I do not go to church often. But when I do, it is usually for something significant. I once heard a theologian remark that we only attend church on three occasions… when we are hatched, matched, and dispatched. To me they were all very solid reasons to avoid the place. I hadn’t been to the old Abbey since I was ten years old, but I was invited to be the Godfather of a friend’s son, little Godfrey Jefferson III. The name probably had something to do with his grandfather because his father’s name was Michael Merrick. So only the good lord knows where the name Godfrey bloody Jefferson originated, to bestow the dynastic third, here on this poor child. Merry Micky was my best mate, and his girl, Joanna, was like a sister. So, I was a natural selection to be young Godfrey’s guardian. And that kid was the reincarnation of the Son of Sam.

I itched every time I went to church. My mother would say the demons were desperate to flee my body. When I say itch, I mean vigorous clawing like a crackhead, till I would rub myself sore. I could not wait to leave the place. I would disappear like a dollar in a crack den before the church could say amen. It seemed little Godfrey had the same condition as I, because he was irritable from the very instant we put him in his all-white suit. He looked like a powdered doughnut. A powdered doughnut that hated church, just like his Godfather. But for my best mates, it was an honor to be here, so I would take one for the team.

I do not think either of them had any recollections of church. But being good Catholic kids, having Godfrey baptized felt like the right thing to do. The problem was, they had waited till the kid had already started to add a few words to his vocabulary, and hanging out at the pub with his mum who was a bar tender, those words were quite advanced for his age.

Nevertheless, old father McBurney was quite happy to have Godfrey dedicated to the lord. Everything went smoothly until we got to the baptismal fount.

“What name have you given to this lovely lad?” He asked, his eyes fawning over the child.

“Godfrey.” Merry Mickey declared too loudly, in a tone more suitable for when having a pint at the White Horse Pub.

“Godfrey.” He whispered on the second go round.

The priest snickered. but caught himself just in time, pretending he needed to cough. But I swear he muffled a laugh.

“And what do you two ask for this child?”

“Baptism.” Joanna said proudly and ever so lady like.

Father McBurney had us all make the necessary promises, which sounded vaguely like the apostle’s creed, and perhaps it was, but in my head, I was singing it like a terrace chant. Then he attempted to make the sign of the cross on little Godfrey’s forehead. The little cherub-faced maniac didn’t look too pleased, and he slapped old McBurney’s hand away. After several more determined efforts, the priest settled for a hovering scribble over the child.

This was funny for everyone, and we all shared a polite chuckle. But this was only giving Godfrey more confidence, and like all two-year-olds, the sky’s the limit unless you tether them to a chair leg.

Father Mc Burney started pouring holy water on Godfrey, and like a bat out of hell, the little terror sat up, smacked the priest, and in the harshest cockney accent I ever heard in my life asked the good minister, “What in the bollocks are you doing mate?”

There was a hush. A silence so deafening, all anyone could hear was me snapping away at my chewing gum and blowing bubbles. Then all eyes turned to me.

“What?” I asked, insulted that they felt I had something to do with it.

Joanna was turning red in the face, and Merry Mickey was about to implode. Thank God, Father McBurney, who was quite an urbane gentleman, surprisingly saw the funny side, and started laughing.

Unless little Godfrey let the cat out the bag, there was no way on God’s green earth, they would ever know that I had taught him that line. It was as easy as training a dog how to roll over. I had spent two weeks bribing the little snot with skittles, teaching him exactly how to execute, and when to execute. It came off with the sweetest comedic perfection.

The rest of the ceremony continued without further incident, but I had left my mark on the old Abbey. There would never be another baptism on the record to rival this one.

4 responses to “IRREVERENT”

  1. This had me laughing hard….and honestly can totally relate to the “not going to the church” thing…from where i am, oh the church is filled with bunch of middle age to elderly people who after a church service would go home, belittle and yell at every single vagabond they meet outside the church begging for alms…then as they arrive their homes, they’d start to rant about how thier housemaid were bunch of irresponsible helper….geezz..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol .. church is definitely for hypocrits and misfits. Sinners and saints alike are welcomed. Thanks Mich. Glad I put a smile on your face.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahahaha Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

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April 2023
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