The title of this post directly relates to the homily at our Easter Vigil mass on Saturday. Bear with me.
For the past few years, I've been going to Easter Vigil mass as opposed to the Sunday morning one. Last year, several of the Madisonian Catholics all went together, and since then it's become an expected thing, to the point where we made plans to go to mass together then go out for drinks afterward. This promised to be particularly interesting this year, as I had given up alcohol for the Lenten season, and Housefan (she of speakmemory, linked to the right, and one obsessed with Hugh Laurie) had been talking this up to the point where I felt like I'd be letting her down if I didn't get hammered. That's the context going in. But first, the mass.
Our coterie consisted of myself, Housefan and her husband the Wedding Singer (still not sold on that nickname, but I've used it before), CryptoJew and Tennessee Stretch (suck it, TS), and the Lady in Black, and of course we were all dressed up in our Easter finery. The mass itself ran the usual 2:45, with a few highlights:
1. The awesome cantor man who sings the opening chant (which lasts about five minutes). I never see this man except at Easter vigil, and despite the claims of my comrades, I believe they keep him locked in a closet for the rest of the year.
2. The usual Gloria, but in a higher key (fun for tenors, not fun for the bishop), which lessened the fact that it is an inferior Gloria, in that it has no understanding of proper phrasing.
3. The baptism of the new catechumins, which featured what can best be described as calliope music, during which I nearly made the Lady in Black burst out laughing just by exchanging a sardonic glance at their choice of instrument (with later reflection upon the sheer potential for trilling in the operatic style, reenactment available upon request).
4. The woman who gave her small children each a lit candle, which led to my fascinated guesses as to when they would set themselves or her on fire.
5. The bishop's wonderful homily, which deserves a bit of discussion. Our bishop enjoys the formula homily, where each homily deals with three points, all somewhat connected. It wasn't a bad homily per se, but I knew we were in trouble when he found it somewhat unusual that the first reading was Genesis 1, where God creates the heavens and earth. (For you non-Catholics, this is not at all unusual as it is the first reading every Easter vigil.) Now, our bishop went into an extended metaphor of the importance of the creation of light as precursor to all, thus mirrored by the internal light of the soul, yada yada yada. He sustained the metaphor, and it worked, but he began with this gem: "And how could God see this creation he had made, and see it was good? He could see it because he first made the light." Never mind the fact that God is, by nature, omniscient and omnipotent, and could see very well without any lights. Unless you imagine God wandering around blind in darkness for the timeless period before creation, and then suddenly realizing "Holy Me, I can't freakin' see! I should make a light, because I have that power! I truly am awesome, in the biblical sense of the word." That realization colored the rest of the homily for me, which was only made worse by his extended football metaphor in the third point. But oh well, as I said to my cohorts, at least he stayed away from the hating of the gays and the abortions this year.
After the mass' conclusion, the six of us retired to the Old Fasioned, a local purveyor of food and spirits, to celebrate the risen Lord. Holding true to my completely meritless theory that sticking with vodka will lessen my troubles the next morning, I decided to start our revels with a Ketel & tonic, which would prove to be my drink of choice for the evening. During the course of that night, we drank various amounts (with myself and the Wedding Singer greatly outpacing the others), we ate enough fried food to kill a non-Wisconsinite, and we told ribald tales of debauchery and insanity (as apparently I had never told the married couple my Harry Potter tale, that old chestnut was dragged out somewhat reluctantly, as I realize it's perhaps my most oft-repeated tale). During our time there, I believe I had three mixed vodka drinks and one straight glass of Grey Goose L'Orange, just for a change of pace. I fully intended to stop there, but then Nittany Lion called and said he was coming out, so I decided to keep drinking in celebration. I believe I had another K&T before he got there, then two more while he was there.
Naturally my memory is spotty toward the end of the evening (I have a horrible memory while sober, and being drunk only accentuates what I firmly believe to be a genetic defect). I remember leaving, but not paying, though I'm told I did (can't wait to see that bill on my credit card). I remember being driven home, but not the shouting in the streets that apparently I took part in. I remember getting home and eating the ears off my chocolate bunny (thinking it would lessen my drunkenness if I had food in my stomach). Apparently I watched an episode of Firefly (Borders Rewards Card, thank you), had the good sense to hang up my dress clothes, and passed out, contact lenses still in.
I awoke the next morn, luckily early enough to still make the brunch time I had set with CryptoJew, TS, and LiB, back at the Old Fashioned (where they serve a mean breakfast as well as their impressive bar). I woke to discover I was still of a less than sober state, took out my contacts (catching one in the holder and ripping it in half in the process, as I would discover later), and took about a 45 minute shower to gather my wits. Sadly, my wits had other ideas. So I went to brunch, which was lovely, came home, rewatched the episode of Firefly I had apparently watched the night before, ate more of my bunny, and took a very long nap. I capped the day grading papers and eating for Easter dinner beans from a can, as I had nothing else that would sit well in my hungover state. Oh, and I got a phone call from my brother, who informed me that my mother, at the family party, was well on her way to achieving the state I had achieved the night before, along with her myriad brothers and sisters. I love my family.
Thus concludes my Easter tale. I only hope the actuality of events lived up to the hype. And to Housefan, two addendums to your post:
1. It's not that I'll drink anything in front of me, but that if you put a drink in my hand, I'll drink it quickly because it's there, regardless of whether it is mixed weakly or pure alcohol. It's my tragic flaw. Though I will also drink almost anything put in front of me, thanks to the training I received with Quantum et al. Partial list of things we drank at NU: margarita from a jug (just add you, chugging contests), Jeremiah Weed Bourbon Liqueur, Jeremiah Weed mixed with Tabasco Sauce, Captain Jack Cuervo, the fruit punch made of the nine or ten bottles of Pucker Quantum had leftover (mixed in an unwashed cooler and ladled out with an empty cup), the crazy stuff Bourbon Samurai got at a gun show from a man with an unmarked jug, and the mead Uber260 made in his basement, fermented in tupperware containers (which we drank to the toast "Blindness and Death," and which luckily caused neither).
2. It wasn't a pint glass full of whiskey, but a pint glass full of five different kinds of whiskey (and a dash of cherry coke to delude ourselves into calling it a mixed drink).
Happy Holiday, all. Christ is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia. Unless you're Jewish. (Yes, I mean you Irish McJew.)