Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Report From Vacationland

¡Hola a Todos!
We're having a good time and are quite relaxed, EXCEPT for a little incident very early yesterday morning. We thought the back door was locked, but some ladrones cut the screen, reached in and opened the door, and took the Lovely Mona's purse, our camera, and the Lovely Mona's celular. I found the Lovely Mona's purse outside and all her identification and bank cards were still there (we don't carry credit cards, so no loss there). We only lost about $80.00 cash, but since the camera is gone there will be no Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging, or photos of events and folks from Parroquia Episcopal San Cristóbal until we can afford a new camera. Several members of the cast are here with us, as I was going to do a photo shoot here, but we've had a Change Of Plans in that area.

I've pretty much avoided asking for money here unless it was for the church or scholarships for camp or something, but if you are inclined to donate towards the purchase of a new digital camera, you may visit this site and follow the instructions to make a donation to our Missionary Fund. You can even donate on-line using your credit card.

Hasta luego.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Diablito Sucio Buenas Dias, Buenas Tardes, y Buenas Noches a todos.
I have been elected to inform you that the Lovely Mona, Señorita Chompita Wiggletail The Cutest Dog In All The Americas™, Padre Mickey, and a Select Few of the Dance Party Players are off to the beach for a two-week vacation. They spent so much time yesterday preparing for the trip that no Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging was filmed, so we invite you to enjoy this Classic Episode of the Vacation Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging.

Blogging will be practically non-existent or sporadic at best, depending upon whether the Padre visits the local Internet Café. Of course, the Comments will be turned off one half-hour before they leave, so if you have something to say, say in now!!! Comments are off. ¡Hasta luego!

That will be all.

Friday Random Top Ten With Bonus Eleven!

Ya pushes "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Icky Thump White Stripes
2. Hymn: Jesu Corona Virginum (Hildegard von Bingen) Anonymous 4
3. Broken Flag Patti Smith Group
4. Heroine (Theme from 'Captive') Sinéad O'Conner
5. Baggy Trousers Madness
6. Jackpot The Beat
7. Farmer John Neil Young & Crazy Horse
8. Every Everything Hüsker Dü
9. Stand OnYour Own Head They Might Be Giants
10. Soma The Strokes

All over the place, as usual, but who cares when you've got Super Groovy Bonus Track 11? Gidget Goes To Hell Suburban Lawns

Ya can't beat Super Groovy Bonus Track 11! And we're going on vacation, to the beach, so it's the Most Appropriate Song Right Now!!! Here are the lyrics
(well, most of them, at least):

Gidget dips her hand
In her Daddy's pocket
Silver keys
Shiny red sports car
Speed shift baby
She's not going to school
Surfers rule!

Oh, oh Gidget goes to hell

Gidget shakes her ass good
As she strolls across the beach
She's so good yea
At chasing all the boys
Hopes are rising
While their chances are falling

Oh Gidget goes to Hell
Oh oh oh oh oh (etc.)
Gidget goes to hell

She's the center of attention
As she runs into the waves
Paddles outside
Waiting for the big one
Bigger than she knows
Flashing white g strap
Bloody bikini

Oh Gidget goes to Hell
Oh oh oh oh oh (etc.)
Gidget goes to hell

Here's their other hit Janitor (with one of the best choruses evah!!!!)

Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist and Martyr

Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings forth good tidings of good, who published salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Mark the Evangelist brought good tidings which continue to change lives. In the NRSV the ευανγγελιον Μαρκον opens "The beginning of the Good News of Jesus, Christ, the Son of God" while other English language versions use the English word "Gospel" in place of "Good News." From this beginning all other stories of Jesus' life were called Gospels. The gospel attributed to Mark is the earliest of the canonical gospels.

As is usually the case with these early saints, especially the Apostles and Evangelists, we know very little about St. Mark. According to St. Paul's letters and the earliest accounts taken from the bishops Papias, Hippolytus, and Eusebius, John Mark was the cousin of Barnabas. He actually set out with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey but tuned back for some reason. Paul was so upset with Mark's leaving that he wouldn't let him accompany them on another journey, and the disagreement became so sharp that Barnabas left Paul to go with his cousin Mark. The breach between Mark and Paul was healed later, and Mark spent some time with Paul in Rome, where he also spent time with Peter (another person who aggravated Paul). According to tradition, Peter's recollections of his life with Jesus were the basis for Mark's gospel. There is another tradition that Mark was the young man who lost his sheet at Jesus' arrest and ran off naked.

According to tradition, St. Peter sent Mark from Rome to preach the Good News in the areas around the Adriatic. Every where he went he established Christian communities which became churches. St. Peter then consecrated Mark a bishop and sent him to Egypt. After spending some time visiting the coastal cities of Pentapolis, preaching and baptizing and setting up churches, the Holy Spirit led Mark to the city of Alexandria, a very intellectual city, a city with the largest library in the Greco-Roman world. He started several churches in Alexandria and established a catechetical school. This school produced folks like Clement, Dionysius, and Gregory the Wonderworker. My hero, Origen, taught at that school. Many in authority were unhappy with the spread of Christianity in that city, and set out to murder Mark. He heard about the plot and ordained Anianus bishop, then took-off for Pentapolis again. He strengthened the churches he started there and then traveled throughout Northern Africa, bringing the Good News of forgiveness of sins and the coming of the Reign of God to remote parts of Libya and Ammonicia.

The gospel attributed to Mark is my favorite gospel. Many people are very fond of the mysticism of the Gospel of John, or they love Luke's gospel with its angel visitations, or Matthew's use of Hebrew scripture and exegesis, but I love Mark, and not because it's the shortest gospel! Mark gets right to the point: "This is the beginning of the Good News of Jesus, Christ, the Son of God." He starts with John the Baptizer preparing the way of the Lord, he moves on to Jesus' baptism and the start of his ministry. In just a few verses he has Jesus calling disciples and healing the sick, casting out demons and proclaiming the coming of the Reign of God. Mark doesn't need angel visitations to prove that Jesus has a divine nature, and he doesn't need the visit of the Magi to prove that Jesus is a king; for Mark, Jesus is both human and divine because he is the Messiah. Jesus performs miracles of healing throughout Mark's story. Jesus turns everything upside down in Mark's gospel but whenever someone realizes Jesus' true nature, he tells them to keep quiet; this is called the "Marcan Secret." Even though Jesus' miracles showed that he was the Messiah, no one was to say it aloud because Jesus' arrest, death and resurrection would prove that he was the Messiah. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus heals the sick as a sign of the Reign of God, he casts out demons as a sign of the Reign of God, he eats and drinks with sinners and outcasts and proclaims forgiveness of sins as a sign of the Reign of God. Jesus defeats death and rises from the dead as a sign of the Reign of God.

