Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Bianca's Baptism

Little Bianca’s baptism day was filled with joy, laughter and alcohol fuelled merriment.

I spotted the proud parents Gordon and Anna and baby Bianca make their entrance just before I spotted Moree and his good wife turn the corner from their house into Cramwell Street and walk hundred metres to St Gerald’s church.

I was surprised to see Moree as he was well under way the previous evening and his wife informed me he would still be in bed had he had his way.

The sun shone on the cross on top of St Gerald’s producing a sparkling effect.

I became all emotional and thought about the Immaculate Conception.

I thought about the three lost men on donkeys trying to find Mary only to find the pub had the No Vacancy sign out when they did.

I followed Moree in and the priest greeted him with “Good morning sir, and where do you know Gordon from?” “I drink with him at the pub.” Moree replied.

That was the end of that conversation.

We settled into the stall like seating arrangement.

I believe they are called pews.

There was a hymn book and some other literature.

Moree involuntarily shouted out something inaudible and then followed that up with “Praise the Lord.”

He was shaking and shivering one minute and sweating the next.

Clearly he was in the dry horrors.

He turned to me and said “I have to give up the piss.”

What has brought this on I enquired.

You’re current surroundings or your current physical condition.

No reply – both I imagined.

I looked around the church.

Sinners galore.

Just thinking of the sins that I know of was horrifying let alone the ones that I don’t.

The church is obviously structurally sound.

I must have been the only person in the building who has not sinned.

By now we are singing hymns or psalms or whatever they are called.

Moree can belt out a tune but in his condition and given this is not really his genre it sounds bloody awful.

He points to where we are up to in the Hymn book.

I remain silent.

I spent the whole time biting the insides of my cheeks.

Moree is now mumbling about hypocrites and he is criticising the theme of the service.

I can’t help but agree.

“If someone offers you food for no reason refuse it “says the priest.

It is time to take the children out the back for what now appears to be known as Kids Church.

It was Sunday school in my day.

The world has gone soft.

They go out the back where there is a mini playground.

In my day you had to recite the part of the bible you were taught the week before.

If you couldn’t you would get a belting.

No wonder there is so much crime these days.

I ask Moree jokingly if the psalm numbers on the wooden board are the Tattslotto numbers.

No you dickhead he replies. “That is the amount of days the church has gone without a workplace accident.”
Now it is time for the baptism.

Moree hip and shoulders me out of the stall – he needs a cigarette.

As they begin the baptism Moree questions what the priests get up to during the week.

“What do you mean” I ask.

You know what I fucking mean he says.

I would put money on it he is right.

We are back inside the church just as the baptism is finishing.

Everyone else return to their seats.

I stay put.

I decide I will watch the rest of the proceedings from the back of the church.

I am concerned about the structural integrity of the church.

The congregation is singing.

Standing up or sitting down as orchestrated by the priest.

Moree, in his confused state, is the only one standing and singing.

It is a hilarious sight.

Finally the service is over and everyone gathers outside smoking cigarettes as they do at funerals.
The plan is to move on to the Community Hall for refreshments.
Moree tells his wife that I will escort her back to their place to collect the wine and the present.

This is news to me.

Discussion ensues and Moree runs off after the wife.

Eventually we all gather at the Community Hall and pizzas arrive from across the road.

By now Moree has consumed two bottles of red and the colour is returning to his cheeks.

Jacko decides to make a speech. “I grew up around here .....” Moree heckles Jacko.

Jacko heckles Moree back.

Moree’s wife tells Moree to keep quiet during the speeches.

A tree planting ceremony then takes place in the park next to the Community Hall.

Gordon and Anna’s house is next to the park.

The tree planted hard up against the wall of the house which prompts Moree to note that the tree will lift the house up.

I go home to potter in the garden.

A quick reconnoitre of the manor about 5.30 pm reveals that the police could have helped their ‘benchmarks’ by loading drunks into those enclosed vans with the locks on the back.

I enter the Shipmakers Arms to find Moree delivering the same sermon delivered earlier in the day in the style of Garner Ted Armstrong.

Moree would make a very good evangelist.

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