Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cry, "Havoc!"

But there are no dogs of war. Not even a puppy of war. Just havoc. Lots of it. Work has been completely insane, and I'm wondering if the winter storms have driven people around the bend. It seems like no matter how long the day seems to be in terms of drudgery, I keep getting busier and busier. I have patients misbehaving (nothing new here, but the numbers seem to be rising), conflicts with my nemesis seem to be escalating again, and frustrations outside of work seem to be mounting. Nothing major there, but I've been trying to burn DVDs of July's trip to Disney World with my niece and nephew (friendly bit of advice: whatever you do, DO NOT buy a copy of 123 Copy DVD. Not only does it not work as advertised, I'll be a lubber's monkey* if I can find their return policy. And they claim 100% satisfaction or your money back!). It hasn't been going well. As of last night, I finished two of the three DVDs - yes, we took A LOT of footage! - but it's taken far longer than it should have.

And oh, yeah. I got into a fight with a church.

Yes, you heard me right. I got into a fight with a church. Again. You'd think I'd learn to stay away from places where conflict erupts, but no. And this time I didn't even go inside. In fact, I didn't even pull into their parking lot!

See, there's this independent Christian church that I pass every day on the way to work. It's nothing spectacular to look at, just a prefab metal building like the ones that you see advertised on TV. Well, around the time of the State of the Union Address, I drove past and noticed that the flag was flying at half mast ... and upside down.

Now, for those of you not familiar with flag etiquette, or figure that the Jolly Roger is the only flag worth flying, an inverted United States flag is a symbol for extreme distress involving massive loss of life or national crisis (think Hurricane Katrina survivors crying for help, or Blackbeard's blockade of Charleston, SC). There are no other reasons to fly it inverted, unless you are trying to exercise your right to free speach and cause vast amounts of confusion and alarm - potentially harmful alarm at that - at the same time.

So, I went to the website of aforementioned house of worship, and found that it has a particularly odd theology. I won't post the site here, but suffice to say that it wants people to know the potential wrath of God, while at the same time is a warm and friendly place "where everyone will feel welcomed." Hmmm. I figured that there was something amiss with the flag, so I fired off an email requesting (firmly, mind you, with gun ports open and cannons aimed, but still requesting) that they re-examine their flag policies. For good measure, despite my misgivings about rules and regulations, I included sections of the United States Flag Code. And yes, in our country, there is a code for absolutely everything.

This touched off several rounds of claims and counter-claims, broadsides and sniping. First there was silence on the part of the church, then a counter attack which wanted to know how I dared suggest that a Christian church would EVER do something like that. Even to suggest such a thing, would be at the least unpatriotic. Apparently they don't move in the same social circles as I do. They also blamed the incident on a broken clasp on the flagpole, which caused the flag to flop upside down. Why they let it flow like that for over a week is beyond me, but after my email, it came down.

A few days later, a church member called me (I forgot to leave my signature file off my email. Note to self: never let that happen again!) at work to explain again the situation. He also seemed unconvinced that I am still a member of the clergy - despite my misgivings about being included in that lot - and again wanted me to know that they were not, "that kind of church." He also wanted me to know that I was more than welcome to attend this Saturday's Men's Prayer Breakfast. I almost told him that I would sooner hang myself from the yardarm, but somehow bit my tongue (it still hurts!).

When I told One Ring about the conversation, she burst out laughing. I guess she imagined me entering their church and bursting into flames. It's been known to happen, from time to time.

Oh, well. Hopefully, I won't be hearing from them again. But that's how my week's gone.

*And yes, I do know that lubbers don't have monkeys. In fact, I'm not even sure what that phrase means!

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