Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Feast of the Presentation


A Hymn of Ephrem of Syria

Praise to you, Son of the Most High, who has put on our body.

Into the holy temple Simeon carried the Christ-child and sang a lullaby to him:
"You have come, Compassionate One,
Having pity on my old age, making my bones enter
Into Sheol in peace. By you I will be raised
Out of the grave into paradise."
Anna embraced the child, she placed her mouth
upon his lips, and then the Spirit rested
upon her lips, like Isaiah
whose mouth was silent until a coal drew near
to his lips and opened his mouth.
Anna was aglow with the spirit of his mouth.
she sang him a lullaby:
"Royal Son,
Despised son, being silent, you hear;
Hidden, you see; concealed, you know;
God-man, glory to your name."

Even the barren heard and came running with their provisions.
The Magi are coming with their treasures.
The barren are coming with their provisions.
Provisions and treasures were heaped up suddenly among the poor.

The barren woman Elizabeth cried out as she was accustomed,
"Who has granted to me, blessed woman,
to see your Babe by whom heaven and earth are filled?
Blessed is your fruit
that brought forth the cluster on a barren vine."

Praise to you, Son of the Most High, who has put on our body.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Feast of St. Agnes, Martyr

Almighty and everlasting God, you choose those whom the world deems powerless to put the powerful to shame: Grant us so to cherish the memory of your youthful martyr Agnes, that we may share her pure and steadfast faith in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today is the feast of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr in Rome. St. Agnes was one of the really popular saints of the early Church, right up there with Christopher and Lucy. Her story is one of those “I’ll die before I’ll ever marry” stories which were so popular back then. Her dedication to virginity and her heroism under torture was an inspiration to those suffering martyrdom in the fourth century and on. The earliest document containing the story of St. Agnes is the Depositio Martyrum from the year 354. Much of her legend comes from the writings of St. Ambrose and St. Austin, and from Prudentius’ hymn. According to St. Austin, her name in Greek signifies chaste and in Latin, lamb.

According to the story, Agnes was born to a Christian family of the Roman nobility around the year 29I. When she was I3 years old she was considered one of the most beautiful and desirable young women in the city of Rome. All the (hetro) guys wanted her and were lining up at her door, bringing gifts of great price, not just yer flowers and chocolates. However, one young man in particular was obsessed with Agnes: Procupius, the son of Symphronius, the prefect. He outdid all the other suitors with his gifts, and when he came to visit Agnes’ parents to ask for her hand, he promised them even more valuable presents. When Agnes refused his gifts and proposal of marriage, he figured that he just needed to bring even better, more precious jewels to convince the object of his desire, so he returned with even more precious and rare jewels. Our Agnes responded to Procupius and his presents (speaking in a most archaic form of English) thusly: “Begone from me, fuel of sin, nourishment of vice, food of death; begone from me, for already a lover has secured my heart; he has given me ornaments more precious than yours, and has placed his ring upon my finger as a pledge of fidelity. He is incomparably more noble than you, both in origin and dignity. He has been pleased to adorn my right hand with a priceless bracelet, and to encircle my neck with diamonds. He has set in my ears rings of peerless pearl and has girdled me with precious stones dazzling as the light of the sun in spring. My Beloved has placed his sign upon my forehead, that I may recognize no lover bat himself. He has clothed me in golden tissue and adorned me with innumerable ornaments. He has shown me countless treasures, of which he has promised me the possession, if I remain faithful to him. Could I then so wrong my first love as to accept another and abandon him to whom I am united by the most ardent affection!” Procupius couldn’t believe what he was hearing! He was the son of the prefect, for goodness sake! But our little lambykins continued: “Yes, he is far nobler, his power is greater, his aspect more charming in my sight, his love sweeter to my heart, his grace, in a word, more ravishing than anything to which he could possibly be compared. His voice like a melting harmony enchants my ears. Virgins my companions cease not to sound his praise, and such is his beauty, that the sun and the stars behold it amazed- His ministers are angels, who are eager to serve him. At his touch the sick are healed, the dead are awoke by the odor of his virtue. His resources never fail, his riches never decrease. He has already prepared a dwelling for me. I have pledged my faith, I have vowed to be entirely his. Milk and honey flow from his lips. I have felt his chaste embrace. His body was united to mine, and the blood from his stricken cheek has impressed itself on mine. But know that his mother was a virgin that he was begotten by the Father from all eternity. I can love him as I remain chaste, press him to my heart and iest jure, receive him as my Spouse and still be a virgin. And the children of this union will be brought forth without pain; their number will increase and multiply."

