Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hell's Bells

Another day, another opportunity to bitch about the church up the street from us. Today appears to be the Feast of Our Lady of the Blessed and Relentless Fusillade, with fireworks starting promptly at 11AM, Vatican Standard Time (5AM, Queretaro Time), and hours of bells that don't so much peal as simply gong repetively, as if being struck by a three-year-old.

We've been through this rant before, complaining about the sheer, un-Christian rudeness, as well as the aesthetic crappiness of it all - if you're going to wake the whole neighborhood with fireworks, at least make them the "ooooh!...ahhhh!" kind. But Laura brought up a whole other avenue of complaint this morning: the pointlessness! The bells, the bombs, the rockets' red glare, the brass band and the drums - all of this should be a rousing call to...I dunno, something. But after all the commotion, nothing happens. There's no 5AM Mass, penitents and parishoners don't come crawling up the street speaking in tounges or crying out for forgiveness. The Angel Gabriel is otherwise occupied, and Armageddon does not appear to be forthcoming. There's just....nothing. About the closest thing to a religious moment is the collective groan of several thousand people squinting at their alarm clocks and going, "Jesus Christ, it's five in the goddamn morning," then rolling over and going back to sleep. You can't buy a cup of coffee or the morning paper in this town before 8:30, and only then if you know where to look.

So why the pre-dawn cacophany? Good question. I'd encourage you to direct your inquiries to the Archbishop of Queretaro, Mario de Gasperín, who can be reached at (011 52) 442 214 2475. Or you can email him at And remember - if a question is worth asking, it's worth asking at 1:00 in the morning.


Anonymous said...

Well, if you were blessed, holy, or owned a mystical shroud, (the image of the Virgin Mary on the fur of a certain perro is another option), you would understand the reason for the noisefest: It announces the start of the Teddybears' Picnic.

Anonymous said...

Move to other place in city, you live downtown (historic place) where there is a church every 10 m. but there are other "colonias" where you can live, and more affordable than downtown.

It's funny to read your blog, you are like a grumpy old man always complaining about something. But you seem to be a nice person.

Burro Hall said...

Thanks - I'm a nice person in a grumpy sort of way. And old. Very old.