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Just say amen

Posted: May 17, 2012 11:42 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Leftovers that got the editing whack from recent columns:

• We talked not long ago about prayer.

One of the greatest get-out-of-an-awkward-moment prayers ever delivered was by Bill France, the founder of NASCAR.

It happened many years ago at the Daytona 500, when France was forced to deliver the invocation before that famed race because the minister scheduled to do so got caught in traffic and didn't make it to the track in time.

Standing in the press box, microphone in hand, France prayed for all those things you normally hear -- or used to hear -- at sporting events … safety for the drivers, good sportsmanship, an uneventful trip home for the spectators.

When it was time to end the prayer, he had a brain toot and couldn't remember that little four-letter word commonly used to end prayers.

Struggling for a way to shut the situation down, he prayed for a few more things and again couldn't come up with the right word. A few seconds of silence stretched into a seeming eternity. Sportswriters in the press box -- an irreverent lot in the best of circumstances -- began to titter.

So France innovated, ending his prayer by saying in a somber tone, "Sincerely, Bill France."

And that’s not the only NASCAR praying story that will tickle the funny bone.

There was Pastor Joe Nelms' invocation before last year’s Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway, where he gave thanks for the various sponsors and companies in racing and thanked the Almighty for his "smokin' hot wife." He ended the prayer by saying, "In Jesus' name, boogity, boogity, boogity and amen."

• My friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County says his 88-year-old dad was out running errands in his pickup last week.

Waylon’s mom called his cell phone. “Be careful,” she warned. “I just saw on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the interstate.”

“One?” Waylon’s dad screamed.  “Hell, there’s hundreds of them.”

• Why some men have dogs rather than wives:

The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.

Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

A dog’s parents never visit.

Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor.

A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, “If I died, would you get another dog?”

If a dog smells another dog on you, they don’t get mad. They just think it’s interesting.

Dogs like to ride in the back of a pickup truck.

And last but not least, if a dog leaves, it won’t take half your stuff.

• Points to ponder:

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the “terminal”?

The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.

No one ever says “It’s only a game!” when their team is winning.

Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?

I don’t approve of political jokes. I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

• And finally, the Irishman Paddy Donahue was driving down the street in Dublin in a sweat because he had an important meeting and he couldn’t find a parking place. Looking up to heaven, he said, “Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Jameson Irish whiskey, which I dearly love.”

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, “Never mind. I found one.”


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