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As s.z. mentioned below, domestic sources of Pastor Swank are drying up at an alarming pace.  Looking back, it’s now clear that sometime last summer we reached the point of Peak Swank, and now face a future of ever-diminishing supplies of “womb humans,” “homo nups,” “mask muslims” and their more action-oriented confederates, “muslim murderers global.”  So while the search for America’s Next Top Swank continues, let’s make the most of what little time we have left together, and join the good Pastor as he pauses to reflect upon the meaning of the season:

Winter fellowship surprises

Esther opened her home for fellowship — Christian sharing.  Mid-winter — post-Christmas drab. But not for Carl Miller as he poked his hot dog on metal stick into the living room fireplace.

I really, really hope that’s not a metaphor.

Then came the marshmallows — toasted and ready for the taking.

“Warm, pillowy, and golden brown, they yielded, despite their protestations, to a passionate ravishment by teeth and tongue…”

“Roast a marshmallow for me,” I asked the ten-year-old.

Oh dear.

So he brought me a plateful. It’s been some time since I wafted down a plateful of marshmallows fresh from the coals.

“And it’s been quite awhile since I inappropriately conjugated a verb.  Oh, must be nigh on to half a paragraph by now…”

Jesus told His disciples to separate themselves from the day’s activity to rest awhile. He knew the value of downtime, just plain “doing a huge hunk of nothing,” as my Dad used to put it. Then it was that Jesus retreated with His friends to the mountains outside the city. They’d chat. No doubt there was laughter heard echoing across the Kidron Valley toward Jerusalem’s gates.

Jesus was known to have unusually ticklish armpits.

Christian sharing is needed in this spiritually fallen world. So it was that Butch of New Gloucester lifted high his hot dog in roll as if the trophy of the evening.

Well, what can you add to that?

Dressed in condiments, it was not long until the dog disappeared — then time for at least another. Sure thing.

Apparently the roll represents Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Esther’s Standish home is such an open, welcome place. Often she swings wide the door for others to enter…

Other times, she makes them squeeze through the basement window.

…discovering there gospel music providing background calm, a table surprising guests with freshly baked muffins and that fireplace roaring its innards.

True, Esther’s furniture and fixtures are imbued with unholy life, what with the hearth screaming at visitors and treating them to horrific visions of roasting intestines, but the dinette set does whip up a tasty corn muffin, so I think really it all evens out.

Our lives are so hurried. Jesus’ days were filled with crowds beckoning. Our hours are appointment-laden. Jesus’ calendar knew little reprieve.

Even when Lord Jesus got an Blackberry he frequently missed meetings, and according to Luke 11:28, he was over 20 minutes late for his crucifixion.

Yet it is our Lord Jesus who invites us to “be still and know that I am God.” It is Jesus who invites us to “cast all your cares” upon Him. It is Jesus who reminds that He stands at the door knocking, waiting for us to open the door, inviting Him in to sup with Him.

Although it would be nice if Jesus would call first, since the place is a mess, the kids all have colds, and the only thing we have in the house are hotdogs and cream soda, and maybe a couple of Lean Cuisines in the freezer.  If he has to stay I suppose I could ask the dining table to bake up one of those Boboli pizzas…

When with Christian friends for such an evening as spent in Esther’s gracious home, we realize that the invisible Jesus presence is there with us. That of course makes that conclave different than any other.  Jesus in the midst. Jesus watching over. Jesus caring and loving His own children of grace.

But Jesus mysteriously disappearing the moment the party’s over and it’s time to do all these dishes.

So it was that as I looked over the room, taking in particularly Crystal Miller, 38, conversing animatedly with Ray Alley, 80, I was refreshed with the scene. They surely had enough to talk about. They were caught up in one another’s life situations — comparing notes, sharing concerns, genuinely interested. No generation gap when believers’ hearts reach out to build another bridge.

I told the Congress, Thanks, but No Thanks on that bridge to Crystal Miller, 38.

Thank you, Jesus, for winter surprises come upon with friends.

And thank you Pastor Swank.  For making us laugh about English.  Again.

19 Responses to “Wizard of Words Wafting”

I like to listen to a conversation between Swank & that ‘Crusty-Coot-ol’Ben Shaprio’about conservative “Humor”

That sounds like a sweet if bland sermon, filtered through a schizophrenic mind.

Uh, “post-Christmas drab”? I think Swanky’s recycling some old sermons.

