Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City: Chrism Mass 2005
Yesterday was the annual Chrism Mass for our archdiocese. At this Mass the bishop, gathered with most of the priests of the archdiocese, deacons, religious, and lay faithful, blesses the three oils used in the Sacraments for the coming year. The Mass is held at the Cathedral, which required your ragemonkeys to hit the great American highway once again. As I was half-way into my four hour plus drive, I called Fr. Tharp via cell phone and we spoke briefly. He informed me that before the Chrism Mass he would be attending his priest support group meeting at the Catholic Pastoral Center of the archdiocese. Some two hours later as I was entering the city, a need made itself known. I realized that the very first thing I would need to do upon getting to Oklahoma City would be to find a restroom. The highway that I drive in on takes me literally by the Catholic Pastoral Center (CPC). So, it was a natural place to pull off the road, run in, and move on to do a few errands before the Chrism Mass ... or so I thought. As I was waiting for a green arrow to turn into the CPC, I looked at the clock and realized Fr. Tharp's group was already meeting. My brain then registered that I would most likely see Fr. Tharp's car (the Batmobile) parked at the CPC and then ... giddy from my four hour drive, the very next thought my brain registered was: shoe polish!

Yes, I quickly did a u-turn, visited the nearby Wal-Mart for some white shoe polish, and returned to the CPC. I pulled up next to Fr. Tharp's car and I began to howl with laughter as I thought of his reaction to my prank. I then proceeded to write messages all over his windows. Yes, I got a few strange looks from some CPC visitors and employees -- but no one stopped long enough to inquire what was going on. Only later did I find out another hilarious witness to the prank. It seems that one of Fr. Tharp's group members was late and had not arrived yet to the meeting as I was in the parking lot shoe polishing the car. From an upstairs lounge area, another of Fr. Tharp's group members got up to look out the window to check the parking lot for the missing member's car. All the while, Fr. Tharp was sitting in the lounge but had not gotten up to look out the window! This other priest told me later that he saw me and put forth his best effort to not reveal what was going on. It worked!

I drove away from the CPC parking lot expecting a phone call from Fr. Tharp any moment. But one didn't come until much later. The funny thing is Fr. Tharp didn't realize I had done the deed. So, I let him think it was someone else for a while, telling him to leave the messages on the car, and to come to the Cathedral so I could take pictures of the Batmobile. After taking all the photos I revealed to him that I had been the prankster. Fr. Tharp, you've been punk'd!

I have included photos of the prank, and a few other photos, below. There was one message I didn't get a picture of. It was on the windshield of Fr. Tharp's car and he had to wash it off in order to safely drive. It read: "Destroying relativism and doctrinal indifference!" with an area pointing to the driver's side of the windshield.

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