• Earl Fowler

The best-laid plans of mice and amens

Bob Morrissey

Don’t you hate it when this happens? You’re in the middle of prayer, and out of nowhere comes a sexy thought.

It happened to me just yesterday during the Lord’s Prayer. I was fast approaching “and lead us not into temptation,” when — bang! — suddenly I’m in a three-way with a nurse and a maid. You can’t see my face, but I’m the one in black, satin fishnets.

But now I’ve got a problem. Do I start over or do I carry on to the end? What would God want? I’ve come (sleazy pun intended) this far, and now I have only only five words remaining, not including my usual hearty “Amen!”

And who put those thoughts in my mind? That’s right: the very same God I’m praying to ... the same God who sometimes gives me the same wet dream.

This got me to thinking: Are these dreams God’s way of telling me I’m not welcome in heaven?

I mean, if he wanted to, he could have me dreaming I’m working for the Bank of Montreal. Or that I’m a land surveyor, who’s asleep on his feet and wakes up to find he’s unintentionally worked overtime. I wouldn’t mind those dreams, I really wouldn’t.

And yet, here I am, role playing with two pretty things I’ve never seen before.

And there’s another thing. Why are these girls so pretty? If I was God, I’d make them ugly as sin, so the dream would quickly fizzle out. Anti-climatic, as it were.

Or he’d have me suffer an untimely fit of sneezing, spoiling the mood, and upsetting the “nurse” so much she shouts: “That’s it. I’m outta here. I’m wanted in emergency!”

But no. He’s made me the hero of the piece. He’s made me so handsome I don’t even recognize myself. My “maid” even asks me if I’m Brad Pitt.

But back to praying. Some people rattle off prayers like there’s no tomorrow. These people love repetition and can usually be found with a Rosary in hand.

Like most Catholics, I’ve tried saying the Rosary, but it wasn’t for me. I found those little beads a distraction so I’d forget the words. It was hell, Mary.

And the thin little chain between the beads? Much too brittle. And try getting them repaired. If you could find a shop, it was a miracle.

I’d usually just store them in my top drawer with old buttons and use my fingers until the Oratory had a sale.

No, when I pray it’s just me and radio 690 in the background. I start with the three same prayers every morning and then I ad-lib. Sounds easy, but it’s not.

You’re about to make more decisions in the next five minutes than you will in the next two weeks; shorter, of course, if you pray every day. For example: I start by asking God to look out for my two boys, Dan and Jim.

Once that’s done, I go on to other family members. But then I wonder: have I forgotten anyone? And all these family members: do they pray for me? And how many of them even pray, or ask for stupid things like time-shares and painless dentist visits?

I know God’s listening because he knows if you’ve been sleeping and he knows when you’re awake — sorry, I’m getting Santa and God mixed up again.

Anyhow, after all the relatives are spoken for, including Stephen, I move on to other souls — and they’re in the billions.

I take it slowly. I start with my condo confreres, who are always asking me why I’m never at their meetings. Then I branch out, praying for everyone from here to the U.S. border.

That’s when I run into a problem. Now I’m in the U.S., which used to be Trump land. See where I’m going? Almost half the people in the U.S. voted for Trump. Do I include them in my prayers?

I have the same problem with Russia and Putin ... Toronto and the Maple Leafs. I’m sure some of them are good people, but ...

Here’s another thing about prayer. Does God ever tire of hearing from us?

For example, I’ve got a friend with a health problem. Let’s call him Merle, even though he doesn’t like country and western music.

I’ve been praying for him for about a month now, using the same words, every time: “Dear God, please help Merle, even though he probably doesn’t deserve it.”

Then last night I think God spoke to me. He said: “First of all, please keep your opinions to yourself. Second, every day it’s Merle, Merle, Merle. I heard you the first time. And don’t worry. He’s going to be just fine.”


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