••• Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Summer of My Time Misspent 

When I was a girl, the last day of school always fell on a Friday. Come Monday morning, after just two days of abbreviated revelry, momma would march our reluctantly sinful asses off to two weeks of Vacation Bible School.


The church we attended was high on the Bible Thumpery scale, as were most of its constituents. Our family, on the other hand, while regularly church-going, was not that Thumpy.

Not-That-Thumpy as we were, we still held the Lord in high regard. Therefore, year after year our mother had us over the barrel of fear, in her stated expectation that we attend VBS. I mean, to say that you're not that "into" Vacation Bible School was akin to saying "No thank-you, Baby Jesus." Saying "No Thank-you, Baby Jesus" was akin to sending out handwritten invitations to pestulence, disease, immaculate-conceptions- minus-the-celestial-beings-to-vouch-for-your-hymen* or a broken Etch-a-Sketch knob that limits you to right hand turns, for all eternity.

I know.

So off we'd go. If not for the impeccably imperfect timing, Vacation Bible School wasn't all that bad. For one thing, none of the snobby rich kids from regular Sunday School were there. I once asked one of those Sunday School girls why she didn't go to VBS.

"Vacation Bible School is for bringing The Lord to non-believers. It's for the Neighborhood kids.

"But I'm a neighborhood kid."

"I know."

Another good thing about VBS was the treats. At the end of every session, we were offered a tiny dixie cup of room temperature kool-aid and a handful of pink frosted animal crackers.

You're jealous, already.

The very best thing about VBS, however, was the missionaries.

The church I attended was very big on Bearing Witness or Giving Testimony. The most important personal Testimony was the story of how one came to accept Jesus Christ as one's Personal Savior. The more miracles in the story, the better.

The other type of Testimony was the sharing of specific incidents of bringing others to the Lord. ::i.e. keeping score.:: Because missionaries often went on hiatus during the summer months, there was aways a plentiful supply for Bearing Witness to the poor, apparently unsaved children of my neighborhood.

One regularly visiting missionary family was based in Applachia.While their stories were not very exotic, the father could play a saw as a musical instrument ::hand saw, not the powered kind.::. He was also a ventriloquist.

The missionaries from Africa and South America always had the best stories.I'm not sure if that is because of the vastness of the geographical and cultural differences or because there was little chance of anyone in the audience being able to challenge their accounts. They also dressed in the traditional garb of their host nation, grossed us out with stories of eating grubs, drinking tea seeped from dirt and pooping in a hole behind the hut. All in the Name of the Lord.

There was one missionary tale that I never tired of hearing. It was the one about the piranhas. I had never heard of a piranha until I went to Vacation Bible School. According to my very reliable VBS source, a school of piranha can clean the flesh from the bones of a live, full-size cow so quickly that, within minutes of an unfortunate plunge, the cow was nothing but a skeleton. And a heart. Still beating.

I know.

After that heartwarming warmup,the next piece of the story is the one that kept me up nights.It was about the little Peruvian boy. Yup.

Just one day after accepting Jesus Christ as his Personal Savior,this little boy fell off of the family raft, into the Amazon, which just happened to be teeming with ravenous piranhas.

The boy floundered in the water more than long enough to meet the Fate of the Cow. But he didn't. The Newly Born Again Child was pulled from the murky,deadly waters, fully fleshed. That's right. With not even a razor burn. It was a miracle.

The lesson: Through accepting Jesus Christ as Your Personal Savior, you will never die by the teeth of flesh-eating fish, which remains as the number one urban child's nightmare.

Needless to say, every time that story was shared, in that chapel filled with sticky, muggy neighborhood children, many Souls Were Saved.

That Being Said
This post was intended to be about a current frustration with my having wasted the first two weeks of a perfectly good summer, on a worthless endeavor. But apparently I digressed.

And the above segue to the real post had a surprise, happy ending...so where was I?

Oh Yeah.
Mondo. I spent the first two weeks of summer working on Mondo.

On Sunday afternoon, I was this far on the front. Just minutes from casting off.

But there was a problem. Notice the straps? One is thicker than the other.

After recounting both armhole and neckline cast-offs, I realized my problem ran deeper than that. Inherently deeper. And stupider.

Remember how I was all bragging and shit on how I was adjusting the pattern to be shapely instead of tently?


The adaptation included changes in the number of cast-on stitches. Easy Peasy?


To the Left. To the Left.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take that change into account while counting out stitches for the cable placement. In row fucking one. I needed to be four stitches to the left. In row fucking one.

A Dingo Ate My Baby
It was more like a swarm of steely-toothed piranhas.

In a flurry of ravenous mania, the ill beknittin piece was reduced, in minutes, to nothing but skeleton.

And heart balls. Still beating throbbing.

I know.

The Sure Skank Redemption
In retrospect, I guess Vacation Bible School wasn't all that bad. I now realize that it takes more than two weeks of mandated exposure to under-strengthened kool-aid, flannel boards or my own stupidity, to ruin a perfectly good summer.

Shirley Goodness.

*The story of the immaculate conception always scared me when I was young. What if it happened again? To me? And no one believed? Not that I thought I was anything special. I mostly thought I was everything unlucky.

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That was a great story. I think your blog is becoming my favorite. I really like the way you take your time with the tale and let it go where it will. Too bad about the misplaced cable, though!
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