Instead of slapping ol’ Procupy into reality, her words simply worked him up even more, to the point that he was sick in bed, so lovesick that he couldn’t move. Once his dad’s doctors figured out what was going on, the told the prefect, who went to see Agnes and her parents, to ask, once again, for her fair hand. Agnes told the prefect that noting in the world would make her violate the fidelity she had vowed to her first love. Symphronius reminded her and her parents that, being the son of the prefect, Agnes was not going to find a better husband than Our Boy Procopius. She still refused, and, after asking around, Symphronius was overjoyed to learn that Agnes and her family were Christians. Now he really had the power! He knew that nobody, not Agnes’ parents or the other Christians or the members of Agnes’ social class would dare stand up to her in front of the tribunal. He reminded young Agnes that she and her family could lose their social standing and become slaves or even be executed. Agnes didn’t budge; she was married to Christ and would not take another. The prefect had Agnes arrested and let her cool her heels in the dungeon for the night. The next day Agnes was brought before the prefect, who reminded her that his son wanted to marry her and that she couldn’t do any better than Our Boy Procupius. Agnes responded, “I pray you injure not my Spouse by supposing that I could allow myself to be seduced from him by vain promises. My life belongs to him who has chosen me the first." Back to the dank, dark, dungeon for Agnes!

The next morning, Agnes was brought before the prefect, who, realizing that she had not changed her mind, said, “I perceive that you will not have done with your folly, nor will you lend an ear to the counsels of wisdom until your heart is torn from the Christian superstition, whose wicked arts you practice. You are then to be consecrated to the worship of the goddess Vesta, so that if you are determined to preserve your virginity, you may, at least, devote it to watching day and night at her august altars." Agnes responded, "If I have refused a union with your son, who although under the dominion of an insensate passion, is, at least, a living man, endowed with understanding, capable of seeing, feeling, and walking; who enjoys the light of day in common with the good: if, for the love of Jesus Christ, nothing has been able to persuade me to listen to him, how could I vow to serve a deaf and dumb idol, destitute of feeling and of life? How could I so outrage the supreme God as to bow my head before a vain bit of stone?” The prefect said, “Look, I know you’re just a kid, and so your blasphemies against the gods are the result of you being young and not having reached the age of reason, but really, think about what you are saying and how you are exposing yourself to the anger of the gods!” Agnes, responding in more Archaic English, said: "Set aside this pity for my youth, and think not that I wish to make use of such a plea in order to gain your indulgence. Faith resides not in the rears of time, but in the sentiments of the heart, and the all powerful God considers rather the state of our soul than the length of our life. As to your gods, whose anger you fear on my account, leave them to their rage; let them make themselves heard, let them order that they shall be venerated, and command that they shall be adored. But since you will never obtain the object of your desires. carry out your intention without delay." Symphronius responded “ENOUGH! I’m the friggin’ PREFECT!!! What is wrong with you? So, you aren’t afraid of physical pain? Well then, I know what IS important to you: your modesty. Look, for the honor of your noble family, either sacrifice to Vesta and become one of the Holy Virgins serving at her altar, or I will have you dragged to a brothel, where the horny young men of Rome will pay good money to have at you (Symphronius was so upset that he was speaking twentieth-century English)!” Agnes responded, “Not so, Christ forgets not his own; never will he abandon to destruction that modesty so precious in his sight. He is ever present to aid the pure. He will not suffer a blemish to the honor of my virginity. Over this you have no power, although you may stain your sword in my blood. I know the omnipotence of Jesus Christ my Lord; I trust in him and despise your threats, confident that I shall neither sacrifice to your idols, nor suffer any harm. For the Lord has placed his angel near me to be my protector, and the Son of the true God, whom you know not, is my rampart and my defense; he will never fail me. Your gods, on the contrary, are made of brass, fitter for fashioning utensils for the use of man. or of stone, which would better serve to pave the public way. No, the Divinity resides not in a senseless stone, but dwells in heaven; it is not brass or other metal that constitutes a God; it is sovereign power, it is omnipotence. Know then, you and all those who imitate you, that if you forsake not the worship of idols, a fate like unto theirs is reserved for you. For even as they have been molded by tire, so their adorers will burn in flames, not to be cast into form, but to be destroyed and to perish forever." To which the prefect answered, “THAT DOES IT!! STRIP HER NAKED AND DRAG HER OFF TO THE BROTHEL AND LET THE HORNY DOGS OF ROME PAY GOOD MONEY TO HAVE THEIR WAY WITH HER!!! AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!”

