My mother spends a great deal of her spare time involved with this activity and really finds this work both interesting & personally rewarding whereas my father looks upon it as a complete waste of time for an organization who seems to 'always have their hands in a mans' pocket for one thing or another', as my father puts it.
Well this week Dad seemed to change his attitude a little towards the church when Mom arrived home and declared she had won the Church raffle and the prize was to sit in one of the luxury suites for the next Calgary Flames hockey game, including dinner and all the drinks you wanted as well as limousine transportation. I think the retail value for this is a few thousand dollars.
Mom announced both Dad and I could go as she has little interest in sports whatsoever. And we were also allowed one guest each.
"Well, Well, Well!" Dad chuckled gleefully, rubbing his hands together. "This is certainly a much better prize then you brought home the last time you won something a few months ago. What was it anyway...some kind of old horse blanket or something?"
"It was a lovely duvet cover." Mom responded, correcting his statement. "And that was 5 years ago when I won that. "
"Honestly Simon, I know you have no interest in the church or the events they have hold but one would expect you would at least remember the dates correctly and not mock the prizes they give out. It is always hard to fundraise for the church at the best of times and in these difficult days for the economy, it makes it much more challenging to get good prizes & donations."
Dad could see that Mom was rather 'protective' of these church raffles so he wisely changed the subject back to the hockey game that we would be going to on Thursday.
"Well that's too bad you won't be going to the game, dear." Dad commented, looking over at Mom. "So I guess it will be just me and the boy here and our 2 guests."
"No, there are six in total." Mom advised. "The prize was for 6 tickets. I gave the other 2 tickets to the Reverend Green to go along as well. He is such a dedicated young man who spends all
his time working, I thought this would give him a nice break for a change."
Mom then left the room to go and finish preparing dinner. This was probably a good thing as she did not see the complete look of disgust on my face. I can't stand the Reverend Green whatsoever. Although I do not attend church regularly, every dealing I have had with the man makes me cringe. (my first unfortunate run-in with him can be read HERE )
He reminds me of a little yappy dog always going on about something or other and always wanting me to go to his church or donate money. Mom says he is just a little over-zealous is all, as he took over the church from his father a few years ago when the old Reverend Green retired. Mom claims he will 'come in to his own' one day and be fine.
Realizing that Mom was now in the kitchen and out of earshot, I turned to Dad to voice my displeasure with all of this.
"I can't stand that Damn Rev. Green." I spat. "Always preaching and yapping at a guy. He doesn't know when to shut-up. I don't think I will go to this game if that '4-eyed weasel' is going."
"Don't be ungrateful, boy." Dad responded. "You should show respect and listen to the Reverend, after all he is a 'man of the cloth' and if not for him, at least for your poor mothers sake. Anyway he's not that bad a guy, a lot better than that blow-hard father of his, the Old Reverend Green."
"You're only saying that because the young one doesn't bother you much about attending church, he's scared of you." I protested. "He's intimidated after you told him off once about treating elders with respect & not bothering them."
"HAHA" Dad responded, laughing aloud. "Yes, that put him in his place alright. Won't even look me in the eye now, he's so nervous. That's how I like it to be with these religious types - seen but not heard. HA HA."
So Thursday evening came around which was the night of the hockey game, and we were all to meet at my parents' house as that was where the limousine was going to pick us up from.
Both myself and my buddy John got over there around 5:30 as the limo was due to arrive at 6:00. We decided that we could not overly indulge in boozing during the game as I am sure the 'little weasel' Green would be observing every move I made so as to make a full report to my mother and I would then never hear the end of it.
Dad and his friend 'old Pete' were sitting in the living room having a couple of 'pre game' beers and joking and laughing rather loudly. I know Dad was looking forward to seeing both the game and my uneasiness about the evening.
"I hope you two aren't going to be drinking like that all night." Mom announced sounding concerned, looking at the two 'elderly teenagers'. "Whatever will poor Reverend Green think of you?"
"Let him think what he likes." Dad responded defiantly as he snapped open another beer. "Me and Pete here will give him a show to remember. HAHA! But the Reverend won't say anything, that's for sure. He's pretty quiet around me. Not like that old windbag father of his. Wish he would have retired years ago. Anyway the Reverend will be too busy trying to knock some religion into the boy over there - HAHA! It will be great!"
Before Mom could reprimand Dad and Pete any further, the doorbell rang and in walked Reverend Green.
He came around and greeted all of us, shaking everyone's hand until he got to my father where, as predicted by my Dad, he just stared at the ground as they shook hands.
"Weasel" I remarked under my breath. Just loud enough for John to hear and start laughing.
"Can I offer you a beer Reverend?" Dad asked, smiling broadly. "Just to wet your whistle before the game?"
It would seem that my father was going to try and make this an uncomfortable night for the Reverend and in the process, torture me by drinking as much as possible.
"No thank you, sir." Reverend Green responded, still refusing eye contact and staring at my fathers left shoulder as he spoke. "I'm not much of a drinking man."
"He's not much of anything, if you ask me." I whispered over at John, laughingly.
Mom then interrupted. "Reverend, I hope you didn't come all alone tonight. I gave you two tickets. Didn't you want to bring a guest?"
Just then the doorbell rang once again.
"This will be my guest, I imagine." Reverend Green responded. "We came in separate cars this evening as I was coming directly from the church."
The moment was priceless. I certainly wish I had my camera to have captured the look of shock on my fathers face as in walked none other then the Old Reverend Green!
It was a great contrast between the younger and elder Reverends. Where the young one was somewhat skinny and frail with a nervous demeanour and quiet voice. (at least around my own father) The elder was quite large, very confident and had a booming and commanding voice when he spoke.
As the old Reverend walked around the room and greeted everyone he stopped at my father and looked him directly in the eye as he spoke.
"Hello Simon." He began. "We haven't seen too much of you around the church recently. I hope you are not in ill health. You certainly look well."
"No, I'm feeling pretty good these days Reverend." Dad responded, still somewhat surprised by the sudden appearance of the old Reverend.
"Good, Good, glad to hear it Simon." The old Reverend replied. "I hope you saved me a seat beside you for tonight's hockey game as I plan on trying to convince you to attend my son's sermons more often. At least more often then you attended mine, anyway. Well, we can talk about that later. I'll have three hours to talk to you during the entire game."
I could see Dad wincing at the last remark of the old Reverends'.
"You know, I think that this is going to be a great evening after all." I laughed, turning to John. "Now WE get to watch a hockey game and a show at the same time!"