I always get ripped off on Ash Wednesday. I sit in the back and watch others come back from getting their ashes and see these broad black crosses on their foreheads. You can see them a mile away. Like a highway road sign warning of an upcoming intersection.
But me? I always get stuck in the line headed up by the shortest, most feeble old lady in the whole parish. I'm lucky if I even get a discernible thumb print.
So when I go out strutting my ashes, the best I get is: "Umm, did you know you have something on your forehead?"
It totally blows my chance to show people how holy I am. Instead of a pious, self-effacing, would-be saint, they think I am just a doofus with some schmutz on his forehead.
And hey, what is up with you people who leave after receiving your ashes? Not staying for Mass? Why did you bother coming? You could have just gotten yours from the ashtray outside your building.