The post where I add another 10 years to my time in Purgatory


The air outside is as crisp as a fresh apple this morning. Have I told you how much I love October? There’s just something about the bite of the wind, and the sound of dead leaves scuttling across the sidewalks that makes me all misty eyed, and it’s not just my allergies.

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. One of the benefits of being Catholic was getting November 1st, All Saints Day, as a day off from school. While all my heathen friends were coming down from their sugar high, and staggering off to school on the morning of the 1st, we’d be home in our Jammies watching Captain Kangaroo, vibrating with excitement, and popping M&M’s and Smarty’s like some strung out Hollywood starlet.

Of course, that was back when parents never worried about giving kids sugar. Cripes, Mom used to let me drink a quart of Pepsi before bedtime. Is it any wonder I was an insomniac at age 10? Oh, those were the days, Sugar Pops for Breakfast, Hostess Pies for Lunch, and Ice Cream after dinner. In the summer time we’d walk around the block to Rhinehart’s and blow our change on candy bars, and Bubble Yum. I still get heart palpitations when I think of mainlining those Pixie Sticks.

Now we “know better”. I feel sorry for our poor kids. I’m glad my parents never spent their days reading “What to Expect When Expecting”, or any of those other educational parenting books. No, I’m happy I was a bottle baby, and that the bottle was full of Black Velvet. Actually, by age 20 I had ingested so much sugar I totally lost my taste for sweet stuff, although it does seem to be returning now in middle age. Most likely because our kids are so conscientious about eating candy, that the Halloween stuff would still be around at Easter if Mrs. 20 Prospect and me didn’t sneak into their rooms at night, and steal their Butterfingers, and 100 Grand bars.

I have no idea how we managed to have such well behaved and sober children. Don’t get me wrong, they still love Halloween as much as the next kid. They just seem have something called “restraint”. This chromosome obviously did not come from the 20 Prospect side of the family.

So as October winds down, we are busy trying to pull together some homemade Halloween costumes, and finishing off their annual “Saints Project”. Being statue worshiping Catholics, each child at Our Lady of the Subdural Hematoma is assigned a Saint, and required to do research and present a report to the class. I think this is intended to offset the Paganism of the secular holiday, by exposing the kids to positive role models. There’s just one problem with this. Most of the recognized Saints were obviously insane.

Perhaps it was all the lead paint and mercury that they fed people in the Middle Ages, but the lives of some of these Saints is more gruesome than some of the horror movies I’ve seen. Seriously, there is a wealth of material for a good slasher flick right there in the Pantheon of Saints. How I never noticed this until now puzzles me, but thinking back on it I am glad my bat sh!t crazy Nuns never made me read the life story of St. Lucy. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night.

So for the past week the children and I have been reading hair raising stories of self flagellation, self mortification, and asceticism that make me wonder just how many S&M aficionados there are sitting next to us in the pews on Sunday. Seriously, if Mass involved detailed descriptions of the lives of these Saints, the pews would be packed with weirdo’s.

(I would like to pause a second, to ask my protestant, and agnostic readers to hold their comments until the end of the post please)

So, I will spare you some of the more gory trivia we have learned, and instead present you with the Top Ten little known facts about the J-Man.  Because if there’s anything that all 30,000 different Christian denominations can agree on, it’s that the J-man is totally awesome.

I mean it.

Really.

Umm… suddenly I have a bad feeling about this…please excuse me while I go perform penance for the following blasphemy…

Ten Little Known Facts about Jesus

10.) The 69’ Mets? That was totally his idea.

9.) Kept raising the family cat from the dead until his Mom made him stop.

8.) He knows the number of angels that fit on the head of a pin, but he’s not telling.

7.) That thing about celibate priests? He was totally messing with us.

6.) If you thought turning water into wine was cool, wait till you see what he can do to Oregano!

5.) He’s got a tattoo of Our Lady of Guadalupe with “Mom” written under it.

4.) Boxers, not briefs.

3.) Organ music gives him migraines.

2.) Used to walk on water to freak out his babysitters.

1.) Said to Pilate, “You call that a cross? Shit, I could have given you the name of a good carpenter if you’d have just asked.”

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32 thoughts on “The post where I add another 10 years to my time in Purgatory

    • Do you mean this statue?

