A lot of y'all don't know this, but I got a son. His name is Jim Bob Bob. He lives with his mama over in Birmingham. Which, of course, burns my outboard, because it's bad enough he has to live with that obstinate witch without also havin' to live in a city. Cities are festerin' hotbeds of subversive activity and Birmingham is the worst among 'em! They might as well call that place Librulville. I do.
When I heard the news about Michael Sam bein' the first openly gay man to vie for the NFL, I thanked the Lord Jesus Christ that Birmingham doesn't have a pro team, 'cause they probably would have drafted him just for his homo tendencies because that's Librulville for ya! Also, I can't afford no tickets.
Anyway, this past weekend was my weekend with Jim Bob. I get him one weekend a month and two weeks a year, which is why I affectionately call him "My Li'l Service Obligation." He don't get it.
So, I had him this weekend and he was all a-bubble about something his teacher'd gave him. It was a brand-new, advance copy of somethin' called Nature Geoscience. Like anyone would be, I was surprised.
"Jim Bob, you can read?" I asked in astonishment.
"Of course, Daddy," he said. "I'm 12."
"Huh. I didn't read until I was 16."
"Really? You couldn't?"
"Oh, no, I could, I just didn't. Exceptin' for comics and the Bible. Not books. Didn't have time, what on account of playin' in the street and not wantin' to be a nerd."
"Well, I really like to read."
"I done told your mama to take you out of that public school 'fore you wind up with a show on Bravo."
It went on like this for a while.
Finally, Jim Bob got around to tellin' me why he was so excited about the journal. Apparently, scientists are sayin' a crystal found in Australia is 4.4 billion years old, makin' it the oldest known piece of anything in the world. Apparently, that's the kind of thing Jim Bob really likes reading about, because why else would a kid read a book?
"Dad," he said excitedly. "Isn't that neat? The oldest thing in the world! Wouldn't it be cool if it could talk? What story do you think it'd tell first?"
I made sure to set him straight.
"Son, the first thing it'd say is, 'I'm Satan, and I'm here to tell you lies,'" I zinged. "'I want you to think I'm 4.4 billion years old so you get confused and renounce the Lord Christ Jesus as your personal savior!'"
"But Dad," Jim Bob said, "My teacher says the Earth is billions of years old, so this is plausible."
"SHE LIES!" I told truthfully. "Teachers have an agenda. They want to control your brain and make you atheist so you vote for Muslims and Communists."
"Lemme ask you this, son. This teacher of yours, she ever get hush-hush with ya?"
"When she explains the Earth's origin, she whispers a little bit. She then says the Bible disagrees. She says that part louder."
"Did she give you that book in fronta everyone?"
"No, it was after class. She pulled me aside and said I'd like it."
"This teacher, you ever see her at church?"
"Well then, case closed!"
At this point, I expected Jim Bob to fall on his knees and beg for forgiveness about not believin' that rock was 4,000 years old or however long ago God made it so it could tell lies about itself if it could talk so my boy would blindly vote for Obama if he was old enough and the president wasn't a lame duck.
But then Jim Bob said something that made me wonder if it wasn't already too late.
"Well, Dad, I respect your opinion, and I believe in God too, but I'm convinced by the science."
You coulda knocked me on the floor with a feather. But then he hit me with a sandbag.
"In fact, I want to be a scientist when I grow up."
Speechless, I grabbed that book right out of his hands. I considered spankin' him with it, because I was spanked as a kid and I turned out OK, but then I remembered that's what the Bible is for, and I didn't have one handy. Not since I loaned it to my neighbor so she could strike her teenage daughter for saying that Sandra Fluke might have a point.
Instead, I hustled into the other room, Jim Bob's book in hand, and called his mama.
"How dare you let MY SON be indoctrinated by books like these!" I spit into the phone like the truth that it was. "It's underminin' his Bible study!"
"Clem, he's interested in science and he's very smart. What can I say?" that lying two-face replied. "Yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda yadda deadbeat yadda yadda yadda."
That's about what I hear whenever she flaps her lips.
But oh yeah, she did say something else.
"If it makes you feel better, Clem, the state legislature's actually considering a bill that would force students to pray to Jesus for 15 minutes every morning."
"Really? Can they do that?" I asked. After all, even with freedom of religion, the Constitution comes first. "I'm worried that that might interfere with the Pledge of Allegiance."
"I'm sure they'd just subtract it from classroom time," she said in an odd tone suggesting there was something wrong with that. "Not that it matters. That bill won't pass."
"See, that's precisely the problem with public schools! They insist on teachin' science and readin' and whatnot while treatin' religious dogma like it should left to the parents and the churches. Don't these schools care about the future? Why should I have to untangle everything my kid is learnin' when I see him?"
"Now do you see why you only get him once a month?"
Jim Bob ain't the only one gettin' smart in this family.