Well, the thugs stripped our Agnes of her robes, but her hair, which had been unbraided to add to her shame, grew and grew and grew until it covered her nakedness. She was brought to the Agonale Circus, where people turned from looking at her. However, an angel of the Lord accompanied her and surrounded her with a brilliant light, which prevented anyone form approaching her or even seeing her. Agnes prayed, and once she finished her prayer, she opened her eyes and saw a robe of brilliant whiteness at her feet. She donned the robe, praying “Thanks be to thee, Jesus Christ, my Lord, who hast received me into the number of thy servants, and hast sent me this garment." Everyone was amazed by what was happening, except one person: the brain-damaged Procupius, who, in an incredibly stupid move, approached the Most Holy Virgin and started talkin’ dirty! But the Angel of the Lord struck him with a bolt of lightening, and he fell to the ground, blinded and half dead. One of his stupid friends, seeing this, cried out to his Less Than Intelligent Companions: “Come on, friends; come on, Romans, come on you who fear the gods! This slut has killed the son of the prefect with her sorceries!” Some of his stupid friends said, “Yeah! Let’s git ‘er!” but others said, “I don’t know; things have been gittin’ a lil’ weird ‘roun here!” Some of the people watching even said, “Hey! She’s an innocent girl! Stop it!!”

Word got back to Symphronius that Procupius had been struck blind and half dead and came running to the circus to see ‘sup? He screamed at Agnes, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? WHAT KIND OF WITCHCRAFT IS THIS?” To which Agnes replied, “It is the demon, whose inspirations he followed, who has received power over his life. Why have all the others, who had the same intention, escaped a similar fate? It is because they gave honor to God, who sent his angel to my rescue. This angel has clothed me with a robe of mercy, and has protected my person, offered and consecrated to Christ from the cradle. Those, who, seeing the heavenly light, gave honor to God, have been suffered to depart unharmed and uninjured. But he, who, notwithstanding this manifestation, dared to approach me, has been struck by the angel of the Lord and suffers the penalty which you behold." The prefect, thinking “why does she talk so strangely?” said, “Look; I believe you that no witchy-funny-business took place if you’ll bring him back to life!” What kind of logic is that? To which our Girl answered, "Although your faith is not worthy to obtain such a miracle from God, yet as the time has come to manifest the divine power of Jesus Christ, my Lord, let all go away that I may speak to him in prayer." Once everyone stepped back a bit, she threw herself on the body of her cruel suitor and prayed that God would restore his life. All of the sudden, Procupius opened his eyes, took a deep breath, pushed Agnes off of him, stood up and started walking around, shouting "There is but one God in heaven, on earth, in the whole universe; He is the God of the Christians! All our temples are vain all the gods adored in them are vain! And vain as themselves is the aid expected from them." Many of those watching started shouting “THAT DOES IT!!! I’M GETTIN’ SAVED! I’M GONNA BE A CHRISTIAN!!”But others, still unconvinced and joined by the priests of the Temple of Vesta and overcome by the spirit of archaic English (which appears to be a demon of some sort; pay attention, 1928 BCP worshippers!), started shouting, “Seize the sorceress! Away with the worker of enchantments, who troubles the minds of the people, and perverts their souls!"

