Friday, November 4, 2011

FRIDAY FOLLIES: On Limousine Meals, the Crush of Wine, Absurdity, and Occupation

I'm not one to laugh at the plight of others, especially at elderly ladies whose family makes a request for meals on wheels, and I'm certainly not going to do it now, but can I at least laugh at the picture in my mind of people delivering those charity meals to limousines that will then whisk them off to a millionaire's mansion?

 The bankrupt Crystal Cathedral, the Rev. Robert Schuller's megachurch in Garden Grove, CA, is about to be sold to pay off its debts, and is facing a court battle over whether many millions of church-donated dollars have been deliberately diverted to keep the family in a lavish lifestyle.

It's a sad and sorry thing, that, but sometimes it's the little things that become the final straw.  For the Friends of the Schullers, it may just be something as simple as a request for "Meals on Wheels".

Dr. Schuller's wife, Arvella, in her 80s, is home-bound and in need of daily meals.  The family is apparently unable to provide them, considering their current penury, so an email went out to certain of the members asking for some help:

The email states that the Schullers do not want get well cards sent because they would like to "keep her situation under the radar."
"However, they would appreciate meals over the next three to four weeks," the email states. "They are to be sent to the church in order to be transported to Arvella. The limo drivers could pick up the dinners or meet in the Tower Lobby around 4:30 p.m."
The message also requests that the meals be low in sodium and include items such as fruit, meats, soup and egg dishes such as quiches.
 Well, imagine their surprise when not everybody jumped at the chance. Member Bob Canfield says he was outraged when he got the message.
"These are millionaires who have limos and chauffeurs," [Canfield] said. "Why in God's name would they want the congregants to deliver meals? It's ludicrous"
. . .  Canfield said he and other members of the congregation are upset the request came at a time when their church is in bankruptcy and information coming out through court documents has suggested that the Schullers took nearly $10 million from the church's endowment funds.  They've completely depleted the church's funds," he said. "But they have shown that they have absolutely no remorse for what they've done. They're still being chauffeured around in limos. We, the congregants, have nothing."

 This is the stuff of movies --  the irony, the spoiled rich kids, the classic fall from grace -- but I'll leave that to others to sort out and make the most of it.  I'm still imagining the limos pulling up to the glorious glass edifice, the cathedral of 10,000 windows, the people gently placing their care packages onto the leather seats, waving farewell as the long, shiny gas guzzler winds its way out of the complex and works its way to the portico of the mansion, where members of the domestic staff are waiting to carry the meals inside before they get cold.

So we'll leave the land of 10,000 windows and move to the eerie tale of 7000 self-destructing wine bottles.  It happened in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and, again, it's the kind of story some might not find the least bit funny.

The man stocking the shelves at a wine shop said he heard a little sound and felt a little shift and "booked out of there" as dozens of shelves filled with thousands of bottles of wine ranging from $4 to $150 crashed to the floor, creating gushing rivers of wine that flowed out of both the front and back doors.

There were no customers in the store yet and nobody was hurt. "Luckily," Jak Phillips at Time Newsfeed wrote, "insurance covered the losses and the shelf has long since been replaced and restocked, meaning there was no cause for sour grapes."

 Okay, then.  I'll pretend I didn't read about $150 bottles of wine and the fact that insurance covered it all.

 But leave it to the Herman Cain Presidential Campaign folks to bring me back and make me laugh out loud.  I'm sorry, I just can't watch that smoking, leering Herman commercial often enough.  Here it is again.  There's something absurdly Buñuelish about it.  It's great theater when we're heading over the cliff into the Sea of Insanity.  

I was looking at some pictures I took last year and realized these four were speaking to me about current events:

It takes just one. . .
to start an Occupy Movement.
Tell that to the Fence Sitters

Still waiting for a Miracle.

Halloween was last week and as many pumpkins as I have carved, (triangle eyes and nose with a grinning mouthful of broken teeth is my signature) I've never come close to the artistry of Roy Villafane.

Cartoon of the Week

Adam Zyglis - The Buffalo News

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