Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cowgirl Melinda Has a Hell of a Hamburger

Chuck wagon grub is usually rough; but Cowgirl Melinda was used to it.

There's the stews like sonofabitch stew, with is beef in origin but does not invite too close a scrutiny as to its contents.  Older ranch hands, in deference to Melinda's sex, politely referred to it as "son-of-a-gun stew."

And there's the chilis, which the New Mexican hands persist in spelling chiles, like the country.  Now, usually, these are protein fests, with various beans and tomatoes to spice up the seasoning further.

But it's a sad day when the chuck wagon pickup truck in in the shop, and there's no nearby café for the cowhands to go for their well-earned repasts.  On one occasion, they had to make do at a truck stop convenience store.

Now those types of dine-in places are primitive, to say the least: featuring the worst possible cases of fast foods.  Melinda mused that she wished they were too fast to catch, much less eat.

Now Melinda looked on the lunch board, and found that they had hot dogs, burritos, and hamburgers.  Since she was feeling a little peckish, she ordered a pair of hamburgers.  After all, nothing can really go too wrong with a hamburger, could it?  She had a vision of passable edibility: a crisp, blackened patty on a circular bun; perhaps with a swatch of lettuce oand a tomato slice.  The word 'catsup' appeared among the condiments, never a good sign.

Anyway, Melinda chose a pint of low-fat milk, and thought but rejected the jelly doughnut.  Word to the wise: convenience story doughnuts are not for the figure.  Lardy, lardy!

Anyway, the counterman served her two cylindrical objects on hog dog buns.

Melinda exclaimed, "Sir, I ordered a pair of righteous hamburgers!"

The counterman countered with, "These are hamburgers; they're just shaped this way."

So poor Melinda  encountered another one of those dilemmas of post-2000 life: things don't even look like they should.

The damned things just tasted off: kind of a mix of hamburger and hot dog.  Sometimes the appearance of the object does impact on how it tastes.  Melinda ate them both with her eyes closed.

And Cowgirl Melinda and her fellow cowboys resolved to stick to the golden arches or Wendy's in the future.  At least hamburgers there look like hamburgers.

And if this happened in 1914 instead of 2014, the response would be different.  Cowgirls, after all, do have a sense of what is righteous when it comes to serving beef!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Strip Poker or Strip Bourré


As Mark Twain once observed in a short story, poker is a game of science, not of chance.  Supposedly, the players who have better-than-average memories as to the cards already played, and knowledge of the odds of certain kinds of hands, will do very much better than those who play based on chance or whim.

Strip poker is a variant of this traditional card game, in which the loser must shed an article of clothing: typically a shoe or sock at first, but becoming more interesting as the game progresses.  This game is usually played with several couples playing, and often with pleasant alcoholic drinks being enjoyed by the players.  This disinhibits the participants into making suggestive remarks, relaxing the repeated losers, and generally contributing to the hilarity.

Unfortunately, losing one's shirt has quite a bit less significance for the guys than for girls.  Having to take off one's bra in front of others calls for a drink first, at least.  As for the ultimate step, it's considered very good form to offer the loser a towel so that he of she can cover the otherwise to-be-exposed nether parts.

In Southern Louisiana, college students in mixed groups sometimes play strip bourré [pronounced boo-ray].

If you intend to play strip poker, study some of the more basic points of the game.  And leave your inhibitions behind, whether it is in seeing the progressively less clothed parts of others, especially guys.  Get some exercise to look good; and if you have to take your t-shirt or blouse off, tell yourself that if you were at the beach, you would be displaying no more than you are now!  And, for God's sake, stop when you've reached your limit! 

Still, context does trump reason!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Four Sir Winston Churchill Stories

I.
 
During the wartime coalition, Churchill had to offer jobs to some of his political opponents, but minimized their role by giving them fairly pointless jobs. One of these jobs was the Lord Privy Seal, whose responsibilities involved supervising state papers.

