As you go through life some experiences stay with you, while others end up in the ‘just another day’ bin. I can remember where I was and what I was doing when the Challenger disaster happened and also the Twin Towers. I even remember my wedding. Today’s one is going to sit with me for a while. A missionary church booked me to do the mobile planetarium. Not for a normal show, but to “pray under the stars” as she (the one doing the booking) put it. There were 26 of them, all Afrikaans, and they stood in a circle around me. I had to stay inside to operate the projector and lights if needed. Well, they prayed. Each one tried their best to outdo all the others in loudness and the length of said prayers. They also prayed in tongues. Every once in a while, one would burs out in song or just start crying. This carried on for two and a bit hours. How the hell can adults behave like that? Before it started we were standing around chatting on the lawn, and I foolishly thought that I had it wrong, these are just normal people. It was the stuff of nightmares. I need therapy.
So what you’re saying is that you didn’t do your normal show? You just projected a night sky so they could pray under it? Why couldn’t they do that under the real sky? Weird. But their money is worth as much as anyone else’s I suppose.
Reminds me of a scene from the extended version of Amadeus, where Mozart has to give lessons to some rich guy’s daughter, but ends up having to play piano to the guy’s dogs. He leaves in a miff, forgoing his fee. Perhaps not wise. The customer is always right, even when the customer tells you there is a bearded guy sitting in the projected sky who wants to hear you babble in an unknown language.
It occurs to me now that you should prepare for this next time: soon as the praying reaches fever pitch, you project a picture of Jesus into the sky, and when they ask you about it, swear to all that’s holy that you were not the one who did it. Or if you really want to worry them, a picture of FSM…
Now that is an experience that they would have remembered.
I was contracted to do work for a certain factory. I saw bible verses plastered all over people’s monitors, office walls, halls, and the factory itself. Started thinking these people in this factory really are unusually religious…
Over lunch I’m sitting outside enjoying a respite munching on a delicious samie, if I do say so myself, and I start to hear singing, then crying, then shouting… tongues…
Turns out the staff didn’t really “have lunch” as much as meeting and having a type of christian séance. Then after lunch all was back to normal.
… You’re right, you don’t easily forget that kind of thing.
When I was a kid our neighbors kept on trying to convert me, and inviting me to prayer meetings. The lady eventually promised me tea and cake if I went, so I did. I fell asleep halfway into the proceedings, but briefly woke up when my father came to retrieve me from among a seething mass of rolling, babbling worshipers.
Early the next morning I went to go get my promised tea and cake.
Michelangelo may colour divine ceilings with mere pigment, but the chapel at Brother Tweefo’s Traveling Salvation Show is painted with nothing less than the cosmos itself.
Re the excellent proposition of surprising the congregants with a projection of their saviour: if you can get your overlays just right, perhaps you can pin him up on the false cross.
While your experience may have left you slightly traumatised, I think at the very least it entitles you to one of these. in future.
Happy to assist.
Although this therapist is dealing with her own shit.
The fella I rather liked has decided to do a 10 week course to join a church… he’s a statistician with a PHD… so now I’m single yet again.