Quran-Burning Church Ignites Shrub, Gets Searing Lecture

Gainesville, FL – The planned controversial Quran-burning ceremony at a fundamentalist Gainesville church was in question Thursday when, during a dry run burning Anne Rice novels, congregants accidentally set a decorative shrub ablaze, which angrily admonished the group. 

According to eyewitnesses, the practice burn had proceeded without incident, but just as a copy of Rice’s Blackwood Farm was being set afire, a flash of sparks spread to the shrubbery, which burst into flame.  The shrub reportedly yelled, “Put that damned thing down” when some church members grabbed a fire extinguisher.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said a clearly shaken attendee.  “Everyone just froze.  Then the bush told Pastor Terry to “step up here and tune in.”

The Dove World Outreach Center had promised to burn copies of the Quran to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks and “send a warning” to Muslims.  With over a billion practitioners of Islam in the world, the threat posed by Pastor Terry Jones’ tiny 50-member congregation was unclear.  

Using vocabulary that included the terms “bitch,” “jack-jaw,” and other epithets that cannot be repeated in a mainstream publication, the flaming shrub then upbraided Jones and his followers.

The bush reportedly yelled, “Terry!  Oh, Terry!” and when the pastor identified himself it beckoned him forward.  “That’s close enough,” it said.  “Take off your shoes and your socks.  And lose the jacket—nobody’s worn polyester since the Carter administration.  You’re on holy ground now, [synonym for female dog]. 

“Every 3000 years or so I get so fed up with what you people are doing that I have to step in and clarify,” the bush continued.  “The last time was with Moses, but he was doing something good for his people and needed a pat on the back.   But you…” The bush said, taking in a large gust of air.  “You’re something else entirely.  And I’m up to here with it,” although with a flaming bush “up to here” was hard to interpret.

“Listen, Nimrod. You and your half-wit brethren need to dial down the self-righteous [stuff]. What part of ‘all-powerful’ and ‘Creator of the heavens and Earth’ is confusing you?  Do you think I can’t handle a few thousand people who wear what they SAY are my words like a suicide vest?  Come on, you [popular female-hygiene device].  I take care of everybody, the living and the dead.  Here’s the deal: you make nice and help the poor and empty of spirit, and I’ll take care of the other [circular egress point for human waste].  If anybody gets hurt because of your [crude gerund term for reproductive act] around, it’s on your head.“

“Why have you chosen me?” Jones implored.  “I’m a mere servant in a small congregation, doing the work of the Lord.  Islam is evil.”

“Cut the [livestock excrement],” the bush replied.  “Since when do Christians have  the market cornered on righteousness?  Care to talk to Timmy McVeigh?  Oh, sorry—right now he’s a little…occupied, if you catch my drift.  I’m having a terrific time with the hijackers and all the other [people] who believe that interpreting my word means blowing up innocent men, women, and kids in a Sbarro’s on the West Bank.  Think I need your help? Think again.”

“But I…” the pastor said.

“Just tighten up your faith and slow your roll, pal.  You’re not here to interpret.  You’re here to spread the Good News.  Everything else is just a way for you to pass the basket twice.” 

“But what about Islam?  Atheists?  Non-believers?” the minister replied.  “Their wickedness is the way of Satan.”

“I’m sorry—is your cakehole making noise again?  I can hardly hear myself think.  Listen, Mr. I-Was-God’s-College-Roommate.  I’m big enough to love everybody—even the ones who can’t believe in me.  How big an ego do you think I have?  What am I?  Kanye West?  I made everybody.  Even you in a weak moment. 

“But I’m feeling kinda cuddly today, so I’m going to give you an ‘out.’  Lay off the Quran and I’ll leave quietly.  Tell them you “came to an agreement” with an Imam or somebody not to burn anything and I promise not to burn you.  You and your pack of weasels make everybody who believes in me look bad. 

“And just for the record—if anybody keeps an accurate record, Deuteronomy—I’m saying the same thing at this same moment to every pious (paper container for feces) religious leader of every bogus religious affiliation in every corner of the world, not because they’re ‘blessed ‘ but because I’m pissed.  Pissed!  Play with fire, [masturbatory term], and you get burned.  Now, go change your pants, padre. 

“Everybody else: CLEAN YOUR HOUSE.  Capiche?”

The pastor later announced that he was considering cancelling the Quran burning after a face-saving “deal” reached with the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida and the imam of the controversial “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York.

While fundamentalists of all faiths were reported to have nervously taken the bush at its word, all were terrified the most by something almost overlooked in the fury of the message: it was spoken in a woman’s voice.


  1. Great last line! A real "O Henry" ending. Also most inventive swearing I've ever read. Laughed out loud!


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