Several minutes later the Lady from across the hall returned with her implements of blessing. She had dawned some sort of cape in the process of preparation. I must have gawked at her a bit too long. “Jes, jes, yu like da rhobe?” she asked. I just nodded. That’s all I could do. I was shocked that she was making such a big project of blessing two guinea pigs. When Alfalfa was blessed, it was just a quick ceremony. This was a production.
Fred and Lamont enjoy being held for short periods of time. When they are done, they will let me know by starting to wiggle and softly wheek. At this point in time, Lamont had pasted the soft wheeking stage and began to protest being held quite loudly. “Dey happy!” the Lady said responding to the noises of protest as she went about lighting candles. The hallway between our apartments was starting to look and smell like a church.
“Uhmmm,” I said trying to interrupt her preparations, “I think the boys need a quick break…”
The Lady from across the hall stopped at pointed at me, “Jes, day leaking…” She giggled at me.
“Huh?” I asked then quickly felt the warm and wet seeping through my right sleeve. “Oh, Monty,” I sighed. I turned to go back to my apartment in order to give both boys a pee break. It was too late for Lamont but I tried to make it back to the apartment before Fred had to go. As I scrambled for my keys, Fred let loose and soaked my right arm. “Oh, Fred,” I sighed, “You too?”
“Es you ready, Erry Ahnn?” the Lady said as I finally got the keys in my hand.
“Yes,” I sighed as I turned around, “Let’s do this…”
The Lady began to say a prayer and waved her oversized cross over the boys. I only understood
“Hamen” and “Jesus” as she worked. The boys were growing more frustrated with the whole situation. I shifted and readjusted the boys in their blanket.
Then it happened…a candle went out.
The Lady from across the hall stopped mid prayer and gasped. “Es…es…el diablo…” she said in a loud whisper, “Eh no want da boys to be with Jesus.” She pointed at the candle as if she had called out the devil himself.
“I don’t think Alfalfa’s spirit put out the candle. Besides…” I started to say but was interrupted with another gasp. “What?” I asked bending over. Looking down I saw what had disturbed her. There was a single bean in the candle. The bean must have put out the candle when it fell from the boys blanket.
At this point in time I must admit that I was in a moral dilemma. I had two choices: 1) I could simply go along with her assumption that indeed Alfalfa had risen from the dead to come haunt HER and stop THIS specific blessing. OR 2) I could tell her that the boys had let go several beans when in my arm and one HAPPENED to fall on the candle and put out the flame. What to do… What to do… I took the middle road.
“Ok, well,” I said in my best ‘amazed’ voice, “I think this means that the blessing is over.”
“Jes?” the Lady from across the hallway asked me.
“Yes,” I said with my best sad face. The Lady looked down at her feet in obvious disappointment. Seeing her reaction, I felt bad for yanking the Lady’s joy rug. “Well,” I said, “perhaps just a bit of oil on their heads to keep them safe?”
“Jes!” she said and whipped out a vial of holy oil from thin air. “Ok,” she said, “You be with Jesus,” she said to Fred as she put some oil on her finger then his head. Fred purred when she made contact. “Es, a good boy,” she said to Fred. “Eh, you, be with Jesus,” she said to Lamont putting oil on his head. Lamont protested with a loud wheek. “Eh, like Jesus,” she said smiling at me.
“Yes,” I confirmed, “They both like Jesus.” I turned to go back to the apartment. Then I remembered, “Thank you,” I said turning back.
“Is ok,” the Lady said, “Eh, Erry Ahnn,” she called.
“Jes?” I said mimicking her voice.
“El Dialbo…” she said quietly, “Es a good boy…”
“Yes,” I agreed, “He was a good boy.”
“Es with Jesus now…” she told me.
“Yes,” I sighed, “He’s with Jesus.”
“Ok,” she said more to herself than me. Then asked me, “We got da bean and rice?”
“Beans and rice?” I asked.
“Jes,” she said with a big smile.
“Give me two minutes to put the boys down and change my shirt…” I said excitedly, “I’ll be over…”
“Ok,” she smiled then repeated, “OK!”
As I walked back to my apartment I smiled to myself, ‘Alfalfa, you devil,’ I thought. My happy day dream was interrupted when I felt first Lamont then Fred almost simultaneously pee on me. “BOYS!” was all I could say.