Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!


When I was in college, last Millennium, my roommate Chris (awesome tennis player; went on to play doubles at Wimbledon) was enamored of Monty Python, and had a slew of LPs of their comedy sketches. One of our favorites was their "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition" routine.

(LPs were grooved vinyl disks, that played back at 33.33 revolutions per minute on something called a "record player.")

In that hazy environment (those of you of an age will understand the allusion), we'd play those silly records again and again. I even memorized that particular routine, but Chris did me one better.

When we got back from Foreign Study (he, to Bonn; I, to Madrid), he proceeded to regale us with the German-language version of the whole thing. He'd translated it himself.

Some of us had way too much time on our hands in those days....

I wasn't as much of a fan of the Monty Python movies, though that's perhaps a corollary of the fact that every time I see a movie, it's the first time.

Well, for whatever reason, I never really got 'into' the cinematic Monty Python oeuvre.

That means that I never quite "got" the references to "The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" (THHGoA)made by my first Battalion Commander in the Guard. He kept asking, each drill, whether I'd gotten THHGoA yet. Even after I'd left the unit, and first while he was in Afghanistan, and then when I was in Iraq, whenever we'd talk by phone, he'd ask about THHGoA.

I kept telling him, but without much conviction, that I was working on it.

Not long ago, SPC C's parents sent each of us a Christmas gift: THHGoA. Thanks, Mr. & Mrs. C!

Now, I'm not really sure what to do with THHGoA, since I'm a Chaplain, and as such, am a non-combatant. I can't bear arms.

I can't even arm bears (cf. the battle rattle worn by each of us).



(You might notice the fierce 'attack rabbit' that showed up about the same time THHGoA did. Good thing SPC C's parents sent them to us! I'm holding the Book of Armaments, since someone had to.)

I guess SPC C will have to be my official "The Holy Hand Grenadier of Antioch, California."

Blessings and peace to one and all,


Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

MaryShields said...

I never "got" Monty Python, either. Wrong generation. I was 5 years old, and allowed to wind up Grandmother's Victrola. Then came the 75 RPMs. I am a big fan of Kingston Trio; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and Neil Diamond. Glad you have your Monty Python paraphenalia to give you smiles in your peace keeping work! :-))

 
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