Snoring in Church Annoying At Best

To: The faithful

From: Rev. Phil Pharisee

Subject: Disruptions in the process of salvation

As much as I hate to bring it up I am acutely concerned with the lack of discipline within the ranks of my fruitful congregation. One Mr. Martin Ballywagge, a newly immersed member of our flock in Ouray, has, through no fault of his own, upset the ox cart, tipped the scales of righteousness and even rocked the boat during a moving chorus in Rock of Ages.

Let me give you a little background on Martin.

It was not, so far as I can determine, with the arrival of adulthood that Martin Ballywagge, an black Irishman in good standing, developed his chronic nasal maladies. He’s had them all of his life as his doctor Hugh Piller has assured us. By the time he was 8 he had snored through his first three years of academic life, constantly disrupting classes at Harry S. Truman Elementary back in Moline. The teachers complained to the principal who then complained to the parents who turned to Dr. Piller who prescribed drugs. Unfortunately the drugs only put little Martin back to sleep, a condition which encouraged more snuffling and snorting.

During one Sunday evening service (we didn’t get enough that morning) Martin snored his way through 3 hymns, 16 baptisms, 25 confirmations of faith and my well placed sermon as to the dangers of propane fumes.

“Maybe he’s allergic to something inside the church,” said Mary Ouana, who hasn’t had a drink in three months and looks great, although she still doesn’t have a date for New Year’s Eve.

The next day we scrubbed and polished the pews, vacuumed the drapery and went over the carpet with a fine tooth comb. We collected $3.87 in change and found a gold wedding band, lost by the late Abner Silvers back in 1989. The deceased (hit by a Rainbow Tours bus on his way the gym on his 97th birthday) had no heirs and the orphaned ring made its way to the collection plate.

Last Sunday the crisis deepened. I had just completed a soul-searching epistle on religious tolerance and magazine subscriptions when one of those pushy Baptists knocked on the back door. Since the congregation had already fallen asleep I answered. It was Parson Edith Quelle who complained of snoring coming from the back of her tabernacle. She identified the noisy culprit as our Mr. Ballywagge. Was he attending services at the Baptist church too? Was he stepping out?

Then Wednesday night, just as I finally got the that night’s gathering off to sleep, Ballywagge stumbles into the front pew. He crosses his legs, tilts his head, adjusts his coat and wanders into dreamland. This time his snores were like an earthquake. The entire temple shook. It sounded like a rogue freight train that had all at once gotten a spoonful of that old time religion.

In no time he had woke up Sarah Camarone, who was imprisoned for embezzlement in 1994, and disturbed the aging Clyde Shrapnell, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. Then to make matters worse his nasal explosions chased the sand from the beady eyes of Doris Maltfeather, a retired exotic dancer and left Roberto Guerrero, a Columbian terrorist sponsored by the church, frighteningly wide awake for the duration of the service.

I have written to my bishop and even recommended Martin to a hypnotist. One pagan lost soul, whom I met at a ecumenical barbecue last summer, may have provided a temporary solution. Active in an unidentified Eastern religion, where chanting, banging and an accomplished brass section are an integral part of the services, the monk has offered to take Ballywagge off my hands in return for Saturday parking privileges in our lot.

Until that day I hope that you, the faithful, will persist in angelic patience and use the earplugs which I have placed in your stations of worship. Now go back to sleep.

Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


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