This morning, Pastor Gary’s sermon was putting the “Go” back into Gospel. Taking his sermon from the Great Commission of Mark 16:15, Pastor wanted the congregation to understand that Christ’s words still hold true today. Goober, of course, focused on the sermon title.
Goober thought Pastor Gary was going somewhere. Wanting to be prepared for Pastor Gary’s trip, he brought out his tank, his tractor, his VW, and his mini-van. He also brought out his alarm clock. Mickey and Ricky were looking for “All the World” on their map of Iowa.
Pastor Gary was understandably confused about Goober’s collection of toy vehicles and told Goober he did not know where Goober was going with the props. Goober told Pastor Gary that was what he wanted to know, “Where are we going?”. Pastor Gary replied, “Goober, I’m not following you.”
“Of course not Pastor Gary, I’m not driving.”
Pastor Gary shook his head. “No, Goober, why do you have your tank, tractor, toy cars and an alarm clock?” Goober then explained that because he didn’t know what kind of trip Pastor Gary was taking he was prepared for any kind of trip, military exercise, farming, shopping, vacation. Pastor Gary sighed, and wanted to know what the alarm clock was for. Goober explained that the alarm clock was to make sure that everybody got up on time for the trip.
The whole time Pastor Gary and Goober are having this discussion, Ricky and Mickey are calling out city names from the Iowa map.
Goober wanted to know if taking the tank along for spreading the gospel was a good idea because then if people didn’t want to believe Jesus, we could tell them to believe or else. Pastor told Goober that it didn’t work during The Crusades and it wouldn’t work today either.
The boys decided to then GO and listen to Pastor’s sermon.
Today Pastor talked about Peter’s reinstatement as written about in John chapter 21. His sermon title was “Preparing Peter for Penetecost.” Goober, Ricky and Mickey figured that Pastor Gary was pulling a Seasame Street. So Goober and the boys pulled out most of their toys and began handing them to Pastor Gary.
Pastor Gary did not understand as Goober handed up his piano, a Patton Tank, a pair of pants, pumpkins, pizza boxes, a picture book, a PC, a present, a Plymouth, a pipe, and his pet Peter Rabbit. When asked by Pastor Gary, Goober looked at the congregation and said “Pastor’s Sermon is brought to you today by the letter ‘P'”.
Pastor and Goober then add-libbed a five minute alliteration that I wish we had taped.
Pastor Gary managed to get the high points of outlined using mainly ‘P’ words. Goober managed to ask intelligent again using mainly ‘P’ words. Ricky and Mickey kept interjecting random ‘P’ words. Ricky kept handing up props and calling the by some ‘P’ equivalent.
Goober, Ricky, and Mickey formed the “S-Files” branch of the FBI for the investigation of Strange occurences. They brought along Goober’s PI kit and his laptop and began their investigation.
During the course of the investigation, Ricky determined that it was not all that strange to walk through walls as anyone could do it if they used a door. Goober declared the case solved and began packing up.
Pastor Gary then reminded the boys that Jesus entered the room through the locked door. Goober declared that the case was then not solved and ordered Ricky and Mickey to go fingerprint the door. Happy to be doing something the brothers scampered off. Goober wondered about climbing in through a window. After explaining to Goober that it was not a window that Jesus was not bound by the physical laws in his glorified body, Goober wondered how a good man like Jesus would go around breaking laws. Pastor Gary then told Goober it might be a good idea to listen to the sermon.
Goober and the rest of the One Way Express team journeyed to Steamboat Rock, Iowa for the pre-Easter Egg Hunt puppet show. First Goober went to where Mapquest said the address was located. After we ended up in a corn field, got a call from Pastor Gary leading us into the proper place and unloaded everything we were good to go.
Goober, Rickey, and Mickey hauled out their trusty map of Iowa looking for Rockboat Thingy, Iowa. After 5 minutes of looking over the map, Pastor Gary managed to convince the boys that they were already there.
Pastor Gary asked the three if they were ready for the upcoming holiday. All three indicated they were and went behind the stage to get ready. They came up wearing green hats and green bow ties and told everybody,”Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” The kids in the audience ALL tried to correct the boys. Crestfallen, they took down their St. Patty’s decorations and came up with hearts and told everyone, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Again corrections from the audience. “Election Day?”, NO! “Labor Day?” NO!!!!!!!!!!!! The boys got out their Nativity set and said “Christmas!” No, it’s Easter the kids yelled.
Easter, I know Goober replied that’s the Day Peter Cottontail came out of the tomb and gave eggs and presents to all of Jesus’ disciples. Choruses of “NO!” from the audience while Pastor Gary shook his head and placed his hand on his forehead.
Pastor Gary then got a chance to share the “correct” version of the Easter story with the kids. Goober, Ricky and Mickey launched into their own rendition of a classic Easter hymn.
