THE PET SECRETARY brought a press release announcing the intention of a local church to bless animals one Sunday to the attention of the Pet Lady recently. It seems it was St. Francis of Assisi Days or some such, and while the Pet Lady declines to subscribe to any particular form of organized religion, her interest was caught by the fact that pet owners were urged to bring their fur friends "right on into the Sanctuary or Chapel, using a leash or cage" and that "extremely large animals will be blessed in the courtyard," which naturally filled the Pet Lady with a great deal of curiosity. What type of extremely large animals might the local citizenry lead to the church? How extremely large might they be? So, as the Pet Lady eschews outings prior to noon on Sunday, she requested that the Pet Secretary please visit the proceedings and report back. The report follows.
"10:30 a.m. Tired. Consume waffle. Enlist roommate to bring tarantula (Crawly) to be blessed. Crawly accidentally left out all night in cold previous evening; appears angry. Assist with inserting Crawly and cage into insulating bike messenger bag. Enlist other roommate re: proper church attire; told it doesn't matter these days. Dress in black. Hurry to church. Dreary day; news on radio of spankin' new war. Damn. Approach church with trepidation; recall mistakenly taking communion as child—at mass with friend—not Catholic. Leery since.
"Greeted by extremely nice woman. Want to ask her for Advil; resist. Note to self: Don't stay so late at Jade Pagoda. Ask about pet blessing; reply is: 'I think that's next week. One gentleman brought his cat, but he must have the day wrong, too.' Turn to roommate, say, 'What the hell is going on?' Receive elbow to ribs. Ask to look around.
"Have failed to bring press release. Peer through pane of glass at congregation, beaming and shaking hands before service. Note choir, blue and white robes, getting into position. Out in world, missiles raining down on Afghanistan; we, here, on wrong day, trying to get tarantula blessed. Commence minor freak-out. 'Need to leave—now,' hiss to friend. Look around desperately for exit. Sidewalk. Light rain. Sad.
"Deepest apologies to P. Lady, P. Readers. Will report back on correct day next week.
"The Pet Sect'y"
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