“When did you know you were lost?” he asked.
Nobody likes being singled out. Well, almost nobody.
“Who, m-m-me?” She stammered, wondering how he knew. The cameras were aimed at her and she was the focus of the audience’s attention. Her armpits were sticky with excitement, and pearls of sweat prickled across her scalp like a thousand baby starfish headed home.
“Okay, Miss! Please stand up and tell us your story!” Jerry B. Faker, the infamous millionaire televangelist urged. The crowd was applauding now.
“Oh, boy!” she stood up, thanking her lucky stars that she’d won the free tickets to be in the PGM Club’s studio audience. She didn’t want to go at first, but her parents were big fans of the Praise G-d, Man show, and talked her into using the tickets. It was a family outing of sorts.
She rose from her seat. “Whaddaya wanna know?…”
Jerry B. sputtered in exasperation. “How did you know? When did you know you were lost?”
She cleared her throat. “Shoot, as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been…”
He cut her off. “Oh, you poor, poor child!” Jerry B. gushed. “Did you hear that, Audience? She’s been lost her whole life!”
“Well, yeah. My mama an’ daddy…”
But her abbreviated response fell on deaf ears as Jerry B. dropped to his knees in prayer and his crocodile tears began to flow . Most everyone in crowd followed his cue, wailing with out-stretched arms and bowed heads–everyone, except her family.
“It takes guts to do what you’re doing today, Child!”
“How so?” She scratched her head, confused.
Jerry B. ignored her. “Coming here, alone, to stand before G-d and…”
This time, she cut him off. “Oh, I ain’t alone. I brought my whole Fam Damily!”
“Oh, are they lost, too?”
“Of course not. Ain’t nobody Lost, but me,” she declared.“I thought you knew! I’m Lost, and this is my twin sister, Found.” She yanked her look-alike up by the arm.
“Ow, Lost! What the f***!” Found squealed.
“Watch yer filthy mouth, girl!” Lost cautioned.
Jerry B. was speechless—without speech, even—so Lost continued with the introductions. Jerking her thumb behind her, she announced:
“Yonder’s my daddy, Hyde, and next to him is my Mama, Sikh.”
“Hey, there…” The proud parents waved in every direction, unsure of which camera did what.
“Lord, have mercy!” Jerry B. shouted. “G-d help us all!”
“Uh-huh. Amen to that,” Lost agreed. “Oh, and next to them is my big brother, Rock. And see the little chubby guy there slumped down in his seat eatin’ a hot dog? Well, that’s his partner, Roll.”
“Hey, Mr. Faker!” Rock stood up, beaming with pride. “Me & Roll’s gettin’ married next month. An’ Jerry B.? We’d be right honored if you could see your way clear to come and share our joyous moment…”
The audience gasped.
Jerry B. Faker went pale and the show suddenly cut to a commercial.