THE EXEGETICALS, part 2

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exegeticals   –Betrayed by their leader James Dobson, and nearly wiped out by Rick Warren, the remaining Exegeticals have gone rogue.  On the run and unsure of who to trust, they make their way to Tennessee.  Their first objective: find financial guru Dave Ramsey and discover his link to the shadowy cabal.

BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE

Dave Ramsey sits in his office, alone.  Stacks of pennies are lined in rows along his desktop.  He sits in silence, carefully polishing each penny with a rag and a can of Pledge.

CRASH

The windows next to Ramsey’s desk explode inward, sending glass and debris everywhere.  Three figures rappel into the office.  Ramsey rises from his chair and attempts to flee, but the intruders catch him and force him back into his office chair.

graham

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Sit down, Crazy Horse.

JOEL OSTEEN: (looks at his partners, counts on fingers) Where is Matthew?

There is a faint knock on the door to Ramsey’s office.  All three Exegeticals sigh.  Mark Driscoll walks over and opens the door.  Matthew Vines walks in sheepishly.

MARK DRISCOLL: I told you–we rappel in on stealth missions! Who knocks on the front door?

MATTHEW VINES: I just wanted to preserve a modicum of decorum.

The four men turn their attention to Ramsey, held captive in his office chair.

MARK DRISCOLL: Why did Rick Warren have a memo with your name on it when he attacked us?  Why did Dobson set us up? WHAT ARE THOSE TWO PLANNING?

dave-ramsey

DAVE RAMSEY: Gentlemen, that information is far, far above your pay grade.  I will tell you nothing.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: (laughs, looks off into distance) D-Ram, I once held off three crooked federales for 12 hours holed up in a Baja shanty.  Shot my way out under the cover of the Mexican full moon.  Crawled into California and Daddy wired Reagan to send out the National Guard in a whirlybird to pluck me out of the sand.

DAVE RAMSEY: What relevance does that hold?

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: EXACTLY.  Boys, grab his wallet.

Osteen and Driscoll take hold of Ramsey and stand him up.  They wrestle his wallet away from him and hand it to Graham.  Graham examines the leather billfold.

DAVE RAMSEY: You pitiful, pitiful excuses for roughbodies! Do you think you can ruin me by taking my wallet? My monies aren’t there, you oafs.  My funds are diversified across accounts, and money markets, and my portfolio, and–

dog_creditcard

Graham takes Ramsey’s credit card out of his wallet and hands it to Vines.  Vines walks over to a nearby computer and pulls up Amazon.com.

MATTHEW VINES: (uses Ramsey’s credit card to download entire Iggy Azalea album)

dave-ramsey funny

DAVE RAMSEY: (sweats profusely)

MARK DRISCOLL: You taste that, Ramsey?  THAT’S DEBT.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Matty, use that card to buy Davey some Nickelback…

MATTHEW VINES: (gasps)

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: …ALL of the Nickelback.

DAVE RAMSEY: Okay! I’ll talk! I’m just the bean counter for the group–I’m not the head of the snake!

MARK DRISCOLL: Then give us a name.

DAVE RAMSEY: (reclines in his chair, goes back to polishing his pennies) I’ll do you one better than that.  Meet one of my confederates!

(door opens)

jan-crouch

JAN CROUCH: (immediately begins weeping) AW MAH SUHWEET JAYSUZZ WE GOTS BROTHER PERKY BOUT TO SANG SOME OLD GROSPIL SAWNGS AND BROTHER EARL ON THAT PEEANER OH MAH IT SOUNDS LIKE AYNGELS TAPDANCIN’ ON THE CLOUDS AND SLANGIN THEIR HURVNLY TEARS ALL OVER US LIKE RAYYYYYYYYN.

MARK DRISCOLL: Um, her?

MATTHEW VINES: She’s in on this?

JAN CROUCH: (fake eyelashes become sentient, launch themselves at nearby threats)

Driscoll and Vines fall to the floor, each impaled by a set of razor-sharp eyelashes.  Osteen and Graham, the two remaining Exegeticals, move toward Crouch to subdue her.

osteen

JOEL OSTEEN: Well, now Jan, I’m going to be honest with you: When I see your behavior right now, I don’t see God’s best.  And God wants you at your best.  He has plans for you, young lady–plans to prosper you and keep you–plans that don’t involve inadequacies, or loneliness, or–

JAN CROUCH: (wig rustles, is actually Afghan hound, leaps from her head to attack Osteen)

 afghan-hound-dog-e1356933742572

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: (grabs dog mid-air, shoos it out into hallway) Go on! Git!

JOEL OSTEEN: Blessings!

Graham and Osteen look for Crouch, but she has seemingly vanished: all that is left is a dress crumpled in the floor where she once stood, along with a puddle of mascara runoff.  What’s more, Ramsey is gone too, having disappeared down a trap door underneath his desk.

JOEL OSTEEN: Well I declare.  What do we do now, old friend?

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: (bends down and slings a bloody and moaning Mark Driscoll over his shoulder) Well, Osceola, I reckon we’re headed back to the hospital to get these two patched up.

JOEL OSTEEN: (lifts a groaning Matthew Vines on his back) …and we’re no closer to unraveling this grand conspiracy, are we?

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: Naw.

The two men begin the long walk to the hospital, each carrying a wounded member of the Exegeticals.  It is after midnight; the moon is hidden behind the clouds and there is little light.  In the distance, a coyote yowls.

JOEL OSTEEN: (uses glow from teeth to illuminate path) I used to be a little on the wild side in the 70s, too.

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: That so?

JOEL OSTEEN: One Saturday night, Fleetwood Mac was playing about an hour from my house.  I knew the music was not glorifying to God, and that going to the concert would mean I’d be out all night and miss church, but–darn it–I wanted to go to the show.  Of course I didn’t; I went to bed early and got up for church the next morning.  But…golly! That’s how close to the edge I was!

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: You ever been lost in the bush and have to eat a coyote?

 *****

THE EXEGETICALS

part one

part three

part four