Except when there's premature bonging!
Oh, let’s be honest. I’m chronically, perpetually, pathologically late almost all the time since I was 5.
But even when I'm not late for yoga at 12:00 P.M. three days a week, there’s a sound that fills the air that fills me with dread that I'am late and about to get yelled at. Of course everyone’s mellow at yoga and nobody has yelled yet, but there’s always a first time.
That sound is church bells bonging from a nearby church that bong two minutes before the hour.
It's a serious case of premature bonging!
I know. Premature bonging sounds dirty. But that's the official term.
Not only does premature bonging terrify me that I’m at late for yoga, it probably terrifies everyone for miles around that they’re late wherever they’re headed as well.
So I went to see Reverend Trumble, top guy at the church in question to complain. I think “top guy at the church” might not be his official title.
“Reverend Trumble,” I said, “I want to talk to you about a case of premature bonging.”
“Premature bonging, Mr. Block? That sounds dirty.”
“That’s exactly what I thought! I hesitated to say that to you because as a man of God, I thought you might banish me to - you know - hell.”
“No, I generally don’t do that kind of thing anymore.”
“Things really have liberalized with you guys lately, haven’t they?”
“Tell me about the premature bonging.”
"Your bell tower bongs routinely at two minutes before the hour. It makes me feel like I’m late for yoga and I panic and desperately start to think of excuses for being late.”
“Seems to me it serves as a worthwhile notice to you that you’ve got to hurry to get to yoga.”
“If it bonged a half hour in advance it would! That would tell me to turn off Let's Make a Deal, grab my yoga pants, and get out of the house! At two minutes to the hour all it does is give me a shrek!”
“I know the term. All right, Mr. Block, we’ll adjust the premature bong to a timely bong if you'll do one thing.”
"Be a little early from now on. For everything."
"Right! I've been meaning to do that ever since I was 37."
“Thank you for handling the problem, Reverend! Thank Jesus too.”
“I don’t think Jesus had much to do with the premature bonging, Mr. Block.”
“Y’know, I didn’t think he did either.”
“Because it sounds dirty.”