Seeing the Resurrected Christ transformed the lives of the disciples, the life of James, Jesus' brother, and the lives of all who saw him. The witness of these people and the story they told transformed the lives of all who heard it and believed. If Mark was the guy who lost his sheet, he was one of Jesus' early followers and he may have been one of the five hundred who saw the Resurrected Christ at one time. We know that his life was transformed and that he was willing to travel to the Adriatic and Northern Africa to tell the story of Jesus. Mark's life was changed by the Resurrected Christ and he, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote an account which allows people to meet the Resurrected Jesus to this day. Mark's witness, though his gospel, continues to help transform lives, and his account even helped inspire Matthew and Luke, so the glad tidings he brought were passed on to others through the works of the other Evangelists. Mark wasn't writing an historical document as we in our era understand history; he was writing the Good News of Jesus, Christ, the Son of God. He was writing an account of salvation, not an historically accurate, day-by-day reporting of the life and activities of Jesus. St. Mark was telling the people of his time and in the times to come the story of how God intervened in history, how the Creator of the universe decided to come among the creation and bring it hope, renewal, and the defeat of death. Mark wanted to tell the story of how God became a human being, lived and laughed and loved and suffered among us, ultimately suffering death as a common criminal, yet rose again and changed the lives of those who believed.

Here is an account of the martyrdom of St. Mark, adapted from the Menology of St. Dimitri of Rostov:
"The approaching celebration of Pascha coincided that year with the festival of the pagan god Serapis, drawing scores of idol-worshippers to the city. As St. Mark was celebrating the divine service, a mob of pagans broke into the church and seized their prey. The holy Apostle was bound with a rope and dragged through the streets of the city, as his captors shouted mockingly, 'We're taking the ox to the stall!' He was thrown into prison, his body lacerated by the sharp stones over which he had been mercilessly dragged. That night an angel strengthened him for his final trial. 'Slave of God, Mark, thy name is written in heaven in the Book of Life. Thou hast been numbered among the holy apostles, and thou wilt be remembered unto ages of ages. Thou wilt rejoice with the powers on high, and on earth thy precious relics will be preserved.' Then the Lord Himself appeared and said to the Saint: 'Peace to thee, Mark, My evangelist.'

In the morning the Saint, a rope tied around his neck, was again led through the streets like some dumb beast, accompanied by a great crowd of jeering pagans. Utterly spent, the meek sufferer eventually collapsed and his soul, released from its earthly tabernacle, ascended to heaven. The pagans, not content with having killed the Saint, wanted to destroy also his lifeless body, but they had scarcely lit the bonfire that was to have consumed the body before there was a mammoth thunderclap; the earth shook and the sky loosed a storm of hailstones. The fire was quenched and the pagans dispersed, allowing the Christians to come and collect the sacred remains of their martyred bishop and father in the Faith. These they placed in a stone coffin in the place where they gathered for common prayer."

As Christians, we still meet the Resurrected Christ, and the Resurrected Christ still transforms lives. And we are able to do this because God the Holy Spirit inspired this young Jew, John Mark, to write down the remembrances of St. Peter. Because Mark wrote down the story of the women's visit to the tomb, because he wrote down the stories of Jesus healing the sick and casting out demons and proclaiming the Good News, people are open their lives being transformed by the Resurrected Christ. Mark was a martyr, a witness, and the gospel which bears his name has witnessed to people throughout the centuries.

From Rome St. Mark was sent by St. Peter to preach the Gospel in those regions bordering the Adriatic.  His ministry was fruitful; everywhere churches were established. St. Peter then appointed Mark bishop and sent him to Egypt.

After sojourning for a time in the coastal cities of Pentapolis, and bringing many there out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of faith, the Evangelist was led by the Holy Spirit to sail east to Alexandria.  As he reached the city gates, one of his sandals broke.  A cobbler, in trying to fix it, punctured his hand with his awl.  St. Mark made a paste of some earth mixed with his spittle and applied it to the bleeding wound with the words, "In the name of Jesus Christ Who lives forever, be thou whole!"  Immediately the blood stanched and the wound closed. The grateful cobbler insisted on inviting St. Mark to his home, where he questioned him closely: "Who are you and what is your business, and who is this Jesus Christ?"  St. Mark proceeded to expound the gospel, which so impressed the cobbler that he and his household asked straightway to be baptized. The Apostle took this as an auspicious sign, and he was not mistaken.

There in Alexandria St. Mark established a catechetical school which produced many great apologists for the Faith: Clement, Dionysius (of Alexandria), Gregory the Wonderworker, and others.

The pagan leaders, infuriated by the progressive spread of Christianity in their domain, conspired to kill St. Mark.   On learning of their evil resolve, the Apostle ordained Anianus bishop and fled to Pentapolis.  He strengthened the Church he had established there earlier and brought the Gospel to more remote parts of Libya and to Ammonicia.

Returning to Egypt, St. Mark continued his apostolic labors, rejoicing in spirit at the abundant harvest of souls.   At last, however, the pagan leaders, bitterly resenting his authority, found opportunity to kill him.

The approaching celebration of Pascha coincided that year with the festival of the pagan god Serapis, drawing scores of idol-worshippers to the city.  As St. Mark was celebrating the divine service, a mob of pagans broke into the church and seized their prey.   The holy Apostle was bound with a rope and dragged through the streets of the city, as his captors shouted mockingly, "We're taking the ox to the stall!"  He was thrown into prison, his body lacerated by the sharp stones over which he had been mercilessly dragged.  That night an angel strengthened him for his final trial. "Slave of God, Mark, thy name is written in heaven in the Book of Life.  Thou hast been numbered among the holy apostles, and thou wilt be remembered unto ages of ages.  Thou wilt rejoice with the powers on high, and on earth thy precious relics will be preserved." Then the Lord Himself appeared and said to the Saint: "Peace to thee, Mark, My evangelist."

