Today I went to church. That’s right. But not just any church, oh no.
I went to Cowboy Church. Well of course I did, I’m a cowgirl so that’s where I had to go.
Now, quite honestly I didn’t know what to expect because churches where I live are standard issue steeples and peoples, pews and altars, stained glass and Sunday best, gilt edged flimsy papered bibles and purple robes and that stuff that smells funny inside like the start of a sacrifice.
I was terribly intrigued and wondering what branch of worship I’d be letting myself in for. I made my fairy godmother come along just incase I needed a pumpkin out on demand.
The drive out into the countryside was beautiful. I now want a ranch. Seriously. But then I saw two dead deer on the road, vultures and a broken armadillo; followed by a holocaust of bugs known as ‘Love bugs’ splatting themselves by the million onto the front of the car like tiny pebbles which made me wonder if I could cope in rural Texas. I decided, yes. So long as I avoid roads.
In we went with an air of suspicion and I was immediately greeted with a hug, more people, and more hugs. It wasn’t dissimilar to a French party except the kissing business didn’t happen. There were real cowboys there and everything who spoke to me in the most polite way like one might speak to a princess.
“Are you hungry?” they asked.
Fish and bread? I wondered. “Hungry? Is that word even in the American vocabulary? I haven’t been hungry for a month! I’ve forgotten what hungry feels like.”
“Come, have a coffee and some doughnuts” they said. Doughnuts in church? Proper!
Everybody came to chat and welcome me and seemed terribly excited about having their first English visitor. I became an instant celebrity. I thought people in Texas were nice already but this flock took nice to a whole new level. Even the pastor hugged me.
Coupla cowboys: Roland and Robert
Wall of visiting fame. Mine goes up next week.
The service didn’t send me into narcolepsy like the ones I’ve experienced before with monotone readings and sombre messages that make me leave thinking God is going to smite me any minute now; this service was like a positivity seminar. The place rocked with country singing, audience participation and heaps of humour.
Best joke of the day from the awesome pastor (Ex sheriff and Rodeo pastor)
I saw a homeless man on the street and as I walked past, he asked me for $5.
“Are you going to spend that $5 on drink?” I asked.
“No”, said the homeless man.”
“Well are you going to spend it on gambling?”
“Of course not,” he said.
“Well are you going to spend it on a round of golf?” I asked.
“No, I’m not.”
“I’m not going to give you $5, instead I’m going to take you back to my house and get my wife to cook you a slap up meal.”
“Well I smell real bad and I’m dirty,” said the homeless man. “Surely she won’t be happy with that.”
“She sure as hell won’t , but I want her to see how bad a man looks when he’s had to give up drink, gambling and golf!”
When do you ever hear that at Saint Mary’s?
Myself and England got mentioned all the way through and I’ve been invited back. I’ve never been invited back to church before. And we got asked to dinner after and they said they’d make me a cake on my return. Well that sold it!
A whole new cowboy take on the ten Commandments.
They told me their church is the bestest and it’s not just good but gooder (new words taught to me by the pastor) and they sure as hell aren’t wrong. Best fun I’ve ever had on an early Sunday morning (except for the time I dreamt about being a Bond girl)
As usual – I got some more T-Shirts. I am becoming the collector of the best tees that ever there was.