We’ve all heard, maybe even used the unconvincing excuse that “my dog ate my homework.” On Saturday, Vicki Clark of Galeed Baptist Church took it to a whole new level.
Let’s set the stage: Clark was again leading a mission team to Savannah, Ga., for the usual every-other-month effort to feed homeless in that city. The group consisted of nine youth and six adults, but before we could set sail down Interstate 95 there was the need for a stop at McDonald’s to get breakfast.
That’s when it happened.
“I have forgotten my wallet,” Clark announced. That was a monumental thing, since she often paid for … well, everything.
In her defense, Clark usually has no less than 257 million things to remember while getting ready for a mission trip. Where her wallet falls on the list of priorities wasn’t shared, though it would seem that it needs to be fairly high.
But on this Saturday morning, it somehow didn’t make the trip.
So a call was made to her husband — y’all know John Clark, who usually takes stuff in stride and just works it out. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way, and Vicki was soon hopping into the van that wasn’t pulling a trailer and heading back to Bladenboro to get her wallet.
She returned about 30 minutes later … without the wallet, clutching only a credit card.
Apparently, a quick search of the house was unsuccessful and it was determined the wallet HAD to be in one of the vans. Except it wasn’t.
We managed to get on the road — 14 of us with thoughts about the upcoming mission trip, one with a million thoughts pin-balling around her mind about a wallet that had seemingly grown legs and skee-daddled to parts unknown.
I was driving the van of four passengers, while Clark was leading the way in a van filled with 12 — eight of them youth. I’m not sure how she could even hear herself think, but by the time we reached Savannah, she had constructed what she thought was a viable storyline for what happened to her wallet.
“It had to be the dog,” she claimed.
Clark unveiled an entire story about their dog that completely threw the poor canine under the bus — or at least into the pampas grass.
What she had come up with during the 250-mile drive was that the dog, as it often does with other items, must have gotten hold of the wallet, carried it to an area it frequents that has pampas grass and buried it.
“There was a time when it got a cell phone in its mouth and the only way we knew was when it rang and we could see the light glowing from its mouth,” Clark said.
OK, so mystery solved. The wallet was in the dirt near the pampas grass and the dog was at fault. Bad dog. For about 36 hours, the poor dog’s tail had to be between its legs and ears on fire, because it was the target of finger-pointing from two states away.
Except it wasn’t in the dirt near the pampas grass and it wasn’t the dog.
Turns out, the missing wallet was found Sunday night under a chair — with no dog saliva on it that I am aware of.
As for the mission trip, everything went well. There was the usual sightseeing portion that allowed the group to ride the ferry from Hutchinson Island over to the market area along River Street for shopping. Then it was time to get breakfast groceries by some of the group and setting up sleeping arrangements for others before heading to dinner.
I took the folks in my van to my favorite place, Vinny Van Go-Gos, for the best pizza on the entire planet. And to make things even better, a couple of us were able to talk with and witness to a homeless young man from Florida who was incredibly knowledgeable of the Bible and felt he was there for a reason. That filled us fuller than the pizza, which we shared with him.
After a night of air-mattress sleeping, we all arose early and began the process of cooking for the Sunday breakfast. Everyone had their assignments and things went smoothly. We probably fed close to 175 folks a meal of grits, sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy. Nobody went away hungry.
Along with Clark and myself, the adults on the trip were Crystal Cate, Freida Adams, Jeff and Kristy Bryan. The youth included Krystyn Cate, Abby McLaughlin, Grace West, Jeremiah Bryan, Jacob Bryan, Jonah Bryan, Gabrielle Bryan, Wayden Norris and Cameron McLaughlin. Everyone did a marvelous job.
Perhaps there should be a special meal for the Clark’s dog, too. You know, to remove the bad mojo that was sent its way all weekend.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.