The Church Supper

For the most part, church suppers are occasions of festivity and joviality.   Around a table heaped with tempting foods, you will usually find an atmosphere in which to appreciate the fellowship of friends as well as to cultivate acquaintance with strangers.   In such cordial surroundings a church can often provide a spiritual attraction, which draws others to share its society.   Like most good things, however, there are exceptions.  A banquet where no one appreciates the food can be a horrible failure, or even if they have no appetite for what is offered to them on the table.   Actually, that’s what happened at the Nibblers’ Banquet.   In spite of the delicious food and the cordial welcome extended, the guests just could not enjoy themselves.
Very careful preparations were made to ensure the success of the Nibblers’ Banquet at the church.   The program committee went over the list of invitations very critically to make sure no one was overlooked or slighted.   The cooks were instructed to spare no effort in preparing a menu of delicious foods that would appeal to the most discriminating appetites.   The portions were to be generous and satisfying.   The seating arrangement was carefully studied to ensure proper honor of eminent guests and to prevent any unpleasantness that could arise from placing individuals next to someone with whom he was not on speaking terms.   Despite all these careful precautions, the banquet was nothing but a colossal failure.   No one was happy.
To be fair, one would have to admit that the guests themselves were a queer assortment of individuals.   It’s not likely that a more unattractive group would ever assemble together for any other occasion.  Pastor Goldbell, the host, beamed a cordial welcome to each guest who arrived.   Although the response was reserved, it failed to dampen his enthusiasm as he busied himself to make sure that each person was made comfortable.   After prolonged waiting, Danny DeLay, the last of the guests arrived, and they all gathered around the table to sample the delicious food.   Instead of eating the meal, however, each one began to criticize and ask whether or not it was fit to eat.   Several complained that they were on a milk diet, and had never eaten a meal consisting of meat and solid foods.   Some even wanted a bottle, or preferred to be spoon fed like babies.
In analyzing the guests around the table, it was noted that each one had some peculiarity that made eating difficult.   To say the least, they were all undernourished, while at the same time, rejecting the food that was offered.   Mr. I. M. Nosey, for instance, was very sharp featured and his nose resembled an elongated banana, which seemed to protrude into his neighbor’s plate whenever he tried to show friendship.   Naturally, he was shunned because Awl Ears tried to hear what everyone was saying and repeat it as gossip.   It was obvious that he got everything mixed up, so he was regarded as being totally unreliable, in spite of his big ears.   Mr. D. Pest Gloom was continually airing his views in the gravel-throated tone that depressed everyone.   He thought the young people were on the road to ruin and he just spoiled any appetite that others may have had.   His long face and gloomy forebodings destroyed the enjoyment of the occasion.   Only Mr. Awl Ears paid any attention to him.
One of the more distinguished guests appeared to have fairly normal features except his eyes seemed as penetrating as gimlets.   When Pastor Goldbell noticed that he was not eating his food, he tried to be sociable and enquired about his name.   The strange man replied with an icy reserve, “My name is Doctor Rinally Wright.   I specialize on doctrinal gland and on brain issues.   The health of people depend on whether they are doctrinally right or not,” he said with animation.   “Then,” said Pastor Goldbell, “You are not a heart specialist?”  “No,” said Doctor Rinally Wright, showing some irritation, “I am an authority on heads.  I can take a side issue and graft it into the brain issue so cleverly, that you can scarcely tell it from the original issue.   “The Bible,” he said, “Says that all Scripture is profitable for doctoring, for reproof and instruction.   You see, the head is very important in religion.”   As Pastor Goldbell studied the features of Doctor Rinally Wright, he noticed how immobile they were.   His mouth was so set, it would only take one shape and size of food, which had to be prepared by the doctor himself, and since it was half baked, it was so dry there was really no nourishment left in it.   Despite his clever intellect, he was starving to death and yet he was so proud, he insisted on being elevated a few degrees above his neighbors.
Continuing around the table, one noticed poor Sen Sitive, who failed to bring his shoes for some reason or other, and he always seemed to think everybody was stepping on his toes on purpose.   Then, Gus Wagontongue was as unpopular as ever with his perpetual gabbing.  Humphrey Braggart didn’t add much to the occasion with his egotistic opinion of himself.   Mrs. Frosty and Anne Icicle caused a lot of people to complain of cold shoulders.   They wouldn’t have anything to do with Lotta Hotair, either.   In fact, Anne Icicle stayed as near the door as possible, but this didn’t prevent her from pointing her cold fingers of scorn at everyone who looked her way.   Arty Fishal was the only one who came wearing a mask and two suits of clothes.   He said he always did this when he went to church gatherings, because his face had some bad scars on it and he didn’t want to be bothered changing his dirty clothes so he just put another suit on over his regular ones.
All at once, Goodan Choosey began to show displeasure with the proceedings.   Before the meal commenced, Mr. Choosey seemed radiantly happy, but just before they sat down, he furtively slipped into the kitchen.   After that, he refused to eat because he said he didn’t like the cooks, and wouldn’t eat anything they prepared.   Pastor Goldbell was frustrated.   From a practical standpoint, he knew something drastic had to be done, or all his banquets would be failures.   He knew the nibblers were either sick, or too finicky, or abnormal in some way or other.   It was not natural, so he decided to spend all his energy in finding the cause and cure of nibblers.  His research led him to a most rewarding experience.
Pastor Goldbell discovered that I. M. Nosey was a miner, so he induced him to invest everything he had in a company incorporated under the name of, “Mining Your Own Business.”   Mr. Nosey discovered unlimited possibilities in the venture and its success induced him to take Mr. Awl Ears in as a partner.   They’re still doing extremely well because the ore they mine is almost all, personal profit.   Sad faced D. Pest Gloom was to be pitied, for he did almost all his work in the dark until he seemed to cast a shadow everywhere he went.   Pastor Goldbell persuaded him to get out in the light more and quit his night work, and from then on, he became much more cheerful.
Goldbell almost gave up trying to help Doctor Rinally Wright, but eventually he succeeded in getting him to a heart specialist.   It was found that the doctor was suffering from an acute case of hardening of the attitudes.   His influence was so low it had almost ceased to circulate.   After a strong transfusion of love and a steady diet of service, the doctor showed remarkable recovery.   He suggested that Mr. Sen Sitive could improve his circumstances if he would always wear shoes made with a real think skin.   Gus Wagontongue was cured by an antitalkin vaccine; made from the virus of his own words.   It was so bitter that Gus only had to take about two treatments.   Goodan Choosey is still partial to some cooks more than others, but he decided that his own health was more important then finding fault with the cooks.   After Mrs. Frost and Ann Icicle got into a warmer climate their reserve just melted away.   Ann wept copious tears, to think of how often she had given a sharp dig to others.



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