Now, even though he appeared to promise to release Agnes if she brought his shiftless son back to life, the prefect Symphronius was afraid of the crowd and turned over the punishment of Agnes to his ambitious lieutenant, Aspasius, the task of quelling the sedition taking place. Aspasius, overcome by ambition, became incredibly violent, and, to make the priests and pagans happy, had a great fire to be lit on which he ordered Agnes to be thrown. Agnes was tossed on the fire, but it split into two huge flames, which went left and right, burning all those on either side of the fire. Agnes, standing in the middle of the lames, raised her arms in the orans position and prayed "All powerful God, alone to be adored, alone to be feared, Father of Jesus Christ, our Lord, I bless thee! Because, through thine only Son. Thou hast saved me from the threats of those impious men, and from defilement while treading the foul places of the demon. Behold now, by thy Holy Spirit, I am penetrated as with a celestial dew. The fire is arrested and dies out before me while the flames divide and turn against those who kindled them. I bless thee, Father of love, who hast given me courage to walk intrepidly towards thee even through fire. Behold! What I have believed, I now see! What I have hoped for, I possess what I have desired, I now embrace! My lips and my heart confess thee. For thee my inmost being longs. Behold, now to thee I go, the only and true God, who, with thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, and with the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest forever and ever. "

Since the fire didn’t work, it was decided that Agnes would be beheaded. The crowd gathered around her, some crying, some hoping for some entertaining violence (they were Romans, you know!). When the executioner appeared, Agnes, seeing this fearful sight, exclaimed: "Oh! what a happiness! It is a fierce and barbarous man who now approaches me. Draw near I prefer your terrible countenance to that of those impassioned young men who lately threatened me. See, I acknowledge it, behold the suitor whom I love. Come then! I will go myself to meet you, not restraining the ardent desire which draws me towards you. Strike behold my breast; I want your sword to penetrate even to the bottom of my heart. Spouse of Christ, it is thus that I shall escape from the darkness of earth and rise to the abode of light. Open, oh all-powerful God, open the gates of heaven, until lately closed to man! Christ Jesus draw my soul to thyself a victim first to thee by virginal consecration, now to thy Father by martyrdom's immolation!" Then she ran eagerly to the chopping block, like a bride going to her nuptials! She bowed her head to adore her Lord, Jesus Christ, and to receive that final stroke. The executioner was put off by all this, and took a few minutes to prepare himself; he knew that this act would condemn him. He finally worked up the nerve necessary and, with a single stroke, severed Agnes’ head from her body. The stroke was so clean that she felt no pain, and her soul, freed from its prison of flesh, rose towards heaven, where the angels received her on her way, marking her progress with a shining track. According to the hymnist Prudentius, that poet of the martyrs, Agnes, as she rose towards heaven, “in passing the terrestrial globe at her feet, and casts a last look upon the darkness from which she is flying. She thrills with joy, she is in wonder at the sight of the sun moving in his orbit, with the planets revolving round him. She smiles with pity in beholding the turmoil of human existence, and the rapid flight of time, which carries away with it, kings, tyrants, empires, the pageantry of wealth and honours, which swell the heart with vanity. She regards with compassion that thirst for gold and silver, which, like a raging fever, consumes mortals, and pushes them on to every species of crime. She, pitying looks down upon palaces mean abodes they seem, erected at so great a cost; upon the vanity of ‘purple and fine linen.’ She grieves, so to speak, over the hatreds, the fears, the desires, the continual dangers of earth: its sorrows so long enduring, its joys so rapid in their flight; over that dark envy, with its lighted fire-brand, which withers every hope and tarnishes all human glory; and lastly, she sorrowfully considers the dark night of Gentile superstition, which appears to her worse than all other evils. She tramples beneath her feet all these things; she triumphantly places her heel upon the head of that cruel dragon, who sullies with his venom both earth and hell. The foot of a virgin again becomes fatal to him. and plants itself upon his inflamed crest. Vanquished, humbled, he dares no longer raise his head.”

