Friday, July 31, 2015

Personality Cults and Wandering Bishops

Well, Toads and Toadettes,

It is summer half-spent and the your obedient servant as been away at his annual cult meeting-"The Bohemian Toad." Luminaries galore from all over come to the "special pond" in Full Monty Hall, California (not to be confused with some other cheap conspiratorial organization). Lots of towel snapping, sybaritic excess and nekkid dancing to be had, along with that world domination thing. Our motto, "Puking Plebians Come Not Here" adorns many a private steam room, let me tell you. Of course, not to be missed is the celebrated and solemn Lily Pad Ceremony around the fire-lit statue of Heqet the Frog Goddess, but that's just fraternal hi-jinks bunky and not a cult. It is a fraternity, dammit, and don't forget it. The Toad needs no cult, bunky, he is the cult and don't you forget it.

Ahhh, but cult, my brave toads and toadettes, is what waited in the post when yours truly staggered across the lintels of Toad Manor towel askew and ice bag crowning his regal head.  There, in magnificent detail and accompanied by suitably lurid illustrations, was the message that that an archbishop had been letting the little bishop under his purview out a bit too often.  And this was not just any run-of-the-mill archbishop.  This wanton wonder and icon for the iPhone camera franchise was the head of an entire jurisdiction...nay,

It seems that continuing clerical contumaciouseness had moved into outright flagitiousness, and the wandering wunderkind and object of adoration had had been, shall we say, a bishop rampant.  This peripatetic prelate had got up to behaviours that earned a public complaint from a lady he had visited "marital advice" upon.  Such was the nature of the counseling that, well, "things" had happened.  Rawk.  Hmmmm...
Well, after sussing to the full range of the roaming of the archbishop (both large and small), the lady had asked that the roistering fellow be stopped lest other women be preyed upon in whatever state the Persipicacious Prelate found them. (Here's a clue, boys and girls: vulnerable seems to be the modus operandi.)  Whether with wine and soothing verbiage or, heaven help the viewer, "selfies" of the greater and lesser bishop, this fellow got around.  The toad can only note that even with Borax for an eye wash the image might or might not be expunged. The visual is far greater than the Toad Grove Dance could even comprehend.  It must be a California thing. Rawwwwk!

So the response of the faithful?  The Toad has learned that it was to attack the woman who raised the alarum that a bishop might just be a' wandering. Here are some initial tasty bits included questioning of the lady's sanity by a purported "clergyman", calumny against her attorney (ok, Toad doesn't like bottom feeders) and vitriol heaped upon the notoriously anti-catholic kiwi-fellah who broke the whole thing.  In the coming days, tearful tones doted on the wonderous contributions of the august and pious prelate and what a shame it was to end his "career" prematurely.  That "J...s" guy? The "King"? The alleged reason for the whole "jurisdiction"?  Not mentioned anywhere. Nope.  No J-Man, only the P-Man. 

The Toad, home from that Bohemian outing, waited. Several Bishop's Cocktails and a few games of of whist with his old pal Squadron Leader Reg "Buff" Opington helped pass the time.  Left the drinks cart rather depleted though.

Then, abra, kababra and alakazam! The wandering bishops, great and small, resigned.  It was billed as a "sickness" thing, you know. Rawwwwk!  You bet sickness, toads and toadettes.  And just as suddenly, the iron curtain descended! No further encomiums, vigorous defenses, tearful recriminations or assaults on the victims.  No, nothing. Not a sausage.  Well, boys and girls, there apparently is a gag order from the prelate's grew, but the matter had already made the Toad gag enough. 

So. toads and toadettes, another one has feet of clay, and it ain't amongst the too familiar quarters of the "mainstream churches" or Joel "Make It Too Easy" Osteen and his empire. (Really, how much French procincial can you buy.) No, this is an upholder of the faith of "T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis, and Dorothy Sayers."  Somehow, and it's just a guess, these folks probably wouldn't be amused by these Anglican antics.

The Toad, now in a second pitcher of Blueberry Bishops, might say, "well, at least it was with women."  However, the Toad is far too cynical and not a member of any modern organised religion.  No, the Toad just looks and simply says to the defenders of the greater and lesser bishop involved, "Do a cult check, bunky." When you do religious stuff-you know, that "profess and call yourself Christian" thing, maybe that Jesus guy might be a wee bit better object of adoration.

Instead, here's a thing: The resigned clergyman's "dedication and devotion to the Church and to [St. Ignatz-on-the-Bay] and to each of us has driven him to extraordinary efforts and work levels. He has achieved impossible heights in the discharge of his four church offices. Four men could never have attained his success. But it has come at a terrible price upon his health, happiness and vitality." Ok, a charitable interpretation might allow that he certainly seems to have been as busy as four men.  Rawk, rawk, rawk.

How about this gusher sent by an alert reader from earlier in the year? "I have never seen a man stand up under such scathing and undeserved attack, but he did, by the grace of God alone.Thankworthy, St. Peter would have termed this suffering. I have a great bishop and friend at the head of this church, and I am comforted to say I would follow him the rest of my days."  Not Jesus, not G-d of the Hebrews, not even C. Estes Kefauver.  Nope, just follow that bishop, greater and lesser.  St. Pete would be really proud, yes indeedy.

Well, four men might have tried to tag all those bases, it's true, but vitality apparently wasn't lacking in the wandering bishop.  The only thing that this Toad can agree on, is that sickness was, indeed, correctly stated in his archnesses' resignation. Funny, though.  There has been that deafening silence in comments following an article in "Dr." Kiwi's (He is a D.D. you know!)  electronic muckraker announcing the resignation of the greater and lesser bishop.  No denials, no apologies, no repentance.  Nope, bunky.  Just the old cone of silence.

