Dear Edna Mae,
Well, I must tell you what happened at our annual Christmas program this year. As you know, for the past 32 years, we at St. Thomas More....Or Less Parish have been staging our famous "Nativity Live" show during the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. It's always been a big hit here in Sarasota with the residents and visitors alike and we always make a great deal of money off the ticket sales, even after the Diocese skims its cut off the top.
Now when the circus had their winter home here, it was never any trouble getting the animals we needed for the performance. In the years since they left, it has been increasingly harder to find the right livestock to authentically portray the Christmas story. Thank goodness we have had any number of young trollops in the congregation over the years who get knocked up during the year and are about to pop in December so we don't have to worry about that role, at least!
This year, however, our string of good fortune ran out. In a BIG way!
Mr. Braselton Gumlog, from out east in Arcadia, has been supplying the animals for our shows for the last couple years. All was well until right before Thanksgiving, when his only camel, "Mr. Humpy", fell ill with a bad case of distemper. We were all in quite a pickle as to what to do, as this camel has been in our pagent for the last 17 years and had his part down pat.
Elsie Dahlonega of the Ladies Guild came up with the idea of putting people in a camel suit as a substitution. Father Rosenburg thought that to be a great idea and suggested using Sister Euthanasia and Ivey Hephzibah, since, he said, "those two have the spindliest legs I have ever seen."
No of us dared ask Father how he knew what Sister Euthanasia's legs looked like....
Well, they agreed to do it and, just so you know, they do have the spindliest legs that any of us had ever seen and they fit the camel suit perfectly. Or, at least, the bottom part of the costume. We found out that the only young person from the St. Thomas More.....Or Less Youth Group without a part in the pageant was that Talbotton boy--you know, the s-l-o-w one. But he was willing and, really, all he had to do was fill out the hump part of the camel costume. What could go wrong?
Let me tell you, dear sister, PLENTY could go wrong. And, it DID!!
First, Sister Euthanasiasays she has a "touch" of claustrophobia, but claims she can control it with a bit of "cough medicine." She must have had more than her usual "touch" of claustrophobia that night, because she had more than a bit of her "cough medicine"----a lot more. She was pretty well hammered at show time, but insisted she could walk like a camel, drunk or sober, so into the camel suit and down the aisle they went.
They were doing pretty dang well, too, until the part where they were supposed to kneel. Well, the way Ivey tells it, Sister was in the forequarters and lost her balance when she tried to stand back up and they crashed into the pew. The Talbotton boy ended up in the lap of that cute young thing, Glendora Flaut, who just howled up a storm about being violated by a dromedary.
Poor Sumner Leverett, who was playing the shepherd, yanked and yanked on the reins to get the camel with one drunken nun, a terrified 12-year old and poor old Ivey Hephzibah back on its feet. Sister Euthanasia was just cackling away and told Sumner that he could "pull all you want, but my butt is stuck between these two pews and it ain't comin' out unless you get of one of Connolly Tutwiler's tow trucks in here."
Well, it didn't take a tow truck, but it did take four deacons and Glendora's two uncles to get Sister, Ivey and the Talbotton boy out of the pews, back on their feet and out of the church.
Sister Euthanasia remembers little of what happened that night, poor Ivey has quit coming to church and the Talbotton boy has been arrested twice now for stalking the Flaut girl.
Father Rosenburg says that there is talk now that the camel's part will be cut from next year's pageant.