I used to think there was enough room in our culture for the sacred and the secular to get along side by side, but apparently that is no longer true.

On Good Friday evening, so I am told, the good people of St. Bildad’s by the Sea had their solemn worship interrupted by the announcer over at the Rec Center next door.

Somehow the Rec’s microphone was broadcasting on the same frequency as St. Bildad’s public address system, and the basketball commentary (or whatever it was) boomed forth from the church’s own loudspeakers.

Father forgive them for they have still not scored…

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J was talking about his daughter’s recent visit to Iceland, where among other singular accomplishments, he said, she ate a bit of whale.

What does whale meat taste like? Beef and guilt, he said.

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On Easter Saturday I was invited to the other side of the tracks in the South End to watch a recording of the opera “Parsifal,” by Richard Wagner. It turned out to be four hours long, and that’s not the worst of it.

To understand what it was like trying to watch “Parsifal,” imagine yourself strapped to a dentist’s chair for a week, while 17 left-handed chimpanzees smoking pot laced with fungicide attempt to do root canal work on you using a Swiss Army knife. No anesthetic allowed.

To support my case for the awfulness of this performance, here is a synopsis of the bits I tried desperately to enjoy:

Good morning boys, wake up in our deep German forest and let me tell you that our chief knight is still ill because somebody stuck him with the same spear that was used to pierce Jesus’ side while he was on the cross.

Wait a minute, here comes some weird woman crawling out of a frog pond who has a piece of magic balsam which we will use to try and soothe our chief knight’s suffering. Oops, she’s fallen over. At least she was trying to be good. No, she yells. I never do any good. It’s all my mother’s fault.

Oh, wait another minute lads, here comes our dear knight himself, rather damp because he’s been in his bath again and wrapped in a towel, and being carried on a litter by other knights, and they will now set him down on the grass in front of us while he sings at us in chronic German from his sick bed for 20 minutes or thereabouts.

Oh look, now here comes another chap, he’s really annoying me right now because he just shot our friendly swan with a bow and arrow. (Should have been a seagull, but that’s only my opinion.) Swan’s quite dead. Let’s chastise him for a few minutes.

I say, boy! Why did you kill our nice swan?

Oh, I shoot anything that flies, says he. That’s not a very good answer is it, says I? What if everybody went around shooting anything that flies? Then where would that get us? Stupid boy! By the way what’s your name, boy?

I’m sorry I haven’t a clue, says the boy. I just rode in from a place that I have no idea where it is, was, or will be. Brilliant! This must mean this boy is the hero of our strange Teutonic opera. Let’s follow him around for a bit to see if anything interesting actually happens.

No, wait a minute, everyone follow that man who is carrying a velvet cushion upon which is an open wound that is bleeding in a grotesque medieval manner. Well, half of you follow him and the other half follow me. And mind the runes!

(Three hours and 50 minutes later.) Well nothing happened at all, and we are not sure if the Holy Grail is supposed to be part of what never happened. This must be the end.

And so it is.

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P.S. I am told that Hitler was rather fond of Wagner’s music. I think that explains a lot of 20th century history.

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Easter was actually a much nicer time than the foregoing summary of the dreaded "Parsifal" would suggest. After all, that was only four terrifying hours out of a rather pleasant weekend, even if at the time it felt like a decade.

The sun shone almost all day up here in the grain towers on Sunday, and my only serious gripe is that E. Bunny forgot to visit.

Maybe bunnies can’t visit concrete towers. They do have various limitations, I admit. The Woodmans on Crescent Street are our local bunny experts, so I’ll ask them what might have gone wrong.

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My friend Miss Rivers says she does not mind the potholes in Rockland as much as she minds old Christmas wreaths that are still up. Here is another commentary on Rockland’s terrible roads, by another reader who has obviously suffered far too long:

“David, please keep talking about the roads. We have found roads in central Africa, Syria, Turkey, Brazil, Morocco, and in all of Western Europe better than those in Rockland. One exception was Costa Rica, but at least they put small palm trees in the worst holes to warn unsuspecting drivers! Perhaps Maine could use small spruces, but Route 1 would become a forest in Rockland.”

This is the most printable thing anyone has yet sent me on the subject of our bloody awful roads.

Oddly enough I just read somewhere that there are plans to attempt to repair Route 1 in town, approximately from Park Street down to the ferry terminal, or something. Supposed to be happening fairly soon.

Heaven help us.

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Almost ran over a seagull Monday afternoon. I swear it was just sitting there, daring me to hit it.

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The other day a chap from Tenants Harbor wrote me that he disliked something I had said so much (he was a bit vague about what) that he thinks this column should be called Rockland Redneck.

I do realize Tenants Harbor is in another country far from here, but surely we all share some basic standards? Why can’t we all just get along?

David Grima is a former editor with Courier Publications. He can be reached at davidgrima@ymail.com or by singing for 20 minutes in German.