This story contains sensitive content

Old Biddy Gossip Garble

(Some off-color humor.) Gladys: “Martha, how’s choir practice coming along? I hear the new Music Director that Rev. Barnes hired is quite charming.”

Martha: “Yes, I guess, he’s pleasant enough.”

Gladys: “And, if I can add, a handsome fellow.”

Martha: “I guess, he’s ok.”

Gladys: “What’s wrong? You don’t seem too pleased with him.”

Martha: “Well, he doesn’t seem to know too much about religious music, and in just three weeks he’s already playing favorites. That conniving little sycophant Clara Matthews hasn’t stopped smiling at him and telling him how wonderful he is ever since the day he arrived, so he gives her all the attention! And, get this, he’s given her my solo in How Great Thou Art!”

Gladys: “No!”

Martha: “Oh yes he did! He says she can really hit the high notes. It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve had that part for years.”

Gladys: “That’s terrible, Gladys. You have to wonder what’s going on there.”

Martha: “I’d sure like to know. They’ve been fawning over each other from the very first day. ‘Oh, Mr. Sanders, that is such a wonderful suggestion’, and ‘You have such a sweet voice, Clara.’ It’s enough to make an old lady gag. I have to wonder why Rev. Barnes hired him in the first place.”


Gladys: “Mildred have you heard anything about the new Music Director?”

Mildred: “How so?”

Gladys: "Well, apparently he’s here for more than the music.”

Mildred: "What do you mean, Gladys?”

Gladys: “Wandering eyes, Mildred, wandering eyes.”

Mildred: “You don’t mean…”

Gladys: “That’s exactly what I mean. Martha says that he hasn’t taken his eyes off Clara  Mathews since he got here.”

Mildred: “Clara Mathews! She’s married!”

Gladys: “So is he.”

Mildred: "And she’s twice his age!”

Gladys: “I hear he likes it when she hits the high notes.”

Mildred: "I bet he does. I know what that means. I take it up a couple of octaves myself sometimes.”


Mildred: "Dorothy! Have you heard the latest?”

Dorothy: “No, what?”

Mildred: "I’ll tell you what. We’ve got a little hanky-panky going on right here at St. Paul’s.”

Dorothy: “What?!”

Mildred: “The new Music Director. The guy’s a skirt-chaser!”

Dorothy: “I knew there was something wrong with that guy. I spotted it right off. Who’s he tom-cattin’ around with?”

Mildred: “Clara Matthews.”

Dorothy: “Clara Matthews?! I wouldn’t think Clara even had any coals left in her furnace.”

Mildred: “Maybe he supplies the heat for both of them.”


Wilma: “That can’t be. Clara Matthews and the Music Director?!”

Dorothy: “Yep, it’s a real shocker alright. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t heard it myself.”

Wilma: “Where do they do it?”

Dorothy: “It must be right there in the choir loft after everyone leaves.”

Wilma: “That’s disgusting. Rev. Barnes sure would freak out.”

Dorothy: ‘Well, here’s the weird thing. He hired our new Music Director like in one day. And the guy is getting paid almost twice as much as Lucy Wilson was getting before she fell off the balcony at Christmas. You have to wonder if Rev. Barnes already knew the guy.”

Wilma: “And what kind of sleazeball he was.”

Dorothy: “It makes you wonder if they had this sort of stuff in mind all along.”

Wilma: “You don’t mean…”

Dorothy: “Oh, yes I do mean. I’ve felt Rev. Barnes’ eyes all over me many times. But I guess you wouldn’t know what that’s like.”

Wilma: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Dorothy: “Oh, nothing.”

Wilma: “But Rev. Barnes! He’s a minister!”

Dorothy: “He’s a man first, Wilma, and men are pigs.”

Wilma: “You don’t really think Rev. Barnes is involved in this, do you?”

Dorothy: “It wouldn’t surprise me none.”


Fern: “Rev. Barnes and the Music Director are in cahoots in this sordid affair?”

Wilma: “Yep. Apparently, the whole thing was a setup. Rev. Barnes must have known all about Sanders at his last place. I’m guessing they ran him out of there because of some funny business, and then Rev. Barnes paid him a hefty sum to get him here.”

Fern: “I wonder who else has been sneaking around with the new Music Director.”

Wilma: “So you think he’s doin’ more than just Clara.”

Fern: “For sure. There are no one-mistress men when it comes to cheating. Guys like him are trying to nail down everything that moves.”

Wilma: “And what about Clara? How many of our husbands has she been playing moochie-moochie with before Cassanova got here?”

Fern: “The bitch! You know, Henry’s been acting very peculiar lately. All of a sudden the church’s Men’s Night Out is a big deal to him.”

Wilma: “Herb too! Last week he was putting a little extra Aqua Velva on before he went to their bowling night. Bowling my ass!”

Fern: “Wilma! Do you know who volunteers at the church office and does the paperwork for the Men’s Night Out group?

Wilma: “No, who?”

Fern: “Clara Matthews!”

Wilma: “Oh, my God! There’s the connection! How many husbands are in that group?”

Fern: “It’s got to be at least twenty-five.”

Wilma: “Twenty-five?!”

Fern: “That is sick.”

Wilma: “Twenty-five at a time! And at her age!”


Mitzie: “That little whore! That’s it, George ain’t goin’ to any more of that Men’s Night Out crap. And do you know whose idea it was to have that group in the first place? Rev. Barnes!”

 Fern: “So, Rev. Barnes brings the sex maniac in, and Rev. Barne sets up the Men’s Night Out group. That’s a little too much of a coincidence for me.”

Mitzie: “Oh, my God, I just thought of something else.”

Fern: “What’s that?”

Mitzie: “Do you know who was alone in the church with Lucy the night she fell off the balcony?”

Fern: “Who?”

Mitzie: “Rev. Barnes!”


Hazel: “Well, now it makes sense to me.”

Mitzie: “What’s that, Hazel?”

Hazel: “Last month at the Turkey Dinner, Clara got some dressing on her dress. And she brushed it off real slow-like…right in front of my Wilbur! And the dressing was right down by her whoo-whoo!”

Mitzie: “The little temptress!”

Hazel: “More like that little whore if you ask me. She smeared that dressing on her dress on purpose! Then she wiped it away with her hand and licked it off her fingers!”

Mitzie: “Lord of Mercy! And now it sounds like we got a whole sex ring going on here- Rev. Barenes, Mr. Sanders, and that tramp Clara.”

Hazel: “The Unholy Trinity of Sin. And Rev. Barnes shoved Lucy off the balcony to make the whole thing possible?”

Mitzie: “It sure looks that way. And all his preaching about keeping the Commandments. The hypocrite!”


Hazel: “Thelma, does Mel belong to that Men’s Night Out Thing they’ve got going at the church?”

Thelma: “Oh, yes, and he loves it!”

Hazel: “I’ll bet he does. Let me clue you in on what’s been going on with that little fun-loving group of old men.”

Thelma: “What?”

Hazel: “Hanky-panky, philandering, free-for-all fornicating!”

Thelma: “What?!”

Hazel: “Let me spell it out for you…S-E-X!”

Thelma: “Sex?! Who are they having sex with?!”

Hazel: “That hussie Clara Matthews.”

Thelma: “Clara Matthews! That old bag?!”

Hazel: “She must know stuff men like.”

Thelma: “How long has this been going on?”

Hazel: “Ever since the new Music Director arrived. I guess he’s the ring leader of a big sex-for-sale operation.”

Thelma: “Ha! I knew something was up. The last couple of weeks Mel has lost a little of that eye-of-the-tiger in the bedroom.”

Hazel: “Well, now you know why.”

Thelma: “Oh, and I just wrote out a check for that damn men’s outing group. And it’s not cheap, Hazel! Poker night, bowling, rock climbing. I should have known it was all BS.”

Hazel: “There’s more, Thelma. It gets worse.”

Thelma: “What could be worse than Mel paying good money to dip his wrinkly old wick in Clara Matthews?”

Hazel: “Rev. Barnes is involved! He set the whole thing up. Didn’t you think it was odd that Lucy Wilson just happen to fall off the church balcony one night?”

Thelma: “Rev. Barnes? Lucy? What are you talking about?”

Hazel: “Hang on to your bloomers, Thelma. Lucy didn’t fall off the balcony. Rev. Barnes threw her off!”

Thelma: “No!”

Hazel: “Oh, yes he did. It was part of his sinister, sick plan. Step one- get rid of Lucy; step two- we need a new Music Director; step three- bring in the experienced pimp Sanders; step four-recruit the eager Clara Mathews to put it out there for the men; step five- set up this bogus Men’s Night Out group for a cover for their sicko sex parties. Pretty slick I’d say.”

Thelma: “Do all the wives know what’s been going on?”

Hazel: “Not sure. We need to make damn sure though.”


Thelma: “Martha, you’re not going to believe what’s been going on right under our noses!”

Martha: “What?”