So, you have to ask yourselves, boys and girls, what do you do when you just might be in a cult? Do you go along come what may.  Perhaps a question or two might be in order.  Are the finances a bit unusual, and you say that sort of thing "just happens"?  Is there irregularity of life like multiple marriages or a "non-traditional relationship", and you say "he's a great man and deserves to be happy"? Are they hiding child molestation?  Is your prepate poly-amorous? (You look it up , bunky.  You have a computer our you wouldn't be reading this.) Are your greater and/or lesser bishops molesting the flock? Do your folks wink at whatever wanton behaviours might be on because "His grace is such a great man and really photogenic"?  Get a clue, bunky. You just might be in a cult-a Church of Personality.  Rawwwwwwk!
With apologies, or maybe not, to Loving Colour, it's time for a song to lighten the mood:

(And during the few moments that we have left
We want to talk right down to earth in a language
That everybody here can easily understand)

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The Church of Personality
I know your anger
I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the Curch of Personality
Like Jimmy P or Kennedy
I'm the Cult of Personality
The Church of Personality
The Cult of Personality

With candle lights, let smoke arise
When a prelate speaks, on the lips are lies
You will have to follow me
Only I won't set you free

I tell you things you need to be
I'm the smiling face, you're on your knees
I'm the Church of Personality
I exploit you
Still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
Forget to mention the Trinity
I'm the Church of Personality

Like Jimmy Pike or Jackie Spong
Never mind, the right or wrong
I'm the Church lt of Personality
The Cult of Personality
The Church of Personality
No more hat, that prelate's fried
But ah those priests, they weep and cry
You won't have to follow me
My cellphone pics, have set you free

You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your God's name
I'm every bishop, you need me to be
I'm the cult of personality!

I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of
I'm the Cult of Personality!

That about sums it up. At least it has brought us to our favourite time of day.  Cocktail Hour,boys and girls, and time time for a good stiff, drink.Our general theme today is:

Of course, there are many variants and always in appropriate liturgical colours. Beware, though.  Several of these and little bishops tend to go astray!  Sufficiantly large quantities cause cultist behaviours!  Spectacular amounts induce feelings of invincibility and the need to form one's own "jurisdiction"! Rawk, rawk, rawk!

The Bishop's Cocktail-For Those "Ordinary Times"
Serves 1.
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces Stone's ginger wine
  • 2 or 3 ice cubes
The Blueberry Bishop-When You are Blue Over Being Caught Out          
Makes 6 cups

  • 4 cups blueberries, picked over and chilled
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 3 cups chilled Gewürztraminer or Rhine wine
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar, or to taste
The Red Bishop-When You're Feeling Laike a Martyr
Yield: 1 Drink
  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled red wine glass.
Classic Punch Version Especially for Affirming Catholics-Rawwwwk!
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 3 oz rum
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 barspoons superfine sugar
  • various seasonal fruits for garnish
  1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher by stirring thoroughly.
  2. Add ice (pour into a punch bowl if desired).
  3. Add a variety of fruits as garnishes.
Of course, toads and toadettes, you can avoid all of that mixing and time consuming messing about with a variety of fruits (ecclesiastical or no) by going the traditional path.
Eight or nine pints of the old Bishop's Finger your clergyman will go international and get Russian arms and Roman hands! 

Until next time, remember, bunky, the Toad is the Cult of Personality in this jurisdiction. Raaawwwwk!

Yr. Obed. Serv.,

Roy A. Toad, DD, DMon., D.Phil. (Oxen), LSMFT

Friday, May 29, 2015


Well, Toads and Toadettes,

     It's that season again.  A time to celebrate...something.  In the Toad's case, it is the arrival of 250 cases of inexpensive rose to while away the summer hours.  "Think pink for the drink" is our motto here at the pond.  Ok, bunky, it's not much of a motto but it's not much of a wine either.  Rawk!
     In the case of our friends "across the pond", it's time to celebrate conversion. Not what you think you pious little weeds.  Real conversion.  You know: "Gender Reassignment Surgery" a/k/a "Gender Confirmation Surgery" a/k/a "addadictomy" and such like.  We're talking either the old lopping off or sewing on. Or maybe both. Ouch, rawk!
     Seems as though the jolly old...or is it gay old...Church of England is considering a scheme to introduce a ceremony sort of like a baptism to mark the new identities of Christians who undergo a little self-mutilation so that they can release their inner whatever. The motion out of the Diocese of Blackburn (which includes the fleshpots of Poulton and Whalley) calls on the House of Bishops to sort whether it should introduce a new service to mark the milestone in the life of a tranny-either the chopping and lopping or the sewing and stitching.  A spokesperson (unclear of which "gender identity") for the Archbishop of Canterbury's Council confirmed that the motion had
been received, but debate was not to be on, at least immediately.said it would not be debated imminently.
    In response one Andrew Symes (Mrs.), the executive secretary and master of understatement for something called Anglican Mainstream, had this resounding reposte, "The Christian faith has always taught that people are created male and female. We speak for the conservative traditional point
of view. We are aware there are a number of people who want to change from one gender to another and that's a new thing for the church to deal with. It would be something that would go against the teachings of the church up till now. It would be something that would cause controversy."  Controversy?  Contrroversy!?! Rawk, rawk, rawk. 
    But Andrew (perhaps "Mabel" to his confidantes) gets out the backhoe and goes for real depth, 
"To recognize all people is something the church should be doing but to have a service of blessing for someone to change their gender is a new idea. It's not been discussed before in the Church of England. It would need a lot of discussion and debate by theologians and I would need to
know whether there are other agendas by the people bringing it. I would be very surprised if the diocese has passed the motion without a lot of discussion and debate."  New idea?  Wouldn't be passed without "a lot of discussion and debate"?
    The Toad may be into his third bottle of rose, but 'tis easy to see what this paragon of orthodoxy is saying.  It's a new idea, and we are simply going to ttalk it to death.  Just like we did with womyn's ordination.*  Just like we did with womyn bishops.*  Just like we did with homosexual "marriage".  Then, quick as a wink, Dr. Katchukakoff's "Chop House" will be able to send the converts around for a little ceremony to increase their self esteem and sense of belonging.
     The Toad has to ask.  Will there be a separate ceremony  Or, in the spirit of the environmentally conscious CofE will the church urge recycling of to those parishioners converting in the other direction? 
     Perhaps local parishes could set up "Parts Exchange Bulletin Boards" in the parish hall.  Cash strapped parishes could really get behind package deals with local "gender reassignment" surgeries and local wedding planners who could introduce a whole line of services to go with the new "Conversion Ceremony".  Don't want to guess at what might top the cake, though.  Rawwwwwwk!   
     Well, boys and girls, or girls and boys, or whatever you think you are.  The Toad knows that his inner toad is a toad.  A male Toad.  If you are thinking you are going to pop round stately Toad Hall or scenic Toad Pond to have yourself a "conversion party" you can expect to be greeted with an hail of empty rose bottles.  Don't drop any of the way off the property. And that includes you, Mr. or Ms. Jenner.   Rawk!
    Now, it's time to put away the rose for afternoon cocktail hour and, you guessed it, bunky, the


