I was in Denver over the weekend on business, I am an IT guy. I planned to stay the whole weekend because when it comes to computer stuff, things can sometimes go terribly wrong. As it turned, the major upgrade went flawlessly Saturday night and I ended up with a Sunday to kill.

So I got up early and drove to downtown Denver to go for my planned longish run. I ran on a designated running path along Cherry Creek. It goes for miles and miles and was very nice. I got my eleven miles in and returned to my hotel.

After showering, I knew that if I were to lay down, my day would be over. So I got on the google and looked for afternoon masses in the area. But then, then, a bright idea came to me. Its a beautiful day, why not drive down to Colorado Springs and check out Pike’s peak and then go to mass down there.

So I called my brother-in-law. He is originally from Colorado Springs and asked him about Pike’s peak. “Is it a good thing to do?” He responded, “Oh, it is great. You will love it.”

He lied.

So I got in the car and made the drive and eventually made entry on to the Pike’s peak highway. And it was lovely, for the first thirty minutes. Winding mountain roads climbing among the evergreens. Just as I expected, it was beautiful. But then something happened. 12,000 feet of elevation happened.

For those who don’t know, that is the tree line. No more trees to mask the death and horror that surrounds you everywhere. I mean, what were these people thinking? This road, cut into the side of this mountain, is a death trap. One lane each way. No shoulder and no guard rails. Six inches off the road and you will plummet thousands of feet to your demise.

I am not kidding. Six inches out of your lane and thousands of feet of death await you. So your life hangs in the balance, dependent not only on your driving skill but on the driving skill of that guy coming down the mountain in the minivan from Nebraska who has never even seen a hill before not burning out his brakes and forcing you right off the cliff where you will have 14 seconds to contemplate how much you want to kill your brother-in-law before you hit the bottom. Splat.

That was the worst twelve dollars I spent since Avatar.

So then I reached the bottom and being eternally grateful for still being alive, I went to mass. As it turned out, that was a pretty strange experience as well.

I arrived at this Church in Colorado Springs early for mass. I prepared myself and then sat back. I was able to observe the Church filling up and I was impressed. A lot of youngish and largish families. And just everyone was appropriately dressed for Church, even on a hot summer day. The altar boys all had on nice slacks and shoes with their hair combed as they made there way to the sacristy. They all genuflected appropriately. It was all very nice. Until the pastor showed up.

I knew it was the pastor because there was a 2×3 ft. glam shot of him in the narthex. A huge glam shot. I am not kidding. Anyway, he began to say mass. His had this staccato announcer voice thing going on with Shatner-esque pauses thrown in for no good reason.

I semi-successfully ignored it becuase I shouldn’t be focused on such stylistic things. And truth be told, there mass was mostly done properly until…..

Until the jingle.

As it came time for the collection, the pastor thanked the parishioners for their continued generosity. And then he said, “If there are any visitors to our parish…”

And then. Then. To the tune of the Subway Sandwich jingle, he proceeded to sing “Five dollar, five dollar, five dollar minimum.”

Yes, he sang a jingle during mass to suggest a five dollar minimum in the collection basket.

So the moral of this story? Next time your brother-in-law tells you something is a good idea. Go back to bed.