Monday, May 18, 2009

And So It Ended ...

... with  whimper, not with a bang.

Our synod assembled on schedule, and ended with admirable promptness, late last week.  Even by the somewhat modest standards of church meetings (which on their best days are not as stimulating to the adrenaline as, say, a cricket match) this one was rather tame.  

We are altogether pleased by this fact.

The disruption which we had anticipated might come from a minister of another denomination, who has made it his business to interfere in our affairs, never materialized.  Rumor has it that he intended to make a scene early on, by challenging the agenda (a tactic attempted, memorably but unsuccessfully, by one of his cohorts years back).  

Instead, the fellow fell asleep.  Honest to gosh.  We've seen the picture (which for some reason, whether legal or technical, we can't paste for your amusement), and can swear to it.  There he is, chin to chest, clearly sleeping right through the proceedings.  Obviously, "his" new "parish" has chosen its "pastor" wisely.  They must be so proud.

We did meet the guy, briefly, late in the proceedings:  a shabbily-dressed fellow with unkempt hair and a comic-opera moustache.  Think Harry Mudd after three weeks in Bowery flophouse.  We even shared the Peace with him, before glancing down at his hand-lettered nametag, when the hotel ballroom was briefly converted into a cathedral.  

And then, as our eyes wandered, we saw something unique in our experience of ecclesiastical events:  thick-necked men in bland suits standing in pairs by the different doorways, nodding to each other and gazing a little too intensely back at anybody who happened to make eye contact.

"Whaddaya know," whispered Father Anonymous to one of his delegates, the mysterious Internet figure known as Stynxno.  "Security guards at a church meeting.  Wish we'd had those when I was in the Bronx."

We kept watching them (and they us, with an unnerving steadiness of gaze).  When Harry Mudd rose to shamble about the room, their eyes darted after him.  When he left the room, they disappeared, and when he returned, so did they.  We rather hope they didn't follow him too closely during bathroom breaks, or deter him from filling his blazer pockets with hard candies from the display tables set up to advertise summer camps and old-folks homes.  And since he's obviously narcoleptic, we hope they didn't interrupt any naps he may have snatched on the comfy chairs.

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