Da Usher Board

                     Despite contrary belief, the Usher Board is considered the engine of southern churches. You see, growing up in a small town in Tennessee, we were trained to become an usher and at any moment, our Aunt would say, “Get cha white gloves out baby, I am shawt one usher and I need for you to help me out today.” When our Aunt asks, you do not say no to her. Its not that she is the mean usher that walks around with the church bulletin and makes the kids spit out their gum on the front row or denies you entrance thru the double doors while devotion is wrapping up. She just carries that persona of greatness when it comes to managing a crowd during service. While on the other hand, the supporting cast; are the ones you have to watch out for…

                     Whether it’s ushering a Sunday service, a Mother’s Board’s Tea or my favorite, a funeral; it is imperative to remain on your toes like a midget at the commode. Although funerals are a sad occasion, you can find humor if you just look around and watch the supporting cast work the room. I cannot stop thinking about the story my brother Tim told me when our Aunt asked him to work for her at a funeral. She told him; “Now, here’s your white gloves baby, I am gone need for you to stand up in the front next to the casket and make sure you greet each person with a sympathy smile and lead them off in an expeditious manner, don’t clog up my front area now. However, before you go, put this smelling salt packet in your glove, this is in case someone gets up there and acts a dayum fool, talking bout NOT MY BAAABEEE, TAKE MEEE LAWD GEE DUS and passes out when they see their loved one. All you gotta do is snap dat packet and waive that glove in front of their nose and they will wake up quickly!!!” Well, my brother went up to the front, greeted individuals with a smile, and directed them to their seats as requested. The choir started singing, the church got to rocking and my brother got to clapping dem white gloves and forgot that he had dat that smelling salt packet tucked in da palm of his hand. They got to singing one’nem Shirley Caesar songs and he felt da holy ghost, the packet busted and dat Ammonia smelling salt seeped thru dem white gloves and traveled across his nose and his knees buckled in front of that casket and the next thang you know, he spread out on the floe tweenst dem funeral flowers, knocked da phuck out!!!

                     Once I heard him tell me that story, I vowed to watch every usher from that day forth! Wouldn’t you know it; they had to usher another funeral and there I was sitting in one of the pews waiting for something to pop off… And thru my peripheral vision, I notice an usher attempting to sneeze. Well that’s nothing to laugh at but it took so long for the sneeze to come out. It was more like an ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh and then a quiet, yet subtle sneeze. So after the service, I had to go up to the usher and ask, better yet say “That was a good azz sneeze you had during service.” The usher’s response was, “I was trying not to shyt on myself in front of all dem n words.”

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