Wall-To-Wall

The television minister was now begging those of us in “TVLand” to help achieve his ministries World Wide Mission to reclaim the lost tribes for “jeeesuuus,” as he pronounced it. So tithe now was the message.
It was four in the morning, and no one was awake, but none of us were asleep either. It had been one of those “let’s stay up and watch the sunrise!” parties. It had sounded great at midnight. But by three, the conversation had slowed to a trickle, keeping it going too hard; we turned to TV. But nothing was on but old I Love Lucy episodes and this televangelist.
The religious show had won out. We all could mouth the words to the Lucy episodes like we had transcripts in our hands, from having watched them all so often. So the televangelist was at least something we had not previously viewed.
We had about an hour to go before we could troop up to the roof to watch the sunrise. But the thought of more television was almost too much to tolerate. Flipping through the channels, we found a commercial for a local carpet supplier that promised to install new wall-to-wall carpet at inspirationally low prices – but wait, there was still more! If we act now, the underlayment would be free. This offer was available to people who called in the next hour. We all looked at each other. We looked around our apartment – the bare floors, the mattresses, the squalor that you only really see at four AM. Finally, we decided that this could be the most inspired carpet purchase of the year. There was a rush to the phone. A credit card was needed to make the purchase. This was 1965; almost nobody had credit cards yet on our rundown backside of Beacon Hill. Wait. The Teahead of the August Moon did. The Teahead was our sometime leader, possessor of the lease on the Folkie Palace, and most gainfully employed of our crew of Folkies.
We chose the Monk to creep into the bedroom and relieve the Teahead’s wallet of the card. We hovered around the door to watch. The extraction was going to be more complicated than we had hoped. There he lay on his bed, fully clothed, wallet stuck in his front pocket. The Monk bent over and delicately started sliding the wallet from the pocket. The Teahead groaned and started calling out, ” Oh, Julie! Julie.” His arms reached out to hug the Monk, something the Monk was reluctant to allow. The snickers began as the little romance drama played out – the Teahead embracing and the Monk backing away. Snickers became laughter as the Monk fell back on the floor with the Teahead on top. Improvising, the Monk began to shake our friend’s shoulder, “Hey, it’s time to watch the sunrise! Up and at them!” We walked our semi-comatose friend to the stairwell struggling at keeping him upright while deftly allowing the wallet to tumble unnoticed to the bare but soon-to-be carpeted floor.

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