      Thankfully, we didn’t have one of those at St. Joe’s.

      The other story that used to freak me out was St. John being boiled in oil like a French Fry.

    • No I haven’t. But as a fellow blasphemer, I look forward to meeting him in Hell. I think all of us blasphemers share the same circle. Although it’s been a while since I read Dante. It’s either the circle with the disembowelment, or the one with the Venomous Muppets.

      Of course, that might just have been some bad acid. Ahh… college…

  1. Pingback: It’s Like Butter « Dufmanno’s Blog

  2. I was bursting with pride. So much so that I ceased to be able to write my own post today and instead just linked to this glorious wonderment!
    p.s. my oldest did her saint project on St. Lucy of the missing eyeballs. You should see the picture she drew. Good times.
    Makes me want to go back to the week we acted out the saints snuff fest in the parking lot of my grammar school. I was Joan of Arc and for realism they tied me to a tree and pretended to burn me! YAY!

    • Aww… thanks for the Linky Luv.

      You know how St. Andrew was crucified on an X instead of a cross? Well, I can remember as a kid watching this old black and white Tarzan movie where the natives were bending two palm trees together into an X, and tying their prisoners to them, and then cutting the ropes and watching them rip in half. I always thought of that whenever the Nun’s talked about St. Andrew.

      I can also remember the Nun’s telling me that all Martyr’s go to heaven, and trying to figure out a way that I could live a life of sin and debauchery, and then get killed saving a kitten or something to get that “Get out of Hell Free” card.

      • Forget it. We’re both destined for the third circle.
        Not quite close enough to touch a hoof or a claw but certainly within sniffing distance of the sulphur.

    • Like I said, I have no idea where this thing called “restraint” comes from. Surely neither my wife nor I have anything of the sort.

  3. You two make being Catholic sound like such fun. Unfortunately, all the kids around here ever talk about is how Sister Evangeline beat them, sometimes with the side of her fists, (which makes me giggle hysterically) and the priest would make them get on their knees in front of him and hit them in the back of the head with “something”. Of course, this makes us heathen sorts die laughing with amusement and beg for answers as to WHAT he was hitting them with.

      • My favorite part of the whole thing is the legions of deviant lunatics with repressed feelings that were created.
        No good party ever got rolling without a least ONE catholic!

  4. I saw your comment on the bloggess about “All Summer in a Day”. I read it in the 3rd grade too. I LOVED that story – it touched me in a way nothing else did. I am 36 now and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the story though I have described it to EVERYONE I know to see if anyone knows what I am talking about. Thank you for posting and linking to it.

    • Cindy,

      Yes, it had a big effect on me too. I used to sit in class on rainy days, looking out the window, day dreaming and thinking about that story.

      As I grew up I couldn’t remember the name of it, or who wrote it. A few years back I was reading Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” which was one of his first books. It isn’t science fiction, but is instead a dreamy, somewhat haunting remembrance of his youth in Waukegan, Illinois. It really resonated with me, so I decided to see what else he had written and started Googling. That’s when I stumbled across “All Summer in a Day”, and discovered that he was the author. Reading it again transported me immediately to my 3rd grade classroom on a rainy spring day. I could practically smell the chalk dust, and pencil shavings.

      Thanks for coming by!
      Tom

  5. The porch is gone! It’s like I’m Mary from Little House and I’ve gone blind and then I return to the house and Pa moved all the furniture to odd places to confuse me!
    Pa, why would you do that to a blind girl?
    Anyway, I actually like it. I just act like that every time change is involved.

    • Sorry about that! I hope you didn’t bash your shin against the coffee table.

      I got bored last night so I rearranged things again. You should try it sometime. It’s easy to upload pics into the WordPress headers.

  6. Oh Lawdy….I thought Southern Baptist were the on people who were blasphemers. Mom lied to me again 😦

    I have to add you to my list of Favs, I loved reading what you had to say.

    • Thanks for stopping by. Southern Baptists are welcome on my Front Porch anytime. I just ask that Baptist come visit in pairs, because if they come alone they usually drink all my beer. 😉

    • Are you sure you’re not confusing Jesus with Fidel Castro? I mean, they both have rocking beards. I wonder if Jesus played baseball too.

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