e-mail us


Sic fails to find Satan, goes chasing other demons

Satan update: At the end of the last column, Sic had met a man of dubious provenance. It wasn’t, after all, the devil. The search continues.

* * *

In case you missed theologian Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” recently, he said: “The Christian Coalition has no more to do with Christianity than the Elks Club has to do with large animals with antlers.”

* * *

In September, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, wrote to Kenneth Starr offering him a job. “I am impressed by the salacious and voyeuristic nature of your work,” Flynt explained. “The quantity and quality of material you have assembled ... contained more pornographic references than those provided by Hustler Online this month.”

* * *

Wally Crowe from Albuquerque overheard this high-tech phone conversation:

Hi, this is Celeste.

If you are calling God the Father, dial 1. If you are calling God the Son, dial 2. If you are calling God the Holy Spirit, dial 3.

However, just now (earthly time) all three are in executive session, so if you want to leave a message of praise or thanks, do so when you hear the buzzer. If you have a petition for God the CEO, spell it out when you hear the gentle bleeper. If you have an airy-fairy, far-out message for the Holy Spirit, whisper when you hear the blower ...

* * *

Mary Wooton sent pages from The Maui Bulletin with little ads:

“Divorced Catholics, seeking to remarry before a priest without hassle, need certified ex-priest.”

“FCM certifies ex-priests to marry divorced Catholics wanting to remarry without hassle, legal” (followed by phone number).

Does Cardinal Ratzinger know?

* * *

A tourist in a Vienna graveyard hears music, searches, finds it’s coming from the grave of Ludwig van Beethoven. Odd, the tourist thinks: It’s the Ninth Symphony but played backward.

He brings a friend, discovers it’s now the Seventh Symphony, also backward. The two dash off, come back with a music expert. It’s the Fifth Symphony now, but still backward. Odd, they all agree, and it’s the reverse of the order in which they were written.

By the following day there is a throng around the grave listening to the Second Symphony, backward. Along comes the cemetery caretaker. What’s up with Ludwig, they all want to know.

“He’s decomposing,” the caretaker explains.

* * *

Scientists in Oregon have unearthed a house they believe to be almost 10,000 years old, according to (we think) the LA Times. The report goes on: “They also uncovered compelling evidence that Kato Kaelin once occupied the guest suite.”

* * *

Anne Bedessem of Boonsboro wrote to congratulate This Space for exposing prejudice against left-handers. “Consider this,” she expostulates: “If we all wrote right, who would be left?”

* * *

From a parish bulletin in, Sic thinks, Minneapolis: “Are you missing anything? We have numerous kitchen utensils along with bowels, pans, etc.”

And a Brunswick parish, promoting the St. Charles Borromeo Christmas Fair: “St. Charles Barroom will hold its annual Holiday Fair on Saturday ... ”

But things get more testy at an Overland Park parish: “There was a table in the church foyer displaying Beanie Babies that will be raffled at our Fun Fair. Sometime during Mass, two of the Beanie Babies disappeared. This is a sad commentary on our community where trust is of the essence. If you have any information regarding the loss of ‘Erin’ and ‘Princess,’ please call the parish office.”

* * *

Instead of our typical cuddly Pic of the Week, we offer Church History 101. Sic has long been puzzled that the Roman curia uses church tradition selectively when it suits, but never mentions such traditional items as you see in this stark pic, taken by NCR’s John Allen, of the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg, Austria, home of the local archbishop, who for a thousand years was also the emperor and a no-nonsense guy.

The object lower left is a cincture with spikes that could ruin your day when it girded your loins. In the center is a face mask, with inside spikes. The long nose designed to dent the victim’s dignity seems superfluous. The other objects -- well, you get the picture.

Admit it: Compared with church tradition, Cardinal Ratzinger is a pussycat.

* * *

And one of the last great relics of Catholic America, the football scores, as announced in The Palm Beach Post: “Pope John Paul stifles Cardinal Newman, 28-14.”

* * *

“The only chance is a brain transplant,” the doctor explained. “But brains are very expensive.”

“How much?” the relatives asked.

“For a male brain, $500,000, for a female brain, $200,000.”

The relatives stood around in shock. “But why the difference in price?” someone asked.

“Standard pricing practice,” the doc said. “Women’s brains have to be marked down because they’re used.”

National Catholic Reporter, November 20, 1998