As some of you know, I was asked to be in charge of the Flatiron's Ward 4th Annual Live Nativity this year. In past years this event has been outside in the freezing cold with music, hay, the choir, and I think they had real animals once.
First let me tell you that when the Bishop came to my office on his lunch hour (this required at least a 20 minute drive) by his arrival I had convinced myself that due to rather spotty church attendance and a stolen not-yet-replaced T Recommend, disfellowship was in order. So when he instead asked me to take on this "assignment" (he made it clear it wasn't an offical "calling") I eagerly accepted.
Since then the Nativity has been the bain of my existence. I concocted a program using the scriptures in Luke and some special numbers (Leslie the opera level singer always comes in handy) and tried to figure out when people should enter, how to do the lighting, where they should be placed and who should be involved. I have had knighmares about this and it is always in the back of my mind (the writer's strike being the only thing in "the front" of my mind) Yes I know, my life is pathetic.
So Saturday we had the dress rehearsel, emphasis on the "dress". Dad has been, as to be expected, a lifesaver (I'd say cherry flavor since that is the best) as he has peppered me with questions like "are you going to have a closing prayer", "how are the people going to know to sing the hymns", "will the congregation be able to see the hymns", etc. etc.
So this is how it all went down:
1 - several no shows (they left messages that they remembered the practice on their way to the movies and were so sorry)
2 - The angels, crouched hiding in the front behind the stand, looked like popcorn at their cue "and suddenly a host of angels appeared"
3 - The Shephards hit the deck and stayed there at the "and they were sore afraid"
4 - The pianist/organist wanted to know as soon as she arrived where the pizza was b/c she was hungry (this is a woman in her late fifties who would have just come from home)
5 - The youngest shephard kept wondering when he was supposed to give the baby Jesus the drum ( drum???? what drum? Isn't "the little drummer boy" a fable?)
6 - When Smitty Romney age 3 saw the wisemen he exclaimed exuberantly "hey, I have a batman costume!!!"
7 - The angels and shephards were looking in total different directions (I chalk this up to kids in their early teens trying to act like they haven't noticed the opposite sex)
8 - As the three kings sang their trio the choir director whispered to my dad "hmmm, they're all singing the same part"
9 - The narrator from South Africa proclaimed he didn't need a costume as he would be dressing in traditional Kwanza dress
10 - The baby Jesus was a dream and didn't make a peep (it is a doll)
11 - after running through it one time (running is an optimitic description) I went to say "okay let's do it again" but noticed everyone had shed their costumes, were eating pizza, and playing basketball.
So there you go. Luckily the ward boundaries are being realligned next Sunday, the day after the performance. I plan to gently fade away.