Or, how I was nearly exorcised.
In my book, Wanderlush, I reference a childhood event that took place in 1980 during my weekend Catholic School class. I’ll add a bit more detail in today’s blog post. The exact details are a bit fuzzy because I’m still furious about what happened but here’s my recollection. PS: I wrote this blog yesterday so technically it qualifies as a Throw Back Thursday entry:)
Students were asked to prepare and present a product or service that would bring children closer to Jesus. Within seconds after receiving the assignment, I was off and running. This project was right in my wheelhouse.
My classmate, James, presented first.
Sister Gloria: Thank you, James. Your Jesus holiday placemats were wonderful. I’ll be ordering some this holiday season for sure.
[The students offered up a lame applause.]
Sister Gloria: David, would you like to present your product now?
[I had been tapping my foot impatiently. I couldn’t wait to present my product. When I heard my name, I jumped out of my seat and raced to the front of the class with a bag that contained my winning product.]
Me: I want to first thank Sister Gloria for this assignment. It kept me out of trouble for the past two weeks. I know my mom would say thank you as well if she were here today. She couldn’t make it because last night my brother and sister got into a fight over our Atari set and my sister kicked my brother in the nuts. My brother woke up last night screaming, My mom said one of his balls was the size of a clementine. I don’t know what a clementine is but judging from my brother’s face, I’m guessing it’s big. So they are all at the hospital.
Sister Gloria: David! Your product. Please!
Me: Oh yes, sorry. Before I show you my product, I wanted to let you know that I was torn between which product to showcase today. I really wanted to present a new board game I created, called Father, May I? But my mom didn’t agree. She said it was likely a little ahead of its time. I just had to trust her judgment on this.
[Sister Gloria shifted uncomfortably in her seat.]
Me: I also had a great idea to manufacture a line of flavored communion wafers. I mean, what kid doesn’t like chocolate and bubble gum? I saw a lot of potentIal with those wafers and that was my product idea until a few nights ago. I was lying in bed thinking about Jesus. I mean really thinking about him, and all of the stuff Sister Gloria taught us. Like, how cool he was and the positive impact he’s had on people’s lives. And then I realized how hungry I was. And then it hit me. I was like “Holy crap.” I woke up straight away and got started on the product. My mom thought I was crazy. Well, crazier than she normally thinks I am. But I didn’t care because I just knew I was going to create something special.
[I reached into my bag and retrieved a box of cereal. On the front of the box was a cutout of Jesus’ face.]
Me: I created Rice Christies.
[I held the box up high so my classmates could see.]
Me: I’m not sure if you can read the front but it says, Put a little Snap, Crackle, and Pope into your morning.
[Sister Gloria hissed.]
Me: I know what everyone is thinking. Does this come in other varieties? Well, not yet but I can totally see a version with little Apostle marshmallows or at Christmas, little snowflakes and angels.
[My classmates started to laugh at me. I was humiliated and a bit hurt because I had put so much effort into my product. The laughter amplified. Sister Gloria tried to gain control of the class but the kids were too focused on poking fun at me. I snapped.]
Me: You applaud stupid placemats but you’re laughing at a real product that has market potential? What the hell is wrong with you people? Go ahead and laugh. You’ll realize someday how genius this product is and then you’ll look ridiculous. When I become famous, we’ll bump into each other on the street and you’ll try to apologize. And you know what? I’ll be like,”Oh I’m sorry. Are you trying to talk to me? I can’t hear you because all I hear is you laughing. Ha Ha Ha. Let me ask you this. What did your kids have to eat this morning. Oh! Rice Christies? That’s interesting. Who’s laughing now?”
[I felt a burst of tears welling up in my throat. The laughter continued.]
Me: Fuck you. Amateurs.
[I grabbed my box of Rice Christies and stormed out of the class.]