Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oral Roberts and Gorgeous George

My step-Grandson Dakota was over tonight with Ron and Shannon, my stepdaughter and her husband. As we watched episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter, I told Dakota the producers of the program made it more dramatic for the camera and that little about the story was actually real.

“It’s real,” he said. “It’s all true.”

Dakota is only nine and still believes in Santa Claus. My Grandmother - although much older than Dakota - also believed in the impossible.

Grandmother Rood liked two things in life: Oral Roberts and Gorgeous George, and not necessarily in that order. Oral Roberts, as most people know, is an evangelist. Gorgeous George was a professional wrestler. They both had a couple of things in common.

Oral Roberts started out as a tent preacher and raised lots of money from “true believers.” When touched by the Holy Spirit, his voice would grow louder and higher pitched. Often, before administering the healing touch, his thin hair would become mussed, and as wild as his hypnotic rants.

Gorgeous George made no pretense of being holy, but in the heat of every wrestling match, his beautifully coiffed, bleached blond hair would become mussed. GG was a middle-aged flabby white man, but he was supposedly one of the best professional wrestlers of his day. Even as a kid, I could tell the fix was in.

“You don’t really believe this is for real, do you Grandma?” I would ask.

It did not matter if I were asking about Gorgeous George or Oral Roberts, her answer was always the same. “Of course it’s real.”

I loved my Grandmother dearly, but even at a very young age, I knew that she was letting faith get in the way of her good sense.

Tonight, as I watched Dog the Bounty Hunter, the very popular reality show, I realized just how gullible the American viewing public is, and that little has changed since I was a kid.

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