They had to go and do it! One! In the history of my life I like one Christian pop song and now I can never listen to it again.

We all know that we would prefer mixing soda with poprocks over Christian Pop/Rock any day. Actually poprocks are aptly named cousins of Christian pop/rock, a sugary sweet exploding candy that rumor has it can kill you. Christian pop/rock is that bad, with one exception.

I really like—correction—I used to really like Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine.” It is what all Christian rock should aspire to be but isn’t—good. Now the song is dead to me.

Last Sunday, my daughter’s catechism class got together to go to mass, the 5:30 pm Mass, the teen Mass. So we all went to the teen Mass. Then at communion time…

I’m sorry, give me a moment. This is so tough. Pull yourself together Pat! Pull yourself together! Ok. Continuing.

Then at communion time, I heard the first couple of notes. I looked at my wife in total desperation. She looked back. We were helpless.

It is not just that the song was completely inappropriate for a communion hymn, it was just SOOOO bad. The lead singer was passable but the backup vocalist (whose mic seemed to be about 4x louder than necessary) was flatter than that dry salt lake in Utah. They destroyed it. I mean they destroyed it so bad that my wife was actually laughing. Yes, my wife was laughing at communion time. The song was so bad, my saintly wife now needs to go to confession. That’s bad.

I am sorry to say, I need to go to confession as well. I am not guilty of my wife’s irreverence and poor laughter control. I am guilty of the sin of despair and worse, much worse.

Standing in the back because the baby was being noisy, the atrocity pelted my ears. I quickly looked around, I needed a way out. Perhaps I could use the edge of a bulletin to cut my wrists. Death by paper cut. That wouldn’t work, surrounded by all these church-going goody-two-shoes, they would stop the bleeding before I died. I needed something quicker.

Perhaps if I smashed the holy water font, I could use the broken glass. No, still too slow. But then I realized how selfish and cowardly suicide would be. I couldn’t just kill myself like that. That would be terribly selfish and wrong. What about all the other people who would be left to suffer. No, I had to take the youth choir with me.

I remembered that I had some garden fertilizer left in the van. I wondered how long it would take me to siphon gas out of my Toyota Sienna and mix it with the fertilizer. Maybe then I could pack the mixture in my socks, secure them to my belt, pop the cigarette lighter, and make a mad dash across the parking lot, through the doors, and straight toward the guitar and drum section.

As I worked out the final logistics of my plan, the song mercifully ended. I slowly backed off the mental ledge that I found myself on. What was I thinking? Now I must confess my crime, my sin. What will the priest think of me?

Will the priest think I am a terrible person? Selfish? Stupid? I mean, that lighter would never have stayed lit while I ran across the parking lot. I needed a fuse.