Lo in the Grave Him lay, Jesus my Savior, Buying stuff on E-bay, Jesus my Lord
Up from the grave Him a Lilly, An’ I know it sounds pretty silly, Him’s the Lilly of the Valley, Jesus is His name, And He’ll live forever, With His saints in the rain, Him a Lilly, Him a Lilly, Hallelujah Christ a Lilly.
Pastor Gary and Goober then proceeded to have an argument about whether Jesus arose or whether Jesus a lilly. The kids in the audience sided with Goober.
Emboldened by the kids agreeing with them the boys went into one of their skits: Master Puppet Theater Presents….
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been?
Goober started the recitation, no cat. Mickey was unable to buy a cat, due to the fact that e-bay was no longer accepting Pastor Gary’s credit card. Goober asked for something cute and furry. Mickey said OK and rustled behind the stage. He gave Goober the go head because he’d found something furry and cute. Take 2
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat where have you been? Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Mickey had found our naughty sheep. Goober got upset and told Mickey he needed a member of the cat family. Mickey said OK. Take 3
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat where have you been Ro-oaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! Mickey had found a lion. The lion was not happy he had been awakened and he began to chase Goober.
Goober was upset this was NOT what Master Puppet theater was supposed to do. He asked the kids for another chance. Master Puppet Theater presents Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep…. nothing…. (Louder) Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep… Mickey pops up. Where’s Bo Peep? Goober asks. She couldn’t make it today, Mickey replies, I’m gonna be Bo Pete. Goober shakes his head and mutters at least it rhymes with sheep.
Little Bo Pete has lost his shee… BAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! The lamb came in early on his cue. A five minute chase wild lamb chase ensued. Mickey was finally victorious.
One of the ‘tweens in the audience was heard to remark, “This is funnier than Saturday morning cartoons.”
Always leave ’em wanting more.
I have been asked a few questions about other aspects of my blog. For example who is Goober? Why Vulcan Stev? I was writing a reply to these questions and getting ready to tag it as non-rpg blog post when I realized that answers to both of these questions involve RP after a manner of speaking. It was after this realization that I came to the conclusion that Role Playing is where my various hobbies meet. The skills I use in my puppeteering and creative writing serve me as player and GM as well and vice-versa. Thus the rewrite of a simple behind-the-scenes Q&A into a full blown article about RPG skills.
Goober is the lead character for my puppet team. He is at his core, a Dennis the Menace/Calvin type character. We don’t use scripts when Goober is on stage as dealing with Goober is a form of free associating role play. Most of the “skits” involving Goober are based on a one-line riff, with Goober and his straightman verbally sparring with each other building on the last line spoken. How is puppeteering role playing? I cannot “do” Goober unless I am physically talking in his voice. Once I’m doing the voice, Goober comes naturally.
Stev is a character that I write for the Starships of the Third Fleet writing club. The “Captain” writes a prologue and it is then up to the members to write their mission report. I’ve been writing Stev off and on for the better part of two decades. I’ll stare at the prologue and be unable to write unless I’m “in” Stev’s mind so-to-speak.
How do these two completely different pursuits tie-in to becoming a better player and/or GM? In both instances I am not the one providing the starting spot. With Goober, I’m usually riffing off of the Pastor’s sermon that morning, or along whatever “theme” we have for that night’s puppet show. In Stev’s case, the Captain provides the problem and I have to come up with the solution. Step outside the box for the moment. What difference other than tropes and semantics, is there between Goober talking about Pastor Gary’s sermon, my writing Stev’s solution, or trying to figure Nevets’ way out of the trap that the DM just described? Really? there is no difference. It’s all Improv, different disciplines to be sure. But in each I need to be quick on my feet.
Now flip the whole thing on it’s head. When Sergeant Steelflex of SG-21 suddenly wants to question the conductor of the train the team is riding, I need to be able to step into character quickly even if the character wasn’t supposed to do anything beyond collecting the tickets. I need to quickly find the Conductor’s voice and let my improv skills come to the surface. I have discovered over the years that I have a very strong talent in building off of another’s foundation. Every time I exercise my improvisational skills it only improves that talent for use. The three hobbies build on each other.
My advice for honing your RPG skills is to find something else that stretches your creative thinking. Creativity is creativity whether its puppets, RPG, writing, drawing, whatever causes you stretch your thinking. Stretch and excercies your thinking and your RPG skills will improve as well.
In celebration of Palm Sunday, Pastor Gary’s sermon was a monologue/skit of Peter’s thoughts from Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gesthemane through his denial and until Jesus forgave him after the resurrection.
Goober, Ricky and Mickey were all set to celebrate Palm Sunday in style. Ricky got out the chainsaw, Mickey pulled out the battleaxe, and Goober got his toolbox and SUV all ready to go.
Needless to say Pastor Gary was a little confused. Dressed in his Peter outfit and needing to continually duck the battleaxe, Pastor Gary asked Goober what was going on.