One day the Lord Privy Seal sent an aide to get Churchill's signature, and the aide tracked down the Prime Minister by detecting clouds of cigar smoke billowing from under the door of one of the cubicles in the House of Commons lavatory. 'Prime Minister', the aide said, 'the Lord Privy Seal requires your signature on an important document'

Annoyed at being bothered by a man he particularly disliked, he replied 'Tell the Lord Privy Seal that I am sealed in my privy'.   There was a pause, and he added, 'And I can only deal with one shit at a time'.


II.

Lady Astor: "If I were married to you, I'd put poison in your coffee."

Sir Winston Churchill: "If I were married to you, I'd drink it."



III. 

Churchill was once waiting to be called on stage to give a speech to a huge crowd. The person who was to introduce him leaned over and asked, 'Doesn't it thrill you Mr. Churchill, to see all those people out there who came just to listen to you?'

Churchill replied, 'It is very flattering, but whenever I feel this way I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big'.

IV.

The Minister of Fuel and Power, Hugh Gaitskell, later Attlee's successor as leader of the Labour Party, advocated saving energy by taking fewer baths: "Personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less."

This was too much for Churchill, a renowned bather: "When Ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of HM Government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odor. I have even asked myself, when meditating upon these points, whether you, Mr. Speaker, would admit the word 'lousy' as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration."











Monday, March 24, 2014

The Designated Decoy

Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in western North Carolina.  After last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated that he could barely walk.

The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles, the man managed to find his truck and trailer and fall into it. He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.

Finally, he got into the car and started the engine, switched the wipers on and off - it was a fine, dry summer night, flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons' vehicles left. At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road. 
The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a breathalyzer test. To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all! Dumbfounded, the officer said, 'I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken.' 
 
'I seriously doubt it', said the truly proud hillbilly. 'Tonight I'm the designated decoy.'


Saturday, March 22, 2014

So Who Can Belly Dance?

Recently I gazed at that on-line magazine, Salon, and I decided that I happened into the country for earnest, humor-challenged liberals.  [I find Slate to be more my liking, especially because of Dear Prudie.]

Poor people!  I'm saying that about people who have probably clocked more time than I did.  Anyway, here's a surprise to me, at least:

Randa Jarrar, presumably of Middle Eastern origins takes issue with white women performing the belly dance, calling this a "cultural appropriation."  Using this same rationale, break dancing should be limited to African-Americans, the limbo to Caribbean peoples, line dancing for Texans, the Polka and pole dancing to Poles, and the Shag only for people carrying valid South Carolina driver's licenses.  Should the Virginia reel be performed only in Virginia, or only by Virginians, or both?

And, mon Dieu, if you're not French you have no right to make croissants!  Let's be upfront about this cultural appropriation stuff.

Anyway, belly dancing was a fad several years ago.  It was a popular rec center class in various places in the South, reckoned as a bit behind the curve as compared to the pace-setting East and West coasts.  I even briefly took a class; but purchased no belly dancing ensemble.  Anyway, when is one going to be called on to belly dance?  At a church social, if you're a hardshell Baptist or charismatic Catholic or Presbyterian?  I think the idea of Presbyterians doing belly dancing causes me to wonder about what was in my coffee.

Talk about 'cultural appropriation'?  Look at St. Patrick's Day.  Begorrah!

So I say, lighten up, ponder, or dawlin'!




 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Earlier Post Deleted

I felt that the post I put up earlier was tasteless; and consequently deleted it when I thought more about it.


My apologies to all.  You deserve better than that.  The humor was too rough for the type of blog I intend.  For those who might have seen it, words cannot say how sorry I am for my lapse of taste.


I will do better in the future, and try for kind humor.  And act lady-like, for gosh sake.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?

When it comes to science on  the high school level, the neophyte participants are not as strait-jacketed by standard paradigms and topics as are the adult scientific careerists.  Some of that is due to the constraints imposed by the scientific journals; and some by the shaping of the scientist that is part of the graduate school experience. 

In short, they want the new scientists to color between the lines, and not go too far off the beaten path.

Now a lot of that makes for good science, ultimately; but it can be limiting at times.

High school students have not learned all the constraints; so they may show some radical departures from the usual.  Just visit a typical science fair for students and be amazed at the creativity there.

