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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Papa, don't preach!

I was going to write a different blog but thought that what happened at church yesterday was so amusing that it was worth recording, and perhaps allowing myself a little artistic licence, for posterity’s sake. Firstly, because funny things rarely happen in our church, unless you count the time I got my finger wedged into the radiator at George and Helen Orlebar’s wedding, or when mum dropped a bag of maltesers down the wooden church aisle during the quiet moment in communion. People were still crunching them under foot a week later. Secondly, because it would be a lot shorter than the original blog.

Anyhoo. So there was the visiting preacher, who off-stage was a funny, affable chappy, but on stage, he was pretty dull, telling anecdotes with the charisma of a school nurse. Someone had obviously told him that morning church finished at 12:15 and the evening service, 7:45. He therefore obviously felt it his bounden duty to continue the sermon onto those times, instead of wrapping up at a reasonable pace and allowing good time for hymns, grace, banter and a cup of tea afterwards. The morning service was dreary enough, with mum deciding to yawn loudly at 12:15 and several other members decidedly clearing their throats, which is the universal mark of Christian disapproval. It wasn’t what he was saying that was dull, but it was the monotone he used and his lack of suitable and appropriate emphasis on his funny stories which meant that, even in our church, with its appalling sense of humour, no-one laughed.

The evening service was worse; his prayer was so long that (gratuitous name-drop here) Daley Thompson’s granddad fell asleep and, when we all said amen, he stood up for the last hymn, thinking the sermon had been said and done. Except veryone else was remaining seated for the collection. By the time the sermon had gone on for about half an hour, with anecdote after anecdote sandwiched in without a shred of variation of tone, most people were asleep. Even our more vocal Pentecostal contingent were not to be heard amen-ing or "that’s right"-ing anymore. 45 minutes later, the preacher seemed to warm up slightly and we thought he was wrapping up. Nu-huh. People started clearing their throats, rummaging in their bags and looking at the clock.

Then it happened. The preacher said: "Blah blah blah & And then Christ will come in Glory and bring the last days to an end." Immediately, one of our elderly gentlemen, a usually quiet chap, yelled out: “Yes, Lord, bring an end to all things.”
The church trickled to life with a murmur as some of us laughed aloud while others uttered holy “Ohs” (especially those who wanted to laugh but were not sure whether it would be allowed). The preacher blinked. The corner of his owlish mouth twitched. Then he started to chortle. “I think that wraps that up”, he said, and shut the Bible.

IN OTHER NEWS

Pictures of Monty for The Hitch Here he is who wanted to see him, for some reason.

WET MONTY

That Sink-ing feeling

I am so cute!

The finer things in life

49 comments:

The Hitch said...

you go to church?
I was banned when I was three.
During mass the priest said "Jesus Christ "
Now bear in mind that my grandmother would give my grandfather a regular telling off for saying Jesus Christ as a way of letting off steam I thought that they were bad words

So when the Priest used them on this ocassion I shouted out
"AHHHH MUMMY THAT MAN JUST SWORE"
That had the whole church in fits of laughter , one pissed off priest and me being dragged out of the door.
Its a true story, and from that moment we were all lapsed Catholics.
I have since been known to pop into one now and again, but I always fear some kind of devine revenge.

The Hitch said...

And what was wrong with me asking to see photos of your ...Monty?
(+;
He seems to be a cat of taste and refinement , no doubt he is embarrassed that his "mum" hangs sainsburys bags on the bed.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

FYI - that sainsbury's bag has a box of chocolates inside that my friend brought me. Once the Moet was opened, howevr, we forgot they were there so I had to eat them myself.

Also, that is a GREAT story, really made me laugh out loud!! Truly, out of the mouth of babes and infants...

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Ps... yes, I do - and am a sunday school teacher to boot. Thankfully we can still partake of a good bottle of Dom Perignon every now and then...

The Hitch said...

How dare you come to my blog and accuse me of having hairy ears and a bald head.
Call yourself a Christain.
I have a full head of hair, but when the day comes I will just comb the stuff on my shoulders up over the top and nobody will know.
Of course I will have to move my shoulders in the same direction as my head all the time or I would just look silly.

gimme a minute said...

Wow. Who knew?

Respect to the pastor for chortling. I would have glared. And damned him to hell. Stuff like that.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Well, we evangelicals get a bad press. We're actually quite good-natured, enjoy a bit of cheeky banter and can laugh at ourselves quite a lot. Which is good, because everyone else laughs at us too. Spreadin' the joy around, kum-by-ah and all that yadda yadda yadda.

electro-kevin said...

I go to church too - the most vulgar people so often do. When people ask why, when I'm so baaad, I say "I go not because I'm a Christian ... but because I'm a sinner." and I say it all dramatically and devilishly so they all go "Woooh !" The old ladies hate me - I quite like it that way.

The vicar blessed the new kitchen with holy water - I said sardonically "Can't wait 'til we get the toilet done, Vicar". Then during one of his interminable sermons he was using candles as analogy for the illuminating nature of Christianity, "What can we use candles for ?" he asked the congregation all bug-eyed and reborn. What a fucking stooopid question ! Old ladies ruminated and offered predictable answers "To bring light to the world" another "To show us the way !" and another "To bring safety and comfort." Yours truly couldn't resist "Devil worship, Vicar ?"

