Mini-series, continued

I’ve thought twice about this mini-series since I sat down the first time to write. Dear friends have provided what they called “lectures.” Other friends have expressed sympathy. A select few, those who have my greatest respect, have terrified me by suggesting that I do the unthinkable: Acually do what I’ll never do. Still, I think I’ll continue at my own peril.

I call this: The Church of Otis (abbreviated to Chotis):

I don’t want your money. I don’t want love slaves (well, maybe a couple to keep me sane). I just want your ear. Listen, my people, and Otis shall set you free.

Please open your black and white composition books and turn to Annoyances, chapter one, verse one. “And he handed down from the reclining lounge chair the first commandment: Fix it, or Fuck it.” My friends, they are the simple words of a simple man, but Otis knew of what he spoke. He knew that life is full of minor, unavoidable annoyances. He knew that we could not fix the unfixable. He knew that our happiness was dependant on our ability to cast aside life’s little buggaboos.

Now, please open your hymnals to page 44. And let us sing: “Embrace your vice, my liver’s turned to cheese. How great thy drink, how great thy drink.” Neighbors, don’t dare interpret this fine hymn as an excuse to drown your sorrows in alcohol. This was a cautionary hymn, one that recognized the both healing and destructive power of our sacramental libation. Use it, but don’t let it use you. If you find it is using you, find something else to use. Otis suggested sex as an alternative.

If you’ll look to your right, you’ll notice our church deacons passing the offering plate down the aisle. Please keep your wallets in your pocket. Instead please write the name of person whose actions and opinions have no bearing on your life, and sign the promise sheet vowing to never again let that person fuck with your life. Put it in the plate and pass it to your left.

For our benediciton today, we’ve compiled a chorus of well-known disciples of Otis. Please sing along as you exit, with Jimmy Buffet, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Eddie from Ohio, Donna the Buffalo, John Gorka, Allen Ross, and the choir of Otisians.

We’ll see you next week for Corona and lime Thursday. Otis be with you.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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