  • Bols Blue Curacao
  • Jack Daniel's whiskey
  • Dark Rum
  • Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur

  • 1. In a shot glass pour the blue curaçao.
    2. Carefully layer Jack Daniel’s on top.
    3. Layer dark rum over the Jack Daniel’s.
    4. Finally layer Irish cream over Jack Daniel’s.

    The good folks over at Cocktail Hunter bill the Gender Bender shooter as "a strong and wicked little drink. This shooter looks a little different each time that you make one."  Just like post-conversion parishioners.  Great jumpin' Jenner!  Rawwwwwk!
    Yr. Obed. Serv.,
    Roy Toad (Dr.), DD, JD, LSMFT
    *You alert toadies and toadettes will notice the cool use of femynist spellings in today's column.  Neat, huh?  It is the first and the last time.  We;re just see whether you are paying attention and reading footnotes.  


    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Life's A Beach

    Good Morning, Boys and Girls,

    The Toad has been on the road quite a bit over the last two years.  Not one of you mean-spirited little toads and toadettes even sent a card.  Even the putative "assistants" who absolutely promised to keep the vital work of sneering going here have disappointed. Well, expect punishment, bunky. Rawk!

    Nevertheless, the Toad is benificent, particularly when he has been spending much of the last few years sunning himself down at Foley Beach.  The Toad just had to go. All of the beautiful people are there.  No one is at all shabby, and there is no deviant behavior except for a bunch of women who seem to dress up like clergy quite a bit and, of course, the Toad.

    Well, boys and girls, the Toad was out one glorious evening tossing a little of Nobel's Finest off the pier to raise up a few fish for dinner, when a neighbor lady in a fetching gents summer suit and dog collar showed up in her Ebbtide Bowrider with the powerful Zwingli-Geneva engines.

    "Yo, Toadie," "Deacon" Sue called out as she throttled that bad boy down to a low, "Prot-prot-prot..."
    "Yes, oh seersuckered maiden of the waves?  Whaddya want?  Can't you see I am fishing here?"

    "I see that, Toad.  So does Foley.  He sees averything around here."
    "Who the hell is Foley?" asked an irritated Toad tossing her a lit stick.  She turned whiter than possible even for an evangelical in the protestant tradition and pitched it over the side.
    "Nice cast, clerical quail.  Now about Foley..."

    She brushed some scrod parts off her jacket, checked the lipstick, and said, "He's the guy whose name graces this beach, Toad, and he's not very happy with you. He heard that you were a backslider and in need of pastoral care."  Suddenly, she was brandishing a Taser in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    The evening was going bad in a hurry.

    "I don't believe that there is a Foley Beach on this Foley Beach.  He ain't really present, and if he ain't really present, then he doesn't exist. Rawwwwk!"

    She was fumbling with the Taser trigger. "Awwww, don't be like that, Toadie," she crooned, "Why don't you and I motor on down to Loganville and you can see for yourself."  She seemed to be becoming a bit fuzzy, or maybe it was the shaker of Love on the Beach cocktails in the old Coleman cooler.

    The Toad makes a point never to motor anywhere with the delusional, particularly on the open sea. "Are you going to talk, or are you going to fish?" "Besides, if he ain't really present, he just ain't, and you seem to be a bit of a novelty yourself sister."

    She was now, well, See-Through-Sue. The Taser now forgotten, sher implored, "Toady, I am as valid as anyone and you need to stop all of that "really present" stuff.  It's so..."
    "Judgemental, bunky?" An airborne flounder nearly winged her rapidly fading form.

    "No, oh Toad, sacramental. And we don't like that. Now, get in the boat and we'll power on over to Foley's.  Johnny Knox and the Hugos are plaing at the cabana club, and they are having bread and wine. They'll let anyone have some. Even you, Toad."

    "Naw, Susie-Q, I may be a Toad, but I like my reality really present."
    With that, she just sort of winked out, seercucker and all.  Only the soft, "Prot-prot-prot" of the idling twin Zwinglis could be heard over the surf.

