Thursday, May 03, 2012
Wisconsin 101: It's not just me we all hate Marty Haugen's music and Gather
No, if it's out there, I'll find it when I'm using the gas mower - I usually use the reel mower, not because I am a dedicated environmentalist but because I am too cheap to buy gas, so I get no credit for being Earth Friendly but whatever I don't care. I'll find it when the potential damage and expense is high because that's how these things work.
I pushed the mower back into the garage and put the little doohickey on the counter next to my purse. Laverne immediately nudged it off the counter onto the floor, then backed up two feet, wiggled her butt, and pounced on it, arching 18 inches into the air.
She killed it.
She stalked off, chin in the air, tail waving proudly.
I retrieved the dead doohickey and put it in my purse for safekeeping.
The next day, after the gym, I went to Puhl's, the little neighborhood hardware store that charges more than Lowe's but where you park ten feet from the front door and there's someone to help you as soon as you walk in.
Also as soon as I walked in was a bulletin board with community notices. The one that drew my attention was the one about the kittens. Five kittens. White kittens with light tabby markings. I called SH. "We need these kittens."
"No," he said flatly. "We don't need more cats." His voice softened. "Are they cute? Of course they're cute. I love kitties."
I sighed. "You're right. We don't need more cats."
I persevered in my quest. I walked to the counter. Sure enough, there was a man, waiting. But he wasn't a Puhl's guy. He was a late middle-aged guy with a neatly-trimmed white beard and a baseball hat. Khaki shorts. I recognized him, but from where? I cocked my head and pointed my finger at him. Which I know is rude. It's rude to point.
In Chile, instead of pointing with the finger, they pointed with the chin and lips. Imagine this: you lift your chin and point it in the direction of the person, then point your lips out. I call it the Latin American Lip Point.
I pointed. He pointed back. "Saint Pius," he said.
"That's right!" I answered. "Church!" He was an usher.
He stepped forward and put his hand out. "Fred," he said.
"Now that I know you," I said, "I should say that it is very nice of you to always offer a hymnal to me, but you don't need to bother. I feel rude saying this and I haven't said this at church, but I hate the music. I'm never going to sing it."
He laughed. "I hate it, too! There's a lot of us who feel that way!"
Clerk #1 said, "Are you talking about Catholic music? It's awful!"
"Um-hmm," said Clerk #2.
"Are you Catholic?" I asked her.
"No, Baptist," she said.
"So you have good music," I said.
"Yes, but I've heard Catholic music."
Our reputation was known far and wide.
A customer walked up. "Oh, it's dreadful. And they make us sing every single little thing!"
I agreed. "Can't we just have an efficient service? Get in, get out. Not sing everything?" This is a German town. You'd think they would have gotten this church stuff down to a science.
"I wish we'd go back to Gregorian chant," Fred said.
"Or at least to music written by people who were born before 1950. Have you ever looked at the notes on the songs? David Haas, Marty Haugen, that other guy - all born after 1950. All the good stuff was written long before that!"
Another customer walked up. "Do you have good music in your church?" I asked.
"Yes," she answered.
"See?" I said triumphantly. "At the Reformation, we got the real estate, they got the music. Did you guys know that Marty Haugen is Lutheran? But they don't even sing his stuff in the Lutheran church? At least, not at the ELCA Lutheran church."
"Then why do we have to?" Fred asked.
I shrugged. "Maybe someone somewhere has compromising photos. That's usually how these things work. Although what could be more compromising than what's already going on I don't know."
Then I asked him, "What's the deal with the tyranny of the hand holding at Pius? I have to go into the bathroom for the Our Father just so I don't get forced to hold hands. The only person I hold hands with is my mom and even that is only because she's my mom and her feelings get hurt if I don't. I hate holding hands during the Our Father. I hate it."
"A lot of people have complained about that," Fred said. "We've lost members to other parishes. I need to talk to Father B about this stuff."
"Yeah, let's change the Catholic Church," I joked.
The line was backing up. Not that anybody was impatient. They all agreed the music stinks and nobody likes the hand holding. Fred added that ushers are unnecessary because everyone knows what's going on. But I had a nut and bolt to get. I found a helper and it took him three minutes to find my stuff. Thirty two cents later, I was out of there. I'll let you know if the music gets any better.