When I was a six year old leisurologist, during what I call 'the formative years', I was bribed to go to church. I wasn't given an envelope of cash in the vestry by a shady man called Karlheinz, for my promise of attendance. No money passed my collection plate. I was promised a treat after church and that had me buzzing like a horny honey bee.
My parents master plan worked for a while until I realized that Sunday school was more work than regular school. I could handle five days of suffering, but six was out of the question. Elementary school wasn't really suffering, at least not after the day that Sandra Clark first brought her Easy Bake Oven to class. Do you remember the Easy Bake Oven? I do.
The Easy Bake Oven, for those of you who had no real childhood, was a diminutive plastic oven powered by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison's invention...an incandescent light bulb. Almost magically the light bulb provided enough heat to bake a small pan of Brownies. I wanted to marry Sandra Clark. I didn't love her, but I wanted a wife with an Easy Bake Oven.
Sandra Clark only brought her minor turquoise appliance to school once, but everyday during my days as an elementary school boy, until Sandra's family moved to Nova Scotia, I went to class hoping and praying that the Easy Bake Oven would make a reappearance. It didn't. Sandra was famous for more than just her baking. She once threw up her alphabet soup on my grade one classroom floor.
Time for a spelling test class. Sandra, I didn't say to start just yet!
I think every kid has a story about some other kid tossing/hurling/upchucking in class. Someday I might gather these stories together and turn them into a kid's story. If Glen Murray can make a million off a farting dog, then why not a story about Ralph The Sick Schoolboy?
I put my days in at elementary school just like most kids, except that I wasn't paying attention to the three Rs (reading, riting and a rithmatic). I was dreaming of brownies, cupcakes and anything that could be cooked by a light bulb. On Saturday mornings I would watch Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Spiderman. Saturday was my favourite day of the week, by far. For me, Sunday seemed liked it should have been a day of rest, because Saturday was so much fun, so I questioned the benefit of pew sitting and plunked myself down on my Sunday sofa.
I was always baffled, as a child, that television programing on Saturday mornings could be so drool inducing, yet on Sunday morning it was as though the cartoons were hiding with Jimmy Hoffa. I was forced to watch the television test patterns, followed by Garner Ted Armstrong. Ted garnered quite a following in those days, although not everyone liked him. I liked his name, and that was about all.
Garner paved the way for televangelists like Jack and Rexella Van Impe, and the Bakkers (Jim and Spammy Flay). If there has ever been a hell on earth, then it most certainly was Sunday morning television in the early 1970s. I felt like I was being punished for not going to church, not by GOD, but by CTV, CBC, ABC, NBS, and CBS. I don't remember what PBS was broadcasting, but I hope that it involved chimpanzees stacking crates and getting to the dangling banana.
I'm not what you'd call a regular church-goer, especially now that cartoons are broadcast on Sunday mornings. I go to church primarily for weddings and funerals, often confusing the two (divorce stats back up my claim). I also attend classical music concerts in churches, mostly because I'm married to someone who occasionally gives classical music concerts in churches. The acoustics are often quite wonderful, certainly a pleasant contrast to the torturous pews.
Note: I just typed 'why are pews so uncomfortable?' into Google's search engine. It came back with Did you mean: why are Jews so uncomfortable? I suppose there's some man-made humour to be found there, or was it simply an act of god?
You'll notice, in the image above that I'm standing outside of a church. That picture was taken yesterday, August 22. As fate would have it, Wendy and I were driving by the Harvey Station church in which we were married exactly 22 years ago. We figured that would have been busting through the doors, 22 years ago, at exactly the moment when we drove past. I tend to exit churches more joyously than I enter them, but that's just me.
So yesterday, August 22, was my anniversary. August 24, tomorrow, is my birthday (please...cards and money only). August 23 is T'ain't Day (t'ain't my anniversary, t'ain't my birthday). I love T'ain't Day and the fact that it falls on a Sunday makes it that much more special. I do whatever I like on T'ain't Day, which makes it no different than any other day, come to think of it. Right now (Sunday morning, 8:44 a.m.) I think that I'll watch a little television. Let's see what's on....
I only get one channel here in Cambridge-Narrows, ATV, so it's not much of an investment on my part in any sense. This morning I've got the most reverend redhead, Valerie Pringle, torturing Newfies. Damn it...I was secretly hoping for the Van Impe's, Spiderman or Garner Jim Rockford. Have you ever watched the Van Impes before? They're hilarious. Whenever you've got a half an hour to spare/waste, and you're in need of a head shaking chuckle, then set your sights on Jack and Rexella and give them a shot. If you've only got four minutes and thirty two seconds, then watch this...you've got to watch the whole pewtrid thing for the full effect.
Happy T'ain't Day!