Sayings of a Gadfly
by Max Maxwell

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He spoke of dead children and broken men as his eyes filled with tears and his hands trembled.  His buddy handed him a smoke.  And he choked it down like a refugee clinging to a life that was too spoiled to keep any longer.  The two men remembered.  They had lost all of their best friends, and a couple of limbs, in a war that was little more than a game for ambitious politicians and a fairytale of conscience for protestors.  They had one cigarette left. So they broke it, and smoked in remembrance of all the broken bodies.  Then they brought out a bottle of vodka and set up two shots.  They drank from the small cups in remembrance of all the blood.  But there was so much blood, two more shots.  Their hearts struggled and ached in the hope of believing.  Their souls reached out in hope of finding faith.  Did life have any dignity?  Did their country have any honor?  A preacher walked up and noticed the shot glasses and the bottle of vodka.  And also noting that it was only 11:30 in the morning, the preacher gave a moralizing lecture on the evils of drinking.  The two men looked into one another’s eyes.  They remembered the bodies and the blood, and the terrible sacrifice, two more shots.  The preacher noticed the two men still drinking in spite of his sermon.  And he fumed a bit, trying to explain the evil of their ways. 

 The Gadfly, having observed all this, said to the preacher, “You are a man of God.  Try to learn the difference between a sin and a sacrament.”

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© Copyright 2014 Kenneth J Maxwell Jr.