(Author’s Note: I have been advised by a really good friend that I should post some sort of “feel-good” entry. When I do, it takes me out of my Polish Holden Caulfield frame of mind. In deference to him, though, here is my attempt at a “feel good” story. As always, your comments are welcome.)
I’m not even sure why we walked out of our way to go to the convent on Halloween. Being good Catholic boys, I guess we felt it our obligation. So, through the Church parking lot we went, up the back staircase, behind the school and across the street to the big brick house that was the last one on the block. And just as you could count on seeing Monsignor Gehring loading his golf clubs into the back of his Olds Delta 88 on a nice spring day, the Sisters would give us our Halloween apple.
Maybe even at ten years old, we knew whose asses to kiss. We were ruled by these nuns. Sister Norah and Sister Patricia presided over us like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse over Diamond Shoals. They taught us to read and write and were the judge, jury and executioner when it came to discipline. Corporal punishment was meted out faster than acid at Woodstock. Looking back, I realize the paddling on the ass and the rulers across the fingers were not meant so much for the victim as they were for the surrounding and suddenly tuned in kids. I heard a guy talking about torture one time, and he said the best method he knows is to shoot the guy next to the one you want to get to talk. Well, when the kid next to you just got his knuckles snapped for not holding a pencil correctly, it sure as hell gets your attention too.