Altar Boys Secret Society
Posted by LOTGK on October 14, 2007
The Altar Boys Secret Society Part I
I had survived the Flute-O-Phone Spanish Nunquistion as not a single student cracked under the intense pressure and squealed on me, or themselves for that matter. Life was getting good. Time to venture into new avenues.
My buddy told me about a pretty good gig that would allow me to get out of school for hours at a time. Get out of school!!! That’s all I needed to hear. He told me all I had to do was sign up to be an Altar boy. Anything to get out of harms way of the nun’s wrath I thought.
Note to all non Catholics out there reading. An Altar boy was an assistant to the priest when he was saying mass. The Altar boy’s duties ranged from holding the cross and leading the procession to bringing up the water and wine to the priest as he proceeded to move through the mass. Basically, the Altar boy was an indentured servant.
Ok, back to the story. Amazingly, it was easy to join the altar boys. There were no tests to take. No secret handshakes to learn and no secret password to get into the back of the church where everyone that is in the loop knows that is where all the action is.
That same day during my lunch break I went to see Father Iatti to inform him that he had a new recruit for the Altar boy army. Past the principles office I glided and down the steps to the Sacristy where Father Iatti’s office was. Tapping ever so gently on the office door I entered the office slowly, (My spider senses were tingling) nervously looking about preparing myself to be yelled at. You see, a Catholic student never willingly went to see the priests.
The children were sent there by the nuns for more severe punishment apparently only available for the priests to inflict. So, this was a very unusual circumstance, especially for me, walking in to the office of my own free will instead of being dragged there by the nuns. This time I wanted to use my powers for good instead of evil and the priest would immediately sense this.
In reality, that didn’t happen. Instead, Father Iatti came into the office, saw me sitting in the chair, and began to rant and rave at me yelling something about calling my mother and that I was in big trouble this time. He then went into his native tongue, which was Italian, and blurted out several more sentences before finally asking me what I had to say for myself. I almost confessed to whatever he was ranting about. He then said, “Well, I’m waiting. Why are you here?” I told him that I wanted to become an Altar boy and was ready to sign up and help the church. I figured that revelation would humble him a bit, quiet him down just a little after yelling at me for no reason at all. I could also see two prominent veins that appeared on his forehead and if perchance they somehow met, I imagined his head would explode. Yes, I know it would be cool to see, and I had a front row seat, but it would be messy but then I would not be inducted into the altar boy guild, or society, or club, whatever.
Fact was, I was offering my services to the church, to serve God, to help him. I waited for the apology but never got it. Instead, Father Iatti became a police inspector and began interrogating me like I was a criminal. Crimony, all I wanted to do was join the Altar boys. This was turning out to be more bother than I expected.
My answers did not satisfy Father Iatti and he continued the brow beating. Ten more minutes went by and still I was not inducted into the Altar boy guild and now my entire recess lunch break was over. What a gip. Not only did I waste my lunchtime, I was getting a lecture and the once over for doing absolutely nothing this time. Then it dawned on me. I was now missing class as the students entered the school in single file from the playground completely silent not daring to utter a peep while in line. This was OK. Let Father Iatti rant and rave at me. It wasn’t like I wasn’t used to it by now. Four years so far in Catholic school had hardened my nerves and resolve. Nothing could penetrate the fortress.
Then, like a bad dream, Father Iatti stopped his tirade and told me to return to class and that we would discuss this matter further during tomorrows lunch break. This was unacceptable. I had already wasted one recess period and I wasn’t about to waste another. I had to move quickly before this got more out of hand then it was. I slowly got up out of my chair, sighed lowly and announced that maybe I wasn’t cut out to be an Altar boy after all. Even though both of my older brothers were, maybe I wasn’t good enough. I then turned to the door averting my eyes from Father Iatti and began to leave.
Then it happened. Father spoke. He said in a very low tone that there was an Altar boy meeting Friday morning right before first period and that I was invited to attend. He said the meeting was to discuss the Altar boys duties and to introduce several new members of which I was now one. I said thanks and ran out the door and hurried to class so as to not be late and risk the wrath of the nuns for being tardy.
I was in. A made man. An Altar boy. A license to skip school virtually almost every day. Life was good. I couldn’t wait for Friday.
But of course, there was a glitch. A glitch that I didn’t consider. Thinking only about being able to miss school while serving early morning mass each weekday, I failed to realize that I would also be responsible for serving mass on Saturdays and Sundays. And since I was the rookie, I would be getting the lousy very early morning mass schedules on the weekends. Now this sucked but the wheels were already in progress and Friday was approaching quickly.
I needed a plan. But that is another Altar boy story, another legend. Stay tuned for the update.
LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL