Wednesday, February 24, 2010


One of the great thing about all--most all--the seminarians I've so-called 'supervised' over the years is how many of them were funny.

(This is, if you've been reading this blog along, a continuing of my need to catalog things--like my blue clothes, my shoes, etc. I just need to look back and remember right now....)

And maybe, just maybe, they weren't all that funny. Maybe I just find most everything amusing. But I'm sticking with my original belief--I've worked with lots of funny people.

Once Michael, who was a seminarian or intern or someone I was supposedly 'supervising' was going to open the 8 a.m. service. Malinda, the associate Rector and Bob our all-star, indispensable head acolyte, sacristan, jack-of-all-trades who makes most everything liturgical 'work' were in the vesting room with Michael. (By the way, you would never call him "Mike" or "Mickey" or any of that--he was and is, Michael.) But Michael and Malinda and I had on lapel microphones but only Michael needed his turned on. "Wait a minute," he said as we were about to go out to the chancel, "I have to turn myself on...."

And Malinda, a very attractive 40 something woman, said, "I always find that's easier than having someone else do it."

Well, Michael lost it and was laughing so hard that we all went out without him and someone else opened the service.

Then there was John, from years and years ago, who knew we owned a house at some point in North Carolina. He had just been called to a church near Long Beach, where our house was and called me up, introducing himself as Delbert Dimwit or something, the fire marshall of Oak Island.

"Fr. Bradley," he said (me buying he was Delbert) "you own a home on Long Beach."

"Yes," I told him.

"Well," he said, "the gas company was doing some work on the lines down there" (all this in an exaggerated but convincing North Carolina accent--and John was from New Jersey) "and a fire broke out next to your house...."

I became hysterical and not understandable.

"Not to worry, Fr. Bradley," Delbert/John continued, "it is actually good news. The fire left an outline of the Last Supper and a profile of Ronald Reagan on the side of your house. The property value has gone way up...."

Even then I wasn't sure I was being sucked into something so he finally dropped into his Newark voice and told me who he was.

Another Michael and Malinda story. The first Sunday Michael was a deacon he was going to read the gospel. I bet Malinda he would kiss the book after he read it. Since Malinda and I are so broad/low church we found it astonishing that he would kiss the gospel. I always say, 'when you kiss the gospel you are kissing everyone who ever kissed it' and find it just too, too precious for my taste, though not a bad thing, I assure you.

We got the gospel book and realized it required turning the page to complete the reading. So Malinda got one of those yellow sticky pads, put on lipstick and made a big, honking lipstick mouth on the sticky and we put it on the second page of the gospel Michael would read and wrote, beneath it, KISS THIS!

As Bob--our all-star, in on the prank, carried the gospel book down, Malinda panicked and whispered to me "we have to tell him...."

Of course, I said, "No, no, we don't...."

Michael turned the page, didn't miss a word though Bob was chuckling visably, finished the gospel, turned back from the center aisle to catch our eyes and kissed that sticky note....

God bless them all.

I have more for Seminarians iii, ok?

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.