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St Paul on Talk TV

 

Facing his brand spanking new talk show set, Jim stood rooted and wide-eyed staring at fat white clouds of smoke rolling in from stage left while clear blue flames ignited in the studio air above.

         Jim looked down at his directions, heard the crash of breaking glass, and looked up again.  There, on a folding wooden chair, sat a bearded balding man, with eyebrows that met in the middle, dressed in the tweedy country style of Edward VII, tugging on his necktie.

         None of this was in Jim’s notes.

              “Why do you guys wear these things?” asked the stranger running his index finger under his collar.

         “Well, we don’t wear them so much anymore,” said Jim, recovering slightly.

              “Good”, said the stranger as he ripped off his tie, threw it on the studio floor, undid his top button and took seven deep breaths with evident relief.

         “Who did you say you were, again” Jim said, his reporter’s instincts now kicking in and taking charge.

         “Paul”, said the stranger.

         “Paul?”

         “Yes, you know – Saul-Paul? Greek-speaking, Jewish, Roman citizen, living in Turkey Paul?  Tent-maker Paul?  Road to Damascus Paul?  Try this, OK, OK, Saint Paul.  That Paul.”

         “Well Mr., that is St. Paul, do you always make an entrance like this?  Smoke and fire and breaking glass?”

         “People have kind of begun to need something shiny from us, too many  other distractions these days I’m told.  Too much?  Thought I'd make a grand