Yesterday, God called a snow day.
No, really. I'm not kidding. Sometimes around here churches close because of the weather.
That would never have happened back in my day. In my day no excuse was good enough. I mean, they had mass on television, so even if you were sick in bed, even if you were in the hospital you could "be there." It was like old school virtual reality only not nearly as fun because there was no remote and everything was real life, except maybe the "body" and "blood" part of communion.. Catholics weren't allowed to have the "blood." Just the "body" which was a wafer, and it was like chewing air, tasted like a no-name "saltine" cracker. A stale one. I figured the "blood" wasn't all that good either, probably some cheap stuff, like maybe "Boone's Farm Apple flavor" or something, so I didn't care, knowing I could score better than this.
When I first discovered that a catholic mass was on TV I was pretty excited because back then I would watch anything. I once watched the test pattern (the thing that was left on the screen when television signed off for the night) for 2 hours until the parents I was babysitting for came home. What? NO? You don't know what a test pattern is? Oh you young little whippersnappers you. Well, things were different back when television was new. Television wasn't "on" 24-7. It shut off at about 2:00am, because there was no internet then and we couldn't easily justify living in someone else's time zone.
But that was a long time ago. Yes, before DVD. Yes, before Donkey Kong. Yes, before Space Race. Listen, It was The Way Back, Ok? when kids had babysitters who were barely a couple of years older than they were, and who had no idea how to do the Heimlich maneuver or even change a diaper because we didn't have to have a degree in advanced babysitting, show proof of personal liability insurance, and get a criminal check in order to watch the neighbor's kids on a Saturday night. Yeah, The Way Way Back. It was The Wild West of Childhood.
And yet, even though it was the Wild West and filled with kid outlaws, I wasn't one of them. In fact, the one and only time I lied during confession had something to do with television. You see, I pretended to be sick on a Sunday so I didn't have to go to mass, which believe it or not is one of the BIG sins (referred to as "mortal.") I felt so guilty about not going to mass that I stayed in bed and watched church on TV and even then I copped to this sin in confession the very next week, cuz back then things on a screen were not considered real like they are today. Not even church. Watching it was not good enough, certainly not good enough for the Catholic God, anyway. He's like the bad-ass God of the modern conventional religions. I mean, he probably couldn't take down Thor, but you know - he was pretty damned scary to little kids in uniforms.
It was the only time I varied from my small list of sins that I reported, sort of like a mantra (but without the Indian accent, ) to the priest every Wednesday when we would go to confession as a class. As a result of my honesty, I was told that I must say a lot of prayers as my "penance" which was pretty embarrassing because while I was up kneeling at the altar all that time, saying one Hail Mary after the other, my classmates were placing bets on what I might have done to deserve this punishment. Shortly after that, a couple of the cuter boys began smiling at me on the bus, boys much cuter than the Evil Twins with their identical over-sized teeth and booger noses. Yes, the boogers were identical too, I'm sad to report after watching them drip down dangerously close to their mouths way too many times.
So, anyway. God called a snow day and, due to my