Justin hated wearing the corduroy pants.
They were a hideous shade of pea green, they sported a sad denim patch that was not very successfully covering a hole in one knee, and they had never been washed–and they looked and smelled like it, too.
But the pants, which had belonged to The Church’s founder, Renzo, weren’t allowed to be washed. It was one of The Church’s Decrees, as was the rule that every Elder must take a turn wearing the pants once a month. Justin was an Elder, and it was the fourth Wednesday of the month, so it was his turn.
Then again, it was only once a month, so he put up with it. Besides, it was the only Church Decree he didn’t like, so no big deal.
OK–that, and the forcing of The Church’s children into arranged marriages. He had his doubts about that one.
And the mandatory sixty percent tithing. He had always thought that to be a tad unreasonable.
And the whole completely-cutting-off-contact-with-all-family-members-who-weren’t-also-part-of-The-Church thing.
And the blackmailing of Church members who tried to leave.
And those occasional ritual suicides. He obviously had never participated in one of those, but still: They seemed kind of wrong to him.
But as he re-adjusted his belt, trying to get the several-sizes-too-large pants cinched just right, Justin decided that, other than those few things, the pants really were the worst.