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

Ingredients:

•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 Anglo-Catholic...at 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

Chiaology



“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”
-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.)
Seuerdupernumerary
*The Sound of One Toad Barking

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Et tu, Luther?


…the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature.” Martin Luther, Works, Vol. 3, 255.

Well, Toads and Toadettes,

Here at Toad Pond in the upper southern Midwest it’s a cursed 40 degrees this fine morning. At least Toad Manor has a fireplace and a drinks cart to warm the chill. Nope, bunky, there’s nothing like a tall Martin Luther Bier to take the chill off. Eight or nine of those babies and you are ready to hire someone to cut some wood for the ol’ fireplace. At least that’s the Toad’s preferred location for fires.

It seems that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has a different idea about fires. You see, boys and girls, this bunch of “mainstream” Christians had a little gathering in Minneapolis to approve, wait for it, a theological statement on human sexuality that loosens church teaching on homosexuality. Guess they’ve been hanging out at the Olympic Baths with their Episcopalian buddies a wee to much. They don’t call them ELCUSA for nothing. Rawk!

A few hours before the ELCA's governing body approved the sexuality statement entitled “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” the gathering was interrupted by a police order to send everyone within the vast convention center into the convention hall because of an approaching twister. At about 2 p.m., the tornado struck Central Lutheran Church across the street from the convention center, ripping down part of a 90-year-old steel cross atop the church and, well, sparking a bit of a fire.

Inside the center, the heat index rose with the fear as ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson read the 121st Psalm to the nervous assembly. Now here’s the kicker, toads and toadettes. The Rev. Steven Loy, chairman of the ad hoc committee for the document, was quoted as saying, “We trust the weather is not a commentary on our work.” Whoa! You think it just might be, pally?


And where was Pastor Luther in this near miss? You remember, this would be the same Luther who said, “Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature.”

Or, could it be the same Luther who, Commenting on Genesis 19:4-5. wrote:

I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret.

Bunky, it didn’t creep in. Nosiree. The rainbow flag of Sodom was carried right in the front door, even as a little holy noise and minor devastation was expressing the more than passing displeasure from on High over the events of the day.

Boys and girls, the Toad has enough trouble in life without putting his finger (assuming he had fingers) in the eye of the Almighty. Nope. The Toad prefers to quaff a few pints of old Martin Luther, while local “undocumented laborers” chop down the neighbor’s pawlonia tree to push back the upper southern Midwestern chill here in Toad Manor.

As for the ELCUSANs, well boys and girls, Pastor Luther thinks that they can pretty well count on central heat…for a long, long time. Rawwwwwwwk!*

If you can’t find Martin Luther Bier at your local, there’s always

The Reformation Cocktail

Ingredients-

50 ml BOLS - Genever
20 ml GABRIEL BOUDIER - 'Bartender Range' Cherry Brandy
5 dash(es) ANGOSTURA - Orange Bitters
5 dash(es) ANGOSTURA - Aromatic Bitters
1 Float La Trappe Dubbel Beer

Stir bitters and cherry brandy in a similar manner to an Old Fashioned, adding Jenever and ice as you go. Layer the head of La Trappe beer on top.

A couple of these and you’ll be nailing thing to the door. Rawk!*

Yr. Obed. Serv.,

“Pastor” Roy Aldous Toad, DD-VS (Very Specious), LSMFT, D.Phil. (Augsberg)
*The Sound of One Toad Barking

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Who's zoomin' who, take another look, tell me baby
Who's zoomin who
Who's zoomin' who, now the fish jumped off the hook
Didn't I baby...Who's zoomin' who
-Miss Aretha Franklin

Well, Toads and Toadettes,

     The Toad is back. Amphibian-about-town that he is, he can’t resist swimming in the brackish waters of comment on the new Apostolic Constitution. You know, boys and girls, this is the document from the “front office” that covers “the establishment of special structures for Anglicans who want to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.”

The Toad notes that the Vatican's chief ecumenist (that’s Latin for “travel lots of places for good food and drinks”), Cardinal Walter Kasper says that this is “absolutely is not a signal of the end of ecumenical dialogue with the Anglican Communion.” In an interview published in the Nov. 15 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican hotsheet and fish-wrapper, Kasper the Friendly Ghost said that the papal provision is not anti-ecumenical. “To think, as some commentators have said, that the pope made this decision just to ‘expand his empire’ is ridiculous,” the also cardinal said.

     Right. Just like firing those cannon things on Fort Sumter wasn’t the end of Confederate “ecumenical dialogue” with the Yankees. Heavens no, boys and girls. The panzer pope, a personal fave of the Toad, just suddenly developed a taste for fish and chips and Smithwick’s Ale. Or would that be Foster’s Export and kangaroo burgers. Rawk.*

     The Toad also is highly amused by the coterie of “former Anglicans” that are effervescing over this like Alka-Seltzer in club soda. Yo, Anglican enthusiasts, chill out you band of obsessed aesthetes. (The Toad likes that-it might be a literary device, but he doesn’t care.) If Rome really were the place to be a la Green Acres, why are you still obsessing over your past, which of course was a schism based on a lascivious monarch’s desire for divorce anyway? At least that’s what the line was in RCIA reeducation camp, that is if the lesbian nun teaching it ever got past ranting over her anger concerning the oppressive male priesthood. Rawk, rawk.*

     Get over it. You are part of the Roman Catholic Church now. So former Anglicans turn in your copies of the 1940 Hymnal—we’ve got some nice soothing Marty Haugan for you.

