If he can’t shut up…

I’m angrier than a Catholic who wants to concentrate on Mass and can’t use a mute button on human beings.  That’s because during Mass on Saturday, there I was, sitting there, trying to, you know, listen to the priest say Mass.  Silly me, right?

Yeah, there I was, minding my own business.  I was the only one in my pew and there was no one in the pew behind me.  Saturday Masses are usually lowly-attended, but Sunday Masses are packed to the rafters.Anyway, this guy sits behind me.  Like, right behind me.  He started mumbling and then talking to himself while I was trying to live my best Catholic life.  The deacon was simply trying to do his job, talking away, as is his wont. And, silly me, I was trying to listen to Deacon [REDACTED].  As for the guy behind me, he was having a full-on conversation with himself, to my detriment.

I could only tolerate him for about four minutes.  I picked up my bulletin and worship aid and walked over to the pew across from me.  I admit that I made a little bit of a production of it, glaring at the obvious psychopath as I went, but all I wanted was a peaceful Mass and this jackass denied me that one simple request.

As I moved, the guy’s eyes got real big and he looked hurt.  All while mumbling away.  Hurt feelings?  Not that I care.  I maintain my silence during Mass and I expect others to behave accordingly.  If someone can’t behave, they should simply leave and come along another day.

He could have also listened to Mass in his car as our parish has a Very Low Power Device transmitter which allows people to stay in their cars and listen by tuning to a certain AM frequency.  It was very popular during COVID and, thankfully, it’s popular for parents whose children won’t shut up.

Thankfully, there are only a few children attending the Saturday Mass.  Sunday Mass, though, is lit: children, seven altar servers and packed pews.  This is why I like the Saturday Mass.  Plus I have my usher duties.  I started attending Saturday Mass when my wife insisted that I attend Sunday services with her.

I found a loophole though: I was assigned to work in the building’s library, so I’d hide in there and organize and reorganize things.  This kept me out of the chapel and far away from sacrament meeting, which my wife insisted that I listen to through the building’s loudspeaker system.

But now that I’m no longer a Mormon, I have my pick of Saturday or Sunday Mass, and again, because I am in the habit, no pun intended, of going to Mass on Saturday and under my covers on Sundays.  One of the many nice things about being Catholic is that, thus far, authority figures don’t get out of their chairs and prepare to assault me.  Too bad the same can’t be said of a Mormon “apostle.”

Anyway, I got through the Mass because the people behind me were, you know, quiet.  I return the courtesy: I am quiet.  And when I say quiet, I don’t mean talking for the purposes of the appropriate responses, prayers and so forth.  I mean murmuring and having side conversations.  If you’re going to do that, at least whisper.

Sometimes, I bring my niece with me.  She’s five and very well-behaved.  All I have to do is give her some blank sheets of paper and crayons and she’s all set.  Other parents or caregivers?  They don’t make any effort to shut their poorly-behaved kids up!  It’s enough to make me sick!

After Mass was over and after I genuflected and started to leave, one of my fellow ushers pulled me aside and acknowledged my frustration and he then advised me that the guy “can’t control it.”  I get that to some degree (I still think he’s capable of shutting up!), but that doesn’t mean I have to stay sitting there just to be polite.

If someone disturbs me, I will do as I did on Saturday: I will make it known that I’m moving because of them, and hurt feelings be damned!