In the morning the Saint, a rope tied around his neck, was again led through the streets like some dumb beast, accompanied by a great crowd of jeering pagans.  Utterly spent, the meek sufferer eventually collapsed and his soul, released from its earthly tabernacle, ascended to heaven.  The pagans, not content with having killed the Saint, wanted to destroy also his lifeless body, but they had scarcely lit the bonfire that was to have consumed the body before there was a mammoth thunderclap; the earth shook and the sky loosed a storm of hailstones.  The fire was quenched and the pagans dispersed, allowing the Christians to come and collect the sacred remains of their martyred bishop and father in the Faith.  These they placed in a stone coffin in the place where they gathered for common prayer.  Later, in the ninth century, Islamic incursions caused the relics to be transferred to Venice, where they are preserved to this day in the magnificent basilica dedicated to this holy Apostle and Evangelist. Compiled from The Lives of the Holy Apostles (from the Menology of St. Dimitri of Rostov), Holy Apostles Convent; the Life of St. Mark by Nun Barbara in Pravoslavnaya Zhizn, Jordanville; and The Prologue of Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich, Lazarica Press.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Feast of St. George, Martyr

Today is the feast of St. George, martyr. George, along with Christopher, was one of the fourteen "Auxiliary" or "Helper Saints", those saints who's prayers were most effective on behalf of humanity. George is the patron saint of several countries, including England, Canada, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Palestine, and Portugal. At one time there was some doubt about his existence but most historians believe he did exist, although the stories about him are obviously apocryphal. What we do know is that he was born the late third century to a Christian family in Cappadocia. His father was an officer in the Roman army and his mother was from Lydda, a city in Palestine. George's father died when he was very young and he returned with his mother to Lydda where he received his education. He followed in his father's footsteps and became a Roman soldier. He was a good soldier and rapidly rose through the ranks. By his late twenties he gained the rank of Tribunus or Tribune (an elected office), and then Comes, or Count (Companion of the Emperor). He earned the rank Comes while stationed in Nicomedia as a member of the personal guard of the Emperor Diocletian. In the year 303, Diocletian initiated a persecution of Christians throughout the Roman empire, a persecution which was continued by Galerius during his own reign as Emperor (305-311 C.E.). Diocletian's decree stated that those who denied Christ would receive royal honors while those who refused to deny Christ would be executed. When Comes George received these orders, he "came out" as a Christian, even mocking those who were deluded enough to worship idols. George's refusal to follow orders and his criticism of the royal decree enraged Diocletian, who ordered George's arrest, torture, and execution. After being whipped and tortured on a wheel of swords, George was decapitated on April 23, 303 C.E. Tradition states that the Empress Alexandra and a pagan priest, Athanasius, both witnessed George's martyrdom and were converted by his example, which resulted in their martyrdom, too. George's body was eventually returned to Lydda where his tomb became a place of pilgrimage and many miracles were attributed to his relics. He was canonized by Pope Gelasius I in 494. The Crusaders returned to Europe with the story of St. George and the Dragon. As far as I can tell, the original references to St. George and dragons have their roots in the Passion of St. George, in which the main antagonist, the governor Dadianus, is also referred to as "the dragon" and "the evil dragon of the abyss" several times in the story. The story of St. George was elaborated in The Golden Legend a collection of the lives of the saints from the Medieval era which is not historically accurate but full of great stories. I'm going to re-tell the story of St. George's martyrdom according to The Passion of St. George. WARNING: LONG STORY FOLLOWS!

Long ago, the governors of the world began a persecution against the Church. They arrested many priests and bishops and dragged them to the altars of idols and tried to force them to offer sacrifice to devils. The governor Dadianus, who had acquired dominion over the four corners of the earth, sent a decree throughout the world stating: "A rumor has come to my ears that He to whom Mary gave birth is the God who alone is to be worshipped and that Apollo and Poseidon and Hermes and Astarte and Zeus and Uranus and Herakles and Scamandros and all the other gods are not to be worshipped at all, only this Jesus. Therefore I call all the governors of the world to come to me to learn the decision of my power in this matter. We will be putting this rumor to rest!" So the seventy governors of the world and their entourages came before Dadianus. Dadianus demanded that all the instruments of the torture chamber be brought before the governors: the brazen bed, the bone smashing choppers, the iron rods, the wheels with knives fixed to them, the wooden horses, the iron gloves, the wooden gloves, the tongue-slitting knives, the tools for pulling out teeth, the iron bone-borers, the sharp saws, and all other implements of Cruel Torture (they forgot the Water Boards). And Dadianus swore an oath, saying: "Anyone who refuses to worship the gods will be tortured and killed. I will break in the towers of their hearts, I will smash their heads, I will cut out their brains with sharp knives, I will saw off their shin bones, I will tear open their bodies and I will cut their limbs from their bodies." This frightened everyone, of course, and even those who had considered becoming martyrs had second thoughts, and a whole three years went by without anyone daring to say "I am a Christian."

A young tribune from Cappadocia named George had come to the city to be made a count, but when he saw the governors worshipping idols he decided to become a soldier for Jesus the Christ and resigned his commission, sold all he had and gave the proceeds to the poor, and then came before the governors and said "I will only worship the One God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!" Dadianus said, "Everyone must sacrifice to Apollo, the saviour of the world, and to the gods, or they will be punished. Who are you and where do you come from?" George said, "The chief name I bear is 'Christian,' I am a Cappadocian by birth and was a soldier in a famous company. I performed my duties as tribune satisfactorily in Palestine. Who are the gods you would force me to worship, O king?" Dadianus replied, "Apollo and Poseidon." George responded, "I will speak for the righteous ones and against your dead gods, not for your sake, O Evil Dragon, or for the sake of your fellow governors, but for the sake of all the people here present who need to hear the truth. Whom would you have me honor, O king; Peter, the chosen one of the Apostles, or Apollo, who corrupts the whole world? Elijah the Tishbite who was an angel on the earth and was taken up to the gates of heaven, or Scamandros the sorcerer who led people astray and committed adultery with Demeter? Tell me, O king, to which of these would you give judgment: Samuel, who prayed to God and obeyed his commandments, or to Poseidon the destroyer of the ships of the sea?
Shall I honor Antaeus and Herakles, or the martyrs and prophets who wear crowns? Would you give judgment to Jezebel the slayer of prophets, or to Mary the Virgin Mother of my Lord, Jesus, Christ? Be ashamed, O king, for the things which you worship are not gods but deaf idols!"

