Critique of Practical Religion - Division I - Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Chapter 2


And, since the Coalition began its set up of the weekly dinner, the calm, giddy blaring voices begin to fill the nuclear air with the excitement of not knowing the weekly menu. Is it hot dogs? Is it fajitas? Is it hamburgers? Many minds began to wonder about the menu of goodies this week. But, the menu was the furthest thing on the minds of all of the volunteers, and their usual polite demeanor will be tested on this cool, brisk night.


“Are you ready to add pounds to your waist? Alex asks. “I know you have a healthy appetite dog?”


“Well, besides my weight, I am the cutest thing to walk the Earth.” Jaime jokingly laughs. “And, I'm not fat, but fluffy!”


It was the usual joking around between clients that provided an uplifting atmosphere for the first moments of the spiritual reverence. But, all that joking around could turn around in an instance at the transitional shelter. And, tonight was no special day without it. Yet, within the crowd, the usual behavior was happening as cutting-in-the-line was the usual occurrence. It would test the patience of most clients that night of the weekly dinner.


The dinner began at the usual, methodical time of 5:15pm, and all the clients eyes were set on the hot dogs and chips. Their mouth-watering appetites would not be the only thing on their minds tonight. But, the urgency of the wind had a special light-winded gust that would come-and-go in the cool, spring air.


“We like to thank all of you who have come tonight to the dinner. We hope that all of you enjoy it, and keep coming back.” Benjamin yelled out loud to the clients. “Now, let's enjoy what is prepared as we know it's not much.”


He would of wished and stated a special prayer from God, but the Coalition as most intelligent coalitions separates “church and state”. It's the guiding principal of this great land, and  these well-diverse organizations beliefs are firmly planted in the foundations of it.


“One or two?” Muhammad asked the first client. “Mustard or ketchup?”


“Two dogs. With both.” the first client requests.


“Potato Chips or Doritos?” Gracie asks the first client. “We're happy to serve you, sir.”


“Doritos,” the first client requests.


“Punch or Water?” Peter asks the first client.


“Punch,” the excited client requests.


“Have a good night.” Peter mentions in a soft tone.


“One or two?” Muhammad asks the next client. “Mustard or ketchup?”


“Mustard only, man.” The next client in line utters.


The usual line requests it's particulars in their meals as being in transitional housing never depletes one's self-respect and dignity. And, this dinner is no self-surrendering exception to the particulars of the clients. Yet, the common misunderstanding of society developed throughout the centuries have the location-challenged believing they will eat anything. It is the furthest thing from the truth.


The functions of the weekly dinner begins in its normal overtures with the line of clients rapidly requesting their meal particulars. They begin to fill the side of the building while the exhaustion of standing on the sidewalks for 12 hours takes its toll as city ordinances prohibit anyone from sitting on sidewalks throughout the downtown areas. It was a normal exhausting day as resting on the sidewalks is impossible when residing in a transitional shelter.


“I think I will have one hot dog tonight. Mobile Loaves and Fishes will soon be here. I feel like a sandwich, chips, cake, and candy.” The fluffy gentleman adds.


“You can't depend on it as they might run out before it gets here.” One client sarcastically mentions. “They have other stops. It's wise to eat this meal as it's a one-time weekly meal.”


“I guess you’re right. But, I'm trying to maintain my lovely figure. I have all the women chasing me!”


“Oh, brother,” the client says in disgust.


But, on the side of the street, a long-black dark-tinted 2013 Cadillac limousine pulls up to the curb diagonally to the transitional shelter. The chauffeur gets out of the car to open the door for the luxury-bounded passenger. He gets out of the passenger door. And, he is wearing a black-three piece Armani suit with a red-velvet tie while putting on his black-laced top hat.


The mysterious gentleman reaches for his gold-handled black walking cane from the black limousine. He begins to light up a crisp, Cuban cigar with his gold-plated Cartier providing the well-lit flame for the cigar, although, the high-flame of the lighter is hardly seen.


“Hey fool! Another rich man just pulled up.” Another client on the curb notices. “Let's see if he will do us right?”


“Yea,” His friend complies.


They cross the street ignoring the cross walk indicators. Their lips are wet from the thought of “striking gold.” They reach the high-society, privileged gentleman in a frenzy demeanor.


“Excuse me sir, by any chance do you have any spare change in your pocket?” He asks. “I'm trying to get something to eat.”


“Sure, I have some money.” The gentleman adds. “But, I will make you deal. If you watch over my transportation I will give you a twenty-dollar-bill. I like to walk around my surroundings talking to people as it is my gift to make them think.”


A dime for a soul,

Perfection takes its toll,

To the wrench of the troll,

I have your toll,

A dime for a soul.


“Hey, sure. We will watch the car for you. We realize that you're a busy man.”


A change of the cool, spring mood changes to a warm, gentle breeze as a front out-of-nowhere has come throughout the area. But, the moderate-filled-warm-air now has triggered a severe, disgusting foul-stench from the over-filled gutters and streets of the city. It's undetected to the normal sense of smell in most people.


But, the line of the concerning weekly dinner begins to fill up with people as it's only getting longer. Some transitional residents have bigger appetites than others so they casually return to the dinner line. Yet, there are the thoughtless few that return to “play the game” ruining it for all of the clients.


“How are we on hot dogs Peter? Do we have enough for second servings? The leader requested.


“They have made a dent in it, but I think we can afford to give some second servings. I hope.”


And, the line begins to become even more bowed with clients beginning to fill the line for second serving. It's never enough when a client is worried about their next meal, although, common social norms prohibit clients from voicing their concerns and feelings. Any sign of weakness is lethal to a client. It's a rough and tough atmosphere at a transitional housing shelter.


The rich gentleman has taken a couple hard-puffs from his cigar. And, now he is taking his first deep puff from it. He inhales and blows out the smoke into the air towards the transitional shelter.


All of sudden voices begin rise with a feverish pitch.


“Yeah, dog money rules the world!” One client blares.


“God is dead!” Another laughs out loud.


“These people don't care about us. If they did, we wouldn't be here!” A friend of the first client screams.


But, at the dinner line, the ever-growing flame of the roaring crowd stretches to it. Now, the clients tensions are beginning to run exceedingly high, striking the convictions of the clients mentality. And, although, the Coalition has been at ease since the beginning of the serving, their anxiety begins take its toll.


“One or Two?” Muhammad asks again. “Mustard or ketchup?


“Man, all of you don't give a damn about us! Just like all the rest of society, you don't care for 363 days of the year! Don't try to play us!” A grouch blares.


And, it begins.



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