Saturday, September 02, 2006

Where's the Beef?

Dear Indigna,

I recently witnessed a rather remarkable confrontation at the local bowling alley. A Lutheran lady mentioned that her church was planning a celebration of Martin Luther King Day, and a Baptist lady objected violently on the grounds . . . well, on grounds that a well-bred Southern lady wouldn't repeat except that it had to do with the gentleman's . . . uh . . . features and uh . . . certain issues that riled up the local community in the 1960's. Not to mention the 1860's. Well now, I heard those Lutheran ladies explain their position to the Baptist gentlewoman, but she remained unrepentant in her views that one ought not to celebrate the person who caused her to lose her low-cost washing woman. Who was right?

Magnolia Flower
Live Oak, FL

Dear Overprotected Flora,

Look, Martin Luther King Day has nothing whatsoever to do with Martin Luther, who nailed some "95 Theses" on the door of a church in Wittenberg, instigated the Reformation and the foundation of the Protestant Church, and eventually inspired Lutheranism. That Luther was apparently later sentenced to a "Diet of Worms," which could not have been pleasant.

Fortunately, our Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in the land of extremely pleasant food, the Deep South, specifically Atlanta, Georgia. Think cornbread, peach pie, cheese grits, hush puppies, succotash, okra, fried mush and pig pickin's. See, that's just about as far as you can get from "Wittenberg," which sounds suspiciously vegan. Hamburg, yes. "Wittenberg"--well, that just sounds too much like "Wit' no burg (er)."

What does this have to do with the low-cost washing woman? Well, Martin Luther King, Jr. instigated the movement that culminated in the Civil Rights Act, which ensured equal rights to employment, education and justice to people of all races, ethnicities, religions and national origins. That means the low-cost washing woman was free to get a much higher paying job in food service. I understand that she went on to establish a fast-food restaurant empire that she named, in homage to her historical inspiration, "Wittenburger King."

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