Observing the Feast of the Ass – 14 January

A treat for the Feast of the Ass, which we celebrate today … to a greater or lesser degree than our medieval forebears.

Judging from the lyrics, this seems to be the festive installation of the “bishop” …who’s seems, appropriately, to be an ass. Cliche today, perhaps, but still fun.

Have you sent a greeting card to someone?

BTW… there is a musical setting. HERE

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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3 Responses to Observing the Feast of the Ass – 14 January

  1. JustaSinner says:

    I didn’t know the Democrats had a feast named for them. How’d this occur?

    [I know! Amazing, right?]

  2. Semper Gumby says:

    These two posts and comments on the Feast of the Ass were great. Speaking of asses and feasting, today I saw Tracer Bullet, Ace Private Eye, at lunchtime in the cafeteria.

    I was minding my own business with a tray of Salisbury steak and a baseball magazine when Tracer Bullet strolled by my table with his empty tray. He was wearing his usual trench coat, though not his fedora. His hair was unkempt and beginning to gray, like a bowl of soup at a cheap diner.
    He looked at my magazine. “Semper, still waiting on a call from the Chicago Cubs?”
    I set down my fork. “Tracer, I’m convinced I still have a hundred homeruns in me.”
    He chuckled, “Yep, but with your pitching the other team will hit two hundred.”
    I laughed, “Good to see you buddy.”
    “You too,” he grinned. “Hey, what’s Father Z up to these days?”
    “He’s helping someone track down their missing parish. I don’t think he needs us on that.”
    “Ok Semper, I gotta’ go. Range after work?”
    “You bet,” I said. “Don’t forget your earplugs.”
    I was about to return to my chow when I saw Magnum Bullet enter the cafeteria. Magnum was the best surveillance man in the office. I nodded and he ambled over, gripping his ever present coffee mug. Inscribed on the side of his mug was “Your Business is Our Focus.”
    “Hey Semper, how’s the shoe leather today?”
    “Not bad,” I replied, pointing to the ketchup bottle. “How’s the family?”
    “Happy, healthy, and well-rested,” he grinned. “And, people keep misbehavin’ so business is booming.”
    I nodded. “Things are looking up.”
    “Praise God. Where was Tracer rushing off to?”
    “Abacus class.”
    Magnum stared at me. “Uh, what?”
    “He refuses to learn these fancy new electronic computer machines. He said he never met an electron he could trust. So they put him into abacus class so he could do his travel accounting himself. If Tracer’s refusal was a clever ploy to get his own secretary it failed.”
    Magnum shook his head in bewilderment. “Tracer’s an ass sometimes, but he gets the job done. Haven’t seen him since Rome, what happened in New Orleans with him and the orphans?”
    “Bus Nuns,” I said.
    Magnum raised an eyebrow. “Again?”
    “What the…” His voice trailed off and he sat down, all ears.
    “Turns out Tracer got to New Orleans the day after Father Fox cracked the case. The Bishop then called in the Bus Nuns and told ’em to stop brainwashing the orphans and get out of his city. The next morning Tracer was sitting at the Cafe du Monde with an airline ticket in his shirt pocket and powdered sugar on his trenchcoat. He looked around the cafe and saw a couple dozen women with severe haircuts, wearing sweatshirts and Pro-Choice buttons. No luggage was on their chairs or under their tables. Crumbs littered the floor all around them. Tracer told me later, “it looked like they were preparing for a long day of crackin’ Pro-Life skulls and lib zealotry.” So Tracer looked around the cafe again then said to himself, “This place is lousy with Bus Nuns.””
    Magnum frowned. “That is a bit thin Semper. How did he know they were Bus Nuns?”
    I nodded at Magnum. “One of the Bus Nuns- in Tracer’s words “she looked like an orc”- had a flaming skull tattoo on her neck. Tracer remembered Father Fox mentioning a “flaming skull Bus Nun” the previous day, just before Father Fox flew out. So, Tracer is sitting in the Cafe du Monde, sees all this, and thinks: “The Bus Nuns lied to the Bishop, they ain’t leaving town, a new fiendish Bus Nun plot is afoot.”
