Backstory: A lot of people had a lot of assumptions. Like, “saloons are Havens of Debauchery” and “fornication and sodomy will corrupt your soul” and “when you die there’s a big shiny lion fellow with a beard who explicitly pronounces exactly which of your beliefs were correct and incorrect, and if you scored enough ‘correct’ then you got issued one(1) harp and one(1) halo.”
Charlie didn’t believe in making assumptions. Never had.
He’d hang out in as many saloons as he liked. He’d drink himself silly. He’d be as liberal with his bedchamber, or a friendly fellow’s bedchamber, with any fellow who was feeling friendly. And he did it all without any apparent worry for his immortal soul. Still called himself a ‘missionary,’ though many a minister had spent a fruitless afternoon quoting scripture eighty ways till sunday morning, and not a one so much as found out what denomination he claimed to be, much less got anywhere near saving his soul. Said soul, Charlie would maintain, was either teflon coated, or else the things he was dipping it in were a lot less sticky than various orthodoxies would hold.
Now and then a minister would be tempted to experiment with Charlie’s way of doing things, and Charlie was always obliging. He was not come to call fornicators and prostitutes, but rather those in true need of salvation, he’d say. That, apparently, was a joke. But the general consensus was that one didn’t talk about, or to, a fellow once he’d gone ‘experimenting’ with Charlie.
For his part, Charlie seemed content to spend his time in bars and brothels and every other sink of degradation, ‘looking for opportunities to do good.’ One was tempted to ask if the latest stripper’s stage name was “Good,” but Charlie always seemed sincere about it. And there were worse things a man could do than lower his trousers and lift his tail.
Though of course one didn’t say so aloud.
(Especially not within Charlie’s hearing, not if you wanted to keep your “Calling” intact.)
Commentary: Fixing the color pallette was the main drive of this remaster. And eventually I decided that the angle of Wally’s head just did not work. So now he’s in profile, instead.
I wish there were easier ways to make verbal references to Wally’s origins. But the setting I picked doesn’t exactly allow for it. I was way too excited about using him as a reference to Big Lipped Alligator Moments for Charlie. But the joke with the collar-and-cuffs look making him look like a stripper worked, right? ...right?