Repossession -- Things have been tough for those in the Catholic hierarchy lately: those nagging allegations of clergy abuse, the related bankruptcy claims, an elderly pope in frail health and the precipitous drop in ordinations to replace aging priests. A less-reported crisis is the decline in the number of qualified exorcists. Yes, that's right -- the number of priests who know how to cast out demons is dwindling. The Los Angeles Times reports that fewer than a dozen exorcists work in American dioceses. In response, the Vatican created a two-month class in Rome to teach priests the essentials, especially how to recognize true demonic possession (as opposed to bizarre behavior with a medical cause, one presumes). Call it a practical response to a crisis in the Church.
It's not just people who can be possessed, of course. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, places are also "naturally liable to diabolical infestation." Now that we'll have all these newbie exorcists available, we're thinking of some places where they might be able to practice their skills. Like maybe here in Spokane, if they're willing to take on the dreaded Marks family curse...
76 Trombones Wearing Floods -- The Spokesman reports that the band uniforms at NC and U-Hi are too small because the tuba players, they be growin' too large. One teacher casts aspersions on the student bodies: "You can't watch television without seeing an ad for exercise or health," he informs us.
Honey, I just got comfy in the Barcalounger -- can you pass the nachos? And tell those darn kids they ought to go outside and get some exercise.
Word Gets Around -- We commented a few weeks ago on NPR and Associated Press coverage of the now-notorious (though still nascent) plans for a "gay district" in Spokane. Now the news has gone international. A story in London's Observer on Sunday picked up on the "radical plan" by local gay activists to construct what some fear could become a "gay Mecca" in "redder than red" Spokane, a region "known mainly for political conserv-atism and the growing presence of evangelical Christians." Perhaps the British article's only real contribution to the conversation was the uncharacter-istically American description of the district as a "freedom zone." Still, nothing beats NPR's "gay Epcot Center."
No More Crap -- The kitty litter dusters, the moppers, the Windexers and toilet bowl whizzes - with the help of the Internet, even janitors have a voice now. Check out their rants and sick stories at http://janitornation.blogspot.com.