Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Church Sign


Lucy Stern said...

OK, I wonder what they are trying to tell us here.

Carol Anne said...

That's always been one of my favorite quotes ... It's from Mr. Toad in Kenneth Graehme's Wind in the Willows. It's rather a pity that Toad subsequently abandoned boats in favor of motorcars.

It's interesting to ponder what a Baptist minister might consider to be "messing around" in boats. A lot of the Apostles were fishermen, so they spent time in boats, but they were busy catching fish, not messing around.

One thought I had was that this minister probably enjoys messing around on boats himself. But, given the service times posted on the sign, he doesn't seem to believe that Sunday is a time to mess around on boats -- if he did, he would have an evening service that would allow members of the congregation to mess around on boats during the day and still attend worship.

The other -- very remote -- possibility, is that the minister believes messing around in boats is equivalent to attending church, provided you do the messing around in the right spirit. That seems unlikely.

Carol Anne said...

After checking out the Webpage referenced at the top of the sign, I do notice that, for a price, one can make that church sign say whatever one wants it to say ... the joys of modern technology.

However, if I saw that sign in front of a real church, I would certainly be interested in hearing the sermon.

Oh, and in the interest of correctness, I apologize that I got the quote wrong -- the original was "messing about," not "messing around."

Anonymous said...

How true!!!

Claire (England)

Tillerman said...

I hesitate to correct an English teacher carol anne, but I think you will find that is was Ratty, not Toad, that uttered this famous quote from Wind in the Willows. The version on the sign is slightly shorter than the original quote.

bonnie said...

I think I have that quote, the whole thing, somewhere early early on in my blog. I love that one. just says it all.

Tillerman said...

OK. For all Kenneth Grahame fans, here is the full quote in context.

The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. `Lean on that!' he said. `Now then, step lively!' and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat.

`This has been a wonderful day!' said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. `Do you know, I`ve never been in a boat before in all my life.'

`What?' cried the Rat, open-mouthed: `Never been in a -- you never -- well I -- what have you been doing, then?'

`Is it so nice as all that?' asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

`Nice? It's the only thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing -- about -- in -- boats; messing -- -- '

Carol Anne said...

Tillerman, you are right, and I stand corrected. I was working from a source that attributed the quote to Toad. I must remember next time to consult the original work.

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