Monday, April 27, 2009

"I Got a Dud"

Before I can tell this story, I need to preface it just a bit. I go to a small, non-denominational church in a west side suburb of Indianapolis. We have communion every other week. I don't care to get into a communion debate on this blog entry. I'm certainly open to talking about my views on the subject, but I don't think this post is the time and place. But it IS necessary for me to explain how we do communion at our church so the story makes sense (for those two or three readers who do not already attend the same church that I attend).

We make our own unleavened loaf of bread for communion and serve it with grape juice. Those who are participating in communion simply come up to the front of the room in a line to pull off a piece of bread and get a small cup of the juice sitting on a fancy table to bring back to their seat. The juice is served in a small disposable plastic cup made specifically for communion services. Many of you have seen these before. They look like this...

If you've had any experience with them, you know that occasionally you'll get a bad batch of cups that leak--not good when you're taking the time to reflect on the blood and body of Christ shed on the cross, but sometimes it just happens. (We recently tried to switch over to the reusable glass cups, but the verdict is still out on these with our congregation.)

While we don't have assigned seats at church, many of you know that certain people sit in the same seats each week (I'm guilty of that, too--if it's a crime). One such person is Darrel (that's not his real name--I'm changing it for this blog). He's the grandfather of good friends of ours (the wife is a blogger) and has been a member for at least three or four years (I really don't know). Darrel is an older widower who is the kind of man that would do anything for anyone. He loves the Word of God and has a great sense of humor. His voice is deep and resonant (I wish we could get him to sing bass in our ensemble group).

Since he sits in the back row, he's usually one of the last (if not the last) to get his bread and cup. I almost always sit in one of the front rows (it makes me better than you!!!) and get to see everyone coming up to receive the bread and juice--something that I really love.

It shouldn't surprise you at this point when I tell you that Darrel's cup had a leak. He picked it up and started walking down the aisle towards his seat when he realized that there were only a few drops of juice left. Upon realizing that his cup was empty, he stopped and turned back to the table to get another cup. He looked up at the Elder who was performing the communion service and who also has a great sense of humor, and whispered, "I got a dud."

I have not heard the word, "dud" in quite a long time. In my experience, it's usually associated with faulty fireworks (e.g. a fire-cracker that just sizzles and smokes instead of popping). For some reason, this simple remark set me off laughing. It took me at least ten minutes to recover. Sure, I could go on about the fact that we never get "duds" from Christ to create some sort of spiritual significance to this post, but I won't. Darrel's comment was succinct and just plain funny. I noticed that the pastor (my father-in-law) and the Elder leading the service also took a few minutes to recover. I'm not sure if anyone else will think that it's that funny, but I thought I'd share it with all 17 of you.


Steve Martin said...

That is pretty funny!

I think I used that term ("dud") this past election night.

Elephantschild said...


Hope there were no stains - could he hold the church liable for the dry cleaning bill?

Toni said...

I assure you, Carl thought it was downright hilarious. :D
p.s. But then again, he thought it was hilarious that I had to field umpteen questions from Reece without him, so you can't go by Carl. ;)

Toni said...

This has nothing to do with duds. But I think you'll get a laugh out of the name of a realty company that my blogger friend passed on a recent trip (oh, and check out her biker wear too; she's a grandma).

Joe B said...

1. He's the grandfather of our good friends.
2. His grandson's wife is a blogger
3. He's been a member for three or four years.
4. He's an older widower
5. He's the kind of man that would do anything for anyone.
6. He loves the Word of God.
7. He has a great sense of humor.
8. His voice is deep and resonant.
9. He can sing well.
10. Since he sits in the back row.

And his name has been changed to protect his identity.

Joe B said...

I'd like to solve the puzzle Alex. "Who" is Carl!!

Joe B said...

Everything is 10x funnier if it happens in church! My communion story is as follows:

Wednday night church. 400 people present. No pianist for some reason or other, which was very odd (it was a church of veritable piano worshippers.) The little plasti-cups of juice were distributed along with the little crunchy square rock hard little things they call bread. In unison 400 people began to crunch, and a sound arose like thunder out of the solemn silence "CRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCH!!"Of course somebody got tickled and the train just jumped the tracks from there. Big D, was that you??

Big Doofus said...


"Darrel" is actually "Elmer" and I'm not making that up.

Big Doofus said...

Carl is the husband of Toni. Elmer is the grandfather of Kara who has a blog called, "My Train of Thought has Derailed."

Elephantschild is not related to any elephants that I know of.

Steve Martin is...well, we all know who Steve Martin is. He's a wild and crazy Lutheran.

Randy said...


Although communion is not a "funny" thing, Darrels' comment certainly was.

I went to one church that did communion differently than I had ever taken it before. People stand in line as the elders are at the front. You go to the first one and tear off a piece of bread, then you go to the second elder and dip the bread into the wine. Then you consume it.

Okay, we could have a discussion about that way of doing communion. But you said that's not the topic.

However, and not to make light of the ordinance, I guess I'd be a little concerned about people "double-dipping" the bread into the wine. I have this phobia about eating after others and the whole idea kind of creeps me out.

Your thoughts?


Elephantschild said...

I'm not BD, but Randy, that would be one reason to use a good quality, *alcoholic* red *wine.*

Between the acid content, the alcohol, and the anti-bacterial properties of good silver communion-ware, germs don't have much of a chance. You're in more danger of catching something by passing the peace or shaking hands with Pastor after the service.

(Dipping the bread into the wine is called "intinction" if you want to get all technical. Some prefer it because then people's mouths don't touch the chalice/cup. I'm a common-cup, shared chalice girl myself, but our cong. does offer those little individual cups as well.)

My Thoughts Exactly said...

Okay! Okay! I admit it. He belongs to me. It's my Grandpa. I was teaching and missed the whole thing. But thank you for being so discreet about it. I appreciate the anonymity. That is awesome! I needed a good laugh this morning and for someone else to poke fun at my family besides me. Families often provide the best blog fodder. Good stuff.

Big Doofus said...


I hope you don't think I was making fun of Elmer. I think he's a great guy and "I got a dud" is the kind of thing that makes him so neat.

My Thoughts Exactly said...

I didn't think that at all!! That is hilarious! I let D read it. You know my sense of humor. That is exactly the sort of thing I would blog about. I'm just sorry I missed it. That is what I love about him, too. What you see is what you get! I wish I could be more like that.