Agnes martyrdom was a powerful image to the people of Late Antiquity, and her witness brought many to decide that change of mind and heart in which one follows God’s way instead of one’s own way. And that’s why we remember St. Agnes, holy virgin and martyr of Rome, today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Feast of Fabian, Bishop and Martyr

O God, in your providence you singled out the holy martyr Fabian as worthy to be chief pastor of your people, and guided him so to strengthen your Church that it stood fast in the day of persecution: Grant that those whom you call to any ministry in the Church may be obedient to your call in all humility, and be enabled to carry out their tasks with diligence and faithfulness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


One day around the year 236, the Christians in Rome were getting ready to elect a new bishop (Pope Anterus had died after only being on the Episcopal Throne for a mere month and ten days). While waiting for things to get started, a man was carting dung outside of the chamber, and many saw a dove land on the head of the dung-guy, one Fabian, layman, pop singer and stranger to the city. Those being more simple times, everyone was so amazed at this sight that Mr. Fabian was at once proclaimed bishop by acclamation and wisked-off for a weekend of ordinations.

As Pope, Fabian was very interested in honoring the martyrs, and it is claimed that he did some building in the catacombs and brought the remains of Hippolytus and Pope Pontian back to Rome from Sardinia.

He was also big on organization and organized the church in Rome and also appointed seven deacons to do the administration in that church.


Pope Fabian supposedly baptized emperor Marcus Julius Philippus and his son, but since Eusebius doesn't mention this, yet DOES mention the dove incident, I find the claim to be suspect (of course, Eusebius was more interested in the idea that Constantine was the first Christian emperor, and this business with Philip would complicate that story). Baptizing the emperor ended the persecutions of that time, as one would expect. However, upon the death of the emperor, the new guy, Decius, started up the persecutions again and Fabian was one of the first to be martyred, on January 20, 250. We do not have an account of his martyrdom. According to differing traditions, Fabian was either tied to a cross and beaten with torches until he died (!) or beheaded.

When Cyprian of Carthage heard about Fabian's martyrdom, he sent the following letter to the clergy in Rome: When the report of the departure of the excellent man, my colleague, was still uncertain among us, my beloved brethren, and I was wavering doubtfully in my opinion on the matter, I received a letter sent to me from you by Crementius the sub-deacon, in which I was fully informed of his glorious end; and I rejoiced greatly that the integrity of his administration had been matched by the nobility of his end.

I greatly congratulate you that you honor his memory with so public and illustrious a testimony, through which you have made known to me not only the memory of your bishop, which confers glory upon you, but also an example of faith and strength that I should follow.

For just as the fall of a bishop tends to bring about the ruinous fall of his followers, so it is a useful and helpful thing when, by the firmness of his faith, a bishop becomes manifest to his brethren as an object of imitation.


Friday, December 25, 2015

The Thrilling Conclusion of the Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Krispen Lovefest

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, Bunrab, tonight's the night! Are you ready?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House As ready as I can be. The rehearsals went much better than expected, and they've decided not to use wires on the angels, gracias a Dios! Are you ready to be the Narrator?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Of course! I love being Narrator.


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, the sleeves are okay, but I'm having trouble holdin' dis stick ting.
¡El Toro! ¿Parecer una oveja? ¿Esta traje engañar a nadie?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello Santa, hello Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Kitty Toy, hola ¡El Toro! Are you about ready?
Santa Yes, it's show time! All the costumes are fabulous and our cast are ALL STARS!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, good, because these two are on first.

Santa No problem!! Kitty, you are a beautiful shepherd, and all the sheep will follow you anywhere!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Tanks, Santa! Yer not too bad yerself! I gotta get to da stage.
Santa And you! YOU! You are the wooliest little lamb I've ever seen! Yes you are! Yes you are!!
¡El Toro! ¡POR faVOR!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Welcome to Padre Mickey's Dance Party's Christmas Pageant! We hope that you enjoy all the hard work our cast has put into this production.
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, whispering Psst! Don't forget las celulares!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh, yes! Please turn off your cell phones and pagers, or put them on vibrate. Also, this pageant is for entertainment purposes only. Please, no wagering! And now, our pageant.