Plus, aside from the misplaced antecedents, fractured synonyms, and that wrestling match with the Pathetic Fallacy he doesn’t seem to recognize he’s having, doesn’t this one sound almost–for want of a better word–sane? I mean, it’s mostly in the active voice, it’s lacking in incomprehensible neologisms, and the story seems to go roughly from Point A to Point B, even if it’s not much of a trip. And he doesn’t even mention how liberals want to take away our roaring fires, our processed meats, and allow older men to marry their caramelizers. If I have to bet I’d say semi-clarity is a trait Ol’ Swanky lost somewhere along the way, not one he recently acquired.

Yes, it just doesn’t have that “translated literally from Old Prussian” sound that his past efforts bring with them.

Well, the Swanksta isn’t angry about anything in this column, and fury seems to drive his more creatively incomprehensible passages. But it’s his Very Special Christmas Episode, and I thought it was worth sharing, if only because at this point, bloggers can’t be choosers.

I almost read that as “Swankstika”, scott.

Please don’t give up on Swank. Dressed in condiments, it was not long until the dog disappeared — then time for at least another. Sure thing.

That’s as weird as anything he’s written. Try not to be mesmerized by catchy phrases like “womb human”. The man uses English in a way that makes me uneasy.

Harry Mathews invests a great deal of effort, burdens himself with arbitrary constraints, and applies elaborate literary algorithms in order to write in the same style that comes to Swank naturally. It doesn’t really seem fair.

and I thought it was worth sharing

Just for the record, I didn’t mean to imply he wasn’t snark-worthy, Scott, and just for the record, you and s.z. can turn these people into concrete poetry and I’ll still read you. I was thinking more along the lines of picking up clues to Ol’ Glamor Shots’ disappearance. I think it’s entirely possible that the election pushed him into full-on word salad or incontinent glossolalia and he’s locked in a geriatric psych ward Down East, forced to write his screeds on cheap toilet paper in his own blood and smuggle them out with the help of a good Christian orderly. Which might explain why they’d slowed to three a week.

So what he calls “writing,” we call “exsanguination.” Hmmm. This would explain much…

how did you miss this paragraph?

“Christians in particular make connections with the lower caste. That is abhorrent to the other castes in India. They despise the lower caste anyhow; therefore, for Christians to introduce Christ and His saving grace to the untouchables in unthinkable, hence the program to obliterate the country of Christians.”

I haven’t read enough Swank to know – - does he usually infuse inanimate objects with movement, purpose, and sensibility? I read this while listening to the BBC’s most recent radio of Masefield’s “The Box of Delights”, which is full of talking animals, shapeshifting, trans-temporal visions, and intimations of mysterious motives, good and evil, on every side, and Swank’s account of the roaring-innardsed Evening Gathering at Esther’s seemed oddly to melt in…

- that would be the “BBC’s most recent version of…”

the BBC’s most recent radio [version] of Masefield’s “The Box of Delights”
Wikipedia informs me that in 1984 the Beeb also produced a TV version, now available on DVD. I want. Nothing about a radio adaptation more recent than the 1950s.
This is John “Salt-caked smoke stack” Masefield, in case anyone was wondering.

Dear herr doktor, well you may want! “BoD” is wonderful. My cineaste sister, who lived in London on and off in the 80s, informs me that the version which is available on amazon is probably the shorter one (3 50-min. eps) that the Beeb pared down from the 6-episode original of ’84. I’m guessing the episodes of the 84 version were short, around a half hour each, in the style of old Doctor Who serials. So there probably was some significant editing to get to the 2nd version.

I don’t care – as soon as finances permit after the holidays, I’ll try to get it. NB: it’s region 2, so you have to have a multi-region player.

Addendum – can’t track down the original transmission date of the radio version that BBC Radio 7 is now running (you can listen on the website). But since it starred, among others, Donald Sinden and Lionel Jefferies, that 1950s date may well be the one.

Jesus told His disciples to separate themselves from the day’s activity to rest awhile. He knew the value of downtime, just plain “doing a huge hunk of nothing,” as my Dad used to put it.

Goddamned welfare collecting hippies…

I agree: the election mush have banished Swanky even from the confines of his own head. Forgoing showers, beyond the blow drying of hair, Swanky now sits in the corner and drools, quietly laughing at them dogs fully dressed in condiments… another? Sure!… and “hears” the whispered voices of conversation around him.

dang, heydave, that is one creepy mental image you conjured there . . . perhaps because it’s not hard to picture.

Something to say?