The case of the sticky situation


Many years ago, I belonged to a wonderful Methodist church.

It was to be the scene of a huge debacle involving the minister, a number of choirs and singers, a visiting bishop, and some recently refinished church pews.

It had been a hot summer, the sanctuary was not air-conditioned, and the big crowd didn’t help cool things off.  The minister’s wife Sarah and I agreed to sit right down in front so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

We sat right behind two rows of a robed youth choir. A tiny, frail little old man politely pushed in next to us, and the service began.  Tom, the minister, and the Methodist bishop,sat down up front, Tom practically beaming.  The church was quiet, the congregation expectant.

In that moment of sanctity and hope, the frail little man tried to cross his legs. The fabric of his trousers was stuck to the new varnish.  He tugged and tugged, and finally the fabric came loose, producing a ripping noise. Sarah and I simultaneously broke into a bad case of uncontrollable giggles.

After seemingly forever, we calmed down.  Seconds later, the youth choir in front of us stood, in unison, to perform.  There was a large, collective ripping noise, sending Sarah and I into a gale of silent laughter from which we would not recover.  Tom’s eyes were wild, his brows knitted angrily at the sight of his wife and me creating a spectacle.  We were crying with the effort of not guffawing.  People around us, thinking we were overcome by the beauty of the service, patted us comfortingly on the shoulder.  We finally wore ourselves out.

As we were filing out of the service, I happened to glance into an empty pew.  Apparently, the woman who had sat there during the service had been wearing a floral dress.  She had left behind the imprint of the flowers in the pew.

You just can’t make this shit up.  Amen.





6 thoughts on “The case of the sticky situation

  1. Makes me wish I had attended there a bit more often! (You had me, sitting here with a starving cat, giggling in sympathy!) Poor cat!

  2. Have you ever watched “The Bishop’s Wife” with David Niven as the bishop? This reminded me of the scene at the end of the movie where he gets stuck in a chair by divine providence, not varnish, although the butler thinks that is the reason. But your story takes the cake. Love it.

  3. Listen, I’ve never laughed so hard, as to make myself almost sick!! I had forgot about the little old man, who started it! I think at that area, it was OLD varnish we hadn’t got around to refinishing! I do remember the youth choir….and the butt imprints they left behind! I can’t believe you had a photo! I am POSITIVE God was laughing too!! What do you call that material, where it’s chiffon, with the little print flowers all fuzzy? I’ve never been SO embarrassed, except when Frank Orlick asked me if I was hungry during communion 🙄

    Right now….I go to a new mission, interdenominational church on Sundays and TAO on Saturday! Choir sits behind congregation…..for which I’m grateful, because I’ve not changed much……your partner in the debacle, Sarah 😁

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