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy, whispering No you stand dere, and you, you go ovah dere. An you, jest stan' still!
Ahem, Oh, what a beautiful, quiet nite. I suppose dat nuttin' 'citin' will happen tuhnite.
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Wut da ...
¡El Toro! BAA!! BAA!!
Squeaky Gorilla BAA! skeek BAA!!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Yikes! What is that in the sky?

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera But the angel said to them
Wooden Kuna Doll Do not be afraid; for see----I am bringin' you good news of great joy for all de peoples: to you is born this day in the city of David (pero not in Chriqui, el otro ciudad David) a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.

Wooden Kuna Doll This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.
Telly Tubbies Ina manger! Ina manger! Da Messiah! Da Messiah!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying
The Heavenly Host Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Whoa!!
¡El Toro! BAA!! BAA!!
Squeaky Gorilla BAA! skeek BAA!!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Wow! They're really good!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey! Let us go now tuh Betlehem and see dis ting what takes place, which da Lowd maked known tuh us!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Sounds good to me! Plus, it's cold out here.
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel What is that noise?
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Don' ask!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
Gallito Mescalito Shrie Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love SHUSH! Not now!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy No! Really! Dere wuz angels an' everting!
¡El Toro! Baa. Baa.
Squeaky Gorilla Baa skeek Baa
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel No, it's true! I saw it with my own eyes, and let me tell you, I know all about angels!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
Farm animals Yeah, that's some story! Angels, ya say?
The Mighty Moose of Vermont Mooooose. Mooooooose. I am a cow! Mooooose.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


El Penguino Is this thing over yet? 'Cuz I'm sweatin ta def in this bankie!!!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Please give our cast a round of applause!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank That ends our program for the evening. There is chicha, sorril, and empanadas in the lobby. Merry Christmas, and Good night!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Okay, now!
Gallito Mescalito ¡¡¡SSSSHHHHHRRRRRIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Even More Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Krispen Special

As you recall, last week yesterday the Dance Party Players asked Red Mr. Peanut Bank to help them put on a Christmas Pageant. Our story continues.....


Red Mr. Peanut Bank I love to walk the neighborhood and see all the nacimientos on display. Yikes! That reminds me! I wonder how the Dance Party Christmas Pageant is coming along?


Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hmmm... Και ποιμενες ησαν εν χωρα τη . . .


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Wow! That's some funny writing. What's going on here?


Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hello, Red Mr. Peanut Bank! How are you?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Fine, thanks. And you? And what are these books?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House I'm fine. I'm exploring the ancient texts to write the script for the Christmas Pageant.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank How's it coming along?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Well, My Hebrew is terrible but my Greek is okay, so I think I'll have it ready by rehearsal. Have you decided who will play the Baby Jesus?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, not yet. Well, I think I'll leave you alone to work.



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Buenas tardes.
Wooden Kuna Doll Buenas tardes, Señor Mani Rojo.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Buenas tardes, Red Mr. Peanut Bank. We're studying this icon of the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Child. As you know, we both want to play the BVM in the pageant. Have you made a decision on the part yet?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, no. I hope you will both audition tomorrow.
Wooden Kuna Doll ¡Sí, Señor!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love You know we'll be there. Hey, who's going to play the Baby Jesus? The only one around here who looks like the Baby Jesus in that icon is that red Telly Tubbie!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I don't know. Well, good to see you both!
Wooden Kuna Doll Adios, Señor Mani Rojo.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Ciao, babe!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hi fellas. What's going on here?
El Penguino Oh, hello, Red Mr. Peanut Bank! These guys are all deciding who will be a cow and who will be a sheep.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Who will be what?
El Penguino They've decided they'll arm wrestle. Loser is a cow. Or donkey.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, not that this isn't interesting, but I must run!
Gallito Mescalito ¿Shriek?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, I don't know who will play the Baby Jesus yet. Maybe Poh.
Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!



El Penguino This is terrible. I think I'll go help the angels.



