Home > Penetrating Interviews > Bath Times with My Father Gump Tibbs

Bath Times with My Father Gump Tibbs

By Shane Tibbs

I always stand at the sink and run water while papa Gump visits with the Kingdom Witnesses. It’s the same thing every time.

We have a few bath time romps before the gin scrambles his brains. He’s all pig on the inside, you see, but pays the price as his exterior has taken the unfortunate but ultimate form of man.

Don’t get me wrong, or try to tarnish me as an ungrateful piglet, — he’s a hard-charging swine for a four or five day bath time antics bender — but, I think in the end his humanity catches up with him.

Next thing I know he’s hunched in the kitchen nook mumbling about how he ‘senses an enfilade of ultrafine needles to have been fired just now from the vicinity of the mezzoderm’ or some such nonsense.

By early afternoon the KWs are splaying their brochures across the tabletop as he shivers over a cup of water I’ve nuked for him.

“Wouldn’t you like to live for eternity on an earthly paradise? Wouldn’t you, Gump?”

“An eternity of reckless baths? What fool … what fool? What a fool am I.”

“You could master the piano, for example.”

“The piano is little more an exquisite device of torrrrrturrrre for …. children. Trace its unholy lineage to the rrrranks of the bourgeoisie!”

“Mr. Tibbs, do you recall the story of Ruth?”


“My papa knows about ALL the races!” I shout from my corner.

“Mr. Tibbs, did you have a chance to browse the . . . ”

“Have I e’er here expounded on my theory of transmigration?”

“Isn’t it a wonderful illustration: the lion caressing the lamb; the young boy petting the upturned belly of a cobra?”

“My theory of the soul,” intones my father in steady whisper, “is that it begins a slow nearly imperceptible exit from the body at birth. An exit completed with your last breath. Which is why you feel deader inside as the years go by but more anxious. Do you follow? That’d be the soul rising up through the skin,” he says pointing his index finger into their faces, “the outer and final layer. I have no opinion on the soul’s subsequent destination.”

“Would you like to make a donation to Kingdom Hall, Mr. Tibbs?”

Father rummages through his vast underwear front pocket and produces an emerald-set change purse. His sweaty, bloated fingers fumbling on the solid gold clasp. The eyes of the KWs grow.

Father laughs.

“It appears my funds have been transmigrated. That’ll be an eternal predicament, my dear-eee-oos.”

I turn the tap to closed as the evangelics collect themselves.

“My boy,” says Gump through a fit of asthma, “run the bath .”

  1. oversion
    May 1, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    As a child I never bathed. And it was fine. Didn’t step out of the snowsuit until grade 13.

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