    The Toad knows that there is only one thing to do in such a situation: grab the boat, crank up the Django Django and drink responsibly!  "Prot-prot-prot...Bwaaaaaaaaaa!"

    "Life's a Beach" (with apologies to Django, Django)

    That how you want to play it
    Break my heart and go Rome
    Why'd you want to go do that, we're not even really present

    That how you want to sing it
    I've been having loads of fun
    I think I've heard that song before, it ends up as a prayer book

    That how you want to see it
    If you just have a 'tongue?'
    Tunnel vision, never listen, no we're never going to Rome

    You're a good time killer
    Another study you'll condone
    Overlooked by Anglo-catholics, playing miter, cope and throne

    Sea has ... something stirring
    On the currents down below
    There's a beach out of reach, pack that missal so we can go

    The same old stuff starts all over
    Switch it up and overhaul
    Step in line, get in time, speed it up until we fall

    Now, toadies, let’s put on our clam diggers, take up our shovels and pails, and see what we can find scouring Foley Beach. And let's not forget to share a little
    Love on the Beach


    •2/3 oz. Schnapps, peach
    •1 1/3 oz. Vodka
    •1 1/3 oz. Cranberry Juice
    •1 1/3 oz. Orange Juice

    Mixing Instructions

    Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Eight of these and you'll be beached.  Rawwwwwwk!


    Friday, November 09, 2012

    I'm Baaack!

    Well Boys and Girls,

    It has been a long time.  The Toad has been rusticating and ruminating on the state of the world.  And, no, the Toad does not wish to "share" his thoughts...or anything else.

    Look for some changes around the pond.  We'll be adding a commentator or two, notably our old friend Mr. Theramin Vox.  "The Vox" is as ascerbic as the Toad, just nowhere near as clever and incisive.  You hear that Vox?  The Toad gets top billing here.

    Also, there will be a tad of a shift in reportage to include, well, everything.  So much to mock, and so little time.  Rawwwwk!

    So, bunky, while you are breathlessly awaiting the first bile of winter, we found the following clergy-themed beverage for your delectation:

    Parson’s Special Cocktail4 Dashes Grenadine.
    1 Glass Orange Juice.
    The Yolk of 1 Egg.
    Shake well and strain into medium size glass.

    A few of these and you'll be on your knees.  Guaranteed. Rawk, rawk, rawk!

    Yr. Obed. Serv.

    Roy "Amalfi Coast" Toad, D.Mon., LSMFT

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    At Least

    And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. -Friedrich Nietzsche

    Well, Toads and Toadettes,

    Out here in the Upper Southern Midwest we have been following the antics of our frozen brethren out East. The Toad just has to ask, “Enough snow for ya’?” Rawk.*

    Listening to Maria Callas in La Boheme (that’s Puccini for you Philistines, boys and girls), the Toad is thinking about tragedy. Of course, the Toad always thinks about tragedy. It’s a way of life, bunky, and we don’t want to mess with “lifestyle” these days do we?

    Speaking of lifestyle, the generous offer from across the Tiber that is the Apostolic Constitution is really bringing out the “lifestlyers”. Every nutcake, fruitbat and whifter is tying to get legitimized. It’s the ecclesiastical equivalent of getting “Sanforized”-white and clean in just an hour. Hanger or box? It’s more colorful than Flor de Azalea (that’s Placido Domingo, bunky), except the flowers don’t smell so sweet and they dance to the vagante beat. Rawk.*

    In one message sent by an alert reader to Toad Central carrying the Anglican Use group label (translate: Roman Catholics with a borrowed aesthetic), one of the new enthusiasts for the Toad’s favorite Church is emblematic of the high weirdness now unleashed. Like flies to the honey dipper, they do seek some legitimacy. And so surfaces the “Most Reverend Louis Bernhardt, O.S.A.” The Toad took a stiff belt of his Kentucky Blizzard, turned up Mignon (that’s more opera, bunky) and deep-researched the good “archbishop” now interested in the Apostolic Constitution that can Sanforize him into the “big house”.

    Actually, the research was only as deep as a half-glass of Kentucky Blizzard and the results suitably “Anglo-catholic”. The Houston Ministry Referral Services website reveals the inquirer into the “Mother Church” as follows:
    Wedding and Baptism Celebrations-Minister-Catholic Priest- Christian Preacher- Wedding Ceremonies-Vow-Performed- Religious Weddding Celebrations-Outdoor Weddings-Galveston Beach Wedding Minister-WEDDING OFFICIANT- Cristian Wedding Vow, Catholic Weddings, catholic,church wedding, wedding chapels,marraige vow,marriage ceremony, renewal of marriage vows,honeymoon, honey moon, bride, groom,nuptials,anglican catholic priest, engagement,reception,rehearsal,wedding location in Texas, Texas minister for nuptials, Military Events Chaplain, Chaplain Louis Bernhardt, Father Louis N. Bernhardt, O.S.A. United States Air Force, Army,Navy,Marines,National Guard Chaplain. Bishop's Weddings performed officiated,Member: Texas Association of Wedding Officiants +.
    Wow! It’s all just there, he’s a chaplain in every armed service and a few unarmed, and then there the membership in the Texas Association of Wedding Officiants which draws “from within a variety of faiths, religions and beliefs, thus enabling an engaged couple to find the Officiant most suited to their needs.” And, while he desperately needs a spell checker, at least he’s not running a fake seminary.

