I wrote yesterday about how bad our priest sang and last night I didn’t sleep a wink I felt so guilty. Tonight I went to a school meeting, and afterward one of the moms came up to me and said, “I saw you sitting way across from me at church on Sunday. Did you see me gasp when the priest started singing?”

“Oh my gosh,” I said, “Can you believe his voice?”

“It’s horrible,” she said. “I literally gasped out loud, and I know I had a look of horror on my face. Then I saw you across the church and you were laughing and trying to cover it up.”

“His voice is shocking,” I said. We commiserated a few minutes more about the torture of hearing such a well-spoken man sing like a rooster with his leg being gnawed by an iguana.

I still feel a little guilty talking about him, but on the other hand, this now appears to be common knowledge and therefore is simply an observation and should not carry with it a stigma of guilt. That’s my theory anyway.

Not to change the subject, but I went to an open house yesterday afternoon and met a nice, older lady who retired to Naples, Florida. Talking to her reminded me of when I was 19 and spent the summer with two girlfriends near there, in Ft. Myers Beach.

One of them, Mary, and I decided to drive to Key West in her little ancient Opal Cadet – a perky little car with a lawn mower for an engine. We were on a backroad out in the middle of nowhere when we came upon a pickup truck carrying three hooligans. They stood up in the truck, which was going pretty slow, and started making obscene gestures. We slowed down, but they were creeping along and we would have had to stop cold for them to get out of sight.

We saw them give each other a look and pretty soon all three of them had dropped their shorts and started mooning us at practically point blank range. We had nowhere else to look! We slowed down almost to a stop, but so did the truck.

“Get us out of here, Mary,” I screamed.

“I didn’t drive all the way down here to have to stare at three hairy assholes,” Mary said. She downshifted that little Opal into second and started to pass. They sped up. She shifted into third and we started making headway. It was a straight, narrow road and we would have been doomed if someone had been in the other lane, but I don’t think Mary would have slowed down. Her face was red and her knuckles were white on the steering wheel. She had an East Tennessee hillbilly anger that was boiling like a whistling teakettle.

I started rocking back and forth to help the car’s momentum, coaxing it to go faster. When we were neck and neck with the driver, he turned and gave us a grin that showed all eleven of his stained yellow teeth. These were the kind of guys who’d run you into the ditch and laugh as they deflowered your maidenhood.

“Give it some more gas,” I screamed.

“I’ve got it on the floor,” she yelled. I rocked harder. We finally got far enough ahead that we could pull in front of the truck. Simultaneously we threw our hands out the window and let our fingers do the talking.

They didn’t like that and started gaining on us. I rocked faster. Mary started rocking too. “Come on, baby, come on,” we begged.

The chase only lasted a couple more minutes before the farm boys gave up.

What does this have to do with the singing priest? If you figure it out, please let me know.