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Sic has new moral section, plus senility serenity prayer

Man in hot-air balloon has trouble navigating, drops below the clouds to get his bearings, sees man on ground.

“Can you tell me where I am?Ï the balloon man yells.

“You’re 60 feet off the ground in a hot-air balloon.”

“You must be a theologian,” the balloonist shouts.

“How did you guess?”

“Your information is correct but it’s of absolutely no use.”

“You must be a bishop,” man on ground shouts back.

“How did you guess?” Man in balloon is surprised.

“Because you don’t know where you are, you don’t know how you got here or where you’re going, and you think it is all my fault.”

(This came from Sursum Corda, newsletter of Chicago’s senior priests, who no longer need worry about bishops.)

* * *

Jacinta Mann of Greensburg says these are “actual” business signs:

On a front door: “Everyone on the premises is a vegetarian except the dog.”

On a butcher’s window: “Let me Meat your Needs.”

In a veterinarian’s waiting room: “Be back in five minutes. Sit! Stay!”

On the door of a computer store: “Out for a quick byte.”

Inside a bowling alley: “Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop.”

* * *

Several people wrote to apprise Sic that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were again strutting their stuff in San Francisco. “Drag queens with a habit threw an Easter party celebrating ‘two decades of decadence’ with wimples and whimsy,” an Associated Press story said. “The group is known for its campy carryings-on and farcical noms-de-nun,” such as Sr. Phyllis Stein, Sr. Ann R. Key, not to mention Sr. Sadie Sadie, the Rabbi Lady.

So who said vocations were down?

* * *

Big mergers are all the rage. Marjorie Roy of Topeka sent a clipping with a couple of new ones:

Computer giants Netscape and Yahoo have joined and the new company is to be called Net’n’Yahoo.

John Deere and Abitibi-Price likewise, the new company to be known as Deere Abi.

* * *

Sic, ever politically correct, admonishes readers not to say the following to those who irritate you -- unless you want to:

“The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.”

“I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.”

“I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.”

“I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.”

“I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.”

“I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.”

“Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.”

“How about never? Is never good for you?”

“I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.”

* * *

“The photo shows that we are ahead of the times here,” writes Ed Kelly. “Here” is the Philippines. The photo speaks for itself, whatever it says.

* * *

In recent elections Californians have referenda about nearly everything. Most of these are retrogressive and bad for what ails us. The Chicago Tribune referred to this tendency as Californication.

* * *

We come now to the moral theology section, a conundrum laden with poignancy and what might have been. John A. Lynch of Framington tells of a major but unnamed university magazine in which a graduate declines to donate to her alma mater, deciding to give instead to three other colleges, including one on the lawn of which she had lost her virginity.

She had tried to accomplish this at her alma mater but the student targeted “for this task” was “a Catholic who informed me he was saving himself for marriage.” Had the young man been “less steadfast,” she went on, her money might have gone to the university, a grateful gesture from a satisfied student.

This sheds new light on the identity of Catholic colleges.

* * *

Out of nowhere comes this senior citizen’s serenity prayer: “God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do like and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

National Catholic Reporter, May 21, 1999