I’m Just Saying: Follies avec un verre de vin!

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 4, 2018

When I’m not renting myself out as one of those super tall, waving, inflatable things at car dealerships, I can often be found emceeing benefits for worthy charities.

The most recent benefit was my church’s talent show, with all proceeds going to our youth group.

The parish hall was packed with congregants and donations were coming in hand-over-fist from ticket sales, burger sales the obligatory cash bar. We’re Episcopalians, we enjoy our wine, and it’s ever so much easier to truly love thy neighbor after a glass or two of a particularly charming Pinot Grigio: “Yes, Roscoe, I’m sure you do everything you can to lock your pig up, but this is the second day in a row that he’s been feasting on my runner beans. Let’s see if we can figure something out together. At your convenience. Say hey to your mama.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I know having wine on church premises might be offensive to some, but we’re really quite responsible with our soupçon de vin. I mean, it’s not like we were taking shots and handling snakes or anything, but, child, if we did, woe be upon any serpent who might take a chomp out of an Episcopalian — they’d be drying out in rehab for weeks.

What’s always interesting, not to mention fun, is learning the secret talents of whom you share a pew with each Sunday. Our denomination, often referred to as “Catholic-Lite” (only one third the guilt), is infamous for being known as “The Frozen Chosen,” because we tend to be quite formal in our approach to services. 

So, when you see a husband and wife team translate a children’s story into Mandarin Chinese with a supporting harmony of “Obbish,” that’s quite something. Or a scene featuring one of our favorite octogenarians along with our priest, stepping into his hungover character with relish in a scene from “Daddy’s Died and Who’s Got The Will,” that’s downright impressive.

I suspect his approach was method acting.

We had a family of four act out the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” with such authenticity and aplomb, that I couldn’t help but to think that Hollywood would give its collective eyeteeth to cast either kid in a plethora of parts. We had a gymnast spiraling and swinging on a raised bar, a violinist, singing nuns, a rather out of control (shoes flew off) display by a couple swing dancing, and finally, some very funny stand-up comedy (not me).

Everyone was very loose in their performances (cash bar) and the audience was wildly receptive (cash bar) throughout the two-and-a-half-hour show.

That’s a “bum-number” an English friend of mine used to call any performance lasting over 90 minutes, but we did have a 10 minute intermission which consisted of me bullying more donations out of audience members, especially if they couldn’t quote requested scripture on the spot with my mic thrust into their pie-eyed face.

At the end of the evening, around two grand was raised for something quite special for our youth, particularly as the kids have been so generous with their time, practicing in their own choir and delighting several senior audiences in the area with concerts in retirement communities and nursing homes. Truly, an excellent time was had by all.

By the way, Jean, your left shoe is under the piano bench.