Three of us, Missy, Bernadette, and Angel (moi) were planning on a collaboration experiment; a risky thing, as often doing that usually means one of the group does 90% of the work.  But we knew each other, and trusted each other.

Missy remarked on patent leather shoes; and this led to the often-cited bit of urban legend that nuns would tell girls should not wear black patent leather shoes, lest reflection off of them would expose a view of their panties.  In fact, no one had ever heard of an actual example of this taking place; but it's an often-enough told story that it even resulted in a title of a play.  (Jean wearers: no worries!)

The problem with this story is that, although it is often told, no credible source spelled out which nun gave that advice regarding patent leather shoes.

So, to ease the anxieties of our peers, and to provide strategic support for the patent leather shoe industry, we decided to subject this hypothesis to an empirical test.

Each of us would wear six different colored and styled panties, while the other two would attempt to discern what the test subject was wearing under two skirts while attempting to do so by using reflections from the shoes.  One of the skirts was mid-calf length, about the length normally found with Catholic school uniforms; the other was a mini.  This was to control for possible differences in lighting conditions.  A total of 18 panty styles and colors were used under those viewing conditions.  In each case, the viewer stated whether she could see anything, and describe its color or style.  After the perceptual judgments were made, the wearer would display what was worn.*

The results (Number of correct reports out of a maximum of eighteen):
                          Long Skirt         Miniskirt
Style
Bikini                         0                     3
Full                            0                     0

We concluded that there was no reason to fear upskirt voyeurism if you wore a full skirt while wearing black patent leather shoes.  If they do reflect up, they do so in too limited a fashion to be of any danger.  However, caution might be taken when wearing a miniskirt.
Our project was rejected, and we were required to be a little less creative.

Now, had we been completely over the top, we might have submitted it to Perception or Perceptual and Motor Skills.

*Dee-Doh and Tom volunteered to be subjects for this project.  Also, purists might criticize our failure of using the "going commando" control; but we were Catholic girls.




















Friday, March 14, 2014

Anxieties Regarding Shopping



I'm sure several persons have the same experience that I sometimes do when making a questionable or potentially comment-worthy purchase at a store.  While I had reported on this phenomenon once with regard to too much levity regarding my purchasing a tube of Boudreaux's Butt Paste, I've noticed this with other purchases as well: buying K-Y Jelly, purchasing a lacy lavender thong while, unfortunately, being checked out by a grandfatherly man, a stuffed Domo-Kun doll, and others.

Why is this the case?  I think it's because there's a tension between our Public Self and the side of oneself that we choose to keep private.  Normally, many of us have been conditioned to keep different sides of our selves apart; and it's quite adaptive for this to be the case.

For example, knowledge that I might be wearing that lacy thong might serve as a distraction to students or co-workers, or that I bought a Domo-Kun doll for myself might betray a more juvenile side of myself that is inconvenient.  Therefore, some purchases are best made from complete strangers!

This is true even for the diet-conscious.  Maybe you would rather not be seen ordering an Awesome Blossom from The Outback if you claim to be on a diet.

On the other hand, no one is likely to form an opinion regarding a possible purchase of ear buds, artichokes, or kitty litter.

Years ago, William James wrote about the types of self: the social self, the actual or real self, and others.  When there is some lack of congruence between the first two, this is often the result of some strategic impression management: presenting a façade for the consumption of others.

We all do it.  For example, we might pretend to be more into sports than is really the case.  (I suspect guys may feel this pressure more!)   But with consumable goods, some can fall into the questionable area.  (Are you comfortable being seen leaving a sex toy store, for example.)  Therefore, the best approach is the conservative one: keep it hidden.

So how can people handle this?

One approach is to never purchase said items.

Another approach is to purchase them from venues outside of one's community.  This is sometimes done by some ministers whose churches forbid alcohol.  At least it keeps them from casual gossip.

But another one, harder to pull off, is to not give a darn about the impression one might be projecting.

But the one usually followed is to make those anxiety-provoking purchases and hope you encounter no one that you know.

