“We are all born with original sin on our heads and looking around this classroom, some of you fine specimens obviously had it worse than others. The holy priest, most likely my good self, cleansed you lot, the best he could of the sins of your forefathers, when you were innocent babies in the sacrament of baptism. But now it’s time to wipe the slate clean again and it will take some cleaning for some of you.” Father Murphy wasn’t the worst of them really, Nan didn’t give out much about him so that was some kind of a good sign on his behalf, because Nan usually cut the socks of the clergy even worse than she cut the rest of what she called the privileged gobshites. I don’t think she realized gobshites was a curse word because she never blessed herself after saying it, the way she would when she used the other words I was forbidden to know, not to mind use. How I was meant to not know them when her-self and Daddy used them constantly, was beyond me. Mammy used get shocking upset with my father for using them while my-self and the brother were in the room. The only one she would permit herself to use was “feck” and that was always when she was giving out socks about Daddy and even then she would bless herself and call for the forgiveness of the good Lord who is up in heaven. Much like I will have to be doing myself within the next few months for the first time. “Yes Father” the rest of the class say in response to some question the Holy Father has asked. That Micheal O Suilleabhain catches my eye from across the room and sticks his tongue out at me. A right class of a full idiot so he is, him with his white collared shirts always done up tidy with a blue tie wrapped around it like some sort of Nancy boy, while the rest of us look like we have just come out the far end of the worst hurricane ever to have hit the town of Ceannais Mor. Not that a hurricane has ever actually hit the town, as far as I know, but sure there’s no harm in wishing for a bit of excitement now and again. Of course the mother goes on like he is a great chap altogether.
(c) Frank McGivney 21.01.15