Posted by Susan Sey Dec 16 2012, 12:04 am
It’s that time of year.
No, not for decorating the tree or making cookies. Not for addressing cards or–in my case–feverishly trying to dig up everybody’s current address because evidently I only befriend the highly mobile.
No, it’s time for the annual….church pageant.
We go to a small church, so everybody who has kids involved in the pageant is pressed into service. And I–much to my eternal regret–am no exception. I have pleaded everything from over-scheduled-ness to a terrible singing voice to no avail. I have been cast.
Over the years, I’ve exercised my dramatic nature to play a number of roles, everything from the Virgin Mary on down to a custodian. My most memorable role of all, however, has to be the year I wrangled the angels.
That was my official role–Angel Wrangler.
And why did we need an Angel Wrangler, you might ask? Because in every group, there’s That One Kid. And that year, in our church, That One Kid was an angel. And he needed minding.
We discovered this the previous year when he was a shepherd. He took out all three wisemen and was perilously close to knocking down the lit candles before we managed to get the shepherd’s hook away from him.
As an angel wrangler I had one job: To get the angels into the sanctuary in time to climb up on the risers for their big line. (“Be not afraid for we bring you good news…” etc. & so on. You know the one.) My fellow angel wrangler & I (yes, there were two of us & we were both necessary) gathered our charges around the door to the sanctuary & waited for our cue line.
As it happens, there was a table of snacks next to the door. That One Kid helped himself to a banana.
“Hey,” said my fellow angel wrangler. ”There’s no time for a snack. Put that down.”
That One Kid looked her right in the eye & peeled the banana. Slowly.
“Don’t you dare,” she said. ”Put that down.”
That One Kid looked her right in the eye & helped himself to a leisurely bite. A big one.
Then came our cue line. It was show time & That One Kid had a massive mouthful of unchewed banana.
“Go on,” I told the other wrangler. ”I’ve got this.”
So she bolted for the stage, a flock of obedient angels at her heels. That One Kid tried to follow & I grabbed him by the wings.
“Yeah, I don’t think so.” I put myself between him & the door. ”Chew. Swallow. Then we go hark the herald whatever.”
He glared at me. I folded my arms & waited. He evidently came to the conclusion–accurately–that I would be delighted to stand between him & on-stage glory until he obeyed instructions.
So he chewed approximately twice then gulped down the banana mostly whole. It went down his throat in a visible lump, like he was a snake swallowing his prey.
“Fine,” I said. ”Great. Now run.”
It was the run I regret. I shouldn’t have said that.
Because That One Kid took off into the sanctuary at a dead sprint, his eyes on the empty riser he was supposed to be standing on.
He evidently didn’t see the giant pillar between him & it.
He ran into the pillar face first. Kid went down like a sack of wet cement. The middle Wiseman gave a startled yip but nobody else seemed to notice. And it would have stayed that way if That One Kid had just gone down and stayed down. But did he? No.
He had knocked himself a good one, but sadly it wasn’t good enough to remove him from consciousness. Not fully, anyway. Standing was beyond him but he did manage to drag himself to his hands & knees. I watched, stunned, as the kid crawled up the steps to the altar, making this horrible HUUUUUUUUNGHHHHH sort of noise. The kind of noise you make when you’d like to breathe but your lungs are still all, “Dude, what the hell?”
Bad enough, right? Unfortunately, the kid’s sense of direction was as compromised as his ability to take a decent breath. He heaved himself onto the stage but instead of crawling toward his riser, he veered left. Toward the sheep and shepherds and angels innocently admiring the baby Jesus in the manger. With their backs toward him.
He took them all out like a human wrecking ball.
(“HUUUUUUUNGHHHHH.” ”Wha…?” Wham. Down. One after the other after the other.)
I, horrified into utter paralysis, stood there watched the whole thing unfold.
Finally the kid gave up & rolled onto his back, at which point his mother hopped onto the stage & handily removed him from sight.
Evidently, she’s used to this sort of thing.
Well, I thought to myself, at least they’ll never ask me to help out with the pageant ever again.
I shall be an angel, an acrobat AND a dove in the morning. If you’re the praying sort, you might consider sending one up for me today.
But at least I’m not wrangling angels.
So what about you? What’s the craziest thing that’s ever hijacked one of your holiday events? I’m giving away an e-copy of my latest release KISS THE GIRL to one lucky commenter, so don’t be shy! Share!
Check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won! And also to enjoy the bewitching Christie Kelley who takes the wheel to continue the Bandita Twelve Days of Christmas! In fact, come back every day between now & Christmas for your chance to win prizes, books and gifties leading up to a HUGE GRAND PRIZE of books and goodies on Christmas Day!!
All images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net, mouse over photo for attribution.
Posted in 12 days of Christmas, Susan Sey