To be perfectly honest I’ve never liked the name “Sandy”. This is unfortunate, since I’ve known some very fine people indeed who are called that, and on one occasion was even obliged to Baptize an extraordinarily lovely child with this name. This required me to feign a coughing fit at the appropriately crucial liturgical moment, wherein I sotto voce substituted the first alternative to come into my head. That just happened to be “Sandinista” – something which may cause a few awful moments in the Kingdon to come given in that glorious place we shall all be known by our true names in the faith, and her parents were dedicated supporters of Reagan.
Perhaps this perfectly rational aversion has its origins in a series of awkward experiences as a child with a swimming teacher of that name. A tall blonde of Scandinavian descent, he had the personality of one of those little metal tools Ikea supply with things that come packed flat in cardboard, with the intelligence of lutefisk. And he refused to comprehend that as one destined to lead the world in Doctrinal Righteousness there was simply no point in my wasting time struggling with his aquatic pedagogy, especially given it was only a matter of time before My Faith enabled me to stroll with confidence upon the waters of his chlorine-drenched domain. In the end things got so bad that my dear old mother had to come and see him after class: by the grace of god she’d forgotten her handgun at home, so we were able to make it look like accidental drowning and nobody was ever any the wiser. Although the next teacher did always treat me with a degree of respect that couldn’t help but make you wonder.
Or, on the other hand, it might be a subliminal reaction to that terrible television show “Flipper”. Most people are aware the son’s name was Sandy – but what they don’t know was that his best friend and diabolical cetacean familiar was actually a female pretending to be a male! That’s right, My Beloved Sinners, the whole show was really a satanic plot to subvert the natural order of creation: what we all thought was this lovely animal made by god to get caught in tuna nets when not rescuing Florida children from an endless collection of criminals (who, curiously given the location, never once included cocaine smugglers) was in fact preconditioning an entire generation to accept the ordination of women. Dismiss as "coincidence" if you wish that this series ran parallel with the heyday of Robinson's "Honest to God" - but no Real Christian is fooled.
Either way, as soon as I learned the name of this terrible storm I knew things were going to get nasty. Now as sure as you can say worse things can happen in Atlantic City than card-counting, my prescient foresight has proven correct once again - surely it’s now got to be only a matter of time before I one day get it right on a well priced outsider at Saratoga). In response to which I must now do what every Great Man of the Cloth is called to do for god’s people in times of fear, despair, and suffering. That’s right: I’ve got to bring you all a three-hour exegetical exposition on the role of limited atonement in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians.
Although I must confess this might not be possible right now on account of the fact that I know many of you are experiencing power outages, and lack sufficient righteousness to have your own Curate to pedal a generator to maintain a satellite internet connection. Indeed, I am so pastorally sensitive that I am even aware many of you don’t even posses a schismatic bishop to whip the Curate should he begin to grow weary (although we all know my fellow Gafconeers are doing everything they can to resolve that shortage, and I’ve heard rumours quite a few ambitious South Carolinians have been downloading the purple pages of online vestment suppliers in anticipation of what they hope might be in the mess down there for them). Consequentially I’m aware, much as you would in this hour of destruction be comforted by a lengthy technical diatribe explaining why god so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son to damn those predestined to not agree with Me, that this might not be quite the most appropriate time for you to all appreciate the Pearls I'm called to cast before swine.
Thus you’re all just going to have to content yourselves with a quick (it’s got to be quick – even the lashing isn’t working anymore, and it looks like Evangelical Eric is at any moment going faint) assurance of my deep concern. Do your best to keep smiling, and never forget that people in California pay big money to eat in places where everything tastes of seaweed.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.
PS. The wicked troublemaker who channels this offensive assault on decent people everywhere would also like to let everyone affected by the storm to know that the hearts and prayers of ‘St. Onuphrius’ are with you – God keep you safe, and bring you comfort, shelter, and peace. Blessings all, and never forget the promise that after wind and rain the sun will always come out once again. Take care, ok?