Parson Brown

We were relaxing on a decidedly un-Decemberly day, the kind we have most of each December, when there was a knock at the door.

I opened it, and you could have knocked me over with a sprig of mistletoe. It was Parson Brown.

Actually, he was rounder and whiter and colder than the parson. After all, he was made of snow.

Yes, a snowman, one whom my wife and I had made days earlier on a vacation a few states to the North.

As we stood in the doorway, I thought back to that all-too-short vacation. Although snow blanketed the ground, the sun was bright in the western sky. JoAn and I really were walking in a winter wonderland. It reminded us of that holiday song by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith.

“What do you want to do before it gets dark?” I asked, and she immediately knew.

“In the meadow, we can build a snowman,” she said. “We can even pretend that he is Parson Brown.”

I could hear the wheels spinning in her head as she spoke:

“He’ll say, ‘Are you married?’ and we’ll say, ‘No, man, but you can do the job when you’re in Martinez.’”

I was lost.

“But we are married,” I told her. “Why would we lie to him?”

“Because that will give him a holly, jolly Christmas that we all will cherish forever.”

I went along with her. We built the snowman, dressed him in a warm hat and a scarf and an old overcoat from the car. He was perfect, and when we went back to our hotel that night, we conspired as we dreamed by the fire.

My mind suddenly bolted back to the present.

“What brings you here?” I asked.

“I’m here to make good on your promise,” the kindly parson said. “That I would perform the ceremony for your wedding when I’m in town. I’ve got all the paperwork ready.”

I didn’t know what to say.

“I don’t know how to tell you this, Parson, but we’ve been married for years.”

“What?” he snapped. “Look, I did all this work and traveled down here to make you a happy, wedded couple.”

“We’re already that. We had no idea you would travel to this land of climate change and El Nino heat,” I said uncomfortably.

“Tell me about it,” he said, taking off his top hat and wiping his brow. “I feel so used.”

“Please, come in and let’s talk about this,” I said.

I took him into the living room, where my wife greeted the parson and then pointed out that he was dragging water across the carpet.

She went to turn the thermostat down.

When she returned, though, he was only a puddle. She got a mop and handed it to me.

“Your guest, your mess,” she said.

“He was here to perform our wedding,” I explained.

“Hunh,” she said. “You missed a spot.”

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

More in Life

Hip-Hop students practice their routines for Forever Christmas on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at Forever Dance in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Forever Dance rings in the holidays with variety show

The show serves as a fun holiday tradition and an opportunity to get on stage early in the season

Image courtesy 20th Century 
Ralph Fiennes is Chef Julien Slowik and Anya Taylor-Joy is Margot in “The Menu”
On the Screen: ‘The Menu’ serves up fun twists and earnest commentary

I was plenty interested in the film I saw in the trailers, but the one I saw at the theater was so much more

Golden Soup mixes cauliflower, onions and apples and can be made in one pot. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Golden soup offers a healthy reprieve after holiday indulgence

On the off days between the trips and celebrations I find it necessary to eat strategically

Photo courtesy of the National Archives 
This photo and information from a “prison book” at San Quentin state prison in California shows Arthur Vernon Watson when he entered the prison at age 23.
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 2

Well before he shot and killed a man in Soldotna in 1961, Arthur Vernon Watson was considered trouble

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

This is Arthur Vernon Watson at age 39, when he was transferred from the federal prison in Atlanta to the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 3

Anchorage probation officer Roy V. Norquist was monitoring Arthur’s movements and reported that he was pleased with what he saw

Cranberry sauce made from scratch with hand-picked berries makes a special holiday treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Foraging with love and gratitude

Gathered and prepared by hand, cranberries brighten a Thanksgiving feast

File
Minister’s Message: When the going gets tough…

Suffering as a Christian is not always a popular preaching topic.

Letitia Wright as Shuri in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Image courtesy Marvel Studios)
On the Screen: ‘Wakanda Forever’ picks up the pieces

“Black Panther” sequel grapples with grief and hope after franchise loses its star

Most Read