Sunday, July 19, 2009

Returns of the Day

When I checked my Stat Counter this morning, I discovered that my Irish visitor who's fascinated with "tube 8 farts" had returned. That's all well and good (mostly, good that my favorite fart fetish fan lives in Ireland and not down the street). But the really good part of this is my discovery that whenever the mood strikes you to learn all that the vast World Wide Web has to tell you about "tube 8 new woman farts" the first place to look is ... that's right, you guessed it ... my little off-ramp of Al Gore's information super highway. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Academy and all you "little people" who made this possible ...

As if that weren't bloggy good karma enough for one day, we then went to church and found Tennessee Ernie/Liberace/Nick Winters once again tinkling the ivories and verging on a rousing rendition of the "Star Wars" theme. If you haven't already read that previous post (and aren't inclined to waste any more time than necessary on this pointless topic), here's the Cliff Notes version: A few weeks back a guy who looks strikingly like Tennessee Ernie Ford subbed for the entire "worship team" on Sunday morning but morphed into Liberace the moment his fingers hit the keyboard. Fifteen minutes into a medley of all your favorite hymns and praise songs that were pepped up to the point of being unsingable by the congregation, Tennessee Ernie Liberace suddenly broke into song, thus revealing his true identity as Nick Rivers, Bill Murray's lounge singer from hell (you remember the "Star Wars" guy, right?).

But unlike the music extravaganza a few weeks back, today's "worship" service began so tantalizingly close to normal -- holding (almost within reach) the promise of a real song service -- you know, one in which the congregation actually ... dare we hope ... sings). We began with an honest-to-God hymn -- "It is Well With my Soul"). Admittedly, the sustaining notes had a few more thumb-rolls than your standard-issue hymn, but it was still recognizable as a song with a regular-enough beat that we could conceivably all gustily join in. Things began their leftward turn when Tennessee-Liberace-Winters had us stand for the offertory. He looked up from his fancy finger work about halfway through the second verse of the Doxology ("Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns ...") and discovered (much to his surprise) that the congregation was more than a little distracted by the passing of offering plates. It seems standing and singing for the offertory proves somewhat awkward -- what with folks having just two hands with which to juggling hymnals, offering plates, billfolds and wallets.

Oh well, just a little misstep there. After all, Christianity is all about forgiveness and bearing with each other, isn't it? So ... we managed to get the plates down the aisles and the Doxology concluded ("... God in three persons, bles-sed Tri-ni-ty!") with just one surprise change of key. We then sang a "praise song" that no one had heard before, but if you know any four bars of any praise song you know them all, so (though we, as a congregation, did have to mumble our way through some of the tune) again, no harm no foul. Then Liberace did what he's always wanted to do -- he abandoned his candelabra-bedecked Steinway and strolled over to center stage where he regaled us with his microphone-swallowing Nick Winters shtick. It was the perfect set-up for a sermon about "Promotion".

After the substitute pastor finished his ten points on how much God wants to bless us monetarily, Joyce and I quietly walked out, got in the car and agreed, "If what that 'preacher' says about God is true, then Jesus sure blew His shot at prosperity, didn't He?"

14 comments:

Gradual Dazzle said...

Just a minor quibble, but the Doxology is "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow..." and there's only one verse. Your song was "Holy, Holy, Holy." Which happens to be one of my all-time faves.

And I detest the Liberace types, most especially in a church worship setting. Blech. I say that as a long-time church pianist -- if you're drawing attention to yourself, UR DOIN IT RONG. :)

Bob said...

You got me -- the moment you started "... the Doxology is..." I knew I'd messed up. Oh well, as I said, Christianity is all about bearing with one another.

joyce said...

Yeah, Liberace put you in a sugar coma with your favorite hymn, "It is Well.." And seeing hymnals on the seats got us all hopeful, too, eh?

There must be somethin' wrong with my ears, as it all runs together and starts sounding the same. I was mesmerized by his wig. Most men do not backcome real hair starting half-way down their forehead. usually. It was dyed pretty close to his hair in back, but not a color found in nature, and not the same color as his mustache.

Bob said...

So Joyceeee, are you saying I should return that black toupee I just bought?

joyce said...

Yeah, right. I don't let you out of my sight. Just when did you purchase a rug? Now, I can hear you bragging about such a purchase on your trip to Alaska---I can just hear you bragging about what a find of real seal skin in a Stucky's in the Yukon

Bob said...

So no 'coon-skin cap either? Dang, you're hard.

joyce said...

And I will be deserving it seeing as how I have been tricking you and lying to you about wedding dress colors, and pink champaign ties...

or we could make it our code language...

Bob said...

But ... Christianity is all about NOT getting what you deserve. I forgive you. (Don't you just hate it when you get forgiven for stuff you actually felt pretty good about?)

joyce said...

But, why do I have these wicked desires to play a trick on you when it comes to all things weddings? I knew how you felt about pink ties, and when Amber asked her Dad if he would wear a pink tie, I knew I had that piece of truth to add to a whopper.

I need to find a new line of humor. Otherwise you won't believe a word I say. If my father died tomorrow, you'd think I was making it up.

Now when are you gonna post about the sermon from a salesman? and how salesmen are worse than lawyers? And how this guy is preying on the flock for his pyramid scheme. I just find it so strange that this guy would sell jewelry. Why not amway or slick 50. Soap and oil are more manly.

I zoned out during the "message" but when he talked about using pastor's wives in his "business" it just chapped my hide to think he lured women away from time with their families. All with the promise of making extra income knowing pastors are usually paid so poorly. That is just wrong. Wolves feeding on the flock. Don't get me started.

Gladys said...

So a lounge act and Joel Olsteen.

Oh I said that out loud didn't I?

Bob said...

Gladys--
Yeah, that about sums it up, except this "preacher" is Ted Mack versus Osteen's Simon Cowell -- old school, less flash. Our pitch man is selling Osteen's same empty box, but the wrapping is much less impressive.

The lounge singer and the preacher work as a team. I'm still undecided which is the organ grinder and which the monkey.

Bob said...

Gladys--
I forgot to mention how much I've enjoyed Rhonda Barrett's reporting from the ragged edge of Hollywood over at your place.

JP said...

Brother Bob, (you don't mind me calliing you "Brother Bob", do you?) your post makes me so thankful for the little church that we attend in a small town in middle Tennessee. The mischievous child in me would be sooo tempted to put a thumb tack on Libarace's seat while he's distracted...

Mrs. JP said...

Since JP can, I can. Bro. Bob, I needed a laugh that made me cry today and you delivered in spades. Actually, what I really wanted was to be a fly on the wall of your church when you stood and sang in the offertory!! Why, that's unheard of. There are times when our little church tries to do new fangled things and if I don't know it I try to put on a really prayerful worshipful face and stare forward - that or close my eyes because if JP catches my eye my giggle box gets turned over and then, well, church is pretty much over for me then.
Oh say,,you and JP have too much in common. But that's ok,,,for better and worse,,,blah, blah, blah