OLIVE BRANCH, MS — A local man finally reached a significant life milestone after deciding that he should probably start learning the names of some of the people with whom he has attended church for the last 21 years.
"I guess it might be helpful to know what to call people," said Greg Phipps. "I've been coming here every Sunday for over two decades, but I never really felt like it was important to actually know people's names. I suppose I should probably learn a couple of them, at least."
When asked how he's gone this long without knowing anyone, Greg described the intricate system he has been using to identify his fellow attendees. "The church receptionist is ‘Glasses Lady,'" he said. "And the guy who leads worship is ‘Ripped Jeans Guy.' Honestly, I haven't really needed to know very many people other than that. Oh, there's also ‘Preacher Dude.' He stands up and gives the sermons. Pastor Whoever."
Other members of the congregation at Pleasant Grove Bible Church confirmed that Phipps had been a member for 21 years now. "Yeah, he's a mainstay here," said one congregant. "He's always super friendly, ready with a handshake and a ‘Hey there, buddy' or a ‘How's it going, pal.' He's one of the more long-standing members of the church. We're happy to have him. Not sure I've ever caught his name, though."
At publishing time, Phipps had also committed to learning the church sound man's name so he could use it when interrupting him during service to let him know the music was too loud.
It's a serious medical emergency: you're minding your own business when you hear an opinion you slightly disagree with.