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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Praise Goodwrench!

Today marks the last session in my latest sketch writing class over at ImprovBoston. We had a good run this time around — and even get to do a staged reading of our favorite scripts. Sadly, I have to miss the reading this Tuesday night.

(Though they still decided to include one of my skits, which was very sweet. I chose Mail Call, so if you’re in the Central Square, Cambridge area this Tuesday evening with time on your hands, slip over and see the gang. Good people. Good sketches. Ample parking, probably. How could you not?)

“The Lord works in mysterious ways, son. But not THAT mysterious.”

Happily, my reason for missing the reading is another sketch-related something that I’ll talk more about later in the week. But it should be a hoot. So keep an eye out for that.

Meanwhile, our last assignment was to each write a sketch around a theme. We decided, somehow, on ‘religion’ as the thing tying the skits together, and I went off on my merry way to poop something out. Below is the fruit of said pooping.

My angle was to think about faith healers, and other professions in which they’d be really probably pretty awful. Financial planner came to mind. Also, marriage counselor, computer repair person and customer support rep. In the end, though, I settled on mechanic.

(Probably because I once myself went to a garage where spooky, unexplained things happened. I thought that guy was a magician. Maybe he just had THE POWER! Who knows?)

Anyway, I hope you get a chuckle out of it. And I hope you don’t get any ideas about home car repair. I saw The Exorcist. That shit can go south in a hurry. Happy weekend!


FAITH MECHANIC

[TOM pulls his car into a garage; the car makes various pinging and clunky noises. Tom parks and gets out, looking around the empty garage.]

TOM: Hello? Anybody here?

[CARL bursts into the room, arms raised to the heavens. He’s wearing a long priest’s robe, made out of denim with a name patch ‘CARL’ on the chest. Carl has Donald Trump televangelist hair and the mannerisms of a faith healer.]

CARL: Hallelujah! Another soul, come for automotive salvation! How can I serve you, my son?

TOM: Um… Sorry. I’m looking for the garage.

CARL: Then your prayers have been answered, child! You’re in the LORD’S Garage now! Tell me what ails your weary vehicle today.

TOM: Well, uh, okay. It makes a lot of noise when I drive.

CARL: He says it’s making noise!

TOM: Yeah… sort of knocking and pinging.

CARL: Pinging, child! Testify!

TOM: And some grinding. Sounds like grinding.

CARL: Lordy be, that is a troubling tale. But I can help you, my son. I can bring your car back into the light. Will you help me do that today?

TOM: Uh, sure. I guess. What do you need me for?

CARL: Sir, I need you to believe. Do you BELIEVE, child?

TOM: Believe in what?

CARL: Son, I am but a vessel for the power that flows from on high, these healing hands an embodiment of the sacred trinity of the muffler, the piston and the holy spark plug. But it is YOUR faith that will set your car back on the freeway of righteousness. So I ask again, do you BELIEVE?

TOM: Yeah, okay. Sure.

CARL: They cannot hear you in the cloisters, son! DO YOU BELIEVE?!

TOM: Yes. I believe.

CARL: SHOUT IT TO THE HEAVENS, CHILD!!

TOM: I BELIEVE! I BELIEVE!!

CARL: Good. Now let’s have a look at this wayward soul.

[Carl raises his arms, as if commanding the hood to rise.]

CARL: Raise up the hood! Raise it up and let the Lord shine in!

[Tom watches Carl with wide eyes. The hood doesn’t move. Carl waits for a beat, arms still high in the air.]

CARL: Sir? If you could raise up the hood, please?

TOM: Oh! Right. I thought you were… like, you had the power. Or something.

CARL: The Lord works in mysterious ways, son. But not THAT mysterious.

[Tom opens the driver’s door and pops the hood. Carl peers in, inspecting various bits.]

CARL: Oh, my… Dear me… mercy, mercy, mercy.

TOM: What’s wrong? Is it bad?

CARL: I’m afraid so, child. It appears your car is suffering from a demonic possession. Dark, evil spirits have your baby in their clutches!

TOM: (doubtfully) Evil spirits? Really?

CARL: Indeed! Demons sent from the depths of hell to clog your valves and befoul your crankshaft! But we can defeat this evil, son! We have the POWER!

TOM: We do, huh?

CARL: That’s right! With your faith and these healing hands, we shall exorcise these spirits from your vehicle. Can I get an ‘amen’?

TOM: Fine. Amen.

CARL: Shout it like you mean it, son! These are Satan’s minions we’re dealing with here!

TOM: AMEN! AMEN!! All right?!

CARL: Good. Now the healing can begin. Just one thing, first.

[Carl pulls out a basket and holds it out to Tom, shaking it as though he’s looking for money.]

TOM: Oh. Do I pay the bill up front?

CARL: Heavens no, sir — this is our donation plate. We maintain a non-profit charity center for orphaned auto parts. It’s the Lord’s work! Praise be!

[Carl shakes the basket again, meaningfully. Tom shrugs, pulls some change from his pocket, and drops it in. Carl checks the basket and shakes his head sadly.]

CARL: Thirty-eight cents. Mercy. There are gonna be some cold hungry hubcaps in the orphanage tonight! All right — let’s exorcise some demons! Can I get a ‘hallelujah’?

TOM: (shouting, but without enthusiasm) HALLELUJAH!!

CARL: Amen. I will now lay my healing hands on your troubled car and drive the demons from her.

[Carl places both hands on the engine, shouting and convulsing.]

CARL: Out, foul demons! Release this innocent Tercel coupe back into the light! In the name of our patron Saint Goodwrench and the Church of Napa Auto Parts, I command thee — BEGONE!!

[As Carl finishes his speech, a huge THUNK! is heard. Carl peers over into the engine.]

TOM: What was that? Did it work?

CARL: That appears to be your engine block, son. On the ground.

TOM: The ground? As in, fell out?

CARL: So it seems. The demons were powerful strong in this one. I’m sorry, child. Your car’s with the Lord now.

TOM: Let me get this straight. I came in here with a few knocks and pings for you to look at.

CARL: Tell it, brother!

TOM: You tell me that’s caused by ‘demons’ possessing my car, and you want to perform an exorcism.

CARL: Praise be!

TOM: So you slap your hands on there, and the engine falls out, and that’s because these evil spirits were ‘powerful strong’. Do I have this right?

CARL: Perfect as an angel!

TOM: I see. Well, all I can say is… thank you so much, Reverend Carl! I could still be driving around in that satanic deathtrap. You saved my life!

CARL: WE saved your life, son. WE HAVE THE POWER!

TOM: HALLELUJAH!

CARL: Now how about we go have a look at those poor orphaned hubcaps?

TOM: Absolutely! I’ll write you a check!

CARL: Praise be!

[Tom and Carl exit.]

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