Last night we attended a church revival down by the railroad tracks. Crowds of people were clamoring to see the prophet, as were we. I have a fondness for prophets. It was a noisy crowd, but Honey was unfazed, since she couldn't hear them anyway. She did appear to be considering the possibility of biting those closest to us, but whatever. We sat through two sermons, one by a 10 year old child preacher who admonished us to tithe freely in order to secure our eternal salvation, three intermissions so we could buy hot dogs and popcorn, and two interludes of a 12 year old soprano singing first Amazing Grace and then The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The first was okay, the second was wretched. At last the prophet himself appeared, and said, "I am here to heal the sick, comfort the sick at heart, and collect your money!" This was all in a loud booming voice, except by the end the crowd was screaming hysterically to be saved and most of them may have missed the money part. We had to wait our turn of course. This healing thing is apparently a sort of individual process. If the prophet is as powerful as he would like us to believe, couldn't he just wave his fairy wand over the crowd and say, "There, all done." But no, we were given a number, for which we paid a donation, and made to stand in line behind the makeshift stage. The first healing was a 42 year old accountant who was complaining of bunions. "You are healed!" the prophet said, and smacked him in the head, causing said accountant to fall backward, where he then hit his head and was knocked unconscious. Guys in black t-shirts rushed on stage and carted him off, and then the next, a clown who was sad. And by clown, I mean a clown, in full clown regalia, with a sad drawn on face and the barest hint of rum on his person. "You are healed!" said the prophet, knocking the clown to the ground, and the clown's sad drawn on face didn't change at all, but I'm pretty sure he was no longer sad. Or would be, once he regained consciousness. Then a scullery maid, who was suffering from steam burns, who was also knocked unconscious, no doubt so her burns could heal. This went on for half an hour, or an hour, or some period of time that lost all meaning. Then it was Honey's turn. "If you smack my dog I'll kill you," I said to the prophet. "Just fix her hearing." "It'll cost you extra," the prophet said, "If I can't smack her. That, and she's a dog, if you haven't noticed." "Really?" I responded. "I knew there was something different about her. Just get on with it, will ya?" "If I must," he said, "But I must insist on cash or a cashiers check first. Or Visa. Or MasterCard. We minister to those of all faiths." "Fine," I grumbled, as I handed over my last few dollars. "We'll bill you for the rest then. This isn't nearly enough." I have a mailing address I use for these purposes, so I gave him that. Said mailing address is halfway to Timbuktu, and there's no address there, much less a there there, so I imagine a pile of mail has been collecting there for quite a while. Another bill or two wouldn't matter much. "Dog, you are healed!" the prophet bellowed, and Honey snapped at him. Wouldn't you, if a prophet was bellowing at you? Well, true, Honey couldn't hear him, but she got the general idea. We left the stage as a midget desiring to be tall entered from stage left, but we didn't hang around to see what would happen next. After we got home I said to Honey, "Honey? Can you hear me?" I could tell she couldn't because she made no sign of hearing me. Which is not to say my dog can sign. That'd just be weird. But this morning she came into my office, and was snapping at me, which is her way of saying, "Can you let me outside now please?" I turned around in my comfy desk chair and said to her, "Do you want to go outside?" She responded by barking and jumping up and down, if a dog can jump up and down. Then Ash, who'd been loitering in the doorway, started barking and jumping up and down. I kept talking to her, and she kept responding as if she could hear what I was saying. Then again, it's hard to tell with a dog. We went into the hallway and I had Andrew call her, and she looked at him, then went to him. The dog can hear. After I let them outside I went back upstairs and called out the back upstairs window to Honey. She stopped what she was doing, which was sniffing grass, and looked up, then around. She wasn't quite sure where I was calling her from, but she knew someone was calling her. I could have just said that the vet had said she might regain some of her hearing once the infection cleared up and the ear gunk was cleaned out from the drops he'd had us giving her, but that doesn't make for such a good story, does it?