Mad About You

It's only the first morning and they're already driving me crazy.

Our church is hosting its MAD Camp this week. MAD Camp ["MAD" is an acronym for Music, Arts, and Drama] is for kids in the first through sixth grades to learn about these areas of the fine arts. I was asked to teach the drama portion of the camp for the third through sixth graders. Yes, it might seem a stretch for me to be teaching kids about drama, but I do have some theatrical experience. I mean, I was Jesus in our Easter Pageant a few years ago [have you ever seen a red-headed Savior?], so if I could handle playing the role of the most important person who ever lived, I think I could take care of teaching ten year-olds not to pick their noses on stage.

There are always some little demons among the children at these things and you have to figure out whether or not you can choke them. If their parents are members of our church, then most definitely can I beat those children; I defend it by Biblical authority in the area of church discipline. But if they don't attend our church, then I have to figure out how to be forceful with them without kicking them in the gut. These kids who act up force me to take more of their crap than I would ever want to, because we're wanting to make a good impression for the visitors. But those brats who are acting up better watch themselves. I'm a short-timer now and I'm not afraid of losing my job by going Zsa-Zsa Gabor on some snot-nosed punk.

I suppose my overall frustration is derived from the uncertainty in my mind over how effective these types of programs are. In our Mason culture, we're just pretty much providing cheap babysitting for parents. We can't compete with all the non-church oriented programs that are available for kids in our area [a place where kids are worshipped]. Why, then, should we bother to try? Even though we get great numbers of young people [over 300 kids here today] I wonder if it's really accomplishing anything. You hope the kids get something out of the experience, but I'm not sure if it's worth all the time and energy that people sacrifice to the cause..

Anyway, it's time for a peak into my demented mind. This is the third summer Ithat 've been here for MAD Camp and, for some reason, whenever I hear someone say, "MAD Camp," I always think of this Saturday Night Live skit. It's about Alice in Wonderland with Steve Buscemi playing the Mad Hatter. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. Here's some of the dialogue from that skit that I found on the web:

Mad Hatter: Absurd? Of course it's absurd. That's because we're all mad, marvelously mad
Alice: You're all mad?
Rabbit: Well of course we're all mad. Why, I'm so mad I only sleep to get tired.
Rat: I'm so mad, I wear socks on my hands, and hats on my feet.
Mad Hatter: Hey, I'm so mad, I wash my hands 100 times a day because they smell like my mother.
Rabbit: What did you just say?
Mad Hatter: I said I'm mad, wonderfully wonderfully mad.

It progresses as the Mad Hatter says phrases like, "I sleep with my underwear in my mouth" and, "I build little race cars out of my poop." Come to find out, the Mad Hatter is actually this guy who escaped a mental institution. Yep, that's right up to par with my sense of humor, so I'll been replaying this sketch in my mind all week.

As I see it, that's what I'm going to be like when this week is over. Mad, wonderfully mad.