Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor – Conversing of LMFBR in my tiny parish

We had a Knights of Columbus Fish Fry April 20, 2018 at Holy Redeemer parish in Andrews, N.C., so as to raise money for the local Special Olympics. I would have to be there, of course, just then, in the parking lot to go up to the parish hall. As I got out of my car, a jogger, say, in his sixties, jogged up to me, stopped, and we had this conversation:

  • Jogger: It’s good to see you.
  • Me: Good to see you too. [But I’m wondering who he is. Bad memory, I guess.]
  • Jogger: I wanted to come by and bother you but… ’cause we got conversations to have but…
  • Me: O.K. [I say “O.K.”, but the plural “conversations” is a most extraordinary usage, and bothers me. I’ve never heard it before in my life. It’s always singular. Except when there are disparate topics that have been piling up, like tasks to accomplish. My bad and evil suspicions will be justified. These conversations will not be about the faith. As we’ll see below, he thinks my present life, perhaps ‘cover’, as a priest who also writes this blog, is a total waste of time, in which he has zero interest.]
  • Jogger: Haven’t gotten around to it.
  • Me: We’ll get there.
  • Jogger: Yeah.
  • Me: O.K. [So, I’m waiting for a hint. And here it is:]
  • Jogger: Did you do any research on liquid metal fast breeder reactors?
  • Me: No!!!!!!! That’s what I need to do!!!!!!! [Sorry, but I’m really bad and evil. I was using the loud voice of a sarcastic Matt Damon with an unrelenting Robin Williams from the few clips I’ve seen of Good Will Hunting on YouTube. My unnamed interlocutor continues with an incisive sarcasm all his own, as if my life as a janitor – err… I mean… priest… – isn’t good enough, especially the bit about the total waste of time, he thinks, of my writing this blog. I should stop hiding away in this tiniest of all parishes. But, mind you, I absolutely love this parish in these mountains. Love it. He says:]
  • Jogger: Well, I know, I mean, I know you got nothin’ else to do but write. Hahahahaha.
  • Me: That would be a good one down the way. Yes, that’s for sure.
  • Jogger: Now, you’re, George, right? Byers?
  • Me: Yes. [Because he can’t believe my denial.]
  • Jogger: Good! [[Then, as he started to jog away, he said:]] Bye! We’ll be up in a little bit.

He could see that I was a priest with all the black and the Roman collar, and that I was physically at that moment at that parish, obviously, but he still wasn’t sure of my identity (I could be a guest priest after all), so he asked if his prior knowledge of my name was correct, you know, after my denial about working on LMFBRs.

So, some interrogations – err… – conversations are in store for me. “Researching”, mind you, on LMFBRs doesn’t refer to summaries of the history or findings of others throughout the decades, (what a waste of time that would be) but rather on the LMFBRs themselves, which is the only way to do anything, the only reason why anyone’s knowledge would have any value whatsoever. Maybe he’s offering me a job. Could be about doing active research, could be about doing something about some LMFBRs in some other way. But maybe asking about someone’s wherewithal with LMFBRs in whatever way just to do it is a normal thing at the ol’ fish-fry, right? I mean that’s a normal conversation to have, right? Maybe it’s a task to accomplish as a favor, and then, maybe, Main State will listen to a request of mine. We’ll see.


But I still expect this guy to come back with his friends and have a wee chat with me. Blog posts like this are merely one of those nothing is as it seems things, right?



Filed under Intelligence Community, Law enforcement, Military, Politics, Terrorism

9 responses to “Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor – Conversing of LMFBR in my tiny parish

  1. pelerin

    How very strange! However there is a priest in my diocese who I believe once worked for CERN in Switzerland – and then of course there was Fr Georges Lemaitre the Belgian priest and astrophysician the discoverer of the Big Bang. So perhaps you could secretly be a scientist in your ‘spare’ time. By the way there is a footballer named George Byers in Britain – perhaps that’s you as well!

  2. Nan

    You do get extraordinary visitors! And you’re an expert on everyrhing, as are most priests.

  3. joisygoil

    On the other hand, folks who are not ‘church aware’ probably think all a priest has to do is say two or three masses on the weekends and have nothing to do all week. I have heard a few people who should have known better say, “priests have ‘cushy’ jobs, they only need to work a coule of hours a week.”
    I thought you would ‘appreciate’ their perceptions. Ha ha, yeah, right!

  4. Nan

    @joisygoil, My parish is mugmch bigger than Father’s, claiming 52 families although rarely having 52 individuals at rhe liturgy. Father says it’s a fulltime job. His staff includes a pt secretary, pop in accountant and a guy who cleans the church weekly. A service miss and shovels.
    He has Sunday liturgy weekly, weekday liturgies for important saints or feasts, or by request, monthly liturgy 3 hrs away, daily church walks, in which he walks from church to church in the neighborhood, visiting with those he encounters, weekly visits to those unable to come to church, confession before Sunday liturgy or by appointment, weekly prayer group, homily to write, pastoral care as needed, whatever paperwork priests do, ordering whatever is needed, adult education.
    He also has to do normal things like go to the gym, grocery shopping, buy church decorations, decorate seasonally, cook, visit with friends. get to know other local priests as he’s new, schedule question and answer session for visitors as we have a guy from a local Catholic college who comes periodically, bringing a friend or 10, take time for visiting seminarians, who are interested in the ByzantineRite.
    All this without any idea what tasks the bishop may have for him, putting the schedule together for the bulletin, publicizing events, etc.
    Keeping in contact with his family, playing with and feeding his cat.
    He’s an iconographer and potter although I don’t know if he has a pottery wheel yet. He has a small kiln.
    He left town today as his dad is having surgery tomorrow and will be back on Friday if everything’s fine. If not? There’s a Jesuit who was raised Melkite and well see him Sunday.
    Right now there isn’t children’s religious education. There are 6 kids 10 and under, youngest age 1.

  5. Nan

    Father, the fact you’re a secret agent is the most likely reason that Boris and Natasha sjow up wherever you are.

  6. joisygoil

    @Nan what you described is exactly what I was, in my snarky way, alluding to. Our priests are always busy. It only looks like a cushy job to people who are clueless. A lot of parishes are served by only one priest due to the priest shortage. Smaller ones are frequently sharing a priest – like Fr George’s two parishes.

  7. Well, if you want, you and I can have some conversations about nuclear fusion, just to balance out all that fission talk! Example:

    • Father George David Byers

      People do bait others to see where they are at, don’t they? It’s all a game with this crowd. I will always be ambiguous like this. I should hunt down the ol’ MAD magazine Spy Vs Spy cartoons.

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