Well, this was not what Dadianus wanted to hear, and, true to his word, he demanded that George be arrested. He commanded that George be hung on the wooden horse and tortured until his "bowels flowed out upon the ground." Then the soldiers laid him out and beat him with leather whips until the flesh of his body was torn in shreds, then they sprinkled salt upon his wounds. THEN they excoriated his body with hair sacks until his blood ran like water, but George was patient under these sufferings.

That night the Lord appeared to George and said, "Be strong and of good cheer, beloved George, for I will give you the strength to bear all these sufferings. I have made you lord over these seventy governors, and what ever you say shall happen to them. Look: you will die three times and I will raise you up again, but after the fourth time I myself will come upon a cloud and take you away to a place I have prepared for you. So be strong and do not be afraid for I am with you." Then Jesus embraced George and he and the angels returned to heaven.

The next morning Dadianus demanded that George be brought before him. George was singing "O God make speed to save us; O Lord make haste to help us!" He looked at the governor and said, "Governor, my Lord, Jesus Christ, and I have come before you and your stone Apollo." The soldiers didn't like his attitude and grabbed George, whipped him with leather straps and threw him back into prison. Dadianus could see that he had a challenge on his hands, so he put out a call for a sorcerer strong enough to fight George. A sorcerer named Athanasius came and answered the call and said, "O king, live forever! There is nothing I am not able to do!" As proof, he had an ox brought before him. He whispered a few words into the ears of the ox, and the ox was split in two! Scales were brought in and the parts of the ox weighed, and they were exactly equal in weight. Dadianus called for George and said, "George, you must vanquish Athanasius or he will vanquish you. You must kill him or he will kill you." George said to Athanasius, "Hurry brother, and do what ever you plan to do to me, because I see grace drawing near to you." Athanasius had an interesting technique: he took a cup, washed his face over it, invoked the names of demons over the cup and handed it to George to drink. George drank from the cup and nothing happened. Athanasius said to Dadianus, "Let me try again, and if I fail, I will become a Christian." He took another cup, washed his face over it, and invoked the name of demons even more evil than the first, gave the cup to George, who drank it without anything evil taking place (well, it probably didn't taste very good). Athanasius said, "George, you have the cross of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to save sinners; have mercy on my soul and give me the seal of Christ." When Dadianus heard that, he had Athanasius taken out and martyred, and threw George back in prison. This would become a pattern for the next few days.

The next morning George was brought before Dadianus. The governor had a huge wheel equipped with sharp nails and stakes. The upper part of it was like the edge of a knife while the bottom part was like a sharp two-edged sword. George looked at the wheel and thought, "Well, I'm not coming out of this alive!" Then he thought, "George, why did you let that fear enter your mind? Remember what Jesus said, that he is with you!" He looked up towards heaven and prayed one of those long prayers which are actually sermons for which the saints in these stories are famous. As soon as he finished his prayer and said "amen!" the soldiers threw him on the wheel, which went straight to work and broke his body into ten pieces. Dadianus turned to the governors and said, "Remember, guys, there is no god other than our gods: Apollo and Hermes and Zeus and Athene and Scamandros and Hephaistos and Herakles and Poseidon, from whose hands kings receive power. Where is the God of George? Where is this Jesus? Why hasn't he come and delivered him from my hands?" And he commanded that George's bones be taken outside of the city and thrown into a dry pit so that the Christians couldn't find them and build a martyrium over the spot, therefore attaching the guilt of the murder on the governors' hands. It was time for dinner and the seventy governors all gathered to eat. While they were in the banquet hall there was a great earthquake and the sky became dark and storms were on the sea. The archangel Michael blew his trumpet, and the Lord Jesus appeared on his Chariot of Cherubim and stood at the edge of the pit. Jesus sent Michael down into the pit, where Michael reassembled George's body. Jesus took George by the hand and filled him with life. He then embraced George and returned to heaven with his holy angels.
George went straight to the banquet hall and stood before the governors. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. Dadianus said, "I don't know. Who are you, then?" He responded, "I am George whom you had slain yesterday because you despise my God, the God who could destroy you in a moment!" Dadianus looked at George and said, "You aren't George; you are his ghost or shade or something." But general Anatolius, who knew George, said, "This really is George, who has risen from the dead!" He and his entire company, some three thousand and nine men, (and one woman from the multitude) were converted and believed in Christ. Of course, they did not make any points Dadianus, who had them all martyred. Then, angry that his dinner had been disturbed and that he had been shamed with George returning from the dead, he had George tied to an iron bed, poured molten lead down his throat, drove sixty nails into his head into the bed. THEN he had a great stone chiseled out to fit over his head, fastened it with lead, and rolled him from a high place, which severed his bones one from another. George bore these tortures with fortitude. Dadianus had the soldiers remove the stone, hang George upside down with a large stone tied to him, and then had a huge fire lit under him. THEN they threw him into a bronze bull full of nails which revolved and crushed his body but didn't kill him. The evening's dinner theatre being finished, George was tossed back into prison while Dadianus decided what to do next.

That night Jesus and the angels appeared once again to George. Jesus reminded George that he had already died once and that Jesus had raised him, and that he was to die two more times and Jesus would raise him two more times, but the fourth time Jesus would come and take him to the place he made for him. He told George that the governors would torture him for seven years, but to be strong and of good cheer. Then he and the angels returned to heaven. George, of course, was inspired by the Lord's visit.

