Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Follow the yellow brick road to my Catholic school.

I didn't sleep last night.

Not a wink.

Have you ever seen something so odd, so out of place, so unbelievable that you can't get it out of your mind?

That's how I was last night.

Yesterday, (Not one of you is going to believe this) I saw three midgets carrying surfboards.

I will repeat that for you.

Yesterday I saw three midgets carrying surfboards.

I know I'm probably not using the politically correct term but if I use "little people" then you may think these were children going to surf camp.


These were midgets.

Wait it gets better.

They were carrying "longboards."

I know. I didn't believe it myself.

Their little arms couldn't reach across the whole board.

That's why I turned around and drove by them again.

Three times.

Why the hell am I writing this?

Not one of you is going to believe me.

I don't believe me.

But the midgets aren't the story.

So I can't sleep last night because I can't tell anyone what I saw. I want to tell everyone but three midgets carrying surfboards is actually more unusual than a UFO sighting.

You never have your camera with you when you're about to be abducted by aliens, clip Bigfoot with your Cadillac or see three midgets carrying surfboards.

I can't tell my wife about the midgets because I don't want to give her any more excuses to have me formally committed.

Plus she'll think I'm making it up to steer her away from something I did that was really stupid.

So I'm lying awake in bed thinking about this and my wife starts to snore.

Not real full blown snoring, just a snort and a rattling kind of sound every thirty seconds followed by a short leg kick.

Now when I snore Jimmy Hoffa rises from the dead but with her it's actually kind of cute to watch.

She's so peaceful when she sleeps.

So as I'm watching her snore and waiting for that little leg kick I start to think of my elementary school. (I can't explain how my brain does this.)

I went to Catholic elementary school here in San Diego. The school shall remain nameless.

I was sentenced there for eight years.

I'm 48 years old.

The principal today is the same nun that was the principal 40 years ago.

She was old 40 years ago.

I don't think this nun can die.

I think she may be a vampire.

Anyone who has been to my elementary school here in San Diego knows exactly what I'm talking about.

And they know about "the mole."

She has this chin mole that has a life of its own. It also has two hairs that it parts down the center.

I was always in trouble in school because whenever she would talk to me I couldn't look her in the eye.

I looked her in the mole.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you Mr. Calabrese!"

"I'm trying."

"Don't you lie to me Mr. Calabrese. For your punishment you will pray the rosary while standing in the hallway under the statue of St. Vincent. You will do this while holding a bible in each hand with your arms outstretched at your sides."

I lay in bed thinking of all the time I spent under that statue holding two bibles. That punishment gave me huge forearms and made me the school arm wrestling champion but made it difficult and painful for me later on in life when I was exploring my sexuality.

Which made me wonder if Superman ever masturbates.

Then I thought of Cat Woman and Wonder Woman and Bat Girl and... that reminded me of confession.

Which reminded me of Father Anthony and the pagan babies.

Once a year Father Anthony would come to the school and tell us about the pagan babies who were starving in Biafra.

Father Anthony sounded like Carl Sagan

"Hundreds upon hundreds, thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions, billions upon billions of pagan babies are starving in Biafra."

"You must go out among the people with these milk cartons and fill them up with coins for the pagan babies. For every ten dollars you collect you will be able to buy a pagan baby."

I remember thinking back then that my parents may not want any more kids. But I'm Italian so going door-to-door collecting money seemed natural to me.

I remembered I raised thirty-seven dollars. I wondered at the time if I would just own a piece of that last pagan baby and how I could get that last pagan baby to clean my room if I had to share him with someone else.

(My wife is now snoring a little louder and kicking with both legs.)

Then I remembered how they dashed my clean room hopes by just giving us this stupid book with photos of pagan babies. For every pagan baby we bought we got a sticker we could put next to a pagan babies face.

A sticker???


They owed me 3.7 pagan babies. I had chores that needed to be done. I had hopes and dreams for my pagan babies. I wasn't going to take this lying down!!!

"Sister, I don't want a sticker I want the pagan babies I paid for."

So I'm standing under the statue of St. Vincent when...


My wife hauls off and punches me right in my kidney!!!


"You were snoring."


"You were asleep and you were snoring so loud you woke me up."

"I WASN'T SLEEPING DAMMIT!!! I was lying here thinking about the three midgets with surfboards I saw today and Superman and Bat Girl and the statue of St. Vincent I used to stand under... and Father Anthony... and the pagan babies...."


"Can't you just shake me next time?"