I couldn’t PAY for this stuff

So I may or may not have mentioned that my church is located in the inner city. It’s kind of fun for me because it’s actually about a block away from where I spent my time “in the hood”. (but that’s another post…) Occasionally, I will have encounters with homeless or “street” folks, if you will (my last one involving a lengthy conversation about how the asking for money process must be much different now that people don’t carry cash these days as well as my generous honoring of my new friend’s request for my warm backwash laden half consumed mountain dew. Note to this friend: You are truly welcome sir. And I humbly add that such generosity on my part is indeed why Im going to heaven or someplace good anyway). As you can imagine, most of these encounters are unremarkable. Until today.

Because we are unitarians, we don’t have “sunday school” in the traditional sense. Instead, we have adult forums which basically consist of a speaker sharing information of interest to the group. Topics range from slide shows from bicycle trips to exotic places to eco-feminism to sexual politics in victorian times. Today, I was the host for a forum on nurturing the spirit through laughter. About five minutes into my presentation, an attractive young gentleman approached me to ask if he could sing a song. Despite the aesthetically pleasing nature of his facial features, other tell-tale signs indicated that he was most likely a “street” person. Not being the confrontational sort (and also interested in not only killing extra time but also hearing this song), I immediately said sure, while the rest of the group told him “no”. I asked him to wait until I was finished with the presentation. He asked for a time frame. One of the church folks told him it would be thirty minutes. He then proceeded to ask me several more times if he could sing. Audience members were becoming unsettled and Lucy finally asked her husband (my step-brother) Reg to do some intervening, noting that besides Reg, the group consisted of women and elderly folks. Reg got the gentleman a chair and kind of played security/concierge to the fellow. After the gentleman’s final request to sing (about ten minutes into the presentation), he explained that he had to leave so he would need to sing soon. He appeared annoyed while the audience explained why he could not sing. I told him that if he left his information with Reg, we would have the woman who plans the forums contact him so he could sing at his own forum. All of a sudden, he got to be a little prima donna on us! He did finally accept that there would be no stage or microphones but it would be set up much like it was today. He went with Reg who took his information. I kind of forgot about the incident until tonight when I got an email from Lucy.

Friends, I had no idea at the time, but we were actually being graced with the offer of vocal talents from the one and only Captain Warship Dracula. Now guess who is kicking herself for missing that song friends? Yes indeed….yes indeed.

Edited to add: I just googled the phrase “captain warship dracula” and am happy to report that this post is the first result. It’s the little things friends…

UPDATE: Just got a phone-in report from Lucy. She said the gentleman was “DOCTOR Warship Dracula”. My heartfelt apologies to the good doctor for our innocent mistake and thank you Lucy for staying on the edge of this story!


7 Responses to I couldn’t PAY for this stuff

  1. Jay says:

    You’re all lucky he didn’t pull out his phaser and stun everyone in the room so that he could get up there and sing. If I had been there you wouldn’t have to worry about that cause I carry my light saber with me at all times. 😉

  2. Bunny says:

    Our church is also an inner city church (but Methodist). Our Sunday school is like yours, probably. 1 to 6 week classes or forums or discussion groups on widely varied topics, with 4-5 being offered on any given Sunday. We love that our church is in an area that allows us to serve underprivileged people easily, but sometimes some odd things do transpire. Keeps it interesting, that’s for sure! Sometimes the homeless or all-but-homeless turn out to be some of the best volunteers. One never knows.

  3. luckybuzz says:


    Some night you and I need to get drunk and just swap street person stories. I think yours are the only ones I’ve heard that rival my own. 🙂

  4. Lucy says:

    I forgot to tell you that Reg almost asked, “Are you sure you’re not PROFESSOR Warship Dracula?”

    After hearing his name, I too was sorry I miss the song. What do you think? Major Tom?

  5. […] phone call I made: “Crse, I made a mistake. The guy’s name was Dr. Warship Dracula, not Captain Warship […]

  6. Lisa says:

    I think you should have let him sing. I mean, come on. You can blather on about spirituality blah blah blahcakes another time. But DOCTOR WARSHIP DRACULA?? “THE” Warship Dracula? And you let him go away without singing? What the hell kind of Unitarian are you, anyway?


    Good story. (Gives you a cookie but not the American Idol kind because he’s, uh, mine.)

  7. crseum says:

    Jay- I will keep that in mind. Have you ever thought of becoming unitarian?
    Bunny- Unfortunately, most of the homeless folks are also mentally ill in our neighborhood. We don’t ask them to volunteer usually. We just try to provide them with a warm space and food in their stomachs. Company if they want it….
    LB- I still laugh when I think about the “Im busy” incident. You rock baby!
    Lucy- I keep forgetting to ask was there an address?
    Lisa- Your comment made me LOL! Oh I Lolled sister! Thank you!

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