Tuesday, December 13, 2005

We Should Tell The Priest

Prior to moving to our new parish we had been members of St. Agnes Church. It is a very small, but beautiful church. If you arrive late you most likely will have to spend mass back in the vestibule with all the other late comers. Seats in the main part of the church are hard to come by unless you arrive right on time. As parents of a two year old and 3 month old we rarely made it to mass on time. Thus we often spent mass in the back with the other late comers. Most of them had little children too.

On one particular Sunday Hannah had to go potty during the Homily. Mary stayed with Grace while I took Hannah to find the bathroom.

The bathrooms at St. Agnes are located downstairs just off the big common room where we get the donuts after mass. Since she was still little I took her to the men's bathroom. What is the cut off age for girls to stop going to men's rooms and boys to stop going to the ladies room with their parents? Anyway, the men's room is very small. It has one urinal and one toilet.

Someone was using the toilet at the time, so we waited.

And waited.

Finally he opened the stall door. He skipped washing his hands and headed to the bathroom door to leave and head back upstairs to mass. Just as he was exiting the bathroom Hannah burst out "Daddy! Look! Why did that man use sooo much toilet paper?!?!?"

I tried to hush her, in order not to have a confrontation with the excessive toilet paper using, non-handwashing, fellow church goer. But she was right. That man had used far too much paper and clogged the toilet. And he didn't even try to flush! Apparently he either did not hear her or chose to ignore her comments - much like he chose not to wash his hands.

Hannah was complaining that she really needed to go badly so I had no choice but to take her to the ladies room. There was no way I was going to set her down on that toilet and that nasty mess.

While she sat on the impeccably clean potty in the ladies room she started grilling me on why that man had behaved he way he did. She was clearly fascinated by this and would not let it go. Why did that man use so much toilet paper? Why did he clog the toilet? Why didn't he flush and why didn't he wash his hands? I told her I didn't know why. Maybe his mommy and daddy never taught him proper bathroom etiquette when he was a little boy.

When we got back upstairs we joined Mary and Grace in the back of the church. Hannah immediately began to relay her latest bathroom experience to Mary. She said, in a voice that at the time I was sure everyone within twenty yards could hear, "Mommy, there was a man who used way too much toilet paper and clogged the potty! He didn't even wash his hands!"

And then she saw him. He was in the back of chuch with his family. Hannah pointed right at him and said "Mommy! Daddy! There he is! Do you think we should tell the priest!?!?!" I was mortified.

Thankfully, I do not think he heard her. Or maybe, again, he chose not to hear her. Either way now that we are at a new church we have a new rule. Everyone goes potty before leaving for mass.

1 comment:

Enio Rigolin said...

I think I'm with Hannah on this one. What in God's name were the Clogger's motives here? Why didn't he flush? Was he afraid the toilet would overflow? Was he too embarrassed to ask the janitor for a plunger, as if irregular bowel movements were a shameful sin? Or was the sermon just so good he couldn't bear to miss another word that he couldn't help but leave his poopy mess for the young father and little girl to deal with? I have to admit, if I was at the Chinese Theater for the premiere of Munich, and suddenly had a bout of diarrieah 5 minutes before the curtain went up, I'd leave my mess for the Pope to clean up before I missed the opening credits. Did I miss something all those childhood years in Church? Or have today's sermons really gotten that good?