I just returned from Sunday dinner at the in-laws’ house. Why they call a meal served at 2:00 in the afternoon “dinner” remains a mystery to me, but not the one addressed in today’s post. Today, I’ll explain why this particular meal with the Gambino clan probably will be my last for the foreseeable future.
The trouble actually saw its genesis this morning at the church Mass to which Sophia dragged me, ironically for the purpose of cementing further goodwill with her family. After the entire brood of fervently Catholic Gambinos (“fervent” except for my much less zealous wife, that is) and one lapsed Jew sardined into a pew near the church’s rear, the service proceeded without incident until the priest called for Holy Communion.
I’d never been to Mass before. After observing numerous members of the congregation partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, my curiosity peaked. So I asked Sophia whether I too was supposed to “see the priest for some wine and crackers?”
Sophia said “no,” adding:“and they’re not ‘crackers’; they’re ‘wafers,’ Richard!”
Well that comment got me thinking. Unfortunately, it also started me talking, raising further questions to my wife as our row awaited its turn for Communion: “Call ’em what you will, but where do they come from? Is there a factory somewhere in Rome where the Papacy cranks out communion wafers by the millions? Does the factory have an assembly line and conveyor belts, and a priest with a keg of holy water who mumbles Latin while anointing the ‘wafers?’ Do they sleeve and box them like Ritz crackers, before shipping them out in special Papal trucks painted with a picture of a smiling Jesus on his Cross next to the product’s label, ‘Body O’ Christ’?”
Sophia did not seem amused. But her ten-year-old nephew Antonio, who sat beside her and apparently overheard my queries, clearly thought the concepts hilarious. His resulting giggling even earned him a swift slap to the back of his head from his mother.
Sophia’s brother Vincenzo is visiting for the week along with his wife Florenzia and two kids (Antonio and 15-year-old Nunzio). At this afternoon’s dinner, Antonio unveiled the cartoon he’d diligently worked on since returning from the morning’s Mass. It’s the drawing that has me back in the Gambino doghouse yet again. Honestly, I thought it rather good and I don’t see what all the fuss is about. You be the judge: