And, yes, this will probably shock the daylights out of new readers to my blog, but I am an ordained member of the clergy.
I posted this entry about the ferret attack and then asked for advice. The first part is the story. The second are the actual responses I received along with the initials of those who rendered advice.
On Monday evening I was on a social/church call and chatting with the man of the household when I felt a sharp pain in my right shin. Looking down, I saw that a small ferret was successfully negotiating its way up the inside of my pants leg.
Fortunately, the man didn't start screaming, "Mother of Mercy! WHERE DID THAT FERRET COME FROM!" which would have made me somewhat upset, but he did take ownership and responsibility for the little hairy demon and together we were able to free the thing so I could continue my visit suffering only the smallest of scratches and teeth marks.
When home, I told my wife of the visit and casually mentioned the ferret attack when she looked at me and said, "Do you realize that what you experienced was not normal? Average people do not consider social/church visits normal when they are interrupted by ferrets crawling up inside their clothing."
I hastily changed the subject as the concept of "normal" has somewhat puzzled and eluded me, but it has raised a question.
None of my etiquette books, pastoral manuals, or Christian college training tell me what to do when molested by a ferret during a social/church call. Would somebody please fill in the blank to help me in future visitations:
"When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will (fill in the blank)."
Thank you in advance for your assistance and wisdom.
What follows were the answers:
- One of the following:
A) Pray to God that the ferret is not rabid....
B) Clean the wound with a mild antiseptic and apply a dressing
C) Fling the ferret against a nearby wall
D) Hold the ferret in the baptismal font until it stops struggling
E) Blame a vast right-wing conspiracy for the attack (LW)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will excuse himself, extract the monster, and offer a sacrifice in the living room of the visitee, watching carefully for the smoke to either rise, or run across the floor. If indeed the smoke rolls across the floor, the astute clergyman shall arise, shake the dust from his sandals, take his peace, and leave. [Carrying a small Hibachi grill in one's trunk, greatly assists when occasions like this arise.] (CP)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will without saying anything about what is happening, immediately get up, make some excuse and leave with all haste while the ferret is still clinging to his leg, because, ... hey ... a free ferret! (SR)
- I personally like to say, lustily, "Dinner!", and unsheathe my 27" long pocket knife. It typically results in a tasty respite or causes the hosts to take personal responsibility for the future behavior of their pets (or children). (MS)
- I do not recommend that you simply smile and say, "No problem. I kinda like it." However, bashing the thing through your pant's leg with both fists and cursing like a drunken sailor while dancing around the room, though considered a normal response, is also not recommended (unless you're a Baptist). (HG) (Craig's note: This individual is from a high-liturgical background and has been "straightened out." ;-)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will render the professional courtesy that is due toward one's social equal. (JG) (Craig's note - this individual is not a member of the clergy and has been successfully "dealt with." ;-)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will give thanks that the Burmese python is still in its cage. (JMG)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/church call, the astute clergyman will ferret out the ferret from one's pant leg placing the thumb and forefinger of the right hand directly behind the skull of the ferret and apply enough pressure so as to immobilize said ferret. With the left hand seize the tail of said ferret to keep tiny claws from scratching the right hand and hold until said ferret stops breathing. This will insure that no further interruptions will take place and said ferret remains suitable for mounting. (DS)
- When attacked by a ferret during a social/business call, the astute clergyman will immediately start a new ferret-handling cult. (JP)
- 1. Assume he is being persecuted and start singing hymns at the top of his voice like Paul and Silas.
2. Allow the little ferret to chew himself the whole way up his pant leg.
3. Later, show everyone the scars he has suffered on behalf of the church.
(Reference: The Astute Clergyman's Guide to Encounters with Rodents, Marsupials, and Nocturnal Creatures. By Rev. I.M. Pockmarked) (AB)