Saturday, August 1, 2009

#37 Golf Pencils

If it's a gift to be simple, then there's no better gift than golf pencils. "Golf pencil" is actually a misnomer. In reality 86% of the "golf" pencils never see the links- they're shipped directly to white Christian churches.

volunteer church maintenance crew appreciates the pragmatic purchase of golf pencils because they're extremely low maintenance. It is a little-known fact that most white Christian church golf pencils were purchased, sharpened, and placed in those little holes during the Nixon administration.

The golf pencil's intended purpose is for one of two options:
  1. For visitors filling out their information cards.
  2. Taking sermon notes in the margins of the bulletin. Expert level white Christians will take notes directly in their personal Bible.
Unfortunately, these eraser-less graphite sticks are frequently abused beyond their intended purpose.
  1. Inevitably, a child in the church will draw designs on the side of the Bible pages in order to rapidly leaf through the edge of the Bible like an animation booklet.
  2. All too commonly, these pencils are used for writing the emergency "Oops-I-forgot-the-check-at-home-and-I-don't-want-to-be-the-only-one-in-my-row-to-not-place-anything-in-the-basket," check.
Much to the shock of the prayer-peeking child, this emergency check is frequently written under cover of darkness- during the pre-offertory prayer (the checkbook is subsequently balanced during special music). If a white Christian child catches his mom in the sin of having open eyes and "busy hands" during prayer, he dare not accuse his parent for fear of the catch-all prayer-time hypocritical retort, "And how do YOU know that my eyes were open during prayer?" This is truly one of the ultimate paradoxes of white Christian childhood.

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anna said...

haha! I always caught my mom writing the last-minute offering check but could never call her out on it! Plus, I didn't want to upset the source of my offertory candy right before I got my Wilhelmina peppermint.

Cheryl said...

Oh wow.

Being fairly high C of E Church in England, I can confidently tell you that here, whatever colour you are:

* you bring your own pen or do without
* scribbling during the sermon is seen as the height of bad manners
* nobody who doesn't tithe (ie present who-knows-what payment in a special envelope) ever pays by check - its cash, and the noisier the better. Nobody loves you if you gave up so much paper that their change has nothing to clank against in the bottom of the offertory purse......

How the other half live, eh?


Lindsay said...

My husband and I are both United Methodist pastors and have been enjoying your site. We're both in the craziness of VBS right now, which made us think that could be a great post for you. :-)

Luther Zwingli said...

Anna- perhaps the Wilhelmina peppermint could be part of a previously reader-suggested topic: offering time candy.

Cheryl- glad to see that we're still keeping it real in England.

Lindsay, glad that we're resonating with pastors. VBS strikes me as a really good topic. I particularly like the idea of "Vacation" Bible School as a "Vacation away from their children" for parents.

Sarah said...

I vote with all the money the church saves on these little half pencils with no erasers, that they hire someone to sharpen them. I have rarely picked one up and found a tip. Instead, one has to carve their sermon notes into the margins of their bulletin.

Luther Zwingli said...

Ha! Good point, Sarah. I've actually ghetto-sharpened church golf pencils with my fingernails before. I've also witnessed kids sharpening them by using friction against the rough wood edge of the hymnal kangaroo-like pocket.

Maybe this could be a good-will assignment for all SWCL readers: go to your church early, equipped with a pencil sharpener, and sharpen every pencil in church. :)