By Shawna Collier
Dexter Barber (with his granddaughter, Sha’Shay’Nay) needs to cut down the length of his prayers.
(CHATTANOOGA) The Barber family has one word for patriarch Dexter Barber: Enough!
The four other family members have decided that Dexter, 53, can no longer say the blessing during holidays because he takes too long.
“We’re standing there starving and he’s up there getting the Holy Ghost,” says Clarita, 54, Dexter’s wife of 27 years. “He’s blessing the food, blessing the preparers of the food, blessing the house that the food is made in. And then he goes on and on about how the food is prepared for the nourishment of our bodies. Well, what else would it be prepared for? You don’t need to pray for that.”
From now on, eldest son, Johnny, 24, will give the prayer.
The family says Dexter has been warned several times about his long prayers. On Labor Day 2004, he went on for seven long minutes, causing his cousin, Shirley Mae, who needs to take her blood pressure medication on schedule, to pass out. On the Thanksgiving following September 11, his prayer went so long it actually continued after the meal.
“We should have put a stop to him then. Kind of like Hitler at Poland, you know?” says Johnny. “We learned our lesson.”
The last straw came last month. On Easter Sunday, while some family members were watching golf and others were setting the table, Clarita called everyone together. Stomachs were already grumbling when she decided to test fate.
“I asked my husband if he would like to bless the food. I then added the word ‘briefly’ and everyone laughed,” she recalls. “But I was too late.”
Dexter took a deep breath and launched into a soliloquy about the resurrection of Jesus. He then segued into the war in Iraq, which caused Johnny and his sister, C’Hristine, 22, to open their eyes and look at each other. Dexter went on another minute, touching on how well his pants fit after using Weight Watchers and the beautiful eyes of the grandson he hopes to see someday, but it was when he mentioned Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that Clarita stopped him.
“I said, ‘The food is blessed, let’s eat,’” says Clarita. “Dexter was standing there with his mouth still open when we all moved to the kitchen.”
Dexter’s feelings are obviously hurt, but figures he’ll get his position back pretty soon. After all, Johnny’s first prayer—”Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yay God”—didn’t sit well with the family.
Says Dexter, “It won’t be long now.”
Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.
© 2008 The Peoples News
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