Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Several years ago when I was living in South Georgia, the pastor of our small town Church began creating his own children's sermons each Sunday which contained a mischievous young character he called "Charlie the Chipmunk". Most of the stories involved Charlie in a children's Sunday School class. For humor, the pastor would use the names of actual members of the congregation as other characters in the story each week.

One week, the Pastor thought it clever to use me as one of the characters in Charlie's story. It seemed Charlie was misbehaving that particular week, and Charlie's Sunday School teacher responded by telling him to behave or else he might grow up and be "like Allen Madding". The 200 some odd members of the congregation that Sunday found it quite funny, while some began to whisper about what might happen in response to this little joke.

Photo Source: mustangdreams.com

It just so happened that there was a Shopper Guide that was published in the county, and people could list items for sale in the Shopper for free. It seems that someone listed a 1967 Ford Mustang fully restored for $2,500 with the Church parsonage phone number, and the add specified, "Call after 10pm. Ask for Charlie."

Secrets are not well kept in a small town, and ours was no exception. By the following weekend, I had a couple folks tell me that the preacher was not getting much sleep as the parsonage phone was ringing off the wall every night after 10pm. The pastor and his wife were trying to not let anyone know, but they confided in a couple that were their close friends. Those close friends thought it was hilarious and immediately found me to share the details.

Without solicitation, the Shopper ran the ad for a second week, and the parsonage phone continued ringing.

That was the last time I was the butt of a joke in a Charlie the Chipmunk story.

A few other members of the community found their way into Charlie stories and some were the punchline. Around Christmas, the pastor and his wife went to spend a week at their home in NC. While they were gone, their lawn was decorated with a tiny sleigh and twelve pink flamingos adorned with a flood light that was on a dust to dawn timer.


Bill (cycleguy) said...

I know you had nothing to do with that sleigh pulled by 8 tiny flamingos. Right? LOL

Allen Madding said...

LOL I can honestly say I had NOTHING to do w the sleigh and flamingos, but found it VERY funny. :-)

Learning to Golf said...

That is funny. Thanks for the laugh.

Lady R (Di) said...

Too funny!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Madding:

The ad with the car was the perfect revenge. I was once party to a similar story, in which a wronged woman once ran an ad in a local shopper, advertizing a myna bird with cage "free to a good home." The ad read, "Bird says many interesting things. Call between 6am and 8am to catch me before work."

I also know of a couple whose flamingos were stolen. Yet the birds sens a picture from a different location each month, to which they had apparently traveled.

Variations on a theme. Neat story.

Fondest regards,