~ A funny, narrative comedy by Rick Phillips about children enduring Catholic School in the 1960s. ~
The book: a hilarious comedy about children enduring Catholic School in the 1960s - by Rick Phillips - “I DON’T BRAKE FOR NUNS!” email: RICKPHIL22@AOL.COM


From Ch. 19: Learning the Catholic Guilt
The nuns at I.C. used fear as their most powerful, pedagogical motivator. There was no better way to insure 100 percent attendance at Mass than to put the fear of the Lord’s everlasting revenge in a child’s heart.
The nuns always taught that Jesus loves you. We heard it all the time. Jesus loves YOU. He loves ALL children. Except, of course, if you’re a no-show at collection time during Sunday’s Mass. Then, he’ll slam the Gates of Heaven in your face like you were a tambourine-tapping Hari-Kristna.
From Ch. 23: Altar Boy: From Latin to Pig-Latin
The measure of knowing one’s Latin was based on two factors: 1) how close you came phonetically to the actual Latin words, and 2) how fast you could rattle your prayers off. Normally in Catholic school, diction would be important along with projection and eye contact. Well, none of that was essential to being an altar boy. At least not at I.C.

The most important trait of an altar boy serving with the curmudgeon Monsignor Murphy was to say your prayers faster than a Southern auctioneer. God help you if you couldn’t talk faster than Evelyn Wood could read. God forbid if you got stage fright and forgot your prayers at the foot of the altar. Murf would be on you like stink on a camel.
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"A pupil daydreamed at his own peril in the classroom. You kept your head on a swivel at all times. At any second, a nun could lung at you -- without provocation -- with deadly intent."

From Ch. 24: Let the Beatings Begin
Sister Alphonsa Marie was a finger pointer and a chin grabber. She’d waggle her arthritic index finger in your face if you weren’t completely tuned in to her class. One day, Bob Carlton lost his place in history, so Sister Alphonsa Marie took ahold of his chin with one hand and tossed the pages in his text to the correct spot with the other. For half the day, he wore her finger marks on his jaw.
Both the teachers and the students could be gross at times. Kids -- boys particularly -- are gross by nature, but teachers aren’t always debutantes. Mrs. Sezzo stopped her class right in its tracks to shout out to a busy student, “Tazmilio stop picking your nose! You wanna suck on my feet!”

At the time, I couldn’t decide which I wanted to throw up from, the sight of Tazmilio digging for treasure or the vision of him sucking on Sezzo’s smelly, open-toe shoe. How Sezzo equated sucking on her feet as a substitute for nosepicking was beyond my comprehension.

From Ch. 15: First Holy Conundrum - What to Confess?
The previous six years of his life, a child has been a pain in the ass to the congregation at Mass. Crying during the gospel, fidgeting in the pew during the sermon, looking face-to-face at the people kneeling in the pew behind, dorking around in the aisle...

The nuns figure that, by seven years old, you’re about ripe for the world of sin. After all, you’re a monosyllabic reader now for some six months. By seven years old, a kid is capable of all kinds of sin, they figure. So, before the First Holy Communion celebration, to which a kid's entire family tree will be invited, he first must be initiated with his first Confession.

You couldn’t help but think about the sins the guy in front of you was bestowing on the priest, especially if he was in there for more than five minutes. You could watch a pious, old woman go into Confession, knowing she was deeply religious, and an honorable citizen. But if she stayed in that box more than 10 minutes, you were sure she was Lizzy Borden when she came out.

The biggest problem with First Holy Communion is, what the hell to confess to. At seven years old, you can hardly reach the door handle of the Confessional, for chrissake. There really should be a mark on the door like at amusement parks that prohibits kids too small from entering.

Finally, after seven sinful years of infancy and early childhood, I was free from sin. I could feel the burden lifted off my back. The expunging of seven sin-pocked years was like dropping a piano off my shoulders. At last I had a clean slate, and I was heading back into the world of temptation and mayhem with a clear conscience. Now God and the nuns would be satisfied that my seven-year-old soul was clean enough to take on the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Hallelujah!