I will get to the tattoos later in this column. There’s a lot going on in this world that I don’t understand. Wish I knew more than old movie trivia. One thing that has become apparent to me is that our President Bush has no intention of losing the oil of Iraq, nor leaving the scene on his watch. From his own words, I think his mind is made up.

To paraphrase the old bandit’s words in “Treasure of Sierra Madre,” we don’t need no stinking benchmarks …

Last Sunday night at church the congregation sang a hymn written by a friend of mine. It got me to thinking that I might write a song. If not an original song, maybe a parody of an old classic. The next two paragraphs are my words sung to the tune of Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” … I hope I don’t get sued by the Porter estate or arrested by the White House, or stoned by real musicians. Here goes:

Oh, give me oil, lots of oil, under Iraqi skies above,/

Don’t make me leave./

Let my troops surge now and forever more,/

Don’t make ‘em leave.

Let me be by myself in my own little world/

And listen to the words I can really appreciate,/

Do what you like, but I ask you please,/

Don’t make me leave.

I always think of Roy Rogers when I hear “Don’t Fence Me In.” He used it in his television series back in the 1950s. Roy and Dale were known for their Christian witness and work. I have a little problem with his theology. He signed off at the end of his program with: “May the good Lord take a likin’ to you.” The good Lord does more than “like” us, he loves us in spite of ourselves. I think it should be the other way around: “May we take a likin’ to the Lord.”

Changing the subject from the difficulty of song parody and Roy Rogers’ theology to the problem of making a living today. I read where the Fort Worth Baptist seminary president put his foot in it again. President Paige Patterson said people who believe two incomes are necessary in today’s society are “ignorant.”

I disagree more with Patterson’s theology than Roy Rogers’. But I must speak up for the families where husband and wife must work to make ends meet. Two family incomes are seldom a choice, but more often a necessity. Husband and wife both working may not be ideal, but that is the way it is. They are having a harder time than Patterson knows. (Isn’t his wife Dorothy on salary for teaching homemaking at his seminary-college?) I may be “ignorant,” but my wife does not work. (A package of fresh-baked tortillas just went from 99 cents to $1.29.)

In this rich country, we should be ashamed of the low wages for the working poor and lower middle class, while we have more millionaires and billionaires than ever in history.

Speaking of Baptists, have you heard the latest honor for Baylor University (the Jerusalem on the Brazos)? News has been released that half of the students there who have tattoos, have religious tattoos. As one proud student proclaimed, “That makes Baylor Number One for religious tattoos.”

The report found religious tattoos were commonly identified as “memorials, permanent reminders of personal faith and signs of contentment.” If a kid of mine went off to college and got any kind of tattoo there would be little contentment in our house.

Britt Towery’s opinions appear every Friday. He began his movie trivia while an usher at the Lyric Theater on Center Avenue. His e-mail address for those with comments: bet@suddenlink.net.