Friday, January 27, 2017

5 Things You Oughtta Know about Preachers' kids.

I Google-Imaged Preacher's Kid and got this. Guess I  better watch it. 
I’ve never met a preacher’s kid I didn’t like. 

This occurred to me earlier this week after spending a few days and evenings with a long-time chum named Jan De Pater whose late dad was a Dutch Christian Reform Minister. 

Besides Jan, I can recall six others: Jeremy Mahood, Mac Swackhammer, Sheila Stewart, Steve Burgess, David Dorazio, and, most recently, an unpredictable and extremely good-hearted public defender named Rob I met last summer in Nevada. (If anybody reading this knows me and is a preacher's kid and I forgot to name you, I'm sorry but not worried because near as I can tell, PK's are big on forgiveness.)

THEE-OR-ET-IC-ALLY, Roman Catholics don’t have preacher’s kids. If they do, they don't talk about them. Except Tom Day, a priest in Toronto’s infamous housing project known as  Regent Park. He adopted a couple of Vietnamese refugee children kids back in the '70s because nobody told him he couldn’t. He died--and if ever there was a person who got to heaven it was Tom Day--in 2010. Then there was Catholic Father Ted Silaj, in Elliot Lake, Ontario, where my first newspaper job was. He was a Catholic priest with count'em seven PKs. He was also married for 40 years. The catch with Fr. Silaj was, he got ordained a year after his wife passed away.

But back to the Protestants.

There’s been a ton of research conducted on PKs. And I've not read a word of it.

And since I was raised Catholic, there’s probably nobody on the planet LESS qualified than me to prepare, off the top of his head, a list of 5 things you should know about PKs.

But lack of knowledge has never stopped me from tackling a subject before, so here goes:

* They’re really funny. Wikipedia calls Steve Burgess the “Garrison Keillor of the Prairies” A few years ago he published a loving and hilarious memoir about growing up a PK surrounded by loving brothers and sisters and called it “Who Killed Mom?” One review deemed it “A Delinquent Son's Meditation on Family, Mortality, and Very Tacky Candles” He’s a gifted writer, good looking, he's making a living by writing funny stories and he's younger than me. I hate  him.

* PKs all border on something like sleazy. I mean that in the most noble of senses. A few years ago,  I was in the room when one of them--who in his teens played in his dad’s church orchestra--was asked, “Is it easy to get dates with the girls in the church?” The young PK’s answer: “Like shootin’ fish in a barrel.”

* They’re probably too honest for their own good. I’d trust any of them with my P.I.N. or car keys. They also seem be attracted to jobs where the money isn’t.

* Take my neighbor Sheila for instance. She has a house with a hedge; she has two beautiful smart daughters and a tall quiet spouse Richard who walks the dog.  In other words, Sheila presents as normal; she has a PhD in something. Her profession? Poet. She—like her PK colleague Burgess—is also a published writer. Macbeth Swackhammer curated museums.

*  They treat life like an experiment. Remember Nevada Rob from the first paragraph? I met him at that hallucinogenic arts orgy in the desert called Burning Man and seconds after making his acquaintance, surrounded by partying hordes who were far less-clad and far less-high than I was, Rob and I got right into the big issues: goodness, badness, the meaning of life. They're all like that.  PKs simply do  not do small talk. Small walk neither. Earlier this week, the aforementioned Jan De Pater told me he is sometimes glad he’s not a kid anymore.

“If I did the stuff I used to do,” he said, “I’d probably be in jail.”

I’ll leave it to him to explain that to his mate Elizabeth and their four kids.

I just realized something.

Church attendance ain’t what it used to be. 

I think I'll call Greenpeace. PKs belong on the endangered-species list. The world needs more of them, not less.

1 comment:

  1. Pete, you get funnier each time I read you.
    Because I was one, I get to say, "You know you’re right about PKs don’t you?"
    As you said, most of us are:
    • Funny (gotta laugh to keep from crying)
    • Bordering on sleazy (it’s our lack of reverence)
    • Too honest (no filters because most of us are going to hell anyway)
    • Writers (self-righteous sods always want to tell everyone else how to live)
    • Don’t do small talk (trying to live all we can before we get struck down by lightning)
    If anyone doesn’t agree, don’t write me. Honestly? As Pete so aptly pointed out, PKs don’t do small talk.