Goober explained that he and the boys were getting ready to celebrate Palm Sunday by cutting off people’s ears and then going to Florida afterwards. Pastor Gary did a double take. Goober then explained very quickly that cutting off people’s ears was in homage to Peter’s act of bravery in defending Jesus. The toolbox was in case Pastor Gary couldn’t pray the ears back on, then Goober would use his staple gun to put the ears back on.
Pastor Gary, ducking the battleaxe, told Goober and the boys that Peter cutting off Malchus’ ear was not heroic and that Jesus actually scolded Peter for doing it. After convincing all three that cutting off ears was not a good idea, Pastor Gary finally asked Goober why he had his SUV out.
Goober pulled has patented *sigh* used when Pastor Gary fails to see what Goober thinks is plainly obvious. Goober then said it was to celebrate the day by bouncing in Florida and obviously they’d need to drive because Pastor Gary couldn’t afford airplane tickets.
“What do you mean, bouncing in Florida?” Pastor Gary asked. “What does bouncing in Florida have to do with Palm Sunday?”
“Palm Springs, of course,” Goober replied as he, Ricky and Mickey began bouncing off stage.
Pastor Gary continued his sermon series on Jesus’ miracles prior to the passion week. Today’s sermon was from Matthew 21:29-34, the healing of the blind men. Goober, Ricky and Mickey figured that Pastor Gary was intending to have actual blind people come visit the church.
So Goober and Mickey were testing out “Blind People Sticks”. Ricky was supposed to go find a seeing-eye dog. Ricky was unable to find a seeing-eye dog on short notice so he got a seeing-eye sheep. Unfortunately, this was One Way Express’ untrained sheep. The Sheep has the uncanny ability to make something simple something complicated by not doing what it’s supposed to.
Goober and Mickey kept trying to capture the sheep and caused general pandemonium because they forgot to drop their “Blind People Sticks”. They began chasing the sheep, almost knocking over things and hitting Pastor Gary. After Pastor Gary managed to calm things down he finally convinced the boys that although blind people were welcome in our church there weren’t going to be any today. The boys agreed to go chase down the sheep and pen it up before the sermon started.
This morning, Pastor’s sermon was from Matthew 17:24-27. The story about Peter pulling his Jesus’s temple tax from the mouth of a fish that he had just caught.
Goober and Ricky thought that was just wa-a-ay too cool. They promptly thought it was a good method to make some money. Goober got his fishing pole and Ricky got his net. The boys attempted to go fishing in the sanctuary.
Much hilarity ensued as the congregation began putting things on the end of the line for Goober and Ricky to catch. After losing control of the whole situation, Pastor managed to “reel” the whole thing back on topic.
After telling the boys that this was a miracle and not an everyday occurrence, Pastor was able to convince Goober and Ricky that catching fish for the money in their mouths was not a good business plan. Unconvinced, Pastor Gary at least managed to convince the boys that the sanctuary was not the best place to catch fish. Goober and Ricky left in high spirits yo go catch fish in the puddles outside.
Sunday morning 3-1-09, Pastor’s sermon was about Jesus being the Bread of Life. His scripture was Mark 8:1-21, the story was about Jesus feeding the 4,000.
Goober of course thought that Pastor Gary had invited 4,000 people to lunch after church. Goober ordered 5 pizzas to start with. He and Ricky argued with Pastor that there wasn’t room inside the church for 4,000 people. Ricky brought up that the parking lot was too small for that many cars. Goober suggested letting folks park their cars in the cornfield as there wasn’t any corn yet.
After Pastor Gary managed to convince Goober and Ricky that he had not in fact invited 4,000 people for lunch that the sermon was about Jesus feeding 4,000 people, the boys could not understand how Jesus managed to feed that many people. Ricky wondered who delivered that much food. Much discussion ensued over who Jesus could have called to get that much food.
After Pastor Gary explained that Jesus preformed a miracle and fed 4,000 men not including the women and children using seven loaves and few small fish, Goober was awestruck. “That’d be like Jesus having one pizza, offering everyone a slice and feeding everyone in Grundy Center,: Goober replied. Pastor told Goober that was about right. Goober got the brilliant idea of letting Jesus provide the pizza for a new restaurant.
Pastor told Goober that Jesus would not honor a prayer request like that. Pastor Gary also told Goober that he and Ricky were welcome to the pizza since lunch was tuna-spinach casserole.
At 6:00 pm Steve Nibbelink was at the Youth Center setting up tables, turning up the heat and making sure everything was ready to go. By 6:30 people started arriving. By 7:00 there were four adults, four teenagers, and six children attending open game night. These numbers include a new family that asked questions about game night, Wednesday evening services, and Sunday services.
The teenagers and two of the children played Stargate SG-21 hosted by Steve Nibbelink, while the new family sampled the various games in the game room and played Hungry, Hungry Hippos with the other adult leader and the remaining two children. Youth Center closed at 9:00 and everyone stayed until closing.