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August 25, 2005
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Nun's Wild Dance Earns Her Reprimand

His Holiness sure knows how to throw a party.  Pope Benedict’s arrival in Germany for Catholic World Youth Day heralded a spot of unbridled celebration and spontaneous fun.  Even the nuns were swinging.  But, alas, there’s a price to pay for frivolity.

Reuters reports that one of the penguins, Johanne Vertommen to be exact, felt the spirit move her in ways that are not necessarily in keeping with strict orthodoxy – meaning rhythmically and outwardly zealous.  Shown 
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Maria Von Trapp :  Wasn’t Julie Andrews a nun in The Sound of  Music?  At least for a while until that nasty Von Trapp came along?  Or have I got this one hopelessly confused?  Well, let’s pretend.  Julie Andrews always comes across like a nun, even when she’s posing topless (she did that once – a very big deal).  I don’t recall Julie doing much dancing through wartime Europe, but there was lots of singing and playful frolicking.  And look what ended up happening – she ends up breaking her vows and marrying some guy (at least that’s how I remember it).  Be careful, Johanne.
Cleared for Takeoff
Sister Bertrille (The Flying Nun):   Sally Field isn’t quite as wholesome as Julie Andrews, but she does have a cornfed Midwestern girl charm.  Oh, and she can fly.  That’s one up on Johanne, who can only get airborn when launched from the capable hands of a sturdy missionary.  Sister Bertrille could simply tilt that floppy hat into the breeze and be aloft like a feather above a blast furnace.  Sally doesn’t offer much in narrative richness, but she more than makes it up in aeronautics. 
here as she’s swung around by and equally ardent (and brawny) missionary, the otherwise humble Sister was soon to regret her few moments of fame and passion.  She drew the ecclesiastical equivalent of a XXX – in other words an awkward chat with the head nun.  

"My mother superior raised the issue today: she thinks I should watch out a bit and bear in mind that I represent our community," Vertommen said
Well, that’s a pretty mild rebuke.  “Watch out a bit”?  This must be some Northern European form of Catholicism, a variety that tolerates various and sundry forms of dissent, encourages creative spiritual explorations, understands that kids will be kids.  Sister Vertommen would have probably escaped unscathed if she hadn’t closed the show by wrapping her legs around that missionary.  

"I wouldn't do this at home but at such occasions I get carried away by the enthusiasm of the group," the 29-year-old nun told Daily Het Laatste Nieuws later.  Poorly clad missionaries seem to have that effect on her too.

Speaking of that missionary, I’m inclined to pay tribute to anybody with the nerve and muscle tone to lift a somewhat husky nun clear up over his head.  Can I buy this guy a beer?  Will he get in trouble?  Would he care?  I’m guessing it came as something of a surprise when his partner gripped him in a viselock with her legs, but when you’re dancing with nuns you take your chances.  Aside from the general lack of experience, there’s the unpredictability of a woman suddenly released from years of inhibitions.  Considerably more formidable than a Catholic girl on a prom date.

So now I’m wondering.  Where does a nun get these ideas in her head?  What role models exist?  Believe it or not, they’re out there.

What, Me Worry?
Gas is pushing on $3.00.  Monstrous vehicles are bearing down on me with perilous, evil menace.  And now for the good news.  Our CAFE standards were announced today by none other than the distinguished Transportation Secretary.  Besides being hopelessly confusing, they're also a travesty.  Now a Suburu can be an SUV by adding half an inch.  While a half an inch might be meaningful to me personally, it's not customary to shift a car into an entirely new class altogether with such a meager portion.

Now, here comes the good part.  Guess what the TransSec pulls up in to announce his coup?  You got it.  A brand new Lincoln Navigator SUV.   
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