DETROIT – Tongues are wagging and tempers flaring at St. Elijah the Charioteer Holy Orthodox Church, as parishioner Ezekiel (“Wheel in the Air”) Parsons refuses to click “like” on the parish priests’s car’s Facebook fan page.
“I’s a Ford,” says Parsons of Father Armatos (“The Ethiopian Eunuch’s Driver”) Skacel’s car. “I only ‘like’ MOPAR pages.”
The conflict has brought to the fore long-buried animosities in the tiny parish, says Matushka Nichole (“Nicholas of Japan”) Skacel, an ardent Honda fan.
“A Honda fan in Detroit?” our intrepid editor asked.
“Don’t ask,” said Matushka Nichole.
“Too late,” said our intrepid editor.
“Oh look, there’s Father,” said Matushka Nichole.
Sure enough, Father Armatos walked over to us and began to rhapsodize about his car.
“It’s a 1967 Mustang I completely refurbished from a chassis I got from a junkyard for $100. It took me five years, but now it’s done.”
“Shelby?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Not shall be, is,” said Father Armatos.
“That was really bad, Father,” said our intrepid editor.
“So I guess people are pretty passionate about their cars here in Detroit?”
“Oh, yes. People who only come on Pascha and Nativity always show up for the annual service of the Blessing of the Carburetors,” said Father Armatos.
“The what?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Ancient Serbian liturgy,” explained Father Armatos in a deadpan.
“What about people with cars with fuel injection?” asked our intrepid editor, dreading the answer.
“We’ve asked the bishop for permission to add some lines to the service, but he’s still thinking about it. He wants to add a prayer for turbochargers, but his fellow bishops have suggested that it might be forbidden by the Rudder.”
“Is outrage!” said Father Vasiliy Vasileivich, parish priest at Saints Vladimir and Olga and Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Church, Sydney, Australia, official spokesman for the Church Overseas of Russian Orthodox Christians (COROC), and five-time Australian “Mr. Auto Rebuild” blue ribbon winner, emerging from the coffee-hour crowd with a copy of the Rudder in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
“That was hideous run-on sentence,” he added.
“What is outrage, Father?” asked our intrepid editor.
“Was it turbocharger on Facebook in Nineteenth Century Russia?”
“Probably not,” admitted Father Armatos. “Did you ‘like’ my car page, Father Vasiliy? Or are you prejudiced against Fords, also?”
“No, I am not against Ford automobile, but this 1967 car is too new,” said Father Vasiliy. “I am Model T fan. Is perfect car for Orthodox priest. Is ancient, hard to repair, and dresses in black.”
Copyright © 2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.