A friend called the other night and told me that she’d locked herself out of her house. I drove over and squeezed my doughy body with bad knees and temperamental back into an unlatched kitchen window. Imagine an over-the-hill rottweiler in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt trying to squeeze into a kitty door--five feet off the ground! After my friend sprayed Bactine on my skinned knees, applied Neosporin to my scraped chin, and gave me a beer for my upset stomach, she said, “You’re a saint.” I didn’t take her seriously...at first, but on the drive home I thought, heck, if some guy in a dress named Adalard can be a saint, why not me?
Once home, I did what any potential saint would’ve done with internet access--I did some research (and checked out a YouTube video of a guy stuffing seventeen golf balls into his mouth).
Unfortunately for me, there’s already a legion of St. Jameses. There’s such a logjam (or would that be logjim?), they started adding descriptions to their names. Like St. James of Marches (probably a peace activist in the sixties). There’s even a St. James the Greater and a St. James the Less. I feel sorry for poor St. James the Less. How’d you like to live your life like a saint and then be tagged with “The Less”? Sure, you took a vow of poverty, nursed the lepers, and turned oxen mucus into farkleberry wine, but you still don’t measure up to St. James the Greater.
I’m considering the name St. James the Droll, but half my friends are dyslexic, while the others are wicked teasers, so they’d probably call me St. James the Drool. I’d rather stick with my existing description--St. Jim Can You Pick Me Up At The Airport, St. Jim Can You Help Me Move, or St. Jim Can You Look After My Young and Gorgeous Wife While I’m Doing Ten Years In Prison.
If there’s a school bus full of St. Jameses, there’s a Boeing 747 of St. Johns. Included in this list are Saint John The Silent (but deadly), Blessed John Nutter (let’s hope he had a peanut farm) and Saint John The Dwarf, which may be an archaic way of saying St. John The Less. St. John The Dwarf’s claim to fame is that he planted a walking stick into the sand, watered it, and the stick bore fruit. This is pretty much the reverse of my wife, Lora. She could plant a healthy orange tree into fertile soil, and in no time it would turn into a walking stick (that would guide you to the nearest shoe store).
In my research, I found that it helps to be a martyr if you want to be a saint. I’ve been accused of acting the martyr occasionally, much like Joan of Arc, only in my case it would be James of Do I Have To Do Everything Around Here?
Apparently, a saint has to perform at least two miracles. I have that covered. I stayed out of jail (if you don’t count juvenile hall, one night in the Gray Bar Hotel, and that time in Baja, which was more like a subterranean bribery booth than a jail), and for twenty-five years I’ve been able to convince Lora that if she sticks with me, my ship will eventually come in. That’s not exactly turning a walking stick into a fruit tree, but for me it’s been just as sweet.
The last qualification for being a saint is that you must be dead at least fifty years, which pretty much takes all the fun out of it. What good is it to be a saint if you can’t use your title to get a better table at Sizzler or pick up chicks?
In my research I found that saints must possess something called Eminent Virtues. Unless gambling, parallel parking, and potato chip consumption happen to be on the Eminent Virtues list, I may have to give up on this saint thing. I’d like to meet a future saint though. If you’re a saintly person in need of a good friend, and you can plant a stick in the sand and have it turn into a keg of Budweiser, contact me. I really will pick you up at the airport.//