At times writing is effortless. Other times nightmarish. But it's always therapeutic.

Today the church knocked me out

with 6 comments

The church knocked me out today. I’m not kidding. When I went in, at noon, the lady in red and navy blue handed the day’s bulletin and ushered me in. I always sit in the mid-section, head on to the pulpit and the choir and all. The choir was lovely. Just lovely. That was something because I noticed. It was an all ladies choir dressed in black suits with a yellow around-the-neck tie. That yellow killed me. If you put a red floor and a back wall of red robes and put that choir there in black with a tinge of yellow, then you know I’m talking of something and all.

You can’t think of church and Jesus without thinking of Angela’s Ashes. That is if you have read the book by Frank McCourt or watched the film. Of course most of us haven’t. That is OK. I know a lady called Nelly who told me she had read it. She had the book actually and I found that elegant and all. Angela’s Ashes is all Ireland and much of Catholic. Do you know over there they say St. Patrick drove all snakes out of Ireland and British brought in the fleas? I find that line very funny.

Don’t you see people doing the oddest of things when they are afraid? I mostly calm down but some people can be crazy like animals. Anyway in the film there is this prayer by little Frank when his brother Eugene and sister Maggie die, that finishes me off completely. Poor Frank was dead scared.

Please God don’t let Malachy and me and the rest of us be taken off in the box for the hole in the ground or even Aunty… Mr Benson… In the name of the father, and of the son and of the holy toast.

It is the ‘TOAST’ that smashes me up into pieces, since 2003 when I first watched Angela’s Ashes. That word right there is funny. I’m not kidding. Poor Frank could hear something and all, but all he got was toast.

Back to our church. I always digress but what can I do? If you want to know the truth, I don’t like it. The choir did a most memorable thing. It led us into a song I last heard in 2005. 5 whole years and I’m not kidding.

Bambo lela, bambo lela, Yesu bambo lela.
Hold on to Jesus, hold on to Jesus, hold on.

That right there is a song I love. You should hear it. The thing I like about it, is the way you pronounce its syllables with a popping sound. In linguistics they are called plosives because they have an explosive sound. The other thing I like of it is the beat. Now, if you want to know the truth, I love dancing and that is what this song is; dance. You thrust your right hand forth in a gesture of holding, then your left, pull the right hand to the side and then the left and all. Meanwhile your knees are bending and you are voluntarily vibrating to the beat. Man! It knocks my good self out. Now if you don’t know the truth, our drummer is awesome. I tell you that kid is a wizard. We even had a lady saxophonist for the first time today and all.

Back to Angela’s Ashes. Frank is in a Catholic school and this class session just rocks. It’s the best in the whole world over if you want to know. First this line;

>You are a bad Yank McCourt. [Frank’s family had moved to Dublin from USA]
>If you could down your knees every night and thank God you are not a Yank, because if you were, Al Capone would be coming to you himself for instructions. [This boy had been fighting with McCourt]

The stress on the word ‘Himself’ is really funny. It carries the humour in the line, and then ‘Al Capone’. Now to the class session;

>Our Lord had no shoes. He died shoeless. You don’t see him hanging on the cross spotting shoes, do you boys?
>No Sir!
>What is it that you don’t see our Lord doing?
>Hanging on the cross spotting shoes, Sir!
>And what do I have here?
>Strips of newspaper, Sir.
>What do they represent?
>No! They represent the blood and body of Jesus Christ. Irish is the language of patriots and English of traitors and informers. But Latin, our boys, Latin. As holy martyrs exclaimed before expiring in the foaming mouths of ravenous lions. Yes! It’s Latin that gains entrance to the heaven itself…Is that right McCourt?
>Yes Sir!
>Don’t speak you! Can’t you see that God is on your tongue! [strip of newspaper] Where is God, boys?
>On his tongue, Sir!
>On his tongue.

That is why I love this part. Today in the church we also had Holy Communion, which comes every first Sunday of the month. It’s a good moment of soul searching, and I look forward to it and all. After that the choir gave us two more songs; There is power in the blood and Down the valley. This last one I had not heard for long but I like it all the same.

From there it was quiet fast flow, with the collection of tithes and offerings, clapping for the standing visitors and praying before the pastor rose to preach. He is a tall man if you want to know and the faithfuls like him and all. Do you know I’ve used the word ‘faithfuls’ wrongly? To be honest, it’s not an English word or something.

Our pastor taught about the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, to the conservative. I don’t even know why I said ‘conservative’ as I don’t think it’s correct. It was quite quiet till to the end when he asked us not to accuse the devil when old people doze in church because the bible says, ‘Old men shall dream dreams.’ We all found it funny and laughed. The laughter of a whole church can be noisy. I didn’t know that until today. We then greeted each other while saying The Grace, eyes open and all. That’s how we do it anyway; eyes open. I don’t know if you find that odd. I will tell you about the ‘greeting your neighbour’ part, next time I am able to write, because I find it great. I’m not able to write as much as I see things happening and all.

That was our church today, if you want to know the truth.

[This writing style has been hugely inspired by JD Salinger. It is called stream of consciousness and I find this stuff very funny]


Written by coldturkey

November 8, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Posted in here and there

6 Responses

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  1. I picked his quirky style on this post. I loved the book Catcher in the Ryer, he kept saying, “That killed me”. Read this piece from the New York times, an obituary of sort. He was a deeply disturbed man.


    November 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

  2. @Bikozulu, yep it’s from JDS himself. A very funny one. Let me follow the link.

    Cold Turkey

    November 8, 2010 at 3:21 PM

  3. I have tried sending you an email but it keeps bouncing back. Could you kindly drop me mail, there is something I want to run by you. Thanks


    November 9, 2010 at 9:44 AM

  4. …I’m all smiles 🙂 just added this book to my must-read list…

    PS: saw you at Biko’s & got curious…hope you don’t mind my dropping by…


    November 10, 2010 at 10:08 AM

  5. @Nyambura, MUST is a good word. No worry, karibu 🙂

    Cold Turkey

    November 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

  6. Just bought the book the other day. It is funny, and vivid. My funniest moment so far is Frank’s reaction to his brother’s name.

    ‘Malachy says, Mam, what’s the baby’s name?
    Alphonsus Joseph
    The words fly out of my mouth. That’s a stupid name. It’s not even Irish.’

    Checking out for more…


    May 3, 2012 at 10:22 PM

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