     Why would Pope Benny want to lay hold of liturgy and “traditions” that were perpetrated by a bunch of Englishmen whose Holy Orders and purported Sacraments were as bent as their teeth? (Dear God! Doesn’t National Health in the U.K. have a dental plan? Rawk.*). Worse, many of these guys are already using the same kind of banal language and dopey music as in the local Catholic joint around the corner from Toad Pond, or the local community-theatre production of The Lion King. Naw, the Big Guy is looking for clergy and lay bodies who are more or less simpatico with the his reform of the reform, and “former Anglicans” are just the perfect material to become “traditional Catholics.” They might even get oiled up on sherry, stand up against Clown Liturgies and Halloween Masses and lead a torchlight procession to deal with certain “liturgists”. Yep, B-16 might be getting some folks with actual backbones-to be absorbed and homogenized into the Roman Catholic Church never to be heard from again.

     But one thing’s for certain, toads and toadettes, Uncle Kasper isn’t rolling out the carpet for non-Anglican Communion Anglicans. You know, the “the Traditional Anglican Communion, a group that claims more than 400,000 members and describes itself as ‘a worldwide association of orthodox Anglican churches, working to maintain the catholic faith and resist the secularization of the church.’”

    No, the Kasper-dude scored these folks as Johnny-Come-Latelies: bandwagon types who “did not participate in the conversations that led to the pope's recent provision.” Whoa! That’s news! What about all of the nearly-shouted pronouncements about the “negotiations that could not be spoken of” emanating from the TAC over the last couple of years?

     That old wet-blanket Kasper went on to lift a giant ecclesiastical leg on that entire idea, stating that, “Now, however, they [TAC] are jumping on a train that already has left the station. If they are sincere, OK, the doors are open. But we cannot close our eyes to the fact that they have not been in communion with Canterbury since 1992”. Therefore, they are not technically leaving the Anglican Communion to join the Roman Catholic Church.

     What’s this? The TAC was not the principal, the prime mover, the capo di capo tutti in landing this offer from Rome to the benighted Anglicans. Had the train already left the Roma S. Petro station? Shades of Love in Vain by the immortal bards Messrs. M. Jagger and K. Richards:

Yeah, the train left the station, it had two lights on behind…
Well, the blue light was my baby and the red light was my mind.

     Could someone be over-blowing their role in this whole Anglican thing? And what of the allegedly forthcoming “special Apostolic Constitution” that makes a deal with these traditional Anglican folk? You know, the one like the Double Secret Special Probation imposed by Dean Vernon Wormer on the hapless denizens of the Delta House at Faber College. Isn’t the Vatican going to design a special program just for an entity with multiply-married, frequently uneducated clergy whose numbers are at best, shall we say vague? It certainly seems as if someone’s mind has left the station.

     Frankly, boys and girls, it looks like Kasper the Friendly Cardinal has thrown big…well…something into the celebratory punchbowl. More to the point, it seems like someone somewhere may be exaggerating just a wee little bit? Could it be the venerable Kasper who is no stranger to the occasional press retraction? Or is it a certain unnamed “thunder from down under” who is, shall we say, cutting things out of whole cloth particularly now that there are people proving a bit squeamish over becoming “former Anglicans”?

     Well, the Toad says, somebody is zoomin’ somebody. Had the train really already left the station leaving the claims of a certain primate suspect? Or is the Cardinal just miffed that he won’t be making the regular trip to Canterbury for shepherd pie and Watney’s Red Barrel? We’ll soon know if we don’t already. In the meantime, the Toad is going round the corner for mid-day devotions at Sacred Bleeding Heart parish in the hopes that the liturgist has laid on We Are a Pilgrim People or a little ditty by the St. Louis Jesuits. He then plans to follow up with a different divertissement from Australia:

The God of Chunder Cocktail

1 tablespoon of sugar syrup
juice of one lemon
2 ounces of gin or vodka
shaved Ice
Cold beer (Foster’s, of course)

To make syrup, heat the sugar in a few drops of water until dissolved. Mix syrup, lemon juice, gin or vodka; stir well. Pour into a tall glass; add shaved ice, and fill the reminder of the glass with beer. Stir.

Six or seven of these and you’ll have no constitution at all.  Rawk, rawk, rawk.*

Yr. Obed. Serv.,

Roy Aldous Toad, DD-VS (Very Specious), LSMFT, D.Phil. (University of Wallamaloo)
*The Sound of One Toad Barking