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.