In fact it was a political official who first game me my name. After my momma was delivered of me, the justice of the peace showed up to ask her what name she would give me. But momma was a lively and highly opinionated woman who, though still bedbound wasn’t done yelling at my daddy, Wayne T. Hurley, IV, on account of his knocking her up three times in two years. She cussed him up one side and down the other and blamed him for everything that had gone wrong in her life, most of which he was actually guilty of but it was still counted against her for some time as being overly harsh.
Daddy must have been feeling pretty bad because eventually fell asleep in the rocker an momma allowed as how his going back and forth was him agreeing with every word and both were complaisant to let each other run their course.
The justice tried several times to interject his official capacity into the conversation but without much success, owing to my momma running on a full head of steam and a bunch of diet pills. Finally momma reached the end of one thought, paused for breath and shouted out ‘Wayne T. Hurley IV!’ as kind of a place holder. The justice saw his opportunity and quickly said ‘No ma’am, that name’s already taken but we can call him Jr.’ turned around and skedaddled and that’s how I come to be called Wayne T. Hurley IV, Jr.
If you’ve got a political system complete with a justice of the peace religion can’t be far off, so a few days later I was baptized into the Temple of the Sacred Beating Heart of the Holy Roman Episcopal Rollers, or the ‘Templars’ for short. We had a schism a while back over a point of doctrine and a dispute about some scratch off tickets and now there’s us and the Temple of the Sacred Beating Heart of the Holy Roman Episcopal Rollers Reformed. We call them the ‘Wife Beaters’ and they call us the ‘Sempletons with a T’ so even our small village wasn’t without religious strife and godless heathens. There’s a great deal of animosity between the two groups, but since there’s only one church we don’t let it get in the way of receiving the divine word and kicking the shit out of one another when we can.
So on the third day I was dressed in a flour sack cut on the bias and fringed with lace and baptized after the preacher got paid.
Next: Terrible events ensue that divide our county asunder.