“If I see any of you laughing on the altar, I will throw you off of the altar and you will not be allowed to serve again!”
Yikes! The strange thing was that it never occurred to me that there was anything funny about serving mass. Others would say that because mass could sometimes be a drag, that they’d have staring contests across the altar or make funny faces at one another. Perhaps that’s what the old man was referring to.
But just putting that thought in our heads was enough. And then the giggles ensued in the sacristy amongst some of us. Contagious giggles…that nervous laughter that nobody really wants to participate in, but does anyway.
We were laughing before we even rang the bell for mass. A weekday mass, which meant few people, usually a bunch of Italian old ladies. But the old priest wouldn’t stop.
“There is nothing funny about this. Look! You are already laughing before you even get out there.”
Ramon Guzman and I were convinced that this priest meant business, so we confidently made a pact not to stare at one another or make faces or in any way provoke laughter out of one another. We were going to be good altar boys.
That was until we reached the foot of the altar.
As any good altar boy knows, you bow at the altar with the priest. So here we are two altar boys and the old priest and we reach the altar and begin the profound bow to start mass.
And Father let out one of the loudest farts as he bent forward. And all hell (perhaps literally) broke out. I laughed, Ramon laughed and the old man might have actually allowed himself a snicker as well.
You can’t make this stuff up. Can you?