Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Poison Pews

There are some church-folk who don't routinely come to the Contemporary services at which my band plays, who prefer the formality and tradition of a standard church service. There are also church-folk who are so deeply rooted in their ways that they refuse to bend an inch when it comes to staking out their territory in the sanctuary, applicable to the elderly, chiefly, and those who come to church to see-and-be-seen.

The band is set up in the front of the church, on the right-hand side as you're walking in, right up against the arm rail for the front pew. When there's a pianist, as SuperJuls was last night, she's behind the 4 vocalists who are front and center. The guitarist is beside the pianist, and I'm beside the guitarist, just behind the singers.

Enter this 90-something woman and her daughter, who came to last night's contemporary service because they don't *like* the church picnic, being held today. But alas, as they're regular churchgoers, they caved & came, and with about 5 minutes left before we had to be in position for the first song, plopping themselves in the FRONT PEW on the aisle, or DIRECTLY in front of the 4 singers.

Ok, nobody *ever* sits there. But that section of pew is unofficially reserved for this particular woman, the same woman who demands the only chair at the Wednesday Bible class that has a cushion on it to envelop her entitled ass. The same woman who refuses to drive wearing a seat belt, because she never has and refuses to abide by the law of the state, which isn't applicable to her.

We all like our little nooks of the pews. Most times, I'll look from my drums out at the congregation and people are in their "usual" seats. (I sit in the front pew, on the right aisle, to get to my drums easily. It's pragmatic. When I'm not drumming, I sit with my mom about 3/4 of the way in the back.) Seeing as the left aisle, front pew is THIS woman's pew, there she sat, and we were all horrified but too timid to suggest to her that perhaps she *didn't* want to sit there.

Now, during Communion, the band communes first, because we have a song to play during the rest of the distribution. When Madame Owns the Place was held back from getting into the Communion Queue, I, standing in line, overheard her questioning the Elder as to *why* she was being held back, which she didn't appreciate by virtue of her Owning the Place. (By the way, I got such a giant gulp of wine last night that I had to almost suck it into mouth to be able to swallow it, afraid I was dribbling onto my shirt. Thank you, Jesus, that I was wearing all black!)

I didn't play on the Communion song, "Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed," which was the only traditional hymn interjected into the contemporary service, which is a Lenten hymn, but whatever. And naturally, I had to stare at SuperJuls as we both snickered over the line, "For such a worm as I."

During the closing song, Pastor Dave asked the congregation to stand. The Old Lady was thus face-to-face, directly, inches away from the vocalists and their microphones. Finally feeling as if her pew position maybe wasn't ideal, she edged over, out of their way, towards my drum kit. So what did I do, when I looked up and noticed that every time I crashed a cymbal, she'd noticeably wince? I threw in multiple *extra* crashes which I hadn't during practice, precisely so I could watch her wince. Why? Because as we all know, I'm really, really mean. Especially to old people who act like they Own the Place.

We all managed to genteelly transport our gear to the 6th grade classroom, the closest room with a door to where we're setting up this morning in Pastor Dave's back yard. What a clusterfuck of a mess our gear was. Tangled cords, broken this-and-that. Nobody's swept our area since LAST year, and it's dusty and grimy and icky. Although, I was giddy that my bass drum & toms didn't have to be taken apart and fit onto a cart to roll down the hallways. I was less than giddy picking up my dusty area rug (Achoo!) underneath the kit, which I need outside, and noticing that my rug totally STUCK to the church floor due to seepage from a formerly leaky roof. Hello, hand-sanitizer!

Ok, off to St. Paul. Anxiety pills? Check. Tummy-calmer? Check. Nerves? Overload. Pastor Dave? Making coffee for SuperJuls and I.

No comments: