Topic #1: A Cautionary Tale
Some parents think it's safer to allow their kids to have drinking parties at home, because then the kids won't be driving around afterwards. This view is particularly popular in walker-friendly towns like the one I live in.
A boy from my daughter The Heir's class went to such a party. He got tanked and must have been belligerent, because he got thrown out. He went home, got the keys to the Lexus, drove into Philadelphia, got chased by the cops, and ... he wound up jumping off the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
That was eight weeks ago. They found his remains last week.
Moral of mini-sermon: Letting the kids party at home is no guarantee they'll avoid being something really gross on a slab in the morgue.
Topic #2: Bad Funeral
Today The Heir's friend was given his Mass of Christian Burial at the local Roman Catholic Church. The Heir wanted to go. Even though she didn't hang around with this guy and his crowd, she had known him and gone to school with him since kindergarten. He lived right here in the hood.
The Heir didn't want to go alone. So I put on a decent shift, snatched a Queen Brighid the Bright pendant, and accompanied her. I debated taking my wand. I always take it to funerals. This time I didn't. The local priest already crosses the road when he sees me coming, so I thought today wasn't the day to get under his collar.
Heir and I arrived about 25 minutes early for the 11:00 Mass. The line of mourners stretched down the block. We had been standing there about 15 minutes when someone came out and said the sanctuary was stuffed past bursting, but the rest of us could go to the basement.
About 200 people crowded into the basement. There were only 75 chairs. At the front of the room was a big-screen t.v. It was hissing gray static. A couple of church ladies fussed over it. And fussed. And fussed. And fussed. Couldn't get a feed from the sanctuary directly overhead.
Heir looked around and identified six or seven of the deceased's closest buddies, milling in the basement. She said she saw people gain admittance to the sanctuary who hardly knew him at all.
Eleven o'clock came. The t.v. continued to spew gray static and a hissing noise. A church lady tried changing the channels. Then it became gray hiss .... black .... gray hiss .... black .... gray hiss .... black.
Heir said this was a metaphor. We were all staring at the t.v. figuring that if it came to life, maybe the deceased would come back to life too.
At about 11:25 a lady came downstairs. She hushed the audience and said she was a friend of the family, she wanted us to know how glad the family was that we had come to pray with them. She led us (not me) in a "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary." (I did say the "Hail Mary," it was from saying "Hail Mary" that I became a Pagan.)
One "Our Father," one "Hail Mary." The lady went back upstairs and the basement audience drifted outside in dribs and drabs.
Excuse me, but if this is the very best the Christian Church's biggest denomination can do for a dead teenager who was a parishioner in good standing, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are singularly unimpressed.
DUMB QUESTIONS THAT OCCURRED TO THE LONE DRUID AT THE CATHOLIC FUNERAL:
1. Wasn't there anyone upstairs who could disengage and lead the 200 folks downstairs in a meaningful meditation for a deceased young man?
2. Wasn't there anyone on the church staff who thought to themselves, "Gee, we'd better plan for an overflow audience and get that t.v. feed up and running?" I mean, Christ Triumphant R.C. Church is a pretty small little church. And this was a dead high school junior. In a close-knit, block party kinda neighborhood. The fricken school crossing guards were there!
3. Was there no possibility of an audio feed?
Someone should speak to Pope Rat. Because I've been to Mennonite funerals that were better run than this, and the Mennonites don't have fancy guys in lavish gowns and big palaces. They don't even have pianos.
I don't know what the other thwarted mourners did, but the R.C. church is only a skip and a jump from my church, which is a 165-year-old oak tree on public land. Off to the oak tree I go. That was my first choice all along, until Heir convinced me to go to Christ Triumphant.
I looked around at all the shade cast by that oak, and all the green grass between the oak and the parking lot for Christ Triumphant. And I thought, well damn. No one thought outside the box. They could have fit everyone out here, and it's a beautiful day to boot.
Moral of Mini-Sermon: Please don't ask me how Christianity became so popular after its founder took shore leave.
Topic #3: The Wrath of the Faeries
No way would I take my faeries (Puck, Princess, Aine) to a funeral in a Catholic Church. I should have known, though, that they would go ballistic about me going. When I got home, I couldn't find my reading glasses, my car keys, or the newest batch of foster kittens. Worse, my other daughter, The Spare, broke one of my Home Laughlin Riviera plates. It was an accident of course. Of course! The faeries made her do it. Know how I know that? Because the plate that got broken was not a green Riviera, or a yellow Riviera, or a blue Riviera -- all the easier-to-find colors. It was one of my two RARE TANGERINE-colored plates! I got that sucker on special order from an antique shop in Vermont! Red Riviera is so rare you can't even get it on Ebay.
Moral of mini-sermon: You may be brimming with good intentions, but faeries will still not like it when you go into a Roman Catholic church.
Topic #4: Proper send-off for Heir's Friend
Druid Blessing for J.T.:
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven.
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS