This week’s words: Bacchanalia (a drunken feast or orgy, a celebration in honor of Dionysus) Ocean Translucent Heave Rancid Mascara Element Cliché Mondegreen (n. a word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of another word orphrase, especially in a song or poem.) Sight Fumble Silverfish (n. a white or silvery goldfish, Carassius auratus. Any of various other silvery fishes, as the tarpon, silversides, or shiner. A wingless, silvery-gray thysanuran insect, Lepisma saccharina, that feeds on starch, damaging books, wallpaper, etc.)
The reverent father frowned at me as I was once again running late for mass and he hated starting late when he had tonight the feast of Dionysus to get ready for.
I rushed into the alter boys sacristy to get my mass outfit on the red cassock and white surplice our standard garb. Mine was old and I brushed away a few silverfish that inhabited the wardrobe where my cassock and surplice hung.
This year as I had just turned eighteen, would be my first bacchanalia feast and I was looking forward to it as the older boys had often laughed about the strange ceremony the reverent father held at this time. It was a contradiction we all thought to be conducting a Christian service, the holy mass and then to go and engage in a pagan ritual and all that went with it. Though it didn’t seem to faze the parishioners as the well to do and the poor were regular attendees.
But right now I needed to get through the mass and remember all the Latin responses as the reverent father said his bit it was my job to respond. I had a regular monsgreen moment during the Lord’s Prayer where at the end I was supposed to say “sed libera nos a malo” but to me it always came out “Said Lisa there is no more Milo”. But no one noticed, the congregation saw the mass coming to an end, the prospect of getting down and dirty at the bacchanalian was indeed attractive. Especially so I grew to realise for Mrs Green and Mr Brown who took the whole feast/orgy notion very literally and had a room in the reverent fathers house set aside for them and their mates of a similar persuasion.
The sight of them fumbling with each other’s clothing as they entered and shut the door did set my mind a ticking. The reverent father had a translucent door on the room and would often stand outside taking in the movement of shapes and I’m sure wondering about the wonders taking place on the other side.
He was always keen to allow people their pet likes, John Jones the grocer would bring along his rancid left over vegetables and sacrifice them in the reverent fathers fireplace, Mrs Allcock who normally was the most conservative woman in town would appear heavily made up, her mascara accentuating her eyes leaving no element of surprise about her.
Of course the evening always ended with a traditional bacchanalian tug of war in which the feasters battled the orgyists who always had an advantage, unfair in my opinion, of all being naked from the orgy they had been engaging in. Needless to say they gave a whole new meaning to the term heave.
In a way the whole evening though held once a year did begin to become a cliché what with the same old same old occurring year in and year out even after the reverent father was arrested and sent up the river the local parishioners were not left as if floating in an ocean of indecision.
The festival moved from the presbytery to Mrs Allcock’s where the bacchanalian ceased under her direction to be ever thought of as a cliché.