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Should we start calling him the Rev. Lee Pitts?
Itís the Pitts
By Lee Pitts

Well, a day arrived I thought Iíd never live to see: the day I married my sister. Before you start thinking even less of me than you already do, I must hasten to add that I married my sister in a wedding ceremony. I can see Iím only digging myself in deeper so let me explain before you write me off as an incest-prone pervert.

My sister called two weeks before her marriage and was upset because her preacher had been deported. She wanted to know if I could perform the ceremony. Now, I have presided over numerous religious events in my life such as gopher funerals and a bingo game but I have never married anyone, other than my wife, and I assure you that she is not my sister. I told my sis that if she could get me ordained that I would marry her. In a ceremony, that is. (Normally I insist on several counseling sessions with couples before I marry them but in my sisterís case I waived the rule.)

Shortly thereafter I found myself online with the Rose Ministries of Las Vegas, Nev. (Where else?) I had the choice between ordination packages ranging from $89 to a basic package for $29. Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that I purchased the more inexpensive version. (Actually I made my sister pay for it.) The problem with the cheaper package was that it didnít come with any instructions as to how to actually perform a wedding ceremony. If I had it to do over again I would have made my sister buy the deluxe package which Iím almost sure included advice on how to start your own church and how to qualify for tax free status. The deluxe packet also came with a clip-on ďClergyĒ badge that I really wanted.

One week after filling out a simple questionnaire I received an envelope for Rev. Lee Pitts. (I had a choice as to what title I preferred.) Inside the envelope was a certificate suitable for framing and a plastic card to carry that certified Rev. Lee Pitts as ďbeing ordained as a non-denominational clergy with the authority to perform all religious services and rites including baptism and marriage.Ē It was signed by my fellow Reverend, Bill Hall.

There were some disappointments. I wanted to wear one of those dresses you saw the holy men wear when they buried the Pope and one of those two foot tall hats but my sister nixed that idea. She also said I could not wear my cowboy hat. Because the ceremony took place outdoors on a day that was hotter than nine acres of onions I got a severe scald on my bald head that still hurts.

And I almost forgot the ring ceremony, which, from a womanís standpoint, is the most important part of the ceremony because she gets some diamonds. For some women, and I am not saying in this case, the jewelry will be the only thing the woman gets out of the marriage.

Although Iím not schooled in the ways of the clergy I did feel qualified to speak on the matter of marriage because Iíve been studying the subject for 32 years under the same strict teacher. Even though I wasnít ordained by a church to preach, thatís never stopped me before so I gave a rip-snorting sermon that left everyone weeping in their hankies. At least thatís what I think everyone was bawling about.

In the end my sister and her husband promised to love, honor and obey and my mother made me promise Iíd never marry anyone again. (Although I did have a couple ask me to marry their Basset Hounds.) Despite not being handed an envelope full of cash or being allowed to pass a collection plate, I pronounced them husband and wife with the power vested in me by the state of Nevada and

I think the marriage is legal, though I misspelled the word Reverend when signing official looking documents afterwards. Which reminds me, please be advised that in the future everyone should refer to me as the Most Reverend Lee Pitts.

Next week, if Iím not too busy, I think Iíll go online and get my Ph.D.

This farm news was published in the Sept. 13, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.