The People’s Court: Clay on Trial for Acting Like a Fool

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury: you have an extremely important decision to make.  Your task is simply to determine whether or not the defendant, Mr. Clayton Imoo of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry (OYYAM), is guilty with “acting like a fool in the presence of Archbishop Michael Miller.”

You will be presented with five different exhibits of varying degrees of humour, embarrassment, and ridiculousness.  Listen carefully to each one.  Try to picture each scenario as it played out.  And most importantly, remain objective.

Now Mr. Imoo (referred to as “Clay” going forward) will say that the proof is in the pudding: the OYYAM continues to do good work, his staff is well-liked and well-respected, and he still has a job.  And he may argue that he just plays some of these encounters up just to have fun; or that some of them were caused by him being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Whether you believe him or not will be at the heart of your decision.

Let’s begin shall we?  For the purposes of this case, Archbishop Michael will be respectfully referred to as “ABM” to help out the person typing on that weird typewriter machine in the courtroom.  Does that thing even work?


Exhibit A:  Under there, Underwear

In late November 2011, Clay and ABM were chatting in the hallway and ABM complimented Clay on his wardrobe selection for the day: Clay was wearing his favourite light purple sweater ala Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men.

“Nice sweater, Clay… very appropriate for Advent.”

“Thanks a lot Archbishop Michael…glad you like it!”

“I’m guessing that you were wearing white last week.”

“I can’t remember what dress shirts I was wearing, but I do know that all my underwear is white.”

ABM shook his head and walked away.


Exhibit B:  Rip in the Pants (read the original blog posted on January 16, 2011).

In January 2011, Clay was cleaning out and re-organizing one of the OYYAM storage rooms when he split his pants below his zipper. After being mocked by the OYYAM staff, he went on to his scheduled meeting with ABM.

Clay entered ABM’s office covering his exposed underwear with a strategically-placed binder.  They exchanged greetings and ABM asked Clay how his day was going.

“It was going great…until I ripped my pants while cleaning up.”

“Oh that’s too bad. I hate it when that happens!”

“Thanks Archbishop Michael. Has it happened to you before?”


After a productive meeting, Clay was leaving the office when ABM exclaimed:  “Have a good weekend…and take care of that hole!”


Exhibit C:  Haircuts

In mid-January 2012, Clay was in ABM’s office for a quick discussion, and as Clay sat down he noticed that ABM was sporting a fresh haircut.

“Nice haircut, Archbishop Michael.”

“Thanks, Clay.  I’m surprised you noticed.”

“It’s one of my gifts…I notice when people get haircuts or change their hairstyle.  I’m a big advocate of short hair as you may know.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“Well…I think your hair looks great…it’s probably the shortest I’ve seen it in a while.”

“Actually, I left it longer this time on purpose.”

“So…about the Archdiocesan Conference…”


Exhibit D:  Pallium and Podium (read the original blog posted on July 3, 2009)

Back in June 2009, ABM was one of 34 bishops from 20 countries to receive a wool pallium from Pope Benedict XVI, underlining his unique ties to the Vicar of Christ in Rome and to all the faithful in our archdiocese.  At a reception attended by all the employees of the JP 2 Pastoral Centre the day ABM was leaving for Rome, Clay served as the emcee.

After a few opening remarks, Clay began his introduction of ABM:

“As many of you know, Archbishop Miller is off to Rome later this afternoon to receive the pallium from Pope Benedict. by doing so, it will be a sign of his communion with the Pope, along with his communion with our archdiocese.”

So far so good.  And then it came: Clay’s CLM: Career-Limiting Move.

“At first, I thought that Archbishop Miller was going to receive a PODIUM, because he talks so much!”

Clay didn’t even bother trying to explain that this too was supposed to be a compliment on ABM’s  wonderful public speaking skills, as his foot was lodged too far down his throat. Thankfully, most of the attendees broke into laughter and even applause while the HR Manager prepared Clay’s termination papers.

After what seemed like an eternity (though was likely 2 or 3 seconds), ABM gave Clay a big grin, patted him on the back, and calmly yet directly said: “Ok Clay, that’s enough now.”


Exhibit E:  Trying to Look Important

Just this past weekend, Clay was serving at the Man to Man gathering at St. Mary’s Parish in Vancouver, and ABM was the keynote speaker.  During social time, Clay greeted ABM and ABM noticed that Clay had written his full first name on his nametag.

“Oh, so you’re going by ‘Clayton’ tonight!”

“Yeah, trying to look important.”

“Me too, that’s why I’m wearing my good shirt.”

“Haha…great minds think alike…right?”

No reaction from ABM.

“Talk to you later!”


So there you have it.  Five examples of memorable encounters between Clay and Archbishop Michael spanning a couple of years.  Believe me, there were a lot more to choose from, but we feel this gives you a decent sample.

Now the only question that remains is:  Does Clay act like a fool in the presence of Archbishop Michael?

  • I have far more embarrassing stories with my bishop. The underwear conversations with Bishops get all that more awkward when you are female.