"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S Thompson
At one time I lived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for several years. There is a church there that I used to attend once every six months to two years that used to help me keep things in perspective. I was in the habit of arriving half a hour prior to the evening service to get a feel of what could happen that night.
One night I arrived and was welcomed by a woman greeter. I asked how she was, her reply was "blessed." I asked her how. Somehow this flustered the woman, it was if I put her on the spot. Next a male usher pumped my hand and said that the Lord was really going to bless the church that night. I thought that there must have been a real show planned for the night. I was thinking of telling him that the Wicca Faith sent me over to check them out but thought better of it.
So I took my usual seat at the very back of the sanctuary. Looking around I wasn't sure if I had walked into an aerobics class or disco club by mistake as just about everyone was jumping up and down. One woman ran several laps around the sanctuary. Talk about high energy.
At some point the service had officially started. When it came time to take up the collection, everyone was told that God loves a generous giver, so give generously and that person will be given back tenfold. Just when I thought this scam had died out with the Popoffs, Bakkers and Oral Roberts. I still wonder how many people have been suckered in by this scam. I've always, somehow, resisted the temptation to throw in some monopoly money and take out a twenty, fifty or hundred dollar bill when the collection plate goes by me.
So after the gouging...er...giving was done and over with, the congregation got into speaking in tongues. It sounded like one part of the church was saying ooga-chugga-chugga, another part going yabba-dabba-do. One woman had a voice so loud that she could have sent someone sitting in front of her somersaulting for two or three pews.
By this time it was time to head for home. I got my hours worth of entertainment. I made my way into the gloom of a rainy Saskatoon evening. No one noticed my departure.