Hey, we all make mistakes. But WE make funny ones. And, of course, we do these in front of dozens of people!
Interesting Word Choice
While giving a talk on living chastity, in October 2001, Christie wanted to give encouragement to those in the audience who might have already had sex. Her hope was to describe the beauty of God’s mercy and the opportunity He gives us all to start over. Although her message was clear and appropriate, her word choice was, well…unique. She accidentally said, “Now guys, I don’t want you to think that if you’ve already lost your virginity, you’re screwed.”
What Does It Do For You?
The REAP Team’s chastity educator, Heather G., was giving a presentation in August of 2000 at a youth rally at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in St. Charles. She was working on a powerful analogy, which is supposed to go something like this…
She gives out chocolate to members of the audience, and then asks a volunteer to come up in front of the crowd. She asks him questions like, “Do you love chocolate?” “Why do you love chocolate?” “What does chocolate do for you?” “If you knew a piece of chocolate thousands of miles away was melting, would you purchase airfare to rescue it?” The point of this questioning is to distinguish one type of love – chocolate love – which is about using, from another type of love – the love that wants what is best for another.
The analogy took an amusing turn this particular night when a guy volunteered and came on stage. Heather asked, “Do you love chocolate?” His reply was, Yes!” She then asked, “Why do you love chocolate?” His reply was, “Because it is sweet and it makes me feel good.” Heather’s blooper followed. While she meant to ask this innocent young man, “What does chocolate do for you?” – she instead asked, “What does sex do for you?” And, without missing a beat, our male volunteer replied, “The same thing chocolate does!”
Members of the audience laughed so hard it took us all several minutes to be able to listen again.
In September of 1999, while working with the Confirmation class and their sponsors from Sacred Heart Parish in Valley Park, we were performing one of our most serious dramas, “Jesus, Stay!” In this drama, the main character tries to keep Jesus from joining him at a party, and in the end nails Jesus to the Cross to keep Him away. Pretty serious, right? This is a drama that has been known to change people’s lives.
Well, on this particular retreat, Jeff M. was playing the part of Jesus. When the main character, Paul M., pushed Jesus away for the final time before nailing Him to the Cross, Jeff dramatically fell to the ground. However, as Jeff began standing up to finish the drama, he passed gas – very loudly. There were over 100 people on the retreat, and the first three rows, at least, heard it. So, at the most dramatic moment of the drama, nearly ¼ of all in attendance, including all of the REAP Team members, burst out in uncontrollable laughter. With God’s grace, the team members were able to temporarily regain our composure, to gracefully finish the drama without completely losing it. However, all of our memories of Jeff will never be the same.
Chickens and Airplanes
At the St. Charles Deanery Youth Rally on 2/15/98, we were doing the skit “Chickens and Airplanes”. In this drama, team members act like chickens, airplanes, ninjas, and Christians, giving nonsensical reasons why they believe that they are these things. At the end of this drama, each member of the REAP Team gives different reasons why they think they are a Christian (i.e. “I’m getting Confirmed”, “I go to a Catholic school”, “My parents are Christians”). The funniest response ever was given at this youth rally by Ed M., who said, “I’m a Christian because I shop only at Christian bookstores…which gets a little difficult when I need new underwear!” At this point, all of us in the drama nearly died of laughter. Thanks, Ed!
Broccoli and Boogers
At a First Communion meeting with 2nd graders and their parents in January 1998, Adam B. told the very disgusting (yet classic) joke, “What is the difference between broccoli and boogers?” Suddenly, one of the second graders raised his hand, was called on, and blurted out, “Broccoli doesn’t taste very good!” This boy’s response was much funnier than any punch line that Adam could have given!
Keep it in the Fireplace
In April 1996 one of our team members named Pete was giving a chastity talk to a group of eighth graders from Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant. Peter was using an excellent analogy in which sexual intimacy is compared to fire. The analogy is supposed to go like this…
Sexual intimacy is like fire. Fire in a fireplace is great. It warms your house, makes things cozy, and can be very romantic. However, fire on the living room carpet can burn your house down. Likewise, God created sexual intimacy to happen in the context of marriage. Like fire in the fireplace, sex in marriage is great - it keeps things warm, cozy, and romantic. However, sex outside of marriage, like fire on the living room carpet, can cause a lot of destruction - it can burn your house down.
Well, here’s a paraphrase of part of what Pete accidentally said, and it really gave everyone a good laugh…
Sexual intimacy is like fire. Fire in the fireplace is great. It warms your house, makes things cozy, and can be very romantic, but sex on the living room carpet can burn your house down!
By the way, Pete did later clarify his statement, to the great relief of all adults in attendance!
A Brown Spatula?
In October of 1995, a very funny thing happened. A Confirmation retreat had just ended, and students were visiting our free stuff table on the way out of the retreat facility. One of the things available on this particular day was a brown scapular, which is a form of devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Well, one of the 8th grade girls picked up this brown scapular, and ran up to me, asking what it was. I briefly told her, “It is called a brown scapular. There is a little piece of paper that goes with it that explains it in greater detail, but it is a form of devotion to Mary.”
After the retreat, one of my team members told me that this same girl had come running back to her friends immediately after our conversation, and had proclaimed to them, "He said it is a spatula!"