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Santa! What are YOU doing here? Shouldn't you be at the North Pole, or at least at the Mall?
Santa Well, since you won't let me play Joseph in the Christmas Pageant, I offered my help in making costumes. Plus, the elves have it under control at the North Pole, except for those Episcopal Elves who spend all their time doing that Terrible Version of the Macarena! And then there are those Fallen Elves who hang out at Kendall Harmon's place. But I digress. . . Look at all this fabric!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Do you know what you're doing?



Santa Of course I do. Who the heck do you think made all those cute outfits for the elves? I've got a machine, I've got fabric, I've got a tape, and these costumes will be FABULOUS!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank, off camera Okay. If you can't trust Santa, who can you trust?



Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Mistah Sanna, sir. Dis sleeve is way too big!
Santa It's not done yet, silly! We just need to take it in a bit!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy But did da shepahds really weah dis color?
Gallito Mescalito Shriek! SHRIEEK!!
Santa What are you talking about, you silly rooster! You are a Vision in that fluffy cotton! Look, Kitty, you will be the most handsome Shepherd ever to hold a crook, and Rooster, you will be the cutest, fluffiest, and most lovable little lamb ever to see the Baby Jesus! Yes you will! You will!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Say, who's gonna be da Baby Jeezus anyway?
Santa How would I know? But I'll bet it will be the sweetest little baby Jesus ever seen since the original!! Maybe it will be Poh!
Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank El Penguino, what is going on here?
Dipsy Woah! WOAH!
El Penguino Well, I thought I do some wire work with the angels
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy fly! Dipsy fly!
El Penguino So, did you pick a Baby Jesus yet?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No, not yet. I don't know, this looks somewhat dangerous!
Dipsy Woah! WOOAAOOH!
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy fly! Dipsy fly!
El Penguino Nah, don't worry. Everything will be fine!!



Gallito Mescalito ¡SHRIEK!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Good Lord! What is going on?
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Dis whole outfit is too big! Sumbuddy hep me!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank This does not look good!
Dipsy Woah! WOOAAOOH!
La-la, Poh, and Tinky Winky Dipsy crash. DIPSY CRASH!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Hey! I'm trying to write here! You little green weirdo!!
El Penguino Yow! Im outta here!



El Penguino I'm tired. I think I'll climb in this bed and take a nap. Plus, it looks like a good place to hide. Yawn. I wonder who will play the Baby Jesus? Yawn



El Penguino Snnnnnnoooooorrrrrrrre

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's the Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Christmas Special, Charlie Brown!

Some may doubt this, but we here are the Dance Party are Traditionalists. We are Traditionalists in as far as we have our traditions, sacred traditions, sacred, secret traditions, which you can't learn until you've lived through passed the hazing ritual super fun initiation joke.

We also believe in establishing new, improved traditions. Yes, we are the New Traditionalists. If one lives in the U.S.A., one can not turn on the Television Receiver Machine without seeing traditional Television programs: The Peanuts Christmas Special, The Pee-Wee Herman Christmas Special, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Sarah Palin's Frozen and Blood-soaked Alaskan Christmas, Bad Santa, Naughty Edy the Elf Does the North Pole, and, the classic It's A Hanukkah Christmas This Kawnzaa, Charlie Brown! We, the management and staff of Padre Mickey's Dance Party, present our lovely holiday tradition: the Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Christmas Pageant Posts. Heck, we figure there must be at least three of you Gentle Readers who missed this last year. Plus, isn't if great to see Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House looking so plump and un-simian or un-chickie like? Of course it is! So, may you all be touched with the Holiday Spirit of over-eating, drinking to excess, insane materialism, and parump-a-pum-pum! Also, instead of running this thang for three weeks, we're going for THREE DAYS this year, so, good for us! ¡Desfrutalo!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Gallito Mescalito; how are things?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! Shrieky-shrieky-shriek.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, I've noticed that, too, but you know how Padre feels about Advent.


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! ¡Shrriieekk!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank That's right. He doesn't care what the rest of the neighborhood is doing; he only wants an Advent Wreath right now.


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Where did that Christmas decoration come from?


Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank And that! Where did that reindeer come from?


