Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Great things to hear

I've had some nice comments lately. But I'll tell you, one of the best things you can ever hear from your mother is: "I have absolutely no stake in whether you ever have children or not. That is way too personal a decision for me to stick my nose into." Wow. How about that? If only my mother-in-law had the same attitude...

Mom also told me my writing was so great and I should be a writer blah blah blah. But that's one of the more annoying things to hear because you don't know what to do with such a comment. Of course I'd love to write, ma. I have no idea how. I don't know how you actually go about getting someone to read, let alone publish, your musings. It just seems like this totally out-there proposition. But it would be a fun way to earn that money we need.

Dad's having his heart catheter put in tomorrow. A great thing to hear would be that it's all good. And his cholesterol is down. But judging from the way he was still eating when I visited (and my utter lack of success trying to get him hooked on a glass of wine a day), I doubt it.

I'm feeling rather chipper because I finished a presentation I'm doing on Alexander Schmemann, Russian Orthodox Liturgical Theologian Extraordinaire. I've spent the last couple days immersed in his theories about eschatology and liturgy of time, which are so way different from anything I'm used to. But extremely compelling. Perhaps I'll post the presentation here - it's extremely dense (and officially boring, says J), but it could intrigue a few of you out there.

Meantime, for the rest of us, my friend wrote a joke issue of her church newsletter, so I will now share with you some pretty damn funny Episcopalian jokes. Thanks to Lauren Azeltine's sharp wit!

First the obligatory "Kids say the darndest things" section:
Q. Why did God make mothers?
A. Mostly to clean the house.

Q. What ingredients are mothers made of?
A. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

Q. Why did your mom marry your Dad?
A. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.

Q. What did your mom need to know about your dad before she married him?
A. His last name.

Q. Who's the boss at your house?
A. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because Dad's such a goofball.

And now the obligatory "You know you're an Episocopalian if..." section:
...when you watch Star Wars and they say, "May the Force be with you," you automatically reply "And also with you."

...if you have totally memorized Rite I, Rite II, and the first three episodes of The Vicar of Dibley

...if you can rattle off such tongue twisters as: "...who made there by his one oblation of himself once offered a full and perfect sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the world" and "Wherefore, O Lord and Heavenly Father, we thy people, do celebrate and make here, with these gifts which we offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make..."

...if you catch yourself bowing or genuflecting as you enter a row of seats in a theater.

...if you can pronounce "innumerable benefits procured to us by the same."

...if the word "Sewanee" puts a lump in your throat (I don't get this one so I guess I'm not fully assimilated!)

...if you ever find yourself saying, "Oh, but we've never done it that way before."

...if your covered dish for the potluck dinner is escargot in puff shells.

...if you know that a sursum corda is not a surgical procedure.

...if you don't think Agnus Dei is a woman.

...if your picnic basket has sterling knives and forks (entree, fish, salad, and cake)...and you think the most serious breach of propriety one can commit is failure to chill the salad forks.

...if you know that the nave is not a playing card.

...if your friend said, "I'm truly sorry," and you replied, "and you humbly repent?"

...if you know that the Senior and Junior Wardens are not positions in the local prison.

Finally, the always obligatory lightbulb jokes:

How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?

Change?!? What do you mean, "change?" My mother donated that light bulb!

None. The old one is complete and sufficient unto itself, and should not be changed according to the world's whims.

Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Four. One to change the bulb, one to bless the elements, one to pour the sherry, and one to offer a toast to the old light bulb.

Six. One to change the bulb, and five to form a society to preserve the memory of the old light bulb.

Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much they liked the old electrician and the old light bulb better.

Ten. One to do the work and nine to serve on the committee.

Several dozen. They form a committee that meets weekly to discuss the project and, if unusually expeditious, within 18 months will have remanded the project to the building and grounds committee.

300. A sexton to change the bulb. The rector, assistant rector, deacon, and seminarian to lead the ceremony blessing the new bulb. The church secretary to make up the special bulletin insert with the bulb-blessing ceremony, including congregational responses: "Do you, the people of St. Swithin's, promise to support this bulb in its work on behalf of the church?" "We do!" The choirmaster/organist to write and arrange a special Blessing of the Bulb Anthem: "Phos 100-Watt GE Soft White" and 12 choir members to sing it. An acolyte and two torch-bearers to sit around looking bored and making faces at each other. And 278 people in the pews thinking, "Is this service EVER going to end?"
Following the service, six people will form a Society for the Preservation of the Light Bulb, and two of those people will leave the parish and try to find someone who will let them use the Real Light Bulb of their forefathers.

The entire General Convention. One to move that the bulb be changed and the rest to debate until the room spins.



Mimi said...

Love the jokes!
I will be praying for Dad - both for surgery and conversion to a glass of wine a day.
Blessings to you - MISS YOU!

ms. tea said...

i know how you feel, my mom always told me not to have kids so when i told her i wouldnt be having any it was no surprise to her. furute mother-in-law was a different story, she respectfully disagreed with my decision until a month ago when i saw her last.

it only took er 6 years to come around but now that her job is to work with uninsured (and often unloved) children she said to me, "i finally understand your reasons for not wanting to have children, there are just so many children in this world already who need love, i want to adopt every child who i work with and luckily since my kids are grown i can devote time to working on their behalf."

i pray for the same blessing of understanding to fall on you and your mother in law.

ps. loved the jokes, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great jokes. As a Catholic, all I can add is that it takes one Catholic priest to change the lightbulb because that's what Jesus would have done, and there is no evidence in church history of a woman ever changing a lightbulb. ; )

Emilie said...

Good one, Joanna. :)

Your jokes and the "You know you're an Episocopalian if..." section made me think of a book you might enjoy: "Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral" by Charlotte Hays and Gayden Metcalfe. It's pretty funny, especially if you "get" Southern humor, but even if you don't, as it's also full of Episcopalian humor.

Stasi said...

Thanks so much - hysterical!

An excerpt of the book can be found here: