He traveled here, he traveled there; —/But not the value of a hair/Was head or heart the better. Wordsworth
There's a lot you can learn about Trazilla's mindset from reading his monthly schedule. Often it's more revealing than what the beast snarls from the pulpit. A case in point is April 2017 (click here), where we find two pairs of curious entries. Each in its own way invites delicious speculation.
The first set of dates to catch our eye is April 9/April 16, Palm Sunday and Easter. The Toady, who's been the regular "assistant pastor" assigned to Our Lady of the Sun, will be in the Swampland on those Sundays, while Squirmin' Herman will take his place in Arizona. Then on Low Sunday, Squirmy's back at the swamp, and the Beanpole's now in the desert!!
The immediate question that comes to PL's frugal mind is:
Think of all that unnecessary airfare! Somebody's got to underwrite this manic place-swapping, and for what reason? Was it because Toady has the better singing voice for the Palm-Sunday Passion? (He landed the rôle of the Chronista, or narrator.) If so, that's scarcely sufficient reason to squander working folk's contributions. Why on Earth should the laity pay for what amounts to a cross-country Chinese fire drill? People's hard-earned dollars certainly deserve more responsible stewardship. And if the OLS lay board gets stuck with the bill for this lunacy, you almost wonder whether the spendthrift exchange is some sort of punitive measure levied in revenge for Tradzilla's face-losing ouster.
But perhaps there's a less artistic, more pragmatic rationale for such a frightful waste of money. In the second pair of dates, April 23 /April 30, we note the "Bishop"-Elect (a.k.a. "the Kid," "the Clone," or "Junior") AND the Toady will be a-waltzing with Matilda in beautiful Australia! From the looks of it, the twosome must be jetting out from the Swampland together. But, economically speaking, wouldn't a ticket to the West Coast from Phoenix be cheaper than one from Florida? And if Toady would stay put at OLS until the Australia trip, then only one ticket would be needed to spell him.
Could it be the Toadster can't be trusted to rendezvous with Junior for the flight to Down Under? Dare we also surmise that Tradzilla was worried Toady would charge another meal at Wendy's, thus requiring a vigilant minder for the whole trip? (It's been reported he complained to a sympathetic, Taco-Bell-munchin' Skipper about the last chewing out he got: his whining must've gotten back to the swamp, we fear.)
Whatever. We'll never know the truth. But that's beside the point. The burning question we want to answer here is:
Flying one "clerical" clown coast-to-coast and then clear across the Pacific for a couple weeks is costly enough. But a tag team? Phew! From the Donster's January travelogue, we have a good idea of how big a financial sacrifice is involved. Grubby petit bourgeois that he is, Big Don ostentatiously itemized the cash outlay for his solo 14-day, all-expenses paid vacation to Melbourne and Brisbane*:
"Expensive ticket from the United States, amounting to around $7,000.00"
"My fares around Australia, which amounted to around $500.00"
"Nice accommodations in both places for 14 days" costing "around $100 a night" $1,400.00
"Animal preserve... entrance fee...to meet up with...Tasmanian devils" etc. "$30.00"
"Showered me with gifts...in Melbourne...a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones"
"Showered me with gifts...in Brisbane...wide-brimmed straw hat of very high quality"
"Very generous cash gifts both to me personally and to the seminary" $300.00****All that amounts to a whopping $9,495 at the very least — and we haven't yet accounted for the expense of wining-and-dining Tradzilla for a fortnight. (See the photo on p. 7 of the newsletter, admittedly a good, but inexpensive tipple — over here the average price is about $12.00. They obviously knew better than to serve the slob the really good stuff, like Kevin Judd's barrel-fermented Greywacke Wild at around $30.00 stateside!)
Of course, it's possible Junior and Toady won't be traveling first or business class. However, we doubt the "Bishop"-Elect will settle for coach or use his personal frequent-flyer miles to upgrade. (Ditto for his about-to-be-displaced traveling companion.) And maybe, too, the pair won't be recipients of bespoke Panama hats or high-end electronic gear. Nevertheless, the cult odd-couple's trip is sure to break the bank. Assuming the Aussies are springing for it all, there's only one answer to our second question:
Tradzilla's got to strike back at Pivvy — no matter how pathetically — for snatching asset-rich Our Lady of the Sun from his claws. Plus he's got to find some place to park the malformed Toady. The Donster can't have any use for him at the pesthouse, and he certainly doesn't need another good-for-nothing lounging around waiting for his three squares a day. One more moocher would put a lot of stress on the Swampland's shrinking resources.
Remember, folks: a pod of pampered priory princesses with a whale of an appetite for organic gourmet delicacies will be beached at B'ville come June. Whereas the "nuns" have a load of benefactor-relatives to keep 'em fat 'n' happy, the orphan "clergy" don't. Somebody other than Big Don has to take over the care and feeding of the soon-to-be-homeless Toadster.
That pressing necessity may explain why the "Bishop"-Elect is chaperoning. It might be the Kid's job to sell the English-language-challenged Toady to the Ocker trads. Also, he'll be able make sure the "clerical" bogan doesn't commit too many social gaffes before they can ink a deal. To be honest, we think it's going to be a hard sell. Junior'll have to coach the Toadmeister intensively during the long flight over.
Australians, in our experience, are independent-minded and shrewd — far sharper than gullible, dull-witted American rite trash. Unlike us Yanks, they won't hire just anybody, not if they can help it, that is. (They'll want to make sure there's no 'roo loose in the top paddock.) So, as we said, the Kid's got a big job ahead. And maybe, just maybe, the Australians will contact the board at Our Lady of the Sun for some eye-opening background on Big Don's hopeful.*****
We'll keep studying the schedules closely in the next few months. They'll tell us what happened.
* See page 2 of the January 2017 pesthouse newsletter:
Generosity. These groups of people in Australia pooled their resources in order to pay for my expensive ticket from the United States, amounting to around $7000 as well as my fares inside Australia which amounted to around $500. They put me up in nice accommodations in both places for the fourteen days, which I think cost around $100 a night, and then showered me with gifts. In Melbourne they gave me a pair of Bose noise-cancelling earphones for the trip back (which were very helpful) and in Brisbane they went and got me a wide-brimmed straw hat of very high quality, something necessary in Florida for fair-skinned people. They also brought me to an animal preserve (with a US $30.00 entrance fee) where I was able to meet up with kangaroos and every other typically Australian animal, including Tasmanian devils, wombats, duck-billed platypuses, koala bears, and kookaburras, among many others. In both places they also made very generous cash gifts both to me personally and to the seminary. Although I brought with me about thirteen hundred Australian dollars, I hardly spent a penny of it.** For some reason, Conspicuous-Consumption Don didn't record the cost. We looked on Amazon and chose the lowest priced Bose we could find, to be fair.
*** We didn't know of a hatter in Brisbane, but we're well acquainted with City Hatters on Flinders Street in Melbourne, where such headgear goes from $165 to $395 (and higher in some cases). PL selected the lowest price-point in the range.
**** Tradzilla, we suspect, has a high threshold for "generosity," so "very generous" must be an astronomical sum. However, again in the interests of fairness, and in consideration of large families' restricted ability to pool vast resources, we're being ridiculously conservative with our estimate.
***** If the Australians do make the grave mistake of hiring Toady, they should at a minimum demand that Tradzilla conditionally ordain him, seeing that he's one of "One-Hand Dan's" dubious creatures.