    But, let's take a look at the Texas Association of Wedding Officiants.  Through this Association, you can get Rev. Sherry D. Tavel of “Weddings by Sherry” who will do you up a wedding “at churches, hotels, ships, outdoors, banquet halls, wedding chapels, her home, etc.” “From the most sophisticated of weddings to the more casual settings, Rev. Sherry will assist to create an appropriate atmosphere.” The Toad wants to know about the “etc.” part as he wants a zeppelin-themed ceremony. At least she’s not holding herself out as a “Womyn priest”…at least not yet.

    Good old Reverend Sherry has counseled couples prior to marriage and also those contemplating divorce. She is a licensed practicing attorney in the State of Texas and an associate City Municipal Judge. Talk about a full service ministry-Rev. Sherry gets them coming and going! Rawk, rawk.*

    Of course, the good Archbishop also hangs with Rev. Alan Safford of “A Wedding Just For You”. Now, the Toad wanted to know about the availability of amphibian ceremonies, so he checked out the website of the “wedding officiant who will perform any type of wedding ceremony you desire, at the location of your choice in the Houston, Tx. area.” The Toad particularly liked the popularized “Medieval ceremony” which looked surprisingly like a pirated 1928 Anglican special...or something like it. Although the “rev” prefers “meeting the Bride and Groom in person, all details can be handled by e-mail or phone.” At least, he’s not handling snakes.

    And of the putatively Tiber-crossing “Anglican” “Archbishop” Louis N. Bernhardt, O.S.A.? Well, he’s a kahuna in something called the Anglican Rite Old Catholic Church which even the Toad had a time finding. Not much there other than they use the 1928 BCP from time to time, but, hey, who doesn’t?

    So, we checked the Archbishop’s personal wedding site. If you want to get hitched, he serves the “entire San Antonio, The San Antonio River Walk, all Military Bases, Country Clubs, Bed & Breakfast, Courthouse, Parks, and Weddings at private homes. Also Serving for Austin & New Braunfels.” He’ll travel up to 200 miles in any direction of San Antonio, and, “Should you require a minister for your needs at any location within 200 miles [he] will come to you.” Of course, “[t]here will be an extra fee for driving there and back, plus one night room accomendations.” It’s those “accomendations” the Toad wants to know about. Rawk, rawk, rawk.*

    Near as the Toad can tell, at least this archbishop isn’t causing a ruckus. Judging by the pictures of the happy couples, the good metropolitan is just marrying a few happy couples-no questions asked, taking care of confirmations at lower cost and without those pesky instructions that the local Mother Church franchisee is offering and doing those special Quinceanera Celebrations and Masses in the Catholic Tradition or as a nondenominational celebration “at your location”. He’s just looking to upgrade those services with a little Anglicanorum coetibus, either in spray or dab on.

    While the Toad knows nothing of his history, at least this metopolitical tadpole doesn’t claim hundreds of thousands of panting supporters. At least he doesn’t issue breathless press releases, travel the world with leggy canons staying in top flight "accomendations" or even lose sleep over the location of the proceeds from the sale of church properties. He doesn’t have that kind of Anglo-Catholic clout or access to swag. At least not that the Toad can find. He's at least not calling himself an least not yet. Nosiree, boys and girls. Archbishop Bernhardt is just an old-fashioned simoniac trying to get a bone from the big table. At least he doesn’t appear to have larger pretensions—not even a golf shirt emblazoned with the crest of the Holy Old Catholic Anglican Rite…or [fill in the blank] Anglican Church. What is the Toad? A vagante encyclopedia?

    Unlike those with pretentions, at least Archbishop Louis (why are these guys all named Louis?) is just trying to make a living off of la vie religieuse—and, he seems to meet the needs of ordinary people who couldn’t find a priest to do up little Maria Conchita’s Quinceanera ceremony on that special date between INS raids and when the rest of the family could get back across the border. At least there is no claim to greatness--just a look with nose pressed to the window to see whether better “accomendations” might be available.

    In the meantime, if you are down Texas way, “Saint Paul's United on Long Point Dr. in NW Houston is available FOR RENT if you desire a church wedding. Chapels FOR RENT in other areas of Houston also. You may arrange a church rental and we will be happy to officiate.” Man, that’s on time, low cost delivery in nice "accommendations". It’s the very least we can do. Rawk, rawk, rawk.*

    As for the Toad, at least he has a large pitcher of Kentucky Blizzards at hand:

    Ingredients for a Kentucky Blizzard

    • Bourbon Whiskey
    • Cranberry Juice
    • Lime Juice
    • Grenadine Syrup
    • Sugar

    Quantities for one drink:

    • 1 1/2 oz Bourbon Whiskey
    • 1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
    • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
    • 1/2 oz Grenadine Syrup
    • 1 tsp Sugar

    Blending Instructions:

    • Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice
    • Shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass
    • Garnish with a half-slice of orange, and serve in a Cocktail Glass.

    Four or five of these and you’ll be looking for new “accomendations” yourself! Rawk.*

    Yr. Obed. Serv.,

    Archbishop Roy Aldous Toad, D. Phil. (Oxen.), LSMFT
    Holy Traditional Anglican Church of Rome and Wedding Service
    (Good Franchises Still Available In Your Town)
    *The Sound of One Toad Barking

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009


    -Advertising Jingle for the Chia Pet®

    Well, Toads and Toadettes,

    The Toad has been lurking the corridors of stately Toad Hall in customary fez and smoking jacket contemplating mockeries of the year past. “Smug and Self-Satisfied,” game to mind. This is not a law firm, bunky. It’s a good feeling in the satire business. “Smugness and Self-Satisfaction” (“S&S” to those in the biz). These make for the unhealthy glow that follows a good bout of knocking off others who aspire to the same goal. But you know, boys and girls, there’s only so much S&S to go round and the Toad ain’t sharing. He doesn’t have to. He’s the Barking Toad.® Rawk.*

    So, with a veritable treasure house of S&S laid up, the Toad found himself in a reverie accented with mild gloating over how Easterners handle a little snow. Hey, don’t like it, move to Florida, maybe the greater Orlando area, pally. There’s maybe a snow job going on there, but the hot air keeps it mostly under control, if you get my "drift." Rawk, rawk, rawk.* (Sometimes the Toad even amazes himself!)

