Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Mouth of Orlac

I have something of a social disability: My mouth has a tendency to answer people before my brain has woken up and realised that someone is even talking to me.

This unfortunate tendency is, indeed one of the things that attracts me to blogging - I can edit my comments before releasing them to the world. There have been occasions in my life when I have sorely wished this could be done with spoken comments.

In particular, there was the unfortunate incident with the nun and the crucifix. The Jesuit college at which I used to teach had, as is the way with Jesuit educational institutions, rather gaudy painted crucifixes of considerable size fixed to the wall, over the blackboard, in each lecture hall or classroom.

Coming in to class on the first day back after the Easter break, I was confronted with a dozen or so of my students who had turned up early (or more likely had been hanging around after an earlier class). Without planning, forethought - or indeed wisdom - I greeted them merrily with "Did you have a good Easter?"

So far so good.

I then turned to the crucifix and enquired "And did you have a good Easter?"

Most of them laughed in a slightly shocked manner. The main exception was the nun in the front row, who was clearly trying to judge my combustibility for a public heretic-burning.


No Good Boyo said...


I was going to recount a similar tale by here, but have adjudged it so ace that I shall post it on my own web blog. These are recessional times, my friend.

Wordver: "tubalje". Afrikaans; obs. To be found with the reproductive organs of a person of a different racial orientation in your mouth in the Port Elizabeth area.

Gyppo Byard said...

The Port Elizabeth area or one's own "Port Elizabeth area"?

scarlet-blue said...

Blimey, I wish I had the foresight to edit my written comments...

word veri:antsw - which is apparently something to do with ants. They give me the easy ones...

Kevin Musgrove said...

You have my sympathy. Psychlogically, I have a tendency to spectate so this helps me filter out most of the worst. Every so often one will escape, though, especially if I'm tired or feeling very stressed. It makes for some interesting interview conversations!

xleordsm: a lignum deficiency in fuchsias.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Clearly the wrong sort of nun, Gyppo! (I laughed. Spontaneously, and quite a lot. And I reckon there's a perfectly sound religious point that a nun could have made - it's called "Good Friday", for heaven's sake.)

Wordver: "aness". Norwegian for some pathetic yoghurt drink that they enjoy up there.

Gyppo Byard said...

Boyo - Darn you! Darn you to heck!

Scarlet - reading your stream of consciousness is much more interesting, though.

Kevin - examples, please!

Gadjo - She was a "Little Sister of St Joseph" from Manado, which is clearly the wrong sort of nun. No sense of humour. I also encountered Faithful Companions of Jesus (Jesuit plainclothes working nuns), who are far jollier as a rule; and also a very japesome Franciscan nun from a tribe formerly known for head-hunting.

While we're still on the subject of Catholic women, I also learnt by bitter experience not to use the phrase "Take, eat, this is my body..." in a non-liturgical context. I never saw her again...

Scaryduck said...

inudly: descriptie of removing one's clothing.

That is all.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

I'll say he had a good fucking Easter - not only did he get well and truly nailed, we're still talking about him 2000 years later because of it.

librarylizzie said...

FCJ nuns...jollier?....Jollier than what? Not at my school they weren't. Well, except for the really, nice, little, old one who worked in the convent, rather than teaching us. Oh.....hang I get why the others where a miserable bunch.

(and I larfed at your post, so that just goes to prove what my parents think...I am a useless catholic)

wv: ingly. A word to describe cute english cottages full of inglenook fireplaces?

Gyppo Byard said...

Mr Pop - would you like me to arrange for you to give a theology seminar making this argument to the complete collection of Jesuits at my old college?

Ms Librarian - thank you for dropping by. Bear in mind the FCJs I knew were a mixture of Indonesians and Australians; both groups of whom kept much of their native sunny disposition and no-nonsense earthiness. Yorkshire is, let's face it, and not denying its many goood points, not known for the sunny disposition and generosity of spirit of its natives.

librarylizzie said...

Worse still, Gyppo, I am merely passing through Yorkshire (although it has taken 14 years so far..)these were London FCJs. In fact...lets be honest, they were mostly Irish FCJs

wv: hylst

Gyppo Byard said...

Well, judging by the Irish nuns I've met they're not exactly full of joie de vivre either.

I have, in the interest of furthering my daughter's catholic education, taught her the best song about nuns ever writeen:

Kevin Musgrove said...

Yorkshire nuns. "Kyrie eleison, si'thee by 'eck."

Wisessi: the lost tribe of the Silures, found selling Crawford Cheddars in a lock-up in Crick.

Gyppo Byard said...

Kevin - a new meme starts!

Yorkshire nuns: "Oh Lord - thee paid 'ow much for us sins? Eeeeee - thou were't ripped off!"

No Good Boyo said...

"On Golgotha baht 'at."

I recall a relative of your once passed through Yorkshire the hard way, Gyppo, when he test-fired that trans-Penine artillery piece he'd designed.

Oblencei: Latin for a bunch of Russian aristocratic loafers.