And possibly worry about one of your students imagine his teaching assistant wearing a lavender thong!


But, maybe, Sgt. Hulka from the movie Stripes gave the best advice on another topic; but which is generally applicable to other situations.






Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Love Shack

Rental cabins on the Gulf Coast of Florida have a number of features and accessories that are part of the scene.  There's the lounging furniture on the porch, the well-used DVD or even VHS player with an assortment of movies (some kind of racy!), a CD player, a hot tub, and the mandatory barometer/weather station.
  
Another feature is the guest book, in which people who rent the cabin are invited to include their experiences, comments, remarks, and hopefully how much they enjoyed their stay.

I enjoy reading these.  Some of the entries are charming: those left from family vacations, often by a young but relatively articulate child, others include glowing descriptions of the beach and local birds or marine life, impromptu poetry (apparently the Gulf Coast is congenial to the Muses), allusions that the rental occasion was for a honeymoon or anniversary, and others.

However, there was one entry that stood out in relief: this one might even rate an R rating, if such ratings were bestowed on rental cabin guest books.  Specifically, the three-page entry was about how one member of a pair of couples could not make the trip, so the remaining three went together and had a good time anyway.  Specifically, it alluded to the cabin as "The Love Shack."  Apparently, in using the hot tub they adhered to the "clothing optional" policy, and there were references to "toys."  Apparently, they amused themselves with some of the games and other recreational equipment!

I'm glad Justin, Becky, and Megan had such an enjoyable stay!



Monday, March 10, 2014

Bizarre White House Petitions

What could be more American than its citizenry petitioning the White House to initiate some desired changes in the quality of our government, to achieve "A more perfect Union?"

That's the theory, at least; but in the past year and a half a large number of frivolous, odd, abusive, and sometimes well-meaning petitions were started.  Each petition requires 25,000 signees for the White House to issue an official response.

Interestingly, petitions was initiated for each of the 50 states to have it seceded from the Union.  A few of these, including Texas and Louisiana, had enough signatures to warrant the official response, which was, in effect, no can do.  Whether this is due to internal dissatisfaction with belonging to the United States, or an exercise of one's animus on another state, is unknown.  [I did sign one which will be unnamed; but it was not Louisiana or Texas.]

Actually, the correct process for session is for the state in question to initiate it; and the Federal Government passing legislation telling them, in effect, "Sayonara, baby!"  Neither is likely, especially the latter.  The unpleasantness that occurred between 1861 and 1865 provided too telling a reason why. 

Lately, some people are petitioning for the deportation of Justin Beiber; not something one would think would require such a high level response!  Can you imagine President Obama's to-do list:

1.  Work out peaceful solution to Ukraine crisis.
2.  Deport Canadian brat.
3.  Work with Congress on details of annual budget.
4.  Sign or veto legislation submitted by Congress.
5.  Improve the economy.

On the other hand, I can sympathize with those who would like Westboro Baptist Church being designated as a "hate group," or to repeal its tax-exempt status.

How about this one:
Nationalize the Twinkie industry

We the undersigned, hereby request Barack Obama to immediately Nationalize the Twinkie industry and prevent our nation from losing her sweet creamy center.
Total signatures: 3,998

Instead, could we petition the White House to nationalize the Moon Pie industry?   Or force the change of the Washington and San Diego NFL teams' nicknames?  One for its strident offensiveness, the other because it promotes fiscal irresponsibility through excessive use of credit cards.

Considering this year's debacle, I would petition the White House for fair, warm weather on Mardi Gras.  It was cold; and it sort of takes some of the joy and spontaneity out of wearing a skimpy costume or showing for beads if you have to towel down afterwards.  And why should one be encumbered with a wet towel on Mardi Gras day?


Seriously, why not petition the White House to eliminate daylight savings time?  The "spring forward" part is a bummer.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Humor for Lexophiles

HUMOR FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS):


I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Police were called to a day care center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.

 The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
 The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
 
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard so he did a number on it.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

 The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

 If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

A will is a dead giveaway.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
 
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

A calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
 
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture: a jab well done

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.






