(Editor’s note…my last two posts here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog were so serious in nature, so dark, so foreboding, so chilling, so perverse, so, oh, sorry, that I decided to write a SPECIAL EDITION post that is actually humorous (I hope), in keeping with our comedy tradition. Oh, and this one is dedicated to Sarah K, the pixie girl.)
I was born and raised a Roman Catholic, and by no choice of my own on either account I might add, and when I was a kid (back in the Jurassic Era, but before the Park), I attended a Catholic parochial school in my neighborhood, Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, where I learned, interspersed with studying things like Arithmetic, English, Geography, Psychiatry, Phrenology and Medieval Sewing, that certain activities and actions perpetrated by humans are sinful.
Oh yes, Holy Mother Church had a real laundry list of sins back in those days, in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
Like all good organized religions, the Catholics are “people of the Book”, so we used the Ten Commandments that are found in the Bible in the Book of Amphibians, err, sorry, Book of Genesis, as our template for “what constitutes sin”. (Actually, it was my experience that “sin” was whatever the nuns said it was, including such activities as nose-picking, late assignments, pulling the hair of the girl that sat in front of you and calling your 7th grade teacher “Leadbelly” behind her back. Yeah, I almost got busted for that one; her name was Sister Mary Agnes of the Holy Ruler (her favorite weapon) and she was, at once, fat…and ugly. Sorry, but she was. Hands down she became a nun because she realized that her chances of finding a halfway decent guy/gal with that face and build were pretty slim. (Her chances were slim, her build…not so much.) She drags me out into the hall and says, what do you know about Leadbelly, and I looked at her with these wide, innocent eyes and said, nothing Stir, why? She said never mind and gave me a shot upside my head, just for good measure, and then sent me back inside.)
Okay, so here’s the Big Ten, paraphrased:
#1- No side gods…one is enough
#2- Don’t screw over Mom and Dad
#3- Church on Sunday, heathens
#4- No golden calves (see #1)
#5- No swearing using god’s name…say “shit” instead
#6- No killing
#7- No funny business with Mrs. WhatsHerFace next door
#8- No stealing…if it ain’t yours, leave it alone
#9- No lying (even if you are, especially if you are, the President of the United States)
#10- Don’t be looking greedily at Mrs. WhatsHerFace or her new BMW
Beyond the above, which we heard about frequently (daily), there were three other really heavy hitters for the nuns…”having impure thoughts”, “touching yourself impurely” and “eating meat on Fridays”. Pre-age 12 or so, the two “impures” were no big deal; by the time I was in 7th grade, however, pretty much all I did was have impure thoughts and then touch myself impurely. Hell, by the time I was 13, all I had to do was have a slight breeze blow past me and I got a hard-on; nowadays I can’t wake up my johnson with a trombone and a hand grenade.
These things were *MORTAL* sins, not to be confused with lesser transgressions, known as venial sins, as we learned from the sin arbiters, but the worst of all, we were told repeatedly, was EATING MEAT ON FRIDAYS. (Actually, the “impures” were way worse, but the nuns always got all mystical and vague when referring to them, due I’m sure to lack of practical experience on their part.)
For some reason the nuns at OLOPM had a real thing for meat-eating on the last working day of the week. AND WE WERE TO REMEMBER THAT A) IT WAS A BLACK, BLACK *MORTAL SIN* AND B) IF YOU DIED WITH THIS SIN UNCONFESSED ON YOUR SOUL, YOU WOULD GO STRAIGHT TO HELL, WITH NO DETOURS TO MIAMI OR THE CAYMANS. (Of course, we drove the pastor, Father Heftybags, nuts with our hypothetical questions during his weekly visit to our classroom to teach that day’s “Religion” class. “So Father,” says Steve Taylor, one of the “slower” (moron) kids in the class, “if I start to eat a baloney and sour cream sandwich at 11:56 on Thursday night, and the barometric pressure is 30.59 and I’m using a left-handed framitz wrench, if I don’t finish my sandwich until after midnight, which is then Friday in the Northern Hemisphere, is that a sin?”)
Be gone, Satan, get thee behind me.
