Nobody Nose

Posted on August 29, 2015 under Storytelling with 3 comments


Playing the pipe organ is nothing to sneeze at



It seems that we’re all caught in one long, perpetual cycle of catching a cold. In the middle of winter, you always meet someone who utters these words: “Terrible cold goin’ around.” We have a winter cold, a spring cold, a summer cold and a fall cold. That pretty well takes care of the whole year. It’s pretty annoying and aggravating to you (and those close to you) when your nose is perpetually running; you’re sneezing incessantly and hacking profusely. The only people that truly love you are the manufacturers of tissues … and possibly your dog. Dogs are always compassionate.

Having a cold, in private, is bad enough but when you are out in public, that’s where things can get dicey.

The organist and choir director (he does both) entered the choir loft a few minutes before Sunday Mass. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that he was very much under the weather. He was exhibiting all of the classic symptoms. The choir “mothers”, who treat the organist as family, made quite a fuss about this unfortunate turn of events. Equally troublesome was the fact that the Bishop would be presiding, which always put the choir and organist on a higher level of alert.

With five minutes to go before Mass was to begin, he fished around in his sweater looking for a Kleenex but none was to be found. There is usually a box in the choir loft, but cold season had taken its toll and there wasn’t a tissue anywhere. The choir members shuffled through their purses and pockets and could only muster Kleenex of the “used” variety; hardly something that one would share with a friend.

A member of the alto section leapt into action. With the minutes ticking away before the opening hymn, she descended the spiral staircase two steps at a time to the main floor of the cathedral. She literally ran down the aisle and entered the sanctuary area of the church. The Bishop, rector and altar boys were all in a state of readiness, waiting for the first thundering notes of the grand pipe organ.

She entered the nearest washroom. It was now three minutes before the commencement of the service. She couldn’t see a box of tissues and there was no time to track down the custodian. She ran down the hallway that connects the cathedral to the parish centre. She searched every washroom to no avail. Nothing in the kitchen or in any of the classrooms. Aha! There, through the office window, she spotted a large box of Kleenex. One minute to show time. She rattled the doorknob of the locked office to no avail as the box of tissues on the desk taunted her.

Defeated, she retraced her steps and almost missed the fresh roll of toilet paper wrapped in paper in the sanctuary washroom. She grabbed it and, realizing that she couldn’t very well carry it back down the aisle, raced for the back door. Despite the chilly temperatures outside, she had worked up quite a sweat.

She furtively placed the offending object behind her back as she waved to the bishop who was now on his way to the altar. She was enormously relieved when she failed to encounter anyone else in authority. Does the parish employ security cameras, she wondered? If so, she would have some explaining to do.

She exited the sanctuary into the parking lot, ran around to the front of the cathedral and up the winding staircase; almost taking out the bell ringer on his way down. She thrust the roll of t.p. at the bewildered choir director and was completely out of breath as she returned to her spot in the choir loft. The organist struck the first notes to a familiar hymn. Psalm 23 had never sounded better.

She paused as she pondered the first few phrases: “The Lord in my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” A wry grin crossed her face as she was tempted to add a few words. “… except maybe some Kleenex up here.”

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