To be fair afterwards he appointed me as a server and grounds keeper - duties which I carried out faithfully for three years until I moved away. I'm still in contact with Rev Tom Moore (he loves his scrumpy) and can use some pretty choice language himself when he's one-to-one with friends.

Gorilla Bananas said...

The solution, of course, is to allow gorillas in the clergy. I'd like to see anyone fall asleep during my sermons! I'd look right into your eyes, Mermaid, and read your Satanic thoughts.

Incidently, I'm not happy with these pictures of your cat, he looks very rattish in the first one.

Gorilla Bananas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmmaK said...

maybe you could all have a whip round and have your preacher go off and do a course at RADA?? It's so bad when preachers think they can preach but can't...almost as bad as those poor souls who think they can sing Celine Dion on the karaoke and end up sounding like cats on heat.

Steven_L said...

What does it catch? Mice or birds?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Gorilla, I take great exception to your comments about my cat looking like a rat. He looks nothing like one. The first pic, quite obviously, is monty the kitten after his first bath. The last one is the most recent. He's 8 months old in that photo, and very refined. Nothing ratty about him at all. I am mortified.

Steve_L - hopefully, neither - he's got two bells on his collar to warn birds as I love having blackbirds and wrens nesting in our garden!

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

E-K... That's another brilliant story! I know what you mean about the lovely but worthy old ladies - sometimes it makes you want to be evil just to maintain some balance in the world....

The Hitch said...

You should never bathe a cat they hate water and they lick themselves to put on a scent that they like , in Montys case it seems to be Champagne and belgian chocalates , he is a feline Swiss Toni.
I cant even begin to tell you how difficult it is for me to not make puerile jokes on this subject.

melanie said...

i didn't read anything you wrote because i was distracted by the photos of monty.
maybe you should take him to church with you.
is that a painting of him in that last photo?
cute!

Newmania said...

You should see my two cats Mermaid they are absolutely lovely Pip and Jemimah. I have tried to go to church and I `m quite interested in religion. the oens near us won`t leave you alone though its all Alpha course which is a bit scary for me .

Can I ask , do you actually belive in god or are you an ethnic Christian so to speak ?

melanie said...

also here is a personal church story.
a woman i used to work with invited all of her coworkers to her baby's christening.
so even though i am jewish and churches scare me because ever since i was little they have been places where perfectly nice people try to convince me to take that One Last Tiny Step and accept jesus as my lord and saviour (i spelled it the funny european way for you), starting with my paternal grandmother who is not jewish, i decided i would be nice and go to the christening.
so after the christening we all went down to the church basement for refreshments.
and since there were a lot of kids there, a couple of the dads put on a puppet show for the kids. they crouched behind this cardboard box stage and made hand puppets lip-synch to a popular kids' christian music tape. all the kids knew the words and sang along. it was pretty cute.
until they got to a song about communion, and i suddenly found myself trapped in a church basement surrounded by smiling children singing quite literally about "drinking the blood of christ and eating his body". those actual words were in the actual lyrics, and no one looked the slightest bit put off by the fact that these words were coming out of children's mouths. not the kids nor the parents. just me.
i have not been to anyone's church since.
well, except as a tourist in england.

The Hitch said...

Mr Mania
Our mermaid is classic Alpha.

City professional happy clappy god botherer( I mean that in a nice way)
I believe in him , however, I reckon chances are that at his age the last thing that he wants is me or anybody else waving my hands in the air at him and tunelessly warbling some songs on a sunday morning.

The Hitch said...

melanie
Its jews that kill christian children to make matzo bread , you should know that.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Hitch - "You should never bathe a cat they hate water"

I didn't, he bathed himself that time by trying to pounce on my head (yet another fun and amusing home entertainment system for cats: the human head pounce. 100 points if you can get the eyes). I was in the bath at the time. serves him right.

Melanie - ignore hitch's last comment. Everyone knows Matzo balls are suitable for vegetarians. Sorry you were scared by sock puppets doing the communion thing. Esp as Jesus was specifically talking about communion as a means for us to remember his death and sacrifice, rather than for it to become a supernatural ritualistic thingy.

Hitch - happy clappy? Nada. No clapping in our church.

Newmania - Si, I am one of those born again freaks that look smug when they read their bibles on trains. Except I tend to read Harry potter instead and we don't have Alpha Courses at our church.

I kinda think a lot of these courses are good, but some just use emotional manipulation on people who are in real need in order to make converts. We're not into that. We have a "Christianity Explored/Explained" course where people can actually ask questions and have a debate and there's no obligation or emotional blackmail involved.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Emma K - "those poor souls who think they can sing Celine Dion on the karaoke and end up sounding like cats on heat."

