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.
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.”