The next morning George was brought before the governors again. A governor named Magnentius said, "George my boy, we governors need a sign which will prove that your God is the true God" (I guess George's resurrection wasn't enough!). He continued, "If you are able to do what we ask, we will all believe and become Christians." George asked what he wanted him to do. Magnentius said, "You see we have seventy thrones here, all with wooden legs; some made of the wood of fruit trees and others from trees with leaves. If you can cause the legs to bud, those from fruit trees with fruit and the others with leaves, we will believe you." So George got down on his knees and prayed one of those long prayers for which he was getting known. When he said "Amen," the chair legs began to bear fruit and leaves. Magnentius, being a jerk, said, "Herakles is a great god! He can manifest his power in dry wood!" George said, "How can you compare this blind and dumb idol Herakles with the God who made the heavens and the earth, who created all that exists and could destroy you in a moment?" Then Dadianus appeared and said, "Okay George, I've got it worked out; I know how I will destroy you!" And he had George sawed in two with a great saw(!). Well, George died instantly. Then, being the extremist he was, Dadianus had George's body thrown into a cauldron full of hot, molten lead, pitch, bitumen, and animal fat and had it all heated to a high heat until it all melted together, including George's body. Then he had his soldiers break the cauldron into pieces and the pieces taken outside the city and buried so that the Christians couldn't find any remains and build a martyrium.
While the soldiers were walking away there was a great trembling in the air and an earthquake and Jesus and the angels came down from heaven and stood over the place where the cauldron was buried. Jesus said to the angel Zalathiel "Bring up the cauldron." Zalathiel laid the cauldron pieces on the ground and Jesus said, "O George, my chosen one, arise! For I am he that raised up Lazarus from the dead, and now I command you to arise and come forth from the cauldron and stand upon your feet, for I am the Lord your God!" And immediately George arose as if he had suffered no pain at all, and Jesus said, "George, be strong and of good cheer. There will be great joy in heaven because of your contest. Remember, I am with you. You're going to die two more times!" And Jesus and the angels returned to heaven.

George headed back to town and went about the city teaching about Jesus, and he even performed quite a few miracles, which we can discuss another time, as this is going on and on. Of course, once Dadianus heard George was alive again AND that he was teaching and performing miracles, he had George arrested and flogged without mercy until his flesh was in pieces AND had a fire lit under him AND placed vessels of fire on his head and THEN hung him over iron pots of fire until he died. THEN he had his attendants take what was left of George's body to Mount Siris where the birds would devour his flesh. As the attendants were walking down from the mountain, there was thunder and lightening and the whole mountain shook, and Jesus and the holy angels came on a cloud, and Jesus said, "O excellent and chosen one, rise up from where you lie!" George rose up, dusted himself off, and chased after the attendants saying, "Hey, wait for me and I'll go back with you!" When the attendants saw George coming up behind them, they were astounded and fell to their knees and asked for forgiveness and for the seal of Christ. George baptized them all, and when they came before the governor they all said, "We are Christians!" to which Dadianus responded by having them all tortured and killed. Once again, Dadianus had George arrested. George decided to trick Dadianus and the governors, and he told them that, after being killed three times and tortured for the past seven years, he would finally do what they wanted.
They said, "We want you to worship Apollo and Herakles." George said, "Okay, I will." Dadianus was overjoyed and kissed George and brought him back to the palace and introduced George to his wife, Alexandra, the Queen. Then he went off and left the two alone (?!?). George spent time talking with her and converted her. Then George asked to be taken to the idol of Apollo. He challenged the demon which inhabited the idol. The demon made the idol get up off its pedestal and walk down the steps to confront George. They had a bit of a theological tiff, and then George stamped the ground with his foot and the abyss opened up and the idol and demon were cast into the pit.

When Dadianus heard that George had converted the Queen, and had destroyed the idol of Apollo, he had George condemned to death once again (novel idea!). George came rejoicing to site of his impending execution. The seventy governors and their entourages were gathered there to watch. George said to the soldiers who were holding him, "Brothers, let me pray for the seventy governors who have tortured me for the past seven years." George looked into heaven and said, "O God, who sent fire from heaven to Elijah to devour the prophets of Baal, I pray that you will send the same fire and devour these governors and those around them that none will be left alive. Thine is the glory for ever and ever, Amen." And fire came from heaven and burned up the seventy governors AND all their armies and attendants, the entire entourage, some five thousand people! Then George prayed that his name would heal all those inflicted by unclean spirits. When he was finished with his prayer, the Lord Jesus and the holy angels appeared to him and said, "Come up now into heaven and rest yourself in the dwelling which I have prepared for you in the kingdom of my Father. O excellent George, I will fulfill every thing which you have requested and many other things even greater than these." Then George said to the executioners, "Come and do what you have been commanded to do" and he stretched out his neck and they chopped off his head,
and water and milk flowed forth (which is pretty weird!). And Jesus took George's soul and embraced it and took it up to heaven.

So, there you go! That's the story of the Passion of St. George, somewhat abbreviated, as you don't have all day to be reading blogs!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last Night At Janet Levi's

We had our family Seder at Janet Levi's last night. No guests this year, just the Maduros, the Levis, and the Dresbachs. It was very nice. David Levi came once dinner started and Edwin, Emily's husband, arrived not long after David; he was late at the hospital (Emily, Edwin, and Essie are all doctors!). While we didn't exactly use the Two Minute Haggadah (but we did read it for laughs) we didn't read every psalm or Rabbinical commentary, either, which meant we got to dinner at a decent hour for once. It was a very nice, low-key evening.

Here are photos:

The Table

Folks at the table (from left to right: Essie, Martha May, Emily, Carlos, Janet, and the Lovely Mona; David and Edwin hadn't arrived yet).

Janet is an artist and here are some examples of her art

David is an artist, too. He makes furniture. Here are some of his chairs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

This Weekend At la Catedral de San Lucas

This weekend the congregation at la Catedral de San Lucas hosted a visit by the Rev. Canon Stephen Huber, Vicar of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He led a workshop on Congregational Development on Saturday, followed by a meeting with the clergy of the Diocese of Panamá on the subject of Liturgy As A Means of Evangelism. He was the preacher Sunday at Evensong at the Cathedral. It was great to meet him and talk with him. Here are some photos of the weekend.

Canon Huber leads the workshop


It was my birthday so the clergy of the Diocese presented me with a cake

Evensong at the Cathedral

Before the service


Censing the Altar

Padre Mickey chants the Apostles' Creed, Padre Nuestro, and the Sufferages (and Padre Nelson spots the paparazzi)

The Rev. Canon Huber preaches

The Peace

The Cathedral Choir

A presentation


The spread at the reception

Marva Nugent and friend

Alberto Buddle and Lupita Lenan

Adica Moore and Constance Blackman

Jo Ellen Nutter and Tía Sue

Padre, Canon Steve, and Ms. Sarah Simpson, Senior Warden of the Cathedral congregation

Bishop Julio Murray and Sarah Simpson

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Pesach

Muchisimas gracias for the birthday greetings.
Pesach began at sundown, and, in what has become our new Dance Party tradition (Stolen from our sistah Jane R.), we present the Two Minute Haggadah; A Passover Service for the Impatient.