    The Toad was just getting to another shaker of The Last Word cocktails-the ideal drink for the amphibious satirist-when he was surprised by his back-up singers, the Toadelles. This sequined band of musical mayhem makers toured with the Toad back in his R&B (rawk* and bark) days. Twila Toad, Tonetta Toad, Tondelao Toad and, of course, Tina Toad had stopped in to see what the Amphibious One might want for Christmas and to catch up on the holiday drinking. After firing up the big blender, we settled in on the lily pads to ponder presents.

    What do you get for the Toad who has everything? No cilices for the Toad, pally, and the electronics are superb in stately Toad Hall.  Maybe it is the Chia Pet®, that “brand of collectible animal figurines originated by the San Francisco, California-based company Joseph Enterprises Inc.”

    Chia Pets are traditional Mexican animal-shaped clay figures covered with "chia", a vegetable sprout resembling the particular animal’s fur or, in the case of human figures, their body hair. (Sounds like the Toad's late uncle Vito, but only on the back and shoulders. Rawk!*) These babies work, if you can call it that, by applying moistened seeds of Salvia hispanica, the sprout-like plant from whose common name the Chia Pet gets its name, to the grooved terra cotta figurine body. After three to five days of filling and refilling the Chia Pet with water as well as discarding water that has accumulated in the provided drip tray, the seeds sprout, having formed a gelatinous coat that adheres to the Chia Pet's body. At this point, little effort is required to maintain the plant covering of the Chia Pet.

    Several Chia Pet animals currently are available, including a turtle, pig, puppy, kitten, frog, and hippopotamus. Sculpted Chia heads and licensed Pets based on popular cartoon characters like Garfield, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, Shrek, The Simpsons, Spongebob, and most recently the Chia Obama. (Now there’s a scary image.) There are, though, no Chia Toads, a glaring deficiency which probably resulted in their subsequent decline in popularity has relegated these objects to fad status. In case you were wondering, the catch phrase sung in the TV commercial as the plant grows in time lapse is “Ch-ch-ch-chia!”

    Wow, Toads and Toadettes! It’s a pet, it’s a plant, and it’s a work of art all in one. And you don’t have to be involved after an initial small and mildly distasteful effort. It may even be a theological metaphor. You were waiting to see there this would go, weren’t you bunky? Well, have another Last Word and just wait for it. Rawk*

    On the Odd Religious Behavior Front, (between St. Michel and Ypres), the Toad has taken a few shots lately at some guys who are trying to decide what they are in a religious sense. It seems as though they lost their identity faster than Uma Thurman in a Quentin Tarrantino film. That’s a cultural reference, bunky, look it up. Of course, that presupposes they ever had an identity in the first place. Rawk.*

    After all, what do you do when you need to announce that your "worldview" has run the gamut from paganism, broad evangelicalism, foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Calvinism, Anglicanism, to Roman Catholicism of the Opus Dei (Latin for “fanatical cult”) sort? Hmmmmm. There’s more identities there than Sybil. How do you spell "confused"?

    Or, let’s try the “archdeacon” who has been a “traditional Anglican” after having spent three decades as a Reformed Church minister. This fellow, who discovered his "Anglican identity" in the last couple of years recently announced in public that he’s not able to believe that his ordination by presbyters in the Reformed tradition was invalid or that the hundreds of “Eucharists” that he claims to have “celebrated” for over 30 years were just empty signs. It seems that he sees reordination simply as a “reaffirmation of [his] previous 30 years of ordained ministry.” Wow, bunky! That might not be a problem in your current venue (after all, lack of education, formation, multiple wives, disbarment and other scandales, aren't problematic), but, you might want to plan to be going to one or two remedial classes on that little issue when you get to your new venue. They have a wee bit of different take on the question of those pesky sacraments. Rawk, rawk.*

    Maybe it could all work out in a new religious outlook the Toad will call Chiaology. It works this way, boys and girls. We’ll get a hollow clay church building, say in that quaint English familiar style. You can even add the Chia-bishop®, Chia-priest® and even a Chia-deacon®. All of them suitably hollow inside, but not Mexican-made, pally. No foreign goods, here. The Toad only buys American, except for the lawn service, the pool service, the housecleaning service, the car detailing service, and occasional fast food purchases. Rawk.*

    And, you don’t have to really worry about that hole inside. Content doesn’t matter to the real practitioner of Chiaology. You can put anything in there or nothing at all. It doesn’t matter, rally. Great shades of Fernando, it just matters that it looks marvelous, pally. That’s Chia-“patrimony”.

    Then, you apply the chia seeds—we can even get them in the appropriate liturgical colors from C.M. Almy’s new Botanical Division. We just paste them on there in gelatinous coat—the kind that is formless and wobbles and jiggles until it settles down on whatever Chia shape is underneath.