Gallito Mescalito ¡¡SHRRIIIEEEEKKK!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank AAARRRGGGHH! Where did YOU come from¨_
TP Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Advent!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank You need to get out of here for a few weeks!
TP Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho!


Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey, Bank. Hey, Boid. 'sup?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh, hello, Cat! We were discussing the season.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I see dat da neighbohs all gots dere lights and trees up! An' as always, we only gots dat wreath.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we just chased the TP Santa away!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Well, can't we have jus' a lil' decarashun?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Okay. I'll put up the Nacimiento Mola.



Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Cool!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Hi boys. Nice backdrop!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love! We've been discussing the season.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love And Padre Mickey's obsession with Advent?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Yup!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Say, Red Mr. Peanut Bank, the doggy toys have been talking with me, as well as the rest of the cast, and they want to put on a Christmas Pageant. Would you supervise?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Yeah!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank A Christmas Pageant!?! Well, I suppose so.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek! ¡Shrriieekk!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I'm sorry, Gallito Mescalito; there's no way on earth you could be the Narrator! Maybe you can be Gabriel...
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I WANNA BE AN ANGEL!!!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank You look more like a shepherd to me; the Chief Shepherd, but a shepherd nonetheless!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Er, I think I'l go tell the others that you are casting right now.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Okay. Thank you, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I know wut yoo means. A shepherd anna angel. Wut's he tinkin'?


Mighty Moose of Vermont and El Penguino Hi, Everybody!
Everybody Hi, guys!
Mighty Moose of Vermont We hear that there may be a Christmas Pageant and we want to participate.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Hey, Moose! You can be a cow at da manger!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love And El Penguino can be the Baby Jesus!
El Penguino ¿El Divino Niño? ¡PORfaVOR!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we're still casting. Don't worry.



Diablito Sucio y ¡El Toro! ¡El Tres Reyes! ¡EL TRES REYES!
Squeaky Gorilla Yeah, we wanna be the Free Kings! , skeek
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I'm sorry, but this is a Christmas Pageant. The Three Kings appear at the Epiphany Pageant. What is that noise?
Squeaky Gorilla Sheesh! skeek You sure are strict!skeek What noise?skeek
Red Mr. Peanut Bank THAT NOISE! Look, you guys are going to be shepherds. The Wise Men show up at another pageant.
Diablito Sucio y ¡El Toro! ¿Pastores? ¡Está Bién!
Squeaky Gorilla Okayskeek We'll be shepherds. skeek But keep us in mind for the Epiphany Pageant! skeek


Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hello, Ladies! I suppose you both want to be the Blessed Virgin?
Wooden Kuna Doll Si, Señor.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love That's right, pal. And you'd best make the CORRECT decision!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Give me a few days, ladies; give me a few days!



Telly Tubbies Wanna be in show! Wanna be in show!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Sure, no problem. You four will be angels.
Telly Tubbies Yay! Big Hug!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Sheesh!



Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel Hi! I want to be a shepherd!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Really? I thought that you would be Michael, the Commander of the Heavenly Host, Praising God and saying: Glory to God!
Guatemalan Apocalyptic Angel But I want to be a shepherd. Or a sheep! Or even a donkey!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, let me think about this...



Toilet Paper Roll Santa Ho! Ho! Ho! I want to be Joseph!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank No! No! No! You won't be in this pageant!
Toilet Paper Roll Santa Darn! Darn! Darn!



Red Mr. Peanut Bank Bunrab! So good to see you! Are you willing to be in our Christmas Pageant?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Yes. I'd love a part if you can spare one.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank I think that you would be great as the Narrator. Also, would you be willing to help me write the script?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Sure! Hey, I think the rooster should play Joseph!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Really? Why?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Because the Holy Family doesn't have any lines! It'll be great!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank We have a week ahead of us!

Will the casting make sense? Will a terrible fight break out between Wooden Kuna Doll and Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love? Will the Pageant include all of Mary Sue's favorite Christmas Carols? Can we drag this out for a few more days? Tune in tomorrow, hopefully, for answers to all these questions!!!

I See You!

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