    Magnum took a thoughtful swig of his coffee. “I bet yoga was involved.”
    “Yep. Turns out a yoga studio was in cahoots with the Bus Nuns. The Bus Nuns were intercepting the Christmas packages for the orphans and replacing the toys with all sorts of weird lib dolls, coloring books, and cartoon DVDs such as “Suzy’s First Abortion.” But, Tracer was on the job. He found a dumpster filled with the original toy boxes…”
    “Stupid mistake by the yoga people,” Magnum observed. “But good for us.”
    I shook my head. “The dumpster was behind a tattoo parlor. The yoga studio was partly owned by a diocesan staffer who also had a say at what went on at the orphanage. So, Tracer wandered into the yoga studio to see what was up and eyeballed the bulletin board in the studio. Sure enough, the studio had tacked up flyers advertising a cooperative evening with a local tattoo parlor. They do those sometimes. Tracer spotted the address of the tattoo parlor on the flyer just as a yoga teacher wearing leopard-print tights and reeking of patchouli oil sidled up to him and started yammering on about crystals and oils. Tracer muttered something about returning later to have his chakras re-aligned and got out of there pronto. He then found the orphan’s original toys in the dumpster behind the tattoo parlor. He also saw Bus Nuns wrapping weird presents for the orphans in the parlor’s back room…”
    Magnum put up a hand. “Wait a minute, Tracer got a tattoo?”
    I nodded. “That’s how he saw into the back room. I told Tracer that if he still had the receipt the office would pay for laser removal. He told me, “Semper, I know an artist who can turn this butterfly on my bicep into a B-2 bomber. I just might keep this.” But I think Tracer will have it removed. Once he masters the abacus and submits his travel paperwork.”
    Magnum looked like he was about to say something, then took another drink of coffee.
    I continued. “Anyway, the Bus Nuns were on the warpath two days before Christmas. If Tracer talked to the Diocese some clown would leak it. So after Tracer left the tattoo parlor he headed for a pay phone…”
    “Semper, we gotta’ get that guy a cell phone.”
    I grunted. “Nah, we got him three already and he keeps dropping them into toilets. That’s enough. So, anyway, Tracer went to a payphone and called the Marines…”
    Magnum raised an eyebrow. “Tanks and artillery? Perhaps Tracer needs a vacation.”
    I chuckled. “Nah, Tracer has an old buddy on the staff of the 4th Marine Division in New Orleans. That officer rounded up ten of his Marines and the left-over Toys for Tots funds and saved the day. The Bus Nun’s vans filled with toxic presents were sabotaged, new toys purchased and wrapped, and four Marines stood guard at the orphanage Christmas Eve if the Bus Nuns or their minions tried anything funny. The real nuns at the orphanage were grateful and are going to start a catechism class for some of those Marines.”
    Magnum took a satisfying swig of his coffee. “Christmas Day for the orphans was saved. Excellent.”
    I nodded. “I hear that the clerks who work down in file storage are going to re-stamp that file from “The Case of the Endangered Orphans” to “A Tracer Bullet Christmas.”
    Magnum frowned then nodded. “He is an ass sometimes, but he does get the job done.” He paused. “Semper, what happened to the Bus Nuns?”
    “Re-Bussed. And driven out of Dodge by some stern looking men and women of the Diocese.”
    “Er, and what toys did those Marines find for the orphans?”
    “Only the good stuff Magnum. Johnny’s First Altar Rail, Becky’s First Mantilla, stuff like that.”
    Magnum nodded approvingly and stood up. “That’s great. Hey, I’ll be right back. Lemme’ get a tray.”
    I picked up my fork. “Watch out for the pepper steak, Magnum. I hear it’s horsemeat today.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

    [The horsemeat was a good touch. Takes me back to seminary.]

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “The horsemeat…takes me back to seminary.”

    This cafeteria-chow talk brings to mind the learned discussion the Blues Brothers had with Matt “Guitar” Murphy about the cabbage rolls and wicked pepper steak at the Cook County slammer.

    p. s. “Bring me four fried chickens and a Coke.”