by Marinka on October 7, 2013

The other day, a friend called and asked if I could do him a favor.

The thing about favors is that all things being equal, I’d rather they flow the other way. People doing them for me, in other words. It’s not that I don’t want to do favors for other people, it’s just that I’d rather not.

“What’s the favor?” I asked.

And he started moaning about how tomorrow is his dead mother’s birthday and he usually goes to church to light a candle for her but the church next to him only has electric candles now, and would I mind popping into St. Patrick’s to light a candle for his mother.

I held up my hand, which he couldn’t see, because we were talking on the phone. (Btw, I’ve been working on a novel, and this is something those in the business know to call continuity.)

“I’m going to have to stop you right there,” I said, even though he had already stopped talking. “Due to my Jewishness, I have a strict policy of not setting foot in church.”

“You are such a liar,” he said and then reminded me how we used to cut through St. Patrick’s to get to Madison Avenue from Fifth when there were a lot of tourists blocking the sidewalks.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when people try to confuse me with facts.

“Alright, fine,” I said. After all, I figured, this is the least I could do for a friend. And by “the least” I figured that I’d do absolutely nothing and then when he asked whether I lit the candle, I’d lie and say “of course!” I couldn’t think of a single time in history or fiction when lying did not work, so I felt good about my strategy.

“Could you text me a picture?” he asked. Apparently he chose to celebrate his mother’s birthday by ruining every plan I had.

“A picture of what?” I tried playing dumb, the role for which I was born.

“A picture of the candle, please?”

I mumbled something about how maybe he could wait until Hannukah since he seems to have a candle fetish and then we hung up.

And I started thinking.

Was it ok to take photos at St. Patrick’s? I know under Vatican I, that would lead to ex-communication. But has the new, trendier Pope weighed in on it? Because the last thing I needed was to violate some Church Law and be involved in a DaVinci Code type of a situation, what with my Mona Lisa smile and all.

So I did what any normal person would do.

I tweeted my question.

(Please click on image to enlarge it. Or get bionic vision. Your choice.)

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.21 AM

And I got a response:

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.51 AM

Could it be from-?

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 7.59.58 AM


Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 8.11.21 AM

And I did:


Canonization, please.

One year ago ...

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

awesome dude October 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

Looks nothing like Russian Orthodox candle, but definitely more fire proof.

Consider it to be a Mitzva.


jeanie October 7, 2013 at 9:27 am

Well done – two catholic ticks for one flick of the bic, as it were…


Susan Weinstein October 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

Always good to keep your bases covered, religion wise, though hopefully yours is not a jealous god. But they all believe in the positive breaks that come your way from doing such a favor. So how about saying Kaddish for my father? You just go one night, on the anniversary of his death. Then I can stay home.


October 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

Wow. I wouldn’t even ask you to go to Pottery Barn for me.


barbara sigelbaum
October 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I will vote for you twice and pray I don’t go to Hell.


October 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm

You’re the best friend, ever!


Mama bird diaries
October 8, 2013 at 7:56 am

Thank you for the perfect opportunity to use my bionic vision.


Magpie October 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

Ha ha ha! It was probably the pope.


Alexandra October 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

Marinka, you are such a legend. And seriously funny, “click to enlarge, or get bionic vision. Your choice.”

How I love the way you make me laugh.


October 8, 2013 at 11:18 am

Your Eminence…


October 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm

If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when people try to confuse me with facts.

(you’re going to run for office, aren’t you)


debby October 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I always enjoy your posts. I stumbled across your blog as a friend of a friend’s blog and have continued coming back to enjoy your witty remarks. 🙂


October 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

You are brilliant.

I took a picture in the Sistine Chapel covertly even though you are really not supposed to. Since I’ve confessed, can I be forgiven now?


Marinka October 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I’ll definitely put in a good word for you!


Aussa Lorens October 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

I tried to snap a photo of dead Ho Chih Minh’s embalmed body in Vietnam… I went so far as to smuggle the camera in between my tatas. But the guards had bayonets fixed so I decided to pass. We can’t all be so brave.


christy October 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

What a good friend and a fabulously funny post. LOVE this line: If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s when people try to confuse me with facts.


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