No... you need those people. We have to have them to laugh at.

melanie said...

check your facts, hitch. it's only the firstborn male child in each family. otherwise it's not kosher.

i've reported to you my fellow jews in the Worldwide Conspiracy that Runs and Owns everything, as a person spreading vicious lies about jews.

i expect you'll be hearing from them in the near future.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

"i've reported to you my fellow jews in the Worldwide Conspiracy that Runs and Owns everything, as a person spreading vicious lies about jews."

Melanie - is that the BBC, or the CIA?

idle said...

Blimey. First cats, now god. And in the same post! Deeply worrying. And to think she's won the silver medal in the idle-goes-on-holiday poetry competition.....

Steven_L said...

"hopefully, neither - he's got two bells on his collar to warn birds as I love having blackbirds and wrens nesting in our garden!" (Mof M)

If I had my way all the liberal lefty fox and pigeon loving shit (well everyone with a London postcode) would be herded back of to the third world.

The natives would find spiritual refreshment in their homeland (with a bit of luck) and people from Moorgate would remember the facts of life.

Cats eat birds, mice and baby rabbits!

Steven_L said...

Cats can stop the bells ringing, I'd be more worried about the collar being elasticated so they cant hang themselves.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Steven - the (sparkly glittery) collar is elasticated, and as you can see, Monty does NOT eat mice, he eats chicken in gravy every day and enjoys the odd splash of champagne. And he sleeps on embroidered egyptian cotton duvets, unless I catch him at it and relegate him to his blanket.

Idle... I know, I am a woman of many depths. NOW GIVE ME MY PRIZE!! (what is it? Can I eat it?)

idle said...

Okay, it can be edible. But modest (second prize, after all). Choose from the following:

1. Something to be picked up, anonymously, from my office building in London
2. Something dropped, anonymously, in the Moorgate area when next I pass through EC2
3. I'll buy you a sandwich and glass or two and we can talk about China A shares whilst calling each other Mermaid and Idle. Don't bring the cat, please.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

4) Send Monty to pick it up from your fund management offices near london bridge....

Anonymous said...

ur cat is well cute!

The Hitch said...

Steven_l
Please be aware that some of us with London post codes are still "Northern"
I would quite happily beat a fox to death with a spade (a garden implement not one of the locals).
Monty is one of those poor cats that never leave the house.
Sits about all day on a comfy bed aiting for some poor sap to spoon feed him a chicken dinner and pour champagne down his neck.
PS
Mermaid you have beautiful hands.
PPS
Dont worry im not a stalker I just looked at some of your pics as I do .

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Monty DOES leave the house. And thank you...

I however, do sit around all day waiting for someone to pour champagne down my neck...

Old Tarf said...

I am back for the day. The work is going on here. Probably completed later next week. Still on cell phone.

It's five O'clock somewhere. John and Helen coming up for a bbq tomorrow. Patches say's meow to her little Monty.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Dont Give John your guinness.

Newmania said...

"Christianity Explored/Explained" course where people can actually ask questions and have a debate and there's no obligation or emotional blackmail involved.


Really , its not debate really is it though. Well I may just do a blog on why god doesnot exist and how we can show it is illogical to think otherwise

idle said...

I was climbing a bloody steep hill with a stalker the other day who said that he knew very well that God didn't exist.

"Why?" I asked

"Midges" he replied.

Biggles said...

Halo pritty mermade person, this is biggles der top cat hear. thank yoo four putting the link too my moste important blog on yores. thats nice i will sea if i can werk it out too doo the same for you but i is not ver clever at this. my bruv is not nice too mee orlweighs cos i think he doo not like it if i is hier in the pecking order than he is. biggles the most toppest cat. ps some of the pics of littel monty is ver sweat but he can look at bit like a drowned rat, two.

Newmania said...

was climbing a bloody steep hill with a stalker the other day who said that he knew very well that God didn't exist.
"Why?" I asked
"Midges" he replied.


Ha the existence of Midge reppellant burns his Metyphysical Matchstick Notre Dame to the ground . Obviously God does exist

idle said...

Newms, if you know a bona fide midge repellant, market it. I'll go 50/50 and we will be cash millionaires.

electro-kevin said...

You're slacking, Mermaid. I'm tired of the sight of your pussy.


Oooh err ! Everone was thinking it and good old Electro is the dweeb wot ventoolly seddit.

Bock the Robber said...

Hmm. Bad karaoke preachers. Sounds like a job for Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh.

You're a Drone

I can see it now.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Alright! I've been away actually having a life this weekend!

The Hitch said...

so you got laid?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

NO! Actually I was ill all weekend. So there!

Fatman said...

There is a priest I keep running in to. He used to be the school chaplain back when we were forced at gunpoint to attend church. He was one of these cool, young priests who used to be a bit of a hellraiser in his youth (used to be a boxer, rode motorbikes and listened to rock'n'roll, etc) before he found God (behind the sofa, along with his favourite pen and some pocket change). We still catch up on a fairly regular basis and discuss evolution and Chaos in physics.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Hey Fatman, this chap sounds like a dude. People who've had such a sea-change tend to be really understanding. Is he married?

Fatman said...

I....can ask him for you.

Mental Mac said...

Honoured to be one of your posting chums. Got scared off by the hitch!