sunday school exercise #1: no fun
When I was very young I was duly \’enlisted\’ in Sunday School. This weekly activity was not to my taste, but since it presented my mum and dad with the opportunity to enjoy some time alone, there really was no alternative on the menu.
This was all fine until an elder or Churchwarden caught me stepping up there in my outdoor shoes. His face, already florid, reddened some more. Quivering hairs protruded from each nostril. He smelled of stale tobacco; the faintly sour odour of an old man\’s resentment with his lot and mostly everyone in the world.
He bawled at me until his eyes clouded over behind his spectacles, and the spittle flew from between his teeth.
With the benefit of hindsight, I think it safe to surmise he was juiced. On the Trinity alone or Teacher\’s blended whisky. Or a madly shaken cocktail of all four.
At the age of three and a bit, this was all too much. The baby Jesus\’ father\’s wrath and the sulfur pits maybe waiting to consume me. Seriously. No kidding. The lunatic ranted on in this prehistoric fashion for several minutes. Fire and brimstone. This and that. He didn\’t lay a hand on me; he didn\’t need to. It was not a telling off. It was an Old Testament sermon complete with babbling in tongues.
He was probably originally from the Islands. All that crap is still very much in vogue there.
Naturally, I fled home in floods of tears. With trembling lip and heaving chest I wasted no time in telling my parents what the Sunday School Man had said. I was full of shame at my crybaby sobbing and just as indignant. No doubt my dad was pissed off at the prospect of perhaps giving up his Sunday morning sleep-in, but to his credit he went straight down there and threatened to give that bastard a beating. I did not go back there for several halcyon weeks.
So. Here is an alternative Sunday School exercise for you all: listen carefully to the following versions of the same song, then compare and contrast in no fewer than three hundred words.
▼ THE STOOGES: NO FUN from \”The Stooges\” LP (Elektra) 1969 (US)