ABILENE, Texas - Jesus answered the prayers of a little girl from Texas after her daddy's wagon caught fire at the Texas Monthly Chuckwagon Cookoff, but the miracle He later performed failed to impress the nearly 5,000 hungry patrons in attendance, according to witnesses.
Jerry Aschwander, a longtime participant in the event held just outside Abilene, indicated he had been chopping jalapeños when a maverick fly began to torment him ceaselessly.
"I was workin' up a purty good sweat at the time," he said. "The little bugger plumb refused to let up, so when he lit on my forehead, I swatted the sumbitch good.
"I shoulda knowed better," he added.
Juice from the fiery peppers trickled into Aschwander's eyes only moments later. As he stumbled about the cook site, blinded and pawing uselessly at his face, screaming for a gallon of milk, he inadvertently kicked hot coals onto the wood-spoked wheels of his vintage red chuckwagon.
Flames quickly engulfed the circle of 33 wagons, causing carnage and consuming the event, but Carrie Aschwander, Jerry's 12-year-old daughter, had said a fervent prayer.
Jesus came unto them shortly thereafter, appearing over the top of a hill as He walked toward the multitude, his robes flailing in the Texas wind.
"What are we to do?" they asked Him. "Surely the cook off has been ruined; yet, we are still hungry!"
He averted His gaze, taking in the smoking ruins and rubble, then told little Carrie, whose prayer He had answered, "Gather up whatever you can find and bring it to Me."
When she had done this, she returned, saying, "I found two packages of tofu dogs, some buns, and five cans of vegetarian chili, sir."
Several people chuckled nervously, and more than a few others winced at the words just spoken.
"You don't have to call Me sir," He replied, tousling her hair. "Just capitalize any pronouns referring to Me and you'll be just fine."
Then, waving his hand over the "slim pickins," He grilled and prepared each dog with care, then gave them His blessing; whereupon, several onlookers were dismayed, saying unto each other, "Is He really serious?"
When He had finished, Jesus instructed Carrie saying, "Now go, and distribute veggie chili dogs to each and every hungry Texas Monthly Chuckwagon Cookoff patron."
Within minutes, the multitude was overcome with groaning and gagging.
For comic effect, one man made exaggerated vomiting sounds as he bit into his tofu dog. Then, its unfamiliar texture actually did gag him, and he began to spray vomit on several people sitting nearby.
"What is this crap?" said another woman, removing a small chunk of something meat-like from her mouth, spitting and wretching. "Is that TVP? Because I DO NOT EAT TVP. It just ain't natural!"
The crowd began to chant "Where's the beef!" in unison as they marched back and forth amidst the carnage of the fire-ravaged chuckwagon cook off.
Several minutes later, they dispersed, leaving Carrie and her Savior to dine alone, bewildered.
"Lord, have mercy!!" exclaimed Jesus. "What's wrong with these people?"
"I don't know," replied Carrie, shaking her head. "I just don't know. But at least they didn't break out the swastikas this time."