Joliet, IL: A young college reporter thought he had his first break.
"I was all set to be the next Bob Woodward," University of Illinois student Matthew Swain admitted sheepishly. "Our journalism professor warned us about writing on religion--he said you can't win. This proves he's right."
Swain, a practicing Presbyterian attending Mass at St. Agatha's Parish with his girlfriend, noticed that many women in the traditional parish were wearing scarves over their heads. The next morning, he was writing a speculative piece for his blog on the high correlation between Catholic women, chemotherapy, and chemical dumps on the parish property.
The problem was, the women were wearing chapel veils.
"We're not cancer patients, at least, not most of us," argued Sarah Gostomski. "We just want to show respect for God in worship by covering our heads."
Swain thought he had covered his bases. "See, first I thought these women must be Muslim. But then I saw the crucifix, and remembered, oh yeah, my girlfriend's Catholic. Then I thought they must be nuns, but then I noticed some of them had kids, and I heard that Vatican II loosened up some things, but not that one. So obviously the next choice was that the parish was just above a chemical sinkhole causing cancer in women at an alarming rate. Any educated person would have come to the same conclusion."
When asked why he didn't inquire with his girlfriend about the head coverings, he shrunk back in horror. "Dude, I don't ask my girl about fashion. I mean, she was wearing a hat, I guess it was cute, but I didn't know what to say after that. Best just to nod and smile whenever that comes up. We just don't go there."
Fr. Anthony Bain, the pastor, was taking the unexpected parish publicity in stride: "I think the only chemical spill has been some burnt coffee. And we fixed the burner. So...come visit."