GADSDEN, AL - The seven deadly sins - avarice, sloth, envy, lust, gluttony, pride, and wrath - were all committed Sunday during the twice-annual bake sale at St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception Church.
In total 347 individual acts of sin were committed at the bake sale, with nearly
every attendee committing at least one of the seven deadly sins as
outlined by Gregory the Great in the Fifth Century.
cakes, and brownies are always the highlight of our church bake sales,
and everyone says so," said parishioner Connie Barrett, 49, openly
committing the sin of pride. "Sometimes, even I'm amazed by how well my
goodies turn out."
Fellow parishioner Betty Wicks agreed.
time I go past Connie's table, I just have to buy something," said the
245-pound Wicks, who commits the sin of gluttony at every St. Mary's
bake sale, as well as most Friday nights at Old Country Buffet. "I
simply can't help myself—it's all so delicious."
The popularity of Barrett's mouth-watering wares elicited the sin of envy in many of her fellow vendors.
has this fantastic book of recipes her grandmother gave her, and she
won't share them with anyone," church organist Georgia Brandt said.
"This year, I made white-chocolate blondies and thought they'd be a big
hit. But most people just went straight to Connie's table, got what they
wanted, and left. All the while, Connie just stood there with this look
of smug satisfaction on her face. It took every ounce of strength in my
body to keep from going over there and really telling her off."
the sins of wrath and avarice were each committed dozens of times at
the event, Barrett and longtime bake-sale rival Penny Cox brought them
together in full force.
"Penny said she wanted to make a bet over
whose table would make the most money," said Barrett, exhibiting
avarice. "Whoever lost would have to sit in the dunk tank at the St.
Mary's Summer Fun Festival. I figured it's for such a good cause, a
little wager couldn't hurt. Besides, I always bring the church more
money anyway, so I couldn't possibly lose."
Moments after agreeing
to the wager, Cox became wrathful when Barrett, the bake sale's
co-chair, grabbed the best table location under the pretense of having
to keep the coffee machine full. Cox attempted to exact revenge by
reporting an alleged Barrett misdeed to the church's priest.
mentioned to Father Mark [O'Connor] that I've seen candles at Connie's
house that I wouldn't be surprised one bit if she stole from the
church's storage closet," said Cox, who also committed the sin of sloth
by forcing her daughter to set up and man her booth while she gossiped
with friends. "Perhaps if he investigates this, by this time next year,
Connie won't be co-chair of the bake sale and in her place we'll have
someone who's willing to rotate the choice table spots."
of lust also reared its ugly head at the bake sale, largely due to the
presence of Melissa Wyckoff, a shapely 20-year-old redhead whose family
recently joined the church. While male attendees ogled Wyckoff, the
primary object of lust for females was the personable, boyish Father
Though attendees' feelings of lust for Wyckoff and O'Connor were never acted on, they did not go unnoticed.
something not right about that Melissa Wyckoff," said envious and
wrathful bake-sale participant Jilly Brandon, after her husband Craig
offered Wyckoff one of her Rice Krispie treats to "welcome [her] to the
parish." "She might have just moved here from California, but that red
dress of hers should get her kicked out of the church."
to St. Mary's treasurer Beth Ellen Coyle, informal church-sponsored
events are a notorious breeding ground for the seven deadly sins.
sales, haunted houses, pancake breakfasts... such church events are
rife with potential for sin," Coyle said. "This year, we had to
eliminate the 'Guess Your Weight' booth from the annual church carnival
because the envy and pride had gotten so out of hand. Church events are
about glorifying God, not violating His word. If you want to do that,
you're no better than that cheap strumpet Melissa Wyckoff."