Saint Murphy: Patron of Ill-Starred Idiots

 Born in Sheboygan. Nuff said?

         Fred Murphy was born two months early, but the doctors had warned of this possibility because of certain medical indications, so Fred’s mother was prepared. She had a suitcase packed with her personal belongings by the front door; the neighbors were all notified of the situation, her husband, mother, brother, pastor, cousin, best friend, the police, fire department, ambulance and Chinese take-out Continue reading

Saint Oofta, Patron of the Clumsy

Once upon a time there was a lowly carpenter who was born away in a manger, no crib for his bed named Oofta.  He was Norwegian.  Having no crib for his bed, he decided to learn how to make one.  By the time he was 17 each and every one of his fingertips was a permanent blot of unsightly purple bruise from being bashed repeatedly with a hammer.  Not only that, but the cribs he made (his specialty) tended to collapse upon themselves if someone trod on the wrong floorboard and sent a tremor through the house. Or manger. Or whatever.

One day Oofta was patiently sawing through his thumb along Continue reading

Saint Mabel, Our Lady of Ill-Fitting Clothes

Deep in the annals of fashion, somewhere between the era of bustles and corsets and that of bra-burning, lies a dark secret.  It seems that with the advent of mechanization a nefarious group of greedy clothes designers and manufacturers got together in secret to come up with standardized clothing sizes for women.  To do this they recruited a young woman named Barbie from the small, rustic town of Red Branch, Nebraska to be their model for average sizes.

Barbie was built, as you might guess, just like a full-sized Barbie doll.  To wit: there was as much chance of Barbie’s Continue reading

Saint Mel: Patron of Bookish shut-ins and Autodidacts

Mel was a teacher.  He taught cheerfully and expansively to rooms full of petulant, hormonal, distracted college students for year after year after year.  Nevertheless, Mel unaccountably kept up his youthful charm and enthusiasm for his subjects right up to the time when he was on the cusp of retiring.  It was then that the Fifth Dentist must have stubbed his toe or slipped in the bathtub or something because he threw into Mel’s path a student who was not only not petulant and distracted, but completely stable -hormonally speaking –  and inexplicably drawn to the heretical task of systematically reading textbooks of all sorts, all by herself at home, with the Continue reading

Saint Rat: Patron of Mean People

Hypocrisy is probably one of the least forgivable of transgressions.  If you want to really prove to the world that you have the moral stature of a flea – and one that carries bubonic plague – just pretend to be a good, kind person, and then when the mood strikes you, perpetrate some cruelty upon an idiot who trusted you.  Remember: its “Me First” and anyone who doesn’t understand that deserves what they get. Solipsism is just the tip of the iceberg.  To be a true adherent of Saint Rat you’ve got to act on your egomania. Don’t be shy.

Saint Rat was canonized for duplicity that proved beyond a Continue reading

Blessed Asp: Our Lady of Spinsters and Gorgons

Planet Earth is peopled with couples.  A man or a woman who selects to NOT marry is a singularity as inexplicable to society as the shopper who eschews fluoridated toothpaste.  Pretty much universally, the Aging Single Person (ASP) is reviled and feared.  This kind of vilification paradoxically imbues ASPs with special power, which is meted out whimsically by Blessed Saint Asp.

From the time she was a young woman, Blessed Asp was much admired by men. “Hubba hubba!” was uttered nearly every time she stepped out doors.  Beautiful, kind, smart and Continue reading

Saint Helen: Mountain of Mediocrity

Late in 1956 St. Helen gave up her quest for achievement, greatness, excelllence, and even for being above average.  With a huge sigh of relief, she set aside the burden of that kernal of genius that glowed within her, and set about the business of just getting by.  She stopped buying sugarless gum, and flossed only when the mood struck.  Since then, postal workers from around the world have reported miracles.  A pugnacious clerk in Topeka was seen to shrug and say “Oh well.” when he was passed over for promotion.  Co-workers way they saw a ghostly vision of a plump, middle-aged woman pat the normally bellicose clerk on the head just before he heard the news of his dismissal.

Pray to Saint Helen when the graspers and the climbers and Continue reading

Saint Neutrino: Apostle of Lightweight Thinkers

To the best of our knowledge today quarks are the fundamental building blocks of all nucleons.  An unusual property of quarks is that they carry fractional electrical charges.  One kind, the “up” quark carries at 2/3 the electron charge, and another kind, the “down” quark has -1/3 the electron charge. The name “quark”, inspired by a quotation from Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce was chosen in 1963 by Murray Gell-Mann, who first proposed their existence.

Lighter particles like muons and electrons, and still lighter particles called neutrinos make up a class of six particles called leptons, which are not composed of quarks.  At the present time the six quarks and the six leptons (and their anti-particles) are thought to be the truly elementary particles. The neutrino (“little neutral one”) is very hard to detect because they interact very weakly with matter. Thousands of neutrinos are flying through you every second of every day, and only occasionally, one or two times a year or so, does a neutrino or two interact with the matter of your body. But when they do, look out. Pesky as mosquitoes. Continue reading

Saint Wolverine: Patron of Eating Between Meals

The wolverine, also know as the ‘glutton’ (Gulo luscos) is a rapacious and clever carnivore of the northern forests.  Secretive and observant, this voracious eater is ever-present in spirit at any and all repasts.  Saint Wolverine first appeard to a devout Fifth Dentistist in Duluth who was standing at the kitchen sink in her underwear, eating cold macaroni and cheese straight from the pot.

Novena Prayer to Saint Wolverine:

May your example encourage me to carry my own Cross Continue reading