Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Which We Share Electronic Missives from the Episcopal Church...

It has been way too long since I've posted. I believe I was supposed to tell you something about my top three worst fears. Does anyone really care to know? Fine... here they are:
3.) That Maria & I Are Becoming Hipsters.
1.) Megafauna.
All right... all right. Pretty much everyone who knows me knows that I harbor something of a grudge against China (not really a grudge so much as it is a spirit of healthy competition). This is perhaps due entirely to the fact that China silently because the world's largest manufacturer economy, thereby surpassing the United States in what right-minded pundits assure us is the first sign of the End of the Pax Americana. What's the real deal? China is heavily vested in the economic prosperity of the United States. If we fat, bloated, Capitalist pigs don't buy all of their little trinkets and Billy the Big-Mouth Basses and cheap paper cocktail parasols, THEN CHINA WILL CRUMBLE.*
* - Note: It will not literally crumble.
I believe our good friend Gale put my feeling about China best when she drew this webcomic.
Honestly though... my only concern is putting on a better spectacle than China. AND HOW DO YOU COMPETE WITH THIS?!

This is quite honestly one of the most amazing displays I have ever seen in my life. If my fear is based in anything, it is jealousy. Pure, prideful jealousy. So, that sums up my "fear" of China. The hipster thing? I was going to talk about food co-ops, living in Brooklyn, and wearing tighter fitting clothing (due to my weight loss), but... I'm not nearly dirty enough, nor do I live in Williamsburg. So I think I'm safe.
As for my very real and very paralyzing fear of megafauna. I will show you two pictures: Fig. 2 & Fig. 3.

Fig. 2: HOLY SHIT!


If these two images don't strike bloody fear into your veins, then you are scarcely human. I rest my case.
...ugh, that moose photograph gives me nightmares.

But more important than my silly (and not so silly fears), I think it highly appropriate to share the following email exchange between myself and Rev. Farrell, being the man who will preside over the blessed union between Maria and myself. Bear in mind, the good Reverend shot down our idea to play the beautiful exit music from the original Star Wars film, and so I perhaps took his control issues too far in asking about what may be thrown at Maria and me as we exit the church. I began:

Hey Fr. Farrell,

Granny launched a small investigation into the possibility of having a small punch & cookies reception in the upper Parish Hall immediately following the ceremony. From what she said, we need to seek your approval on the matter. I know that preparations need to be made for the 5:00 service, but we hope it won't be too large an inconvenience.
Also, we're wondering what the policy is regarding items that can be thrown at us as we exit the church. We've found a type of confetti made from earth-friendly materials and 100% biodegradable. It disappears after the first rain or with a once-over with a hose.
And one more thing - as I suspected, my grandmother would really love to bring up the sacraments with Maria's grandmother. Maria needs to consult with her grandmother on the matter, but I have a feeling that we may change our minds on the matter.
I believe that's all - or at least enough - for now. Let us know. Thanks!


Barring that horrible double usage of "the matter" in the final paragraph, I thought it was a reasonable letter. He responded:


People in the upper parish hall munching on cookies will not get in the way of the blessed sacrament at 5:00. You must also clear it with *******, who does scheduling. I believe that AA comes in at 6:15 or so, and everything would have to be cleaned and moved out of the way by that time, if I am correct. ***** will know.

Items that can be thrown at you as you exit the church? Cows are permissible as long as they are dairy cows and are thrown from the top of the tower. Knives are also acceptable if thrown by someone who is licensed by Circus Acts Licensing Agency. Whatever happened to birdseed? Is that what is dismissed as "slippery"? If you want that snow fluttering effect, let me suggest a January wedding. All right, all right. I quashed the Star Wars music, but desire less control of what goes on outside the church. Eco-friendly snowyflakey stuff is fine. I still might bring a cow, though.

The matter of who brings up the offerings is entirely in your court. (They are not yet sacraments, you know, or would you completely obviate the necessity of a priest? Are you some kind of anti-clerical Evangelical? Do you deny the meaning of the sacrifice at the altar? I don't think the Evangelical Pentecostal Gospel Church of Jesus in Bohemia is booked for a wedding on July 2. You might try there. God is watching you, Will Olsen-Hoek!)


Needless to say I loved this email. I replied:


Rest assured that your previous electronic missive will be transcribed by a highly paid calligrapher, writ in gold upon blue whale leather parchment, set in a frame fashioned of reclaimed teak from the Titanic, and hung in the portrait gallery that Maria and I have secreted away in the dark, cavernous recesses of our tiny Brooklyn apartment.
I must now insist that you bring a cow, if only to re-enact the likely apocryphal story wherein soon-to-be-President William McKinley forced a cow to the roof of Bentley Hall at Allegheny College because he'd heard that cows were unable to walk downstairs, and wished to see what shades of scarlet the Dean's face would turn upon discovery of the bovine nuisance.
As for birdseed, I carefully read the instructions on granny's wheelie walker and discovered that the mechanism is distinctly sensitive and prone to explosion in the presence of birdseed. The insurance burden St. Ann's may incur in such case frankly terrifies me.
Upon calling the Evangelical Pentecostal Gospel Church of Jesus, I discovered that they don't take kindly to apostates such as myself who worship under the sinful diocese that makes bishops of - GASP - homosexuals and - EVEN WORSE - women. I'm not entirely sure about the nature of the rest of our conversation as the Pastor had for several minutes delivered me a long, apparently angry diatribe entirely in tongues. He hung up on me after he ran out of breath. Long story short, it's a no-go with them.
So I suppose we'll settle with St. Ann's - and throw our sinful organic confetti, shove cows up the bell tower, convince our friends to group juggle flaming chainsaws outside, and gluttonously gorge ourselves on punch and cookies in the Parish Hall! After all, wasn't it Mother Teresa who once said, "If this church is a-rocking, don't come a-knocking"?

-Sir William, 571st Baron of Sealand

Post Scriptum: Thank you for ******'s email. I'll let her know about our intentions in the Parish Hall and that it's cool with you.

It's emails like this that make me proud to be an Episcopalian.

Fig. 4: If anything may be said of the world, Monty Python has said it better.


  1. You need a ridiculous mustache and a degree in music theory from Oberlin to become a hipster, I believe. I've read their guild by-laws.

    And damn your Episcopalianess and your awesome God representatives! The only thing Catholics have to look forward to is leaving the faith and making fun of it afterwards as a thinly veiled assault on our parents.

  2. Does this mean Sonja will be throwing knives?

  3. Sonja does have circus certificates! And knives. I dont think we have any chainsaws, but you could set the cow on fire and it would be almost as good.

  4. I went to a wedding in Brooklyn this Saturday, and about half the attendees were "hipsters," we counted 15 pairs of horn - rimmed glasses and 3 ironic moustaches...they're a humorless lot, with no sense of irony, I tell ya!
    To wit:
    Me: (being snarky and judgy) "ha, ha, well that in law had a few before making that long winded toast!"
    Hipster, "It comes from the heart, that's good."
    "Are you still active with the Brooklyn Socialist chapter?"
    (speaking of the guggenheim's lastest show - a retrospective of Franz Marc, Chagall, and the like )"It was a bit...I wanna say..proletarian? So dark and dreary. I liked the lines and the colors, but no fun!"

  5. So you and Maria are therefore NOT in danger of becoming hipsters.