One thing I love about the King James Bible is the quaint language that can seem at times raw for modern ears.
I Kings xvi.11:
And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.
There are dozens of passages of psalms that cause sniggering in the choir stalls of many an English parish church, but I won’t go into those double meanings now. Some hymns have references to being firm to the end.
Now! Now! That’s enough superfluity of naughtiness! (cf. James i.21)
Why find amusement in this quaint expression that simply characterises human beings of the male sex? I was reading something (no need to link to the source) about Fr Yves Congar, the French Dominican theologian at Vatican II who was far too friendly with Anglicans for the taste of the Holy Office of his time.
The anecdote goes:
…[O]ne night after dinner, Congar and some friends were walking past Ottaviani’s Palazzo di Sant’ Ufficio. He proceeded to excuse himself for a minute, walked over to the building, peed on the wall and returned to the group with a satisfied smile on his face. A good story, but one I was reluctant to report, until now.
This old gentleman can’t have been the first to do such a thing!
There was once an organist of Dursley Parish Church in Gloucestershire, a veterinary surgeon, who took his choir to sing at a college chapel in Oxford. One bathroom was being repaired and was out of order, and some boys were going to the wrong places. He announced to his choirboys:
I am well acquainted with horse shit, pig shit and cow shit, but I cannot stand the human variety. So there are facilities at the other side of the quadrangle where you can all go and do it together.
Now, this is Anglican Patrimony, perhaps something Fr Congar understood well.