Thelma: “Rev. Barnes threw Lucy off the balcony just so he could bring that scum-bag Sanders in and set up this big sex-for-sale business!”

Martha: “What?!”

Thelma: “Sanders is a professional pimp, Martha! Rev. Barnes and the Music Director are bringing in big bucks pimping out Clara Mathews!”

Martha: “Clara Mathews! I should have known! She looks like she’s been putting on some extra miles lately. Who are they pimping her out to?”

Thelma: “Our husbands, Martha! Does Ernie belong to that new Men’s Night Out group?”

Martha: “Yes. Why?”

Thelma: “It’s only a cover, Martha. That’s the night they hook up with Clara.”

Martha: “All of them?!”

Thelma: “Sure sounds like it.”

Martha: “Ernie?! That son-of-a-bitch! How the hell does Clara do all of them?”

Thelma: “ I don’t know if it’s a gang-bang or there’s some kind of round-robin goin’ on.”

Martha: “How do you know all this, Thelma?”

Thelma: “Everyone knows. It’s all over the parish. You must be the last one to hear about it.”

Martha: “I’m so glad you called me, Thelma. Ernie’s done with his night out with the boys! And he’s going to get an earful when he gets home!”

Thelma: “We’re shutting down that circle of sin!”

Martha: “Damn! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this. I’ve got to get back into the loop a little more, Thelma. It seems like I’m always the last one to find out what’s going on around here!”

May 30, 2023 03:20

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Delbert Griffith
12:20 Jun 11, 2023

Dude! I just read your comment about this story being dismissed. What the hell??? Seriously, I've seen stories with "fuck" and "pussy" and all sorts of colorful language that have been accepted. And stories with much more explicit events than mere gossip. This is puzzling, to say the least. I'll tell you what I think. Reedsy has lots of judges. I bet you came across a judge that simply felt like your tale was too explicit. Which is insane, of course. I would have given this one two big thumbs up. Sorry, Murray. This is a fine tale, and y...


Murray Burns
21:53 Jun 11, 2023

Thanks! I really do appreciate hearing from someone like you. On the being "Dismissed". Another writer let me know that Reedsy added this comment to her story: "This story contains themes of physical violence and abuse." Are you ready for this? It was about a tree getting cut down. I'm not making this up. I read the story....a tree.


Delbert Griffith
23:24 Jun 11, 2023

No way! Well, this just validates that the judge that did this is unqualified to judge. Like your excellent tale, you got screwed by bad judging. Take heart in knowing that your tale was stellar, my friend. Cheers!


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Delbert Griffith
12:16 Jun 11, 2023

Freakin' hilarious! Starting and ending with Martha, who gets the "enhanced" gossip when it comes back to her. Great stuff, my friend. You nailed the prompt. Nicely done. Cheers!


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Mary Bendickson
04:29 May 30, 2023

Round and round and round it grows! This is so hilarious. Good job!


Murray Burns
19:48 Jun 08, 2023

Sorry to bother you....My story Old Biddy Gossip Garble was dismissed/ rejected/disallowed/nixed/denied/blocked/repelled/ and otherwise declared a "no-no" by the "censors" at Reedsy. You seem like a reasonable person. Would you have any idea why? ((I've asked the Reedsy gods, but have received no response.) Thanks


Mary Bendickson
20:20 Jun 08, 2023

Well, did you add the 'sensitive content' note or did they? On my very first story I chopped down a tree and they added 'contains gore or abuse' or whatever that warning is. On my story about Bullies I was trying to answer someone's comment whom I assumed was a judge because I found his name on the list. It was too late to edit so the only way I could find to do a revision was enter it into another one of the prompts for that week. Neither story was ever approved and the only thing I could figure was the stories were too similar and canceled...


Murray Burns
20:33 Jun 08, 2023

Wait a minute...."Gore and abuse" for chopping down a tree? On mine...I did put in the warning "Off-color humor"...and I've put in much more colorful stuff than in this one...and, I've seen lots "worse" in many other stories. It's a little irritating because it makes no sense, and you can't get an explanation from the Reedsy gods. This happened to me once before. I asked why a story was rejected. They responded it should not been dismissed, and entered it....a week after the judging was concluded. It's great site for writing and the interac...


Mary Bendickson
20:50 Jun 08, 2023

It is still on my profile and I still get an occasional comment. 'No more Bullies' and 'No more Bullies Reimagined' A couple of weeks ago I had a nice exchange with Tommy Goround, a judge. He is very busy but may be willing to give you insight. You can find him under the people I follow. Or list of judges. I wonder if they put entries through AI and find flags??? Don't know??


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