When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

Father Devereaux Makes a Moral Judgment

It was Ash Wednesday, and Father Devereaux was distributing the ashes to his congregation at St. Cletus's Church when he noticed that a number of the female ash-seekers were still wearing Mardi Gras beads despite the onset of Lent.  Clearly, the spirit of Carnival was hard to relinquish by these fun-seeking New Orleanians.  There was Suzette the Stripper (no surprise), Missy Chauvin, Clotilde Badeaux, Chantal Fontenot, and even Madeline the Prophetess among many others.  Clearly, wearing of the beads became part of the local Ash Wednesday ritual in his parish as well as others.

Now Catholic clergy in other places would react with horror at this sign of the wearers not being very repentant, but Father Devereaux mainly dreaded the long lines at Confession on Saturday evening.  And they would mostly shamefacedly go to the Confessional boxes, rather than utilize the Sacrament of Reconciliation room!  Sad.  And he would hear them referred to as breasts, boobs, hooters, nénés, nichons, girls, and other terms that seem to spring up all the time.

Then he remembered his little sermon on scrupulosity, and decided that girls flashing their breasts for beads on Mardi Gras was not a really a sin.  Or if it was, it wasn't a biggie.  Anyway, it's okay to go topless on a French beach.  And the local police don't seem to regard it as wrong, so why fight Mardi Gras?

Not even if the flasher required a bra with D cups!

But how to reduce traffic?  Contrary to his usual mode, he actually asked the Prophetess!  Now this showed his desperation, as he was usually dubious about this seemingly harmless young crank with her spontaneous tendencies to preach and to predict the future.  Anyway, she was wearing beads so she could be the first non-sinner he put at ease.

Madeline's advice was succinct:  Put up a sign saying that it's not a sin!

So he did.  "For those whom it may concern: Flashing your breasts on Mardi Gras is not a sin!  No need to confess it.  If you still feel a little uneasy, then say three Hail Marys and make a small donation in the poor box."

Who says moral casuistry is limited to the Jesuits?  Sometimes the judgments of morality can come from bottom up as well as top down.

But most priests have already learned that with regard to birth control!  Anyway, its easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission when it comes to working with the Archdiocese!







Thursday, March 6, 2014

Angel Looks into Employment as a Jackbooted Thug

Henry David Thoreau once wrote "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."  It's obvious that he was not a woman.  We like opportunities for wearing something new, flattering, and (even better) politely sexy.  And at the apex of this wish list is the opportunity to wear new, exciting shoes.

Now I must admit that I was intrigued by an advertisement in the employment section of Times-Picyaune advertising to hire Jack-Booted Thugs.  Good salary, benefits, good retirement plan.  And I wondered, maybe this was an opportunity for me!  After all, I was never good at wearing high heels; maybe wearing shoes with a wider footprint would be for me.  (My appearance in "fuck me" shoes is more suggestive that I don't have my sea legs yet).

So, taking a chance, I made an inquiry.  The Human Resources Director of Jack Booted Thugs R Us Temporary Services affirmed that they were an equal opportunity employer, and that they welcomed applications from women as well as men.   Hmm....this sounded good.

And there must be many occasions for this temporary work.  That is good; and it paid more than the typical T.A. 

[Don't read that as T and A.  Okay?]

The H.R. Director asked me my jack boot size.  I said seven.

"Hmmm.....we might need to get special jack boots for you."

Later on that evening I did a little research on possible outfits for jackbooted thug ladies.  This is what I found:

http://www.fashionising.com/clothing/b--Agent-Provocateur-New-World-Order-collection-2148.html#/gallery/collection/1

I seem to qualify in upper measurements, at least.  But the severely cropped haircut seems a bit much for a part-time job.  However, in addition to upsetting the paranoid left and right, I would wear spiffy attire and be well-paid.  Maybe they would even let me ride in one of those black helicopters!






Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Miscellania

I read recently that properties located on streets in the U.K. that happen to have bad names tend to have lower values.  Minge Lane, Crotch Crescent, and others of that type are examples of what not to call streets in Merrie Old England.  Well, somewhere there's a street named Dingleberry Lane in the United States.  Are the residents there proud?  I don't know.

Anyway, back in the 1820's in New Orleans plantation owner and property developer Barnard de Marigny developed a new faubourg.  He gave streets there such names as Frenchmen St., Desire Street, Good Children Street, Trifle Street, and (most famously) Craps Streets. (All originally in French, of course).   It seems that the reason for the last one was that he was very fond of the game of hazard, otherwise called craps.  However, later on, the City crapped out; changing the names of Trifle Street and Craps Street.  Nowadays the former Rue de Craps is simply an extension of Burgundy Street.

So sad how history sometimes falls.

Also, Slate magazine had an article on the weirdest of the tips for turning on a guy: specifically, putting a glazed doughnut on his penis and munching it off (among other things).  Now, as an occasional reader of Cosmopolitan magazine, I think that the author of the Slate piece got it entirely wrong.  Articles of this type in Cosmo are primarily for amusement, not as a handbook for being a more accomplished person in bed.  I think that sometimes serious writers fail to recognize light humor, particularly if it's slightly salacious. 

But, who knows, a couple might find it to be fun.  Sex does not have to occur strictly on a weekly scheduled basis in between watching two television programs and always employing the missionary position!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/02/26/the_doughnut_on_a_penis_sex_tip_the_history_of_cosmopolitan_s_weirdest_sex.html


Today is Mardi Gras.  You all, laissez les bon temps rouler.  Or, let the good times roll.









Sunday, March 2, 2014

Is Playing Footsie a Sin?


Hilda Walspurgis, self-appointed arbiter of the morals and general scold of St. Cletus's Parish in New Orleans, happened to observe what she considered a sordid scene:  There was Madeline, AKA The Prophetess, in the French Market Coffeehouse publicly playing footsie with Officer Pete of the N.O.P.D.  Unfortunately, the Louisiana Criminal Code did not specify playing footsie as sordid or wanton behavior or as a crime against nature.  She thought, "Our Legislature has not seen all possibilities for wickedness that can be afoot.  They should correct this."

But, in the meantime, something should be done on the Parish level.

So Hilda told individual members of the Altar Society that, perhaps, the youthful Prophetess might be backsliding on her moral high horse, having shown evidence of wantonly flirting in public with a policeman!  This, of course, caused a lot of talk even though it was perceived as a mild form of flirtation.  And some of it even filtered up to the good Padre Devereaux.

Father Devereaux thought "Shit," an expression that was heartfelt although not approved by the Vatican.  Here comes some incoming, as soldiers would say; but in what form he could not figure out.

Finally, in one of the ladies' study groups, matters came to a head.  Hilda Walspurgis asked, "Father, is playing footsie with a man a sin to be confessed?"  And she went into details.

Father thought, "Double shit!"  But then he resisted the temptation to tell Hilda to put a sock in it.  Instead, he told the entire group that he was planning to give a sermon next Sunday that would address issues like that. 

Hilda smiled in her simpering way.  She thought, "Gotcha!"
The next Sunday, Hilda anticipated a public shaming of the Prophetess, since she had already broadcast her alleged offense to all members of the Parish who were adults and still maintained patience or even curt civility with Mrs. Walpurgis.

Finally, the sermon.  Father Devereaux started with a warning against scrupulousity, the action of seeing sin in circumstances in which no sin is involved, like if in the spirit of things you flash your boobs on Mardi Gras Day.  [Scrupulousity can be best thought of as moral or religious obsessive-compulsive behavior.  At least two Saints were beset with this failing, St. Ignatius and St. Alphonse Ligouri, and counseled against seeing sin when no sin had taken place.]  And he concluded with the admonition, "Judge not, let you be judged."
And the Good Padre ended with an arch dig, "I guess I played footsie around a lot of topics today.  Anyway, don't be overconcerned about sin in yourself or others, remember that God loves you, and let's pray that the Saints win the Super Bowl next year!"








A lot of spontaneous "Amens!" just happened.