    Now, the bad news-you do have to do a little work. Not much, bunky, not like going to a real seminary or even having a real ordination. But Chiaology does require some up-front effort-you know, read the manual, dump out the water. But it won’t last long. Soon, the sprout-like plant will cover any grooves or marks, and you will feel all warm and comfy-like. Chiaology is sort of like having eight or nine Last Word’s—everything gets hazy and indistinct. You really don’t have to work at it any more, or bother the mind with substance.

    You do get only a limited initial number of Chia seeds, though. What happens when the first ones die off and the same ones aren’t available from our good friends at C.M. Almy’s Botanical Division? Well, you can get almost the same salvia hispanica from that bigger supplier. And what if you break your Chia-bishop? You can get almost the same kind, and when that vegetable patina grows out it will almost be the same. And, that’s the way it is, pally. No worry, though, because Chia-patrimony is all on the surface anyway. Just as long as you can sing that familiar, “Ch-ch-ch-chia!” (#437 in the 1940 Chia-Hymnal), you will be just fine. Rawk, rawk, rawk.*

    So, the Toad is bunkering in for Christmas. He’ll leave hollow figures on the windowsill, unless it’s a Chia-Obama (as content free as any other Chia-pet). That one will have to have a place right there on the bookshelf in the study next to Joey Escribá’s The Dummy’s Guide to Flagellation, Hank Zwingli’s Big Book of Sacraments and, from the mansion, Hep’s Little Black Book (Hardcover edition).

    After attending to sending threat letters (you think a present like a Chia-anything gets a thank you?), the Toad will head out to the trench line where “the Padre” will lay on a nice Christmas Eve service for the Toads and Toadettes standing watch. Afterwards, we’ll gaze out on the star shells bursting over No-Man’s Land and wait for the sweet strains of one of the Huns singing a traditional German carol. Then, tear in the eye, the Toad will drop him like a sack of spuds in his tracks from 100 yards out with a round from the trusty .303 Enfield, and take the chocolate ration off him for good measure. The Hun bastard was probably a practicing Chiaologist to boot! Rawk, rawk, rawk!

    Now, religious rancor almost aside, (thats double consonance, pally, be amazed), it’s that part of the column you all wait for: the drink recipe. For Christmas it’s the aptly-named Last Word. When it comes to flavor, Toads and Toadettes, this little ambuscade in a glass lives up to its name. Made with gin, fresh squeezed lime juice, maraschino liqueur and green (of course) Chartreuse. The Last Word is a prohibition-era drink, which originated at the Detroit Athletic Club and had gotten lost until a Seattle bartender Murray Stenson (not a known Chiaologist) discovered it while rifling through old cocktail manuals and long-lost S.P.C.K. publications.

    Considered one of America’s top bartenders, Stenson found The Last Word in “Bottoms Up!” (or was that, "Buttocks Up"?) by Ted Saucier, a 1951 bartender’s guide that is so old it was bound together reportedly by packaging tape. Or, maybe it was a gelatinous substance. In any event, here is

    The Last Word

    1/2 ounce gin
    1/2 ounce lime juice
    1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
    1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

    Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.  A few of these, bunky, and you’ll be chasing Chia-pets with the balsamic vinaigrette and a packet of croutons.

    Merry Christmas (we don’t say “holiday” here) to all, and to all a Toad night!

    Yr. Obed. Serv.

    Brigadier Roy Aldous Toad, O.B.E. (Order of the Bufodinae Empire), M.Ch. (Master of Chialogy), D. Phil. (Oxen.), LSMFT
    Somewhere Near the Ypres Salient
    *The Sound of One Toad Barking

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Identity Crisis

    I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?
    -Jason Bourne, The Bourne Identity

    Well, Toads and Toadettes,

    It seems that Christmas is fast approaching Toad Pond, and, here in the upper southern Midwest, we cosmopolitan amphibians have donned our fezzes and smoking jackets for indoor festivities and a general bout of rejoicing. Less prudent bufodinae-those without fireplaces and central heat--already are frozen down, perhaps to emerge in the New Year. They should have gotten that last delivery from Hiram Distilleries. But, hey, someone has to be a “spring peeper,” right? Rawk!*

    It’s time to reflect on the dyspepsia of the year past. We’ve eviscerated Episcopalians, lanced Lutherans, ambushed Anglicans, stabbed seculars and vilified vagantes. The Toad has even tumbled the truth on so-called “traditional” Christians, both to maintain consonance and to harpoon hypocrisy. (C’mon, boys and girls, that’s good even by the Toad’s standards. Rawk.*)

    So, whilst firing up another cigar and mixing a few Identity Crisis cocktails (see below so you can drink along, bunky), the Toad had a look at the latest e-mails. Apart from the customary “enhancement” pitches (hey, the Toad doesn’t need ‘em, they're for a friend) and Nigerian widows needing bank information to stash the huge sums of money hubby left, the Toad saw a bunch of e-stuff purporting to “unmask” him.

    “We know who you are, and we know where you live” messages get a bit tedious. It was so nice of the blog host to give us an application to identify message originators. Now the Toad can say with confidence to Fr. K. that you really ought to check out a German dictionary or consult a retired shop teacher from Cleveland (“No, I vas never camp guard during ze var-I vas window cleaner.”) before attempting German.

    In case you missed it, boys and girls, the Toad is a mélange, a volatile mixture, but, damn it, not a potpourri-that’s for Episcopalians. Several personae appear here, which is why the Toad writes third person. It’s true that someone owns this site and even owns the trademark. But, never count on knowing who might be doing the actual poking, japing and bearding of your favorite objects of derision. Nosireee, pally. This site is satirized…er…sanitized for our protection.