Two Minute Haggadah:
By Michael Rubiner

Opening prayers:
Thanks, God, for creating wine. (Drink wine.)
Thanks for creating produce. (Eat parsley.)
Overview: Once we were slaves in Egypt. Now we're free. That's why we're doing this.
Four questions:
1. What's up with the matzoh?
2. What's the deal with horseradish?
3. What's with the dipping of the herbs?
4. What's this whole slouching at the table business?
1. When we left Egypt, we were in a hurry. There was no time for making decent bread.
2. Life was bitter, like horseradish.
3. It's called symbolism.
4. Free people get to slouch.
A funny story: Once, these five rabbis talked all night, then it was morning. (Heat soup now.)
The four kinds of children and how to deal with them:
Wise child—explain Passover.
Simple child—explain Passover slowly.
Silent child—explain Passover loudly.
Wicked child—browbeat in front of the relatives.
Speaking of children: We hid some matzoh. Whoever finds it gets five bucks.
The story of Passover: It's a long time ago. We're slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh is a nightmare. We cry out for help. God brings plagues upon the Egyptians. We escape, bake some matzoh. God parts the Red Sea. We make it through; the Egyptians aren't so lucky. We wander 40 years in the desert, eat manna, get the Torah, wind up in Israel, get a new temple, enjoy several years without being persecuted again. (Let brisket cool now.)
The 10 Plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice—you name it.
The singing of "Dayenu":
If God had gotten us out of Egypt and not punished our enemies, it would've been enough. If he'd punished our enemies and not parted the Red Sea, it would've been enough.
If he'd parted the Red Sea—(Remove gefilte fish from refrigerator now.)
Eat matzoh. Drink more wine. Slouch.
Thanks again, God, for everything.

It's Padre Mickey's Birthday!!!!!

¡Feliz Cumpleaños!
Este es el día que hizo el Señor;
nos gozaremos y alegraremos en el.

O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant Padre Mickey as he begins another year. Grant that he may grow in wisdom and grace, and strenghten his trust in your goodness all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Feast of St. Alphege, Bishop and Martyr

UPDATE AND DISCLAIMER I feel so bad about this. When I originally posted this on Saturday morning I was on my way out the door to the Cathedral for a long day. I thought that I had included a disclaimer, but it turns out that I had pasted the collect twice. I didn't write this piece. I found it when I was doing research on my own sermon about Alphege, which is no where as much fun as this, so I posted it. It was written by Percy Dearmer for "The Little Lives of the Saints" in 1904. I apologise for all who were mis-led. I wondered why I was getting so many compliments in the comments. Once again, I apologise for the mistake.

O loving God, your martyr bishop Alphege of Canterbury suffered violent death when he refused to permit a ransom to be extorted from his people: Grant that all pastors of your flock may pattern themselves on the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep; and who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

YOUNG Squire Alphege's mother wept much when her son left her to become a monk. For she was a widow; and now her only child was giving up his home, and all his father's estate, to go right away out of the world!

However, his mind was quite made up. Pleasures and honours must be forsaken, and all the jolly, free life in the woods: not even a mother's tears could stand in the way of the call which he was sure God had given him. It is often like that: the son goes out to begin life, brave and hopeful; the mother remains lonely at home, and her heart aches for the laughter that is no more heard about her table.

Deerhurst, in Gloucestershire, was the monastery to which he went; and there he found the first great surprise of his life. He had expected to be surrounded by self-denying monks, ever so much better than himself. But he found, instead, a careless, selfish set of men, who had forgotten the vows they had made, and thought only of being comfortable. It was a great temptation for a lad to fall into their easy ways; but he set himself quietly to keep the rules of the order; and he practised so much self-denial that after a while the other monks began to feel ashamed. One by one, they altered their way of life, till they all came to keep the rules as faithfully as Alphege himself. People soon discovered how good he was; and, when he was still quite a young man, he was made Abbot of Bath.

Very soon the great St. Dunstan heard about Alphege; and before the young abbot was out of his thirtieth year, he took him from the monastery, and made him Bishop of Winchester.

For twenty-two years Bishop Alphege laboured at his new work; and, so well did he care for the poor, that we are told there were no beggars in the Diocese of Winchester all the time he was there. Then he became head of the Church of England, as Archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 1006.

Now, at this time, England was in great distress owing to the ravages of the Danes. Ethelred the Unready was on the throne; and ever since he became king the fierce, long-haired Vikings had poured again into our unhappy country. First they came over in their pirate ships, but, by the time Alphege was Archbishop, they were established all over the land. They marched from one place to another, because Ethelred was too weak to withstand them; and, wherever they went, they plundered and killed, leaving nothing behind them but starving people and blazing cottages. They were mighty men, with shirts of mail, and iron caps on their heads; but the most terrible of all their weapons was the great two-handed axe, which had a blade a foot long and a handle nearly as tall as a man.

At last the Danes laid siege to Canterbury, where Alphege was. When the English thanes knew that the pirates were coming, they came to the Archbishop, and begged him to escape, while there was yet time, to a place of safety. But Alphege replied in the words of the Gospel, "The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." So he stayed on with his flock; and all through the dreadful siege he tended the sick and wounded, encouraged the people, and gave them the Holy Communion in their cathedral. For some time the besieged held out, till a wicked priest, whose life Alphege had once saved, betrayed the city to the Danes. The enemy rushed in through the gate, burnt the cathedral, sacked the houses, and took many prisoners, among them the King's Steward, the Abbess of St. Mildred's, and the Bishop of Rochester. As the Danes were slaughtering the poorer folk, Alphege came out and stood before them:

"Spare these innocent people!" he cried. "If you want to wreak your vengeance, spend it upon me. It is I who have reproached you for your cruelties, I who have fed and clothed and ransomed your victims. Take me!"

