You all know that I’m helping with an upcoming Archdiocesan Synod; or, if you didn’t know, now you do, I guess. In November, our Archdiocese will host a Synod, which will gather hundreds of folks to talk Jesus and church and stuff.
Honestly, “helping” with the upcoming Synod kind of looks a lot like “nodding when the legit canon lawyers say things,” if we’re being super truthful, here.
But, I also have professional experience in a little thing we call “Communications.” One time, at a lunch meeting with my old boss (who is, by the way, also helping with the Synod) we tossed out the idea of having an informational video for Synod members, which would outline the look/ feel of the Synod weekend.
So I started writing a script.
I realized rather quickly that, before we could work on a script talking about Synod nitty-gritties, we would need one that outlined the Synod generalities. So, I wrote. And my old boss tweaked. Soon–our final draft appeared.
Next came the challenging job of planning the visual end. I knew I wanted something that would be visually interesting for your casual Facebook scroll-er, interesting enough to make them switch the sound from mute to un-mute, you know?
I wanted something that could convey diversity and, at the same time, unity. At first I thought about using those little monkeys that come in the plastic barrel as visual representations of people, but I quickly nixed that because of any negative racial connotations. So then I thought about using a variety of toys, but decided against that, too, just for copyright respect. And then I thought…what about produce? You know fruits-and-veggies? They are colorful and varied and I can buy them at a store. And then I was like, “What if we affixed googly eyes?” and then I knew that this idea = money.
So then I went to Meijer (higher standards! lower prices!) and bought as many colorful fruits and veggies as I thought made sense. I still don’t know what some of them are. For real. And the the next day I was in an office basement with my old boss and Tim and they helped me glue eyes on produce and toss rice around and vacuum glitter and stuff.
They are the best.
If anyone tells you differently, your informant is sorely mistaken.
In one lunch hour, our filming was complete. I put all of the googly-eyed fruits and vegetables in a large shoe box which I took home.
The next day, I received a call from my old boss, “Hey,” he said, “do you have any more produce with you?”
I told him that I had taken it all home, save a singular mango I was about to eat for lunch.
And he asked me if I could make the mango look like an Archbishop. And I told him I could. And, God help me, I did.
I made a mango look like an archbishop.
I made him a mitre out of paper. I drew him a pectoral cross with a Sharpie. And Tim came to pick him up and when I displayed the mango, Tim laughed and said, “That’s perfect!” and took the mango away for filming purposes.
At the end of the day, I got a text from Tim saying that the mango had been laicized and that I could come and pick it up, so I sauntered over to Tim’s office building which is just around the corner from mine.
Tim handed me the mango, and we stood there talking for a second, with me holding a mango dressed suspiciously like an archbishop, and who should exit the building but THE REAL LIFE, ACTUAL, BONA FIDE ARCHBISHOP.
And Tim and I just kind of stood there, shocked.
And, like a bear sensing fear, the Archbishop WALKED OVER TO US AND ATTEMPTED SMALL TALK.
And here I am, holding a mango with googly eyes that looks suspiciously like the man, and both Tim and I didn’t exactly know what to say, so I kind of just jammed the mango in my book bag and eventually walked away.
And the Archbishop, of course, has NO CONTEXT WHATSOEVER for why I’m holding a mango dressed like him. For all he knows I’m into weird vegetarian hippie voodoo using produce instead of those little doll things, and let’s just say the fact that I’m not excommunicated is in itself a miracle.
Did you want to see the short film? Available below. Featuring vegetables and fruits, with supporting roles to Tim’s/ my hands. Enjoy.
Also, for the record. I have from a secondhand account that, upon seeing the final product, the Archbishop stated that he always viewed himself more as an artichoke. So. That’s that. Now you know.
Come, Holy Spirit!