|From A Martyr's Perspective (collage by my father, WP Mazur)|
What Charity really got off on, though, was the self-sacrifice--no, the martyrdom--involved in extending her hand to those in need, especially when her services were completely unsolicited. Now, this wasn't meddling: it was her Christian duty. She took her name as seriously as her word, and of course, the word of the Lord. Well, maybe except for the apostle Matthew's word who in his self-titled bible chapter 6:1-4 had this to say about charity:
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven... So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets...do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."
Back in the day, Matthew had been a tax collector, and since Charity eschewed paying taxes on the grounds that her tax dollars were preferentially funding bling, such as cell phones and fancy basketball shoes, for the burdens of society who were too lazy to work, she felt it behooved society to disregard Matthew's word. The passage which said "Work makes you free" resonated with her the most. Only, she never could seem to locate that verse in her dog-eared copy of the King James bible. Anyhow, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 justified this aspect of her self-righteousness quite nicely: "Anyone unwilling to work should not eat." That was more like it. After all, hard work never killed anyone, did it?
Because of Charity's devout faith in her own virtuousness and piety, she felt blessed. Blessed with the knowledge that she was one of God's elite chosen few, uniquely poised to inherit His kingdom and its abundance, what with all the saints and angels and manna and precious jewels and pearly gates, although she was a bit worried about how she'd get along with those heathens who'd been grandfathered into heaven by default. Jesus's infinite mercy really kind of annoyed her. As did Skeeter, that slothful womanizing tub of lard sperm donor Charity begrudgingly referred to as her husband.
Ironic as her sham marriage was, she'd stuck with it, being a godly woman and all. That's precisely why she disagreed so strongly with Matthew about how one's good works should go unrecognized publicly. If the left hand didn't know what the right one was doing, how on earth would a marital martyr like her receive acknowledgement for enduring such a sorry excuse for a man? Perhaps even more troubling was the fact that she'd become increasingly unable to feel her hands anyway. So yes, she needed to pay attention to what her hands were doing.
Verily, God had given Charity an extraordinarily heavy cross to bear in this pestilent pox husband of hers, but suffering his scourge in silence was no longer an option. She'd permitted his rottenness and evil to besmirch her steadfast convictions long enough. In contrast to the smoldering syrinx that was covertly hollowing out her cervical spinal cord neuron by neuron, Skeeter was 265 pounds of inert wasted space, the momentum of which had to be stopped.
Part II: Vegas
Part III: Ham Planet