    But, you go on. Keep sending those amusing little menacing e-mails. Guess, what? The Toad won’t publish them. There might be theft of any good material, what little there is, but your ego won’t be gratified by seeing your pitiful efforts in electronic ink. The Toad doesn’t care. He doesn’t have to because he’s comfortable with his amphibious identity.

    Not so with some of you boys and girls sending messages. The Toad has seen Lutheran monsignors, Episcopagans, archiwhozisses from “relatively new jurisdictions”, and clergy of every shape and kind bound together with the common string of fraudulent credentials and thirst for “authority”. These are the boys (and occasional girl) who have done Rotary, the animal clubs (Elk, Moose, Platypus and such), Masons, the Legion and now know that they are absolutely “called” to be clergy. It’s going to be alright—the Toad will expose you as you pop up out of the dark like mushrooms after a good rain whatever sun porch seminary you are hiding in.

    But, now, there’s a new kind of identity crisis abroad. An alert reader whose posts the Toad will never publish has hit upon a blog run by several guys calling themselves “Anglo-Catholic”, but who appear to be ultra-Montane Roman Catholics. The Toad steeled himself with a few Identity Crisis cocktails, and went to view this latest Christmas apparition.

    Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Looks like the operation is run by the members of the same “jurisdiction” that has the disbarred chancellor on whom the Toad reported a couple of months ago. Now, backed by the same bishop or at least supported by his “cathedral” operation, these folks are making Opus Dei adherents look like Calvinists. All the while, the main web site of the sponsor (what is his real name, exactly?) claims to be an “Anglican” operation.

    It sure does look like anything remotely Anglican has been tossed over the side of an Orlando charter boat. A little net surfing has proven to the Toad this has not set very well in “Anglo-Catholic” land, and that, as a result of “misinformation” it seems as though a number of people in that small group (and it really is small, boys and girls) aren’t particularly happy about being bartered off by the bishop (consonance, fear it) to Rome to strains of It is Well With My Soul. Rawk, rawk.*

    The Toad’s favorite purveyor this bit of religious incontinence in all of this is the Anglican clergyman (you are not a priest over here, pally) the Toad will call “Christmas”, because we don’t say “holiday” here, bunky. Seems that Doctor Christmas bills himself as a “cooperator” in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, an association of clergy “intrinsically united with Opus Dei.” You Toads and Toadettes who might not be familiar with Opus having been living on a desert island during the DaVinci Code flap (think homicidal Albino monks), should understand that it’s a bit like Freemasonry for Roman Catholics. On steroids. With much, much more flagellation.

    Doctor Christmas is quite taken with all of this, particularly given that, as a cooperator, he can “receive the spiritual goods the Church grants to those who collaborate with Opus Dei. These include indulgences which the cooperators, provided they observe the conditions established by the Church, can gain on specific days of the year, and whenever out of devotion they renew their obligations as cooperators.”

    Whoa! Indulgences! Great jumping Tetzel! Guess the good doctor was out the day that they covered indulgences over at the Reformed Theological Seminary way back in 2002. (Quick trip through being an Anglican, but, unlike many “continuing Anglicans,” at least it’s legit.)

    Take comfort, bunky. After assisting “in the effort to bring tens of thousands into the Church”, one day you might get to be a supernumerary or even a numerary. The Toad wonders if you’ll get a special hat. Just remember not to tie that cilice (a/k/a spiked mortification chain) too tight, or in the wrong place, pally! Rawk, rawk, rawk!*

    Or, how about “The Discipline” which is described on the Opus Dei Awareness site as “a cord-like whip which resembles macramé, used on the buttocks or back once a week. Opus Dei members must ask permission to use it more often, which many do.” The Toad will spare you the story of how hard and frequently “the Founder” liked to use it. It is nearly Christmas (not “holiday” damn it) after all. The Toad will keep the macramé on the hanging plants in the orangery, thank you.

    Because they are there, we will just share a soupcon of relevant quotes from the writings of Opus Dei Founder, Josemaria Escriva. How about, “Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain. . . Glorified be pain!” (The Way, 208) Hey, you Anglican Toads and Toadettes, that doesn’t mean doing without the kneelers. Or, how about this one from “The Founder”? “Your worst enemy is yourself.” (The Way, 225) And, then, “You have come to the apostolate to submit, to annihilate yourself, not to impose your own personal viewpoints.” (The Way, 936) How do you spell cult, boys and girls?

    So, here’s the deal. This particular little group wants to play the Palace. Fair enough, but, the Toad smells fakery. Things aren’t straight up where the cultists roam, and, the good Doctor, having one of the few real degrees among the flock of clergy in “Anglo-Catholic” land just may be marching to a very different drummer. It may also be, Toads and Toadettes, that the Acme Company, heartily endorsed by one Wiley E. Coyote, is in the cilice business and got the directions off. Putting such a thing around one’s neck will have certain problematic “side effects”. Worse than those “enhancements”. Rawwwwwwwk.*

    Now, it’s time to get back to serious winter entertainments as the snow falls. But, soft! Is that the UPS representative in with the rum delivery from Santo Domingo? The Toad doesn’t remember an Albino delivery man with a limp on this route. Hmmmm.

    The Identity Crisis (ok-it’s a Boston Sidecar, the cocktail with an identity crisis)

    1 oz light rum
    1/2 oz brandy
    1/2 oz triple sec
    1/2 oz lemon juice

    Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled Martini glass.

    A couple of these, pally, and you’ll be wondering, “If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?” (With the Toad’s apologies to Chuck Palahniuk, but, hey, you ain’t sellin’ any books lately, bunky.)

    Yr. Obed. Serv.

    Roy “The Cooperator” Toad, LSMFT, D-Phil. (Oxen.)
    *The Sound of One Toad Barking