They made him a prisoner, and took him away with them to their ships. There for seven long months they kept him in chains, hoping to get a large ransom for his release. They refused to let him go free unless they were paid three thousand pounds, which was an enormous sum in those days. But Alphege knew that the poor English people had been already ruined by the Danes, and that many would be starved to death if they were taxed to raise so much money. So he sent word that not a penny was to be paid for his release. The greedy Danes became more and more angry as they found that they could make no money out of so great a prize as a real live Archbishop.

Yet some of these rough warriors were touched by his patience and gentleness. One of their leaders, Thurkill, was already almost persuaded to be a Christian (a Christian he did become afterwards); and a soldier named Thrim was converted by the prisoner, and confirmed by him at Eastertide.

The day after Thrim's conversion, the Danish fleet, with the prisoner on board, was lying in the Thames. That day they kept one of their feasts. They had bought great stores of foreign wine with the tribute money that they had extorted from the English; and soon they became very drunk. Then some one cried out that they must have more money to buy more wine, and so they must get the ransom out of the Archbishop.

"The ransom! The ransom!" went the cry round the Northmen's galleys; and a crowd of tipsy Danes came to the ship where Alphege's prison was:--

"Give us the ransom!'' they shouted.

The Archbishop stood up quietly before them, the chains clanking on his wrists. "I will give you nothing," he said. "No one shall pay a farthing for my life. Here I am to answer for it. Do with me as you please."

Then they seized him and brought, him to the shore at Greenwich. One after another the ships had landed their drunken crews, till all the shore was covered with riotous soldiers and sailors. They dragged the Archbishop to their hustings, where they were wont to assemble, and cried out again for the ransom. Then the good Thurkill stood forth before them all, and offered gold and silver anything he had except his ship--if they would spare the holy man's life. But they would not hearken to him.

And now the hour of martyrdom had come for Alphege. Around him the Danes rushed and reeled in their many-coloured tunics. The massive gold bracelets jangled on their swarthy arms, their rough hair tumbled over their wild, bloodshot eyes, and mingled with their long beards. They took up the bones of the oxen on which they had feasted, and with these strange missiles they pelted the Archbishop, as he stood before them, praying for their forgiveness and for his own poor scattered flock. At last he fell to the earth, but the drunken murderers had not thrown well enough to kill him outright, and he lay writhing on the ground in mortal agony.

Then Thrim, the soldier whom he had confirmed the day before, cried that if he must die he should not die in misery, and, running forward from the crowd, clave the saint's head with his great battle-axe.

Thus died, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, St. Alphege, the Archbishop; a martyr, not indeed for the Church but for the people, because he would not save his life at their cost.

On the morrow, when the Danes had come to them. selves again, they seem to have been sorry for their act; for they allowed his body to be taken with all reverence to St. Paul's Cathedral, where it was buried. Afterwards, when King Ethelred was dead, and Canute, the Dane, became King of England, the saint's prayers were answered; for the king and all his people accepted the Christian faith. And Canute had the body of St. Alphege brought from St. Paul's to his own cathedral at Canterbury, where it was laid in a costly tomb.

This post has been visited by irate members of the Alter Guild

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Tonight's debate is brought to you by Best-Lock Construction Toys™, the not-quite-legos-but-they'll-work blocks for cheap missionaries on a budget.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Good evening, and welcome to Padre Mickey's Dance Party Debate 2008. Tonight we will mock the U.S. political process deal with the Great Issues which threaten our community through a debate. The Dance Party Community is a placid, tranquil, imaginary fever-dream of a community, yet the pressing issues of Padre's lack of inspiration, the attempt at fame and fortune through the establishment of a Facebook Fan Page, the class warfare and discrimination between the Knick-knacks and Doggy Toys, not to mention the Telling of Terrible Jokes which took place for several weeks during Lent have caused some unrest.

Red Mr. Peanut BankTwo leaders of the Dance Party Community, Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, and Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love will debate these issues in hopes of bringing about closure and restoring peace.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Our moderators this evening are, from right to left, Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy, known for his strong opinions; ¡El Penguino!, resident smart-aleck and dear friend of the Mighty Moose of Vermont; and finally, Gallito Mescalito, whose contract requires that he appear in every episode of Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging to deliver his popular catch phrase. Good evening.
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up squeaky Kitty Toy Hey dere, Red Mistah Peanut Bank and people at home!
¡El Penguino! Muy buenas noches a todos.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Now our candidates will both give an opening statement. Instead of tossing a coin, we decided to go with the more traditional "Ladies First" option, just in case our mothers are watching. Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love? You may begin!

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Thank you, Red Mr. Peanut Bank. I thank you all for this opportunity to address our community in its time of need. The class warfare between the Knick-knacks and Doggy Toys came to a terrible head with the bad joke telling which took place during Lent. Most especially, the terrible Hippo jokes which not only degrade the Egyptian Museum Hippo community, but all knick-knacks everywhere. There is no reason for such treatment. Just because we knick-knacks live on the book shelf in Padre's office, while the Doggy Toy community lives on the floor throughout the Rectory, there is no reason to make nasty jokes about Hippos. As far as Padre's lack of inspiration is concerned, I think we should send him, the Lovely Mona, and Señorita Chompita Wiggletail, the Cutest Dog in All the Americas on vacation. They should probably take Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito with them.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Remember, it's not easy to crank these things out every week, so we should all get behind Padre Mickey and the Dance Party Community. Thank you.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Thank you, Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love. And now Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House has the floor.

Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Thank you, Red Mr. Peanut Bank, and good evening to all Dance Party denizens! The biggest threat to this community is the constant chewing, gnawing, tossing-about, tearing, ripping and stuffing-removal practiced by A Certain Dog, whose name I will not use, but whose initials are Señorita Chompita Wiggletail. No one is safe! Mr. Chompita's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy often spends his mornings being mauled by this dog. ¡El Toro! and Squeaky Gorilla have their moments, too. But I spend most of my time either being part of a tug-of-war between Padre and Chompita or quivering in fear that she will find me where she left me, on the couch. This is no way to live! The knick-knacks are safe on the book shelf, gathering dust, but we Doggy Toys live in constant fear of disembowelment. As far as Padre's lack of inspiration is concerned, I agree with the beautiful Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love; we should send them on vacation, especially Chompy!! Thank you for listening, and God Bless the Dance Party, and everyone should show unconditional love to Padre, like KJ, the Queen of the Dance Party!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Thank you, Bunrab. And now we open the floor to our moderators.

Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, youse done spoken out agin da dangers of da Chompy mauling which threatens each an' every Doggy Toy in da Dance Party community, and I commends ya for it. But dere is a nudder issue which is pressin' on me and I wants ta know yer anser to dis cuestion: Why don't you wear a flag lapel pin? 'Sup wit dat? Doncha know dat da terrist wins when ya don't wear a flag pin on yer lapel?

Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Well, in the first place, I don't have a lapel. I'm a soft-toy rabbit, a NAKED SOFT-TOY RABBIT, FER KRISSAKES!!! And exactly which flag do you think I should be wearing? I was made in China by slave labour and sold in Panamá to expat estadoünidense. Which flag-pin should I wear, Tibet's??!!!?!?!

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Geeze Loueeze, Cat! Did you think that question through first? We don't wear jackets, let alone lapel pins!!! What the heck's wrong with you?

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Hmmm, well, okay! We will now take a question from the audience. What is your question for the candidates?

Iggy Irene Hello! My name is Iggy Irene. I spend my days making blog comments and talking to this smiling Christmas Tree and annoying Dr. Val.
Smiling Christmas Tree Hiiiiiiii!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!!
Iggy Irene Quiet, tree! My question is for Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love. Do you think that the constant fear of Doggy Attacks makes it difficult for the doggy toys to understand the difficulties of the Knick-knack life-style and our dust allergies?

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Iggy Irene, I love your hair! But you gotta get rid of that tree!
Smiling Christmas Tree (off camera) Nooo! Merry Christmas!!!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love I think your question is very perceptive. How on earth can the doggy toys, who spend much of their day covered in doggy-spittle even understand the allergies which their betters suffer? I think that what is needed is a serious educational effort. And thank you for your question!!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!!! Who cares about your allergies? We're getting the stuffing pulled out of us!! Look how thin I am!!!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank We will now return to our August Table of Moderators.
Do you have a question, Gallito Mescalito?
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, we've met the terms of your contract. Do you have a question, ¡El Penguino!?

¡El Penguino! Yes I do. Thank you, Red Mr. Peanut Bank. I have a question for Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love, A van travels a maximum of 100 km/h. Its speed decreases in proportion with the number of passengers. The van can carry a maximum of seven people. Given that the van can travel 88 km/h with 3 people in the van, what will be the speed of the van when 6 people are on board?

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love I was told there would be no math.
¡El Penguino! Do you want a hint?
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love No. I was told that there would be no math. You have broken the terms of the agreement of the debate. I will not answer this question.

¡El Penguino! How about you, Bunrab?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Let's see: 100 - 3t = 88, 100 - 88 = 3t
t = 12/3 t = 4 km/h reduction in speed per person
When six persons are on board, the van travels at 100 - 6t = 100 - 6(4) = 76 km/h
¡El Penguino! Right! You've got my vote!!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love What vote? And I was told there would be NO MATH!!! And what the heck does that question have to do with anything around here? What is wrong with you moderators?

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well! We're going to take another question from the audience. Mr. Mighty Moose of Vermont?
Mighty Moose of Vermont Good evening. Bunrab, you have had the stuffin' pulled out of you, and you are barely recognizable as a rabbit. What is your plan for protecting Doggy Toys from the Wrath of Chompita?

Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House There is only so much a Doggy Toy can do. Let's face it; the fate of a Doggy Toy is to be played with by a Doggy. However, I do believe that Padre and the Lovely Mona could have protected me and stitched me up rather than take photos of Chompy's violent actions. They believe that doggy toys exist at the pleasure of doggies. I disagree.

Red Mr. Peanut BankThank you, Bunrab. Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love, do you have a comment?
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love No. Such is the life of the Doggy Toy.
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Let's take another question from the audience. Mr. Bowtie Bunny?

Bowtie Bunny Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, you are the filthiest toy in the house. Why, exactly, should I listen to your opinion on anything?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Well, we're both rabbits. And we're both soft toys. That should count for something.
Bowtie Bunny Well, while I am a soft toy and a rabbit, I have knick-knack status. I live on the frame of the mirror on Padre's dresser.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Bowtie Bunny, you are too clean to be a Doggy Toy. You should embrace your inner knick-knackiness and listen to me and the other Shelf-dwellers.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Okay, we're running out of time. I see that ¡El Toro! and Squeaky Gorilla are waiting in line. What are your questions?

¡El Toro! Er, I can't remember my question. This debate, if that's what you want to call it, is getting boring!

Squeaky Gorilla I wanna know why you guys skeek don't find a place on the shelf for us Doggy Toys so that we won't get ravaged by Chompita. skeek Why don't you snotty knick-knacks do dat?skeek,
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love What is that noise?
Squeaky Gorilla What noise? skeek, I don't hear anything. skeek And I'm asking the questions here!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House You do make a noise, Gorilla. And it's kinda annoying!
Squeaky Gorilla Well, I don't hear anything. skeek And watta'bout my question? skeek
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Sorry! No room on the shelf for noisy toys!!

Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy Ya needsta loin howta control yer skeekin, Gorilla!
Gallito Mescalito ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡SSSHHHHRRRRIIIIIEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!
Squeaky Gorilla I've had enough of your blabbin', Cat!! skeek,
¡El Toro! Bowtie Bunny, and Mighty Moose of Vermont Yeah! We've had enough, too!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy, Gallito Mescalito, and ¡El Penguin!, OH YEAH?!? WADDAYA GONNA DO 'BOUT IT???

scenes of implied violence

Gallito Mescalito ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡SSSHHHHRRRRIIIIIEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!
Mr. Chompy's Chewed-up Squeaky Kitty Toy I agrees wit you, boid! Let's git outta heah!!!!
The Others RUN!! YA CHICKENS!!!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well! That's it for tonight! It seems that the people have taken things into their own hands and have tired of the stupid, vapid, issue-less questions of the Mainstream Press!!! So, for Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love, Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House, and the entire Dance Party Crew, I wish you a good night and a safe return home!!

¡El Penguino! let's see if I can do this: ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡SSSHHHHRRRRIIIIIEEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!

I See You!

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