No one makes me laugh as much as my little brother does. No one makes me, or anyone else for that matter, laugh at inappropriate moments and places as much my brother does. He related one particular instance, when he and his roommate at the Air Force Academy went to Easter Mass at the USAFA Chapel. At some point they were tapped on the shoulder by an usher and asked to take up the gifts to the altar. They served out their duty with dignity and then got back to their pew where Chad started in.
“We got THE CALL. You get the call and you’re solid with God for like a month.” Of course this is cracking up his roommate, Mike, so Chad won’t let it go. “AND it’s Easter. You get the call on Easter, you’re good for the whole year.”
And so it went until neither of them could stop giggling like schoolgirls.
Fast forward a few years to Midnight Mass at St. Fidelis Church. Barry and I had only been married for a few months and this was the first Christmas we’d spent together with my family. He was already a little taken aback that we were going to church after Christmas Eve festivities which included a few adult beverages. I explained that in the German Catholic town of Victoria, Kansas there was a reasonable chance that even the priest had at least a beer or two before Mass.
He was even more perplexed by my behavior after what happened later. The guy ahead of us got tapped on the shoulder by an usher to help take up the collection. Chad started in with the “he got the call” business and we started giggling. He kept at it and we were both laughing as Barry and my sister looked over at us wondering what was going on. Then when the guy came to our pew with the basket Chad looked at his blue jeans and E.N.U.F. sweatshirt and said, “Bet that guy wishes he’d put on a shirt and tie tonight.”
Well that was it, I started going into heaving convulsions trying to stifle my laughter. Of course Chad saw this and wouldn’t stop. “Hey, I’ll just swing into Midnight Mass after hanging with the townies at the bar and sit in the back, what’s the worst that could happen? No one will pay attention to me. ENOUGH!” We were a complete mess and started to draw attention as our attempts to control ourselves only resulted in involuntary spasms of laughter and snorts. Barry and Kim continued to look over at us and as I attempted to explain the etiology of this outburst of silliness it just really didn’t seem all that funny and they clearly regarded us as you would a circus sideshow, with a mixture of pity, confusion and disdain.
My point in going on about all of that was that our family got “the call” at Mass this morning.
And as we handed the bread, water and wine to the Deacon at the altar I thought about how really glad I was that I made Cameron change out of his Shaun White alien monster playing guitar tee-shirt before we left the house.