I awoke the next morning to a violent jostling of my entire body. I opened my eyes and saw that it was Crazy Angie trying to rouse me from my slumber.
“What? What? Who let you in here?” I shouted to her once I had my bearings.
“Your brother,” she said in a frantic rush. “But he said not to tell you it was him if you got mad. So are you mad?”
“Uh! What do you want and why does it require you to rattle the insides of my body?”
“Ok, good, you’re not mad. Well, I just had to show you this!” She thrust a half crumpled piece of paper in my face. I had to back up just to stay in focus. It had scribbled writing in big letters on it.
“What is it?”
“It’s an advertisement.”
“For the arteest.” She mocked a French accent (very poorly, I might ad, but what can you expect from a lunatic who has never been outside the state of Missouri?). I took the paper from her and read it:
“Wanted: French Arteest to unborify a bar. Please call soon!
It then listed our contact information and the address of the bar. I frowned.
“Unborify?” I asked.
“Yeah!” she said. “I got it from the dictionary.”
“Some guy having coffee at the table next to me this morning.”
That explained it. It was probably some weird slang thing. You never know who you might run into in a coffee house.
“Yeah. Ok. Well, I think you have the right idea. We definitely need to advertise. I think your ad just needs a little bit of revising.”
“Revising? What for?”
“Well, unborify might be too complex of a word for the French.”
“Gee, I hope not. I already posted tons of these.”
My eyes widened in astonishment.
“You did what?”
“Well, I thought it was such a great idea that I just made up a ton of them and posted them all over.”
“How many is a ton?” I asked.
“I dunno. Like fifty.”
I let out a troubled, frantic, sigh.
“Ok. This is not a tragedy. Maybe it will work. Maybe we’ll get one or two people. And it’s not like you spent a ton of money on them—you didn’t, did you?”
“No, no I did it all myself.”
“Ok. Good. I may recover from this relatively quickly.”
I got out of bed and started to slowly walk in circles around my room to calm my nerves. Crazy Angie was watching me, obvious concern and shame showed on her face. I looked at her and immediately felt sorry for having made such a big deal out of this. I tried to reassure her.
“You know, this really was a pretty good idea. Maybe the wording was a little rough, but you saved us a lot of money by doing it yourself. I’m sure we’ll get lots of responses. We should get down to the bar incase they start showing up early.”
I got dressed and we walked over to our new business venture. As we got close, I noticed that someone was standing outside the front door. I though, perhaps it was one of the construction workers, but as we approached the figure, I realized that I had no idea who it was.
It was a woman, dressed in a long black robe. She had long blonde hair, wore no makeup or jewelry, and had a stern look on her face. She wasn’t much older than either Crazy Angie or I, but she had a certain older, more knowledgeable look about her.
“Hello,” I said. “Can we help you?”
She eyed us curiously. “Have you heard the call of Jesus?”
“No, we don’t have a phone.” Crazy Angie said. “What number does he have for us?”
I tried not to laugh, but the only result was a brief sputtering, which I was able to turn into a relatively convincing cough and then a clearing of my throat.
The woman looked at us strangely and frowned. “Are you ready for the end?”
“Well, no. We just got started,” Crazy Angie said.
“I’m sorry. You’ll have to excuse here. She isn’t mentally sound,” I said. The woman only looked at me more strangely. “Is there something we can do for you?”
“Well, I certainly have doubts now. I’m here in response to your advertisement.” The frown never left her face. I however, showed incredible shock.
“Our ad? You mean you saw that?” I was in utter amazement. Crazy Angie’s ad worked after all.
“Yes. Is the position still available?”
I was about to answer that it was when Crazy Angie interjected.
“Well, that depends. Are you French?”
“Now, I’m not exactly sure that matt—“ but I was cut off.
“I am French.”
“Are you an arteest? A real one?”
“Ok, you can’t expect her to decipher your babble—“ again, I was cut short.
“Do you have documentation?”
I decided to stay out of that one. The woman pulled out something resembling a wallet and from it, an identification card issued from the French government. It listed her as Amy LeArteest, from Nice, France.
I could not explain to you my astonishment. My only rationalization for the preceding events was that this Amy person was as crazy as Angie was. Of course, I couldn’t fault her for that.
Crazy Angie looked at her identification with intense scrutiny.
“Wait a second. This isn’t right. There is no nice France.” She thrust the id back. Of course, she was pronouncing it nice and not niece, not that she knew much about France, but I thought it necessary to interject.
“Um, Angie, that Nice—Neece.” I drew out the vowels for her. She took another look at it.
“Oh right. Well, wouldn’t you think that being the French government and all that they could spell their own cities right? Sheesh!”
“Yeah,” I said. “Um, so, Amy—“
“I’m an ordained minister. I prefer to be addressed by my title.”
“Oh, sure. Ok. Reverend, what sort of artwork or design have you done?” She pulled out a portfolio full of some of the most vibrant paintings I’d ever seen. They were truly beautiful and anything but boring.
“Wow! These are really great.”
“Yeah. See, I told you my advertising would pay off,” Crazy Angie interjected. “When can you start?”
“Oh, anytime really. I don’t expect much in the way of payment. I’m really mostly interested in spreading the gospel. I think a bar is the perfect place to start.”
Crazy Angie and I exchanged glances. I didn’t think that our bar would generate a particularly receptive group to the Gospel, but hey, if she worked cheap that was fine with us.
Crazy Angie and I showed the Reverend around and told her what we were looking for. She seemed receptive to our ideas and had a few of her own. By the time the construction team arrived we had plans for the whole place. Things were really starting to shape up. It was making me nervous. I truly never thought we’d get this far. Still, we were waiting on our liquor license. I was worried that I’d have to go find the judge and pray that he was still drunk.
Our quest for an artist was over. On to the next obstacle!