>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen

August 6, 2007

Catholicism. What a concept. Millions of people basing their entire belief system on a book that has an eighteen year gap in it. Not to mention those eighteen years are his teen and college years. Pretty convenient that the big JC’s got a sizeable gap on his resume. Even though he was the son of God, he was, after all, also human. A human with some wickedly sweet heavenly powers, yes, but you have to wonder if like any typical college student JC sometimes got bit out of hand. I’m sure that if I was running the Catholic Church and discovered that on a hot summer day when Jesus was 20 he installed a really sweet water park in the middle of the desert for everyone to party at, I’d probably keep it out of the Bible too.

The first miracle we see from Jesus is turning water into wine. We may never know how much of this boozing he was doing in his twenties, but anytime JC attended a party you knew it was going to be badass boozefest. Whenever the host was running low on adult beverages he’d just call Jesus to the kitchen and say, “Alright, we need a nice merlot, a chardonnay, and Maddie said don’t forget her wine coolers again if you want another sexless night. Now go on, do your thing. I’m thirsty.”

But that’s just an alternative theory. When you’ve been raised in a Catholic home, attended an all-girls Catholic high school, had a mom who was a CCD teacher, and have sat listening to the same stories over and over for eighteen years, eventually you come up with your own ending and begin to question the inconsistency of it all. Take Jesus on the cross, for example. It’s either the very well-defined Jesus—the six-pack abs, muscular arms and nothing but a piece of

“Vomiting during mass is like the rite of passage in my family to be truly Catholic.”

cloth covering his twig and berries —or the completely emaciated Jesus with blood dripping everywhere. So what are we supposed to believe in? If Jesus is too ripped, little girls and even some little boys are going to be wondering what’s under that loin cloth, and if he looks like he’s been battling a serious eating disorder and hypoglycemia, they’re going to be turned off by his weakness.

I still go to church occasionally. It’s not as long or dull as I remember it, though. Probably because I wake up late enough on Sunday to make it to the noon mass where everything is spoken in Polish. When I was little I used to try to kill as much mass time as possible in the bathroom. Usually I would practice my dance routine in there or something. But you could only go during the first two readings because that was when it was usually empty. During the homily and right after communion was the rush hour. And if you left during the gospel, God would be pissed and punish you by giving you diarrhea at school. In hindsight, though, he may not have been too thrilled I was making spit balls in the holiest of throne rooms, which may explain my acne during junior high.

I think that they should modernize the Catholic mass a little more to get the community involved. Like the part where we all have to pray to the Lord. It’s really too dramatic. Instead of, “Lord pray for the lepers, the orphaned children of Africa, and those displaced by the monsoons in India, and let the warmth of your lighted torch shine within their hearts,” make it more personable, and get more of the community behind it. For instance, “Lord, parishioner Simonne caved into the temptation of Jell-O shots this weekend. The hot date you sent her—a good man among the wreck of the male gender—that was going really well was ruined by her own stupidity of not eating a substantial meal beforehand. But she’s a good person deep down, so if you could find it in your heart to give her and this guy a second chance that’d be fantastic and quite merciful of you. We pray to the Lord…” You know prayer is a lot more powerful when you’ve got a whole congregation behind you instead of just your hungover retarded self.

Ever thrown up in church? Vomiting during mass is like the rite of passage in my family to be truly Catholic. Luckily for me it happened when I was younger. I got sick from the smell of incense and barfed all over the pew in front of me. It was all very funny to those who observed, but no one did the truly Christian thing and helped me get cleaned up. Everyone just backed away, including the priest, who wouldn’t even sprinkle his holy water stick in my general direction and instead yelled, “The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!”

If you grew up in Coral Springs, Florida and were one of the ten non-Jewish families in Florida, you went to St. Andrews. Everyone loved St. Andrews because of Father Quinn. Father Quinn loved his football, especially the Miami Dolphins, so the eleven o’clock mass was always packed on game day because everyone knew that Father Quinn could never miss kick off. Mass would only last thirty minutes. No music and no homily. The only lengthy part was the ending prayer where he’d ask God to lift Dan Marino’s feet with angel’s wings, and at least a 6-point spread. Then, not only was he the first person out of church because of the procession, he was also the first out of the parking lot. And man, when he was transferred to Oakland the same time as the Raiders it was huge loss to the NFL.