Friday, March 9, 2007

Get baked

The coolest fish fry in town is happening tonight. And Mary cannot wait.

Mary's grandmother used to take her to fish fries. They'd walk down the cobblestone street to Mary Queen of Peace, the same church Mary's crush attended. He gelled his bangs just like Jake in "Sixteen Candles." And he smelled like baked potatoes and Drakkar Noir. Someday, Mary thought, he will pick her up in a red sports car the size of a grape, and they'll go eat birthday cake and almost burn their corduroys on the candles. Someday.

For Lent, Mary always gave up soda, though Pepsi for her was like love. She quit quitting things when she was about 14, trading in giving up things for, like, indulging in everything. Later, she started to miss those rainy walks with grandma down that wayward-brick death trap known as a street.

So she was happy to learn that fish fries have become cool again, and that progressive parishes like St. Albert, in the Longfellow neighborhood, are welcoming everyone—regardless of faith or lack thereof—to their fish fries. In fact, St. Albert is so progressive that they are offering baked fish as well, since anything fried is so, like, Reagan-era anti-single-mom Catholic Church. (St. Albert's website, by the way, boasts that the church is made up of single, gay, straight, lesbian, divorced, widowed, and married members.)

Mary is looking forward to devouring the baked fish and spaghetti and pie and lemonade (all for $9) with a heavy heap of nostalgia. And she's thinking of bringing along a friend who's never experienced the meatless Friday. Because Bingo will be on tap in the school gym from 5:30 till 7:45. And, as she knows, everyone is a sucker for spinning balls.

St. Albert the Great Catholic Church:

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