This past Sunday, whilst the majority of bipedal inhabitants of the western hemisphere were flocking to places of worship (churches, revival tents, sports bars, sports bras, shopping malls, etc.), so too were the devoted adherents of the West Coast Chapter (SoCal Lodge) of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, who undertook an open-air rite known in the common tongue as the "Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast" at last weekend's Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium, held in the Royal Salon amid the haunted timbers of The Queen Mary passenger liner, which is lashed - dead but dreaming - to the splintering edge of this bloody New World in Long Beach, California.
EOD Archbishop Cody Goodfellow - a rapidly rising figure in the Order (groomed by legendary unholy man Cardinal Robert M. Price) who hawks his celebrated Lovecraftian, Bizarro and speculative fiction as a way to afford dazzling religious frocks and ever-climbing headpieces for his far-too-infrequent public ceremonies - oversaw the Prayer Breakfast, giving his sermon, providing church news, and then the benediction, supported by the Amorphous Tabernacle Choir, of which I was a member. I was luckily able to hide my lack of pitch and stage terror behind a green, hardened leather Cthulhu mask and writhing foam tentacle (which served as one half of the eye popping "special effects" for a slightly rejiggered rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine").
After a hymn or two (accompanied by John "Froggy" Skipp on keys), Archbishop Goodfellow threw off his outer cloak like an Innsmouthian James Brown, adjusted his tentacular collar, and scooped up 75-80 extravagantly adorned Steampunkers into his scaly palm like so many brass and lace Skittles. Once in his grip, it took only a matter of seconds before the puppet master had them chortling into their murky, reconstituted "eggs" and shape-shifting hash browns, delighting young, old, and otherwise over the course of the 2 hour brunch, as he mixed in enough winks to Steampunkery into the sublimely Lovecraftian sermon on tolerance that many a corseted and goggle-chapeau'd attendee shouted out "Ia!" to punctuate a particularly salient - or oftentimes hilarious - point made in the oration. In short, he seemed to make believers of them all. At least for brunch last Sunday. But, that's a start...
Pictures are still trickling in, having a tough time passing electronic customs under the old Bush-era "heresy laws." For those needing a rare still shot to soak up all the masked goodness of my sweet moves, check out me handling my tentacle like a seasoned pro in this pic posted by Brian Bubonic on Flickr.
Whispers amongst the damp and legend-haunted halls of the EOD's SoCal Lodge tell of a planned second Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast in 2012, held at the third annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival - Los Angeles this September. Details are still coagulating, but if I was a betting man, I'd go "all in" on this going down nine months hence in San Pedro. There's something about that chewed up coastline of California, and its proximity to the South Pacific, that calls out for prayer.... and breakfast. I'm trusting the provender will be better - and far more recognizable - next time around, while the sermon and the message will maintain the brilliance that only the good Archbishop can summon from deep inside the mystical confines of his iPhone.
Mark you calendars, prep your knees for bending, and join us on the edge of the infinite this fall.
|EOD High Cardinal Robert M. Price|