Then it happened.
Back in 1995, Pope John Paul George and Ringo quietly decreed that, whoa, it was now all right to eat meat on Fridays, unless you didn’t have any of your own and had to steal some from Mrs. WhatsHerFace next door, which was a violation of both #8 and #10 (above), although by the new Papal decree at least you were okay on the Friday meat-eating sin.
Wait, are you kidding me?
Boy, I gotta’ tell you, if I’m some poor SOB languishing in the fires of Hades, parched and in despair, begging for just a drop of cool water but still having impure thoughts and I suddenly found out that I had been railroaded like this by the Church, I’d be some pretty pissed off. All I did was stop off at Mickey D’s for a Big Mac on the way home from work, totally forgetting it was Friday, I get home, eat my burger and then I have this major coronary event and bite the big one, hasta yo’ mama, senor, and next thing I know, there I am in front of St. Peter on the way through, who tells me, hey, special sauce lettuce cheese, you’re on your way to Perdition, have a nice trip, say hello to Lucy Fur for me when you see her.
And now all those Earthbound jerks still walking around up there can eat porterhouse steaks, lamb chops, burgers, the firm, up-turned young breasts of chickens, llama spleens, pork roast, gizzards, filets and carburetors on Fridays and it’s okay? Friday meat-eating is no longer a MORTAL sin? And I’m still stuck down here with Hitler, that roving asshole Jeffery Epstein, the guys from the 1919 Chicago Black Sox, my ex-mother-in-law and Richard Nixon? What the hell is that all about?
And worst, there’s no recourse, no higher Court of Appeals to hear your case, you’re hosed, happy fiery eternity, loser.
To say that I would not be a 100% completely satisfied customer under these circumstances would be the understatement of the millennia.
So the Catholics gave us no/no, wait, it’s okay on Friday meat-eating, the Mormons wear “magic underwear” and an have Italian angel as their patron saint, Martin Luther was probably certifiable and the Amish think they’re still living in pre-Civil War rural America and organized religion is surprised it has a credibility problem? Really? The same organized religion that gave us the Spanish Inquisition back in the 1500’s, flame-broiled “witches” in Massachusetts during the infamous Salem trials of 1692 and has a cadre of pedophile priests that have been giving “special dispensations” to young altar boys since who knows when, that the organized religion you’re talking about?
You have to figure that Satan is probably not happy with no longer getting new inmates from the ranks of the Friday Meat-Eaters Society, all the while he’s laughing like crazy at the poor assholes already in his custody on a First Degree Friday Hamburger conviction.
If you’re one of those assholes, that sucks, even worse than having Donald Trump as President, although not much.
I miss being a Catholic, about the way I’d miss root-canal surgery or having my car repossessed.
BREAKING NEWS!! THIS JUST IN FROM OUR NEWS DESK…
Dateline Rome…Pope Francis today announced that, due to frustration, depression and anxiety over the Covid-19 pandemic, all of the Ten Commandments have been temporarily suspended until further notice, and then further declared Donald Trump to be the Anti-Christ.
Francis also reaffirmed that eating meat on Fridays is still not a sin, but that being a Republican is.
Love and holy water,
Post Script…speaking of the pandemic, I saw this headline on a news website the other day…
“How States Rank in Coronavirus Cases”
And I thought to myself, since no one else was there at the time, can I get a further clarification of the word “rank”? What was the criteria, best looking? Largest? Loudest? Best smelling? Most disgusting? What?
Hey, I just wanted to know, it might be important someday, all right?
Post Post Script…more Covid-19. So a bunch of cities got “flyovers” recently from various precision flying squadrons like the U. S. Navy Blue Angels, who fly the F/A-18, or the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds, flying the F-16C, as recognition for all the folks out there on the front lines busting their butts and risking their lives during the pandemic…nice gesture.
So what did the Tampa area get as recognition from our good President and his Armed Forces for its “essential workers”? MacDill AFB, our local military base, gave us a flyover by a single KC-135 Stratotanker.
Tanker…a flying gas station.
Gee thanks, guys, what a thrill…I think I might have wet myself a little.