04 April 2009


As I was sitting in the adoration chapel today before morning Mass, an old fella stepped in shuffled over to my bench. He is an inveterate talker, holding conversations and offering smalltalk in the sacred space of the chapel, clearly marked by signs and by nearly universal custom as a place of silence. I inwardly groaned when I saw his unmistakable gait out of the corner of my eye, certain that given my placement in the chapel there would be a conversation coming my way very soon. He appeared to think he would not be able to squeeze by me given how far my feet stuck out in front of my legs (they are big), and he thought a good way to get me to move them would be to comment on how big my feet are.

"What are those, size fourteen, fifteen?"


"So they are, yes. Big feet, they are."


After a minute or two of hoarse whispering on his part and tightlipped rejoinders on mine, he shuffled on by. I was relieved ... sometimes these little chats can stretch on for five or seven minutes, as I'm too polite to just tell him to shut his yap. But before taking his seat he leaned down close and said,

"My boy's got some big feet, too. You know what he tells people when they give him a hard time about his big feet?"

"What's that"

"He says, 'It takes a bigger foundation to build a church than a shithouse.' Don't you forget that, now."

No sir, I won't.

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