Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mind Your I's and O's!: A Lesson in Humility and Humor

Late the other night after a long day at school and a magnificent church service that left me both energized and exhausted, I was checking my email at about 10 pm in the car on the way home. I received an email that concerned me so I shot off a quick reply before any serious damage from that email could be done. Most of you know that quick replies to unnerving emails are never a good idea. In this case, it was not my sharp tongue that got me in trouble; it was my fat fingers on my iPhone keyboard. I meant to say, “Please don’t go swapping things around.” But, like in the song “Old McDonald Had A Farm”, the i and the o on the keyboard are right next to each other and I actually typed, “Please don’t go swapping thongs around.” This has a little different connotation!

Oh, did I mention that this email was to a group of Franciscans? People who follow St. Francis. People who pledge to live a life based on humility, love and joy. People who vow to make our Lord known and loved everywhere. People who pray – a lot. People who are very religious! I suspected that I was going to have to go to Confession and say lots of “Hail Mary’s” for this one. Oh, wait. We are Episcopalians. We don’t have to go to Confession. Since there will be no priest charged with hearing this story, I’ll share the chain of email responses here.. (The names have been omitted to protect the . . . I’m not sure what the best word is to use there. You can decide after you have read the thread.

Here goes:

“Please don’t go swapping thongs around.”
“I promise not to swap any thongs”
“You may swap all the thongs you want just don't swap THINGS , , ,?
“I'll bring my own thongthing along. (Will there be a thingalong?)”
“I told Kris yesterday that we should have a thingalong. Bring your music and guitar. Thongs optional-- and preferably covered.”
“XXX says if we are wearing thongs, she's coming!!! She’s just got to see that! If we are doing a "thingalong" can you bring your guitar XXX???”
“Everyone should have at least one opportunity to see the heavenly thongs of angels!”
? The JOY already begins!!!!”
“O. K. I'm getting my combat boots on folks. XXX says we should invite Scott Brown (R) Mass in his Cosmo outfit.”
“Thank God I can't be there. What a way to lose your lunch - seeing me in a thong. I shudder thinking about it.”
“A ThingThong Song

Buy a thong with sixpence
you'll get a surprise
just some cheap elastic
'round your upper thigh

If you try to wear them
You'll get lots of laughs
"what in all the world
is it that's running up your ___"

“And cause blisters, too!”
“Beware where you wear your wittle thongy. Leslie wore his to 6th and Congress and got busted in his wittle bottom.”
“Kris, Remember the thong thing in Assisi!!!! LOL Thongs seem to be a theme!!!!"
“Would that be a "theme thong"?”
“OK guys and gals, I am getting "out" of this "thingy" XXX says, I don't look that cute in it!”
“Thongs could become a bad habit.”
“Tho it theems. Blame it on Vatican II. (...he said blithely, a thong in his heart.)”
“It is my personal opinion that Franciscan brown is a crappy choice for a thing color.”
“I'm printing out this whole conversation for my St. Francis class so they can see what Franciscans are really like.”
“You're gonna have some 'splainin' to do :-)”
“We are thinking about using it in this week’s disciple class under the title "what does a Christian look like?"
“I agree: how about Pope Benedict Purple. Would that make a statement?
“Gee, I did not know he wore a purple thong?”
“Ah for those teachable moments!”

So there you have it. Aren’t you all feeling the love of God? Aren’t you glad that we have dedicated our lives to praying for you? And more importantly, aren’t you glad that the mystery as to what monks and nuns wear under those habits has finally been solved once and for all?

Ah for those teachable moments.

One last thing:

What did the thong say to the Franciscan?

Make me a channel of your piece.