The lanky man lumbering toward Adrienne isn't an ordained preacher. The Preacher is simply his nickname, one he wears proudly like a new Stetson hat. He earned the nickname because he's apt to preach. He tells you exactly what he thinks whether you asked for his opinion or not, and usually, you didn't ask.
"Afternoon, Adrienne," says The Preacher, towering over her. He glances at the empty seat across from her and then back to Adrienne, with all the subtlety of a silent film actor.
|Adrienne Ivey at her desk|
Adrienne exhales more smoke, this time a bit closer to The Preacher's nostrils, which flare with indignation at each of Adrienne's exhalations. The Preacher tries to ignore the smoke and continues with the small talk, which consists primarily of his opinions about who's up to no good.
Finally, Adrienne lets out a stream of smoke like something you'd see from a rocket ship blasting off. "Adrienne," The Preacher says, his voice lowering, "I'd rather commit adultery than smoke a cigarette!"
Adrienne narrows her eyes, looks squarely at The Preacher, and says, "So would I, Preacher. But I've only got 30 minutes for lunch."
My previous post about Southern storytellers brought Adrienne, and this story, to mind. Next time: Adrienne catches me in a 'white lie' during my first week on the job--and saves me from a dreadful fate.