Friday, October 8


Okay, Something Amusing to Try to Make Up for My Absence

My apologies. I am Lazarus, come back from the dead--it's been a busy two months. I hope to be a better and more conscientious blogger from now on. One problem is all my serious stuff tends to go up on the NLM, leaving The Shrine as a receptacle for all the usual Catholic weirdness you know and love, though unleavened with serious commentary. Keep an eye out on the NLM, by the way--there's a good piece up I did there on altars, and a few other items coming up. But if you had wanted something serious, you'd probably not go to a website named the Holy Whapping. Anyway, some various amusements for you below.

Yours truly was also recently out dining in Madison (otherwise known as "84 square miles surrounded by reality") and the lawyer I was eating with started chatting with the waitress, and mentioned that I was still relatively new to the area. Conversation follows:

Waitress: Madison's a great place to make friends. It's very laid-back and liberal.
Me: I'm neither laid back nor liberal, I'm afraid.

A friend writes: I was supposed to meet up with three clerics and a couple of laymen for dinner. I wasn't sure if I was at the right restuarant, so I
asked the the hostess, "Did a group of priests come in?" "What were
they wearing," she asked. I told her, "Clerical collars." In fact,
when I did catch up with them, one would be wearing a cassock. "No,"
she told me. Then she asked with a smile, "Did you check the bar?"
Rum, Romanism and rebellion, it'd seem, is still the default combination. (It turned out he was at the wrong restaurant, unfortunately.)

I was recently a groomsman in a wedding, and getting fitted up for white tie and tails. My pants had to be hemmed again so, rather than sit in the dressing-room resembling the half-dressed recipient of some sort of Drones Club prank, I put on my khakis, in combination with my tailcoat, and sauntered back out to where the other groomsmen were standing. It was commented by the groom-to-be that I took semiformal a bit too literally.

A good friend of mine from Queens wants to start a lifestyle magazine entitled Thicket & Moat: The Misanthrope's Quarterly Guide to Good Living.

In a recent primary election I neglected to realize Treasurer was an elected office and so didn't know any of the three candidates on the ballot from Adam, Eve or Seth. I had been quite conscientious about researching all the other offices on the ballot, even beyond the usual traditional American qualifications of which candidate was taller and what color of tie he was wearing (or, for woman, pantsuit). For a moment, Wisconsin almost got its first write-in vote for Dr. Otto von Hapsburg, but I behaved myself and randomly picked one. A grad-student pal of mine comments, "Wisconsin should be so lucky."

Umberto Eco, in his novel Foucault's Pendulum, on God creating the universe via telegram. "Fiat Lux. Stop. Epistle follows."

Last, a snippet of conversation overheard on a recent return to the Big Apple, between two hipster employees of The Strand (8 miles of used books, and the happiest place on earth after Loome Theological in Stillwater, Minnesota):

Hipster One: Did I tell you that my grandfather made his living carving tombstones?
Hispter Two: I did not know that.

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