There are experiences I had as a child that absolutely mortified me, but now that I am an adult I can look back at them and laugh. Why do so many of those experiences involve an LDS chapel and a man named Mr. Lucius? Mr. Lucius was a family friend who often accompanied my Grandmother when she attended church with my family. He was a retired school bus driver, with a mouth full of dentures, who spoke like he was constantly chewing on a biscuit. No one could ever understand what Mr. Lucius was saying. Unless of course the speech was going to be so embarrassing that you slumped deep down into and prayed that you could disappear. Those were the times when he spoke ever so clearly.
Mr. Lucius was a Bible thumpin, foot stompin, Southern Baptist. My siblings and I had long ceased to be phased by the Amen’s and Hallelujahs he enthusiastically shouted to the confused Sacrament Meeting speakers. In fact we often coaxed him into a few, but on this particular Sunday…oh boy!
During the passing of the Sacrament, the time when the chapel is most silent, Mr. Lucius grabbed the wrist of the Deacon, who had just finished passing us the water and loudly proclaimed….
“Them lil’ alter boys done drunk all the wine and filled these cups with water!”
Oh my goodness!… I wanted to die… and be resurrected in a time when Mr. Lucius had all his teeth, but never ever, ever opened his mouth…And why was he looking at us with that triumphant grin on his face, like he had just cracked an unsolved mystery. In my head I was screaming SIT DOWN, YOU ARE NOT COLUMBO!
My parents quietly tried to explain to a disbelieving Mr. Lucius, that the Deacons had not in fact drank any wine, and that the cups were intended to be filled with water. As the Deacon who was trying desperately to hold back his laughter collected the tray, I thought to myself…I will never live this down.
After the meeting, as I took my long slow walk of shame to Primary, I offered a fervent prayer…Dear God, please let it be true…am I adopted?
Am I the only one who has ever been embarrassed in the chapel?