Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When the Unabomber Came to Visit

I've been wallowing around in random, old memories the past few days. It all started on Friday when I picked the boys up for school and Sam was wearing a huge pair of women's sunglasses, but that story will require pictures that I've got to go rummage around for, so it will have to wait for another day. But the story that goes with the sunglasses led my mind down another path that is also a good story to tell.

We were fresh out of seminary (and by we, I mean Steve, but I feel like I should get some credit too since I was bringin home the bacon.) And we were at our first church, in a tiny little town called Crowell. I had never heard of that town before we moved there, and it is a rare day indeed whenever I mention to someone that we lived there, and they have heard of it too. When it does happen, you feel like you have an instant bond with this person. Anyway, tiny town. About 900 people. Steve was pastoring 2 small churches, and we loved it there. We loved the people, and we still do. Well, one day, Steve was home for some reason, and he got a call from Myrtie, our church treasurer. She was in a panic, and it turns out she had been in the church, all by herself, in the basement, thinking she was completely alone when she went into a room, and there was the unabomber.

Okay, obviously, not really the unabomber, but the dude bore an uncanny resemblance to him. So Steve hotfoots it to the church to save our sweet treasurer from the Unabomber, and he does what any normal person would do when the unabomber is in your church alone, wandering around, looking for God only knows what. He invites him to our home for a meal. Yes, yes he did.
So, Steve and the unabomber show back up at our house, and I am giving Steve the raised eyebrows, are you crazy look, and he proceeds to heat him up a plate of leftovers. We sat down to visit with him because we are southerners and southerners are polite, even to the unabomber, when he is invited over to your house. The unabomber starts talking about how he needs a new comb because he has lice. My eyebrows nearly reach my hairline, and my head immediately starts itching. Steve says that he'll take him to the drugstore and get him some lice shampoo, but says he's got some old combs he can have. The unabomber gets decidedly upset by this, because he needs new combs, dammit! Didn't we just hear him say he had lice? Oh yes, yes we heard. Was he implying our combs would have lice? I didn't question him on it. He also had no place to stay, and I began to shake my head emphatically at Steve just in case he had any crazy notion of inviting lice-infested unabomber to spend the night at our house. There weren't that many motels in Crowell, after all. Thankfully, Steve had more sense than that, and they left as soon as the unabomber had finished his meal to go get him some lice shampoo and get him a room in the one motel in town.
So, all was well, but as Steve left for work the next day, he suggested that I go ahead and lock the doors since the unabomber was still in town, and he knew where we lived. That made me feel a little uneasy, but not that bad. It was later that afternoon when I was visiting with my mom on the phone, and I was telling her about the unabomber when I looked back and saw my back doorknob being jiggled. Then, through the cracks in the blinds, I could see the unabomber!
My heart started racing, and my knees started shaking. "OH my GOD! MOM! It's the UNABOMBER! He's here, and he's trying to get in the house!"
"Well, leave! Get out of there! GO NOW!" I'm sure she was just as scared as I was.
I told her I was taking her with me, so I kept her on the cordless phone and ran out the front door and across the street. We had only been there a few weeks, so I really didn't know any of my neighbors well enough to go ring their doorbells and explain that I was running away from the unabomber. So I just stood there across the street from my house, watching it with concern. Then, I realized that I had left our new puppy in the house, at the mercy of the unabomber! What kind of a mother was I? My mom refused to let me go back in there and get her, and I was too scared to go anyway. So, I was still just standing out there, wondering what to do, when the front door of the house opened, and out came Steve, "What in the world are you doing out there?" he called out.
Oh, I nearly passed out from relief! My knees were shaking so bad, I literally nearly collapsed right there. Turns out, he was bringing the unabomber back over for one final meal before he headed out of town, but Steve was standing to the side of the door, and I couldn't see him through the blinds. I laughed at myself for freaking out, so glad that it turned out to be nothing. And after that, Steve and I came to an agreement that he wouldn't bring anyone else over to the house that he would think I needed to lock the doors from! They could make do with an Allsup's burrito if they had to. One of our first adventures in ministry, and it still makes me laugh!


  1. My, great story, but Alayna, don't you really think Steve was standing to the side of unibomber on purpose...just saying :)

  2. Thanks for sharing, Alayna!! The way you tell stories just makes me laugh! Although I think I'd have raised an eyebrow at Dallas, too, if he brought the unabomber home. Allsup's burritos are nutritious, right?

  3. This reminds me of a time in Turkey, TX (our first church, too) when Les showed a homeless man some hospitality. Les was too scared to invite him into the house so he pitched a tent in the yard and let him sleep outside. The funniest part is that Les didn't stake down the tent (even though he's an Eagle scout and knows better) and it blew accross the highway into the yard of a church member. We have laughed about it MANY times.