than 10 minutes."

 Of course this second Ponte Vedra Beach woman was a PITA, wanting copies made from some European-sized paper - something larger than the glass on the copier. She refused to believe Br'er Juan's explanation that the copier couldn't see her entire document, so he made a demonstration copy. The copier cut off the top and edge, just as he had explained, and she threw her version of what passes for a hissy fit in polite society complete with huffs, puffs and personal attacks on Br'er Juan's intelligence. Br'er Juan gave her his version of the prison stare and used the old sales technique of waiting for her to speak the next word.

 "O.K. - just copy what you can."

 When Br'er Juan finally returned to the preacher man, he asked, "Since I've been so patient, can't you give me copies at that special two-cent rate?"

 "Ha," shouted Br'er Juan. "You really are a preacher. You know they're supposed to be six-cents each."

 "I'm praying to Jesus."

 Br'er Juan made the copies and wrote out the preacher man's bill. The copies were two cents each.

 "See there," said the preacher man. "The good Lord rewards folks who're patient. Let that be a lesson to you, son."

 A lesson it is.

Tales and Humor  

(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren