King of Kings

King of Kings by Frank Scoblete

He was 10 years old and in the fifth grade at Our Lady of Angels in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and it was Lent, the time Catholics gave something up to show God that they loved Him with their whole hearts and souls.

He had given up candy last year and he had stuck with it for the entire Lent. It wasn’t easy, but he showed God that he loved Him and his Son, Jesus Christ, the savior who had died for the sins of the world.

He knew he was a sinner. The nuns and priests had made that clear; man was born in sin and had to work hard to stay good. Nuns had made it clear that boys were bigger sinners than girls, so it was even harder for boys to stay clean of sin.

God the Father was a man. God the Son was a man too. So, men could be good too.

He did have guilt though. He really didn’t get the Third Person of the Trinity, named the Holy Ghost. He couldn’t grasp that at all. Why do we worship a ghost he asked Sister Jerome Drake when he was in second grade. She yelled at him that he had better believe or it was an eternity in Hell.  So, he believed even though he didn’t understand why he believed. Better to believe than not believe, considering Hell.

It was the day before Ash Wednesday and they were all being brought to the church for a pre-Lent confession to wipe away their sins. On this day he should tell God what he was giving up.

“What are you giving up for Lent, young man?” asked the new priest, Father Sullivan.

He had struggled with this for several weeks. He didn’t just want to give up something that was easy like his friends did. His friend Stevie was giving up “torturing my sister” but Stevie had a big hole in that because he defined torture as dumping water on her. All else was not torture.

Jimmy was going to help his father more. Jimmy’s father was the custodian of an apartment building.

But you should give up something that showed God how much He was loved. It had to be something important, something that meant something.

“I am giving up television,” he said. “I am giving up television for Lent, father.”

“Very good,” said Father Sullivan. “You are a child of God for doing that.”

Now, he felt good. It was good to feel good. Not all boys were big sinners. God would see that in him now. He was thrilled going home because he was a “child of God.” He was far, far away from Hell now. He was clean.

For two weeks he did his Lenten duty and he felt so good.

And then King Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World was announced as the movie on Million Dollar Movie for next week.

King Kong? King Kong!

He could hear the announcement because his mother and father watched the Million Dollar Movie every week.

Million Dollar Movie showed the same movie twice a night at 7 o’clock and 10 o’clock all week and usually four times a day on Saturdays and Sundays. It was like going to the movies. You didn’t have to pay. All you needed was a television set.

And now King Kong. Every night and weekends too.

But he had given up television for Lent. He had done it for two weeks already. He was a good Catholic. God liked him. Jesus liked him. And he assumed that that Holy Ghost liked him too, whatever that Holy Ghost was. Now? King Kong on the Million Dollar Movie.

He and his friends had talked about how they would love to watch that movie. All three of them had monster scrap books where they kept clippings of horror and science fiction movies. These clippings came from the newspapers when a new movie was coming out.

“King Kong. The greatest monster of them all,” said Jimmy.

“King Kong! Yeah!” said Stevie.

“Didn’t you give up T.V.?” asked Jimmy.

“Yeah,” he said.

“You’re gonna miss King Kong?” asked Stevie.

“No big deal,” he said.

“We’ve waited our whole lives for this,” said Jimmy.

“No big deal,” he said.

“Screw that,” said Stevie. “Just watch it.”

But he had given up television for Lent. He told Father Sullivan that too. His friends would get to see the greatest monster of them all. And he wouldn’t. Why couldn’t he have just given up candy or tormenting his sister Susan? Did he really have to give something up as important as television?

But he was trying to please God. And God had destroyed whole cities and He even drowned the whole world except for Noah’s family. God made everyone on Earth have to die, too, when Adam and Eve ate a fruit and were running around naked. Kong couldn’t do any of what God could do. God was more powerful.

It was now Friday. In three days, King Kong would be on Million Dollar Movie. Other kids were talking about it at school now, not the girls because they must have something wrong with them. But the boys were. It seems that’s all they talked about.

“I heard King Kong is bigger than a building.”

“He destroys a plane!”

“He kills dinosaurs.”

“He climbs up the Empire State Building.”

“He’s coming. He’s coming right into our lives!

That Friday afternoon after school he went into the church and sat in the back.

Our Lady of Angels church was on Fourth Avenue extending from 72nd to 73rd Street. It was a huge church with immense lights hanging from a high ceiling. It would be hard to hit that ceiling with a baseball, that’s how high it was. When there weren’t many people in the church, everything echoed.

There were always the ladies wearing black praying and lighting candles. They had their stockings rolled under their knees with a big rubber band holding them there.

The school was behind the church. The priests would walk in the area behind the church reading the bible. It was all concrete. You never saw the nuns, except in school or if you were in trouble and you had to work in the convent by scrubbing floors or cleaning the basement.

The nuns stayed in the convent. He didn’t even know if they had a television. What did they do when they weren’t teaching or praying?

He made the sign of the cross. In his head he said, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of, uh, the Holy Ghost.

“Dear God, you know I am a good kid… I hope… and that I do not want to go to Hell with the bad people in the world. I haven’t done too much bad, not like some of the other kids. I hope you know that because you know everything, right? So, you do know that, right?

“I am going to get right to the point. You must be very busy watching everyone to see what to do with them when they die. I don’t want to bother you so I will be quick.

“You see, King Kong is on next week on the Million Dollar Movie. I don’t know if you follow television. It is a movie I have wanted to see my whole life. I have pictures of King Kong in my scrapbook. But now the movie is going to be on.

“I have a problem. I gave up television for Lent. That was to make you and Jesus happy at my sacrifice. Maybe the Holy Ghost would be happy too. I don’t know him that well.

“Father Sullivan…I am sure you know him…was very happy too when I told him.

“I want to see the movie. If I see it, will I go to Hell? Sister Jerome Drake says that anyone who breaks their vows to God, to You, I mean, will probably go to Hell.

“I don’t think that is fair. I mean I am not like Hitler or anything that bad, right? My father fought Hitler in The War so that is good for the whole family, right? That is like Noah, right?

“God, I just want to see King Kong. That’s all. I need to break my vow just a little bit to see him in the movie. I won’t even tell anyone. This will just be between me and you. No one has to know. So, I would break my vow a little but no one has to know.

“I don’t want to go to Hell because I saw King Kong.

“I don’t know how you speak to regular people like me but can you tell me I am okay by doing this? Just tell me in some way if I can do this. Give me a sign. I don’t want to go to Eternal Damnation. Or be drowned.

“I will say a lot of prayers to make up for it too. I will also give to the Church my money that I earn by working in my parents’ store. How about two weeks’ worth?

“Thank you, God. For listening to me.”

He made the Sign of the Cross, stood up and left the church.

He went to church again on Saturday to speak with Father Sullivan in Confession.  “Bless me Father for I have sinned. Actually, not too much this week.” He gave his usual list of teasing his sister, disobeying or thinking of disobeying his parents.

Then, “Father, I gave up television for Lent.”

Father Sullivan said, “That is a wonderful gift to the King of Kings in this time of his trial on Earth.”

“Uh, well, you see, I have been really good these last two weeks. I don’t even listen to the T.V. when my parents are watching it. I keep my head under the pillow if I am awake.”

“Excellent,” said Father Sullivan. “God loves you for this.”

“But King Kong is going to be on Million Dollar Movie next week,” he said. “I have waited my whole life to watch that movie.”

“What are you telling me?” asked Father Sullivan.

“I am thinking of taking a break so I can watch the movie next week.”

Father Sullivan did not respond. There was silence.

“Uh, are you still there?” he said.

Father Sullivan coughed. “You are thinking of breaking your vow to God and to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Is King Kong more important to you than the King of Kings? Our savior?”

“No, but I see that I take this week off, uh, and watch King Kong and then, you know, I get back to not watching television after that. So, I am only missing a week.”

“You going to watch the movie every night next week?” asked Sullivan.

“Well, it’s on twice each night but I’d only be watching at seven o’clock except maybe Friday I can watch it twice if my parents let me.”

“And your parents will allow you to break your promise to God?”

“Uh, no, I haven’t told them I want to do this,” he said. “You know, I thought I’d talk to you first.”

“You are Judas! You are the man who betrayed Christ to death, if you do this. You are the soldiers hammering the nails into Christ’s hands and feet and stabbing him with a spear in his side and blood and water flowed from the wound. You see Mary, God’s mother, standing at the foot of the cross watching her beloved son die a horrible death.”

“Uh, Jesus does, you know, rise from the dead,” he said to the priest.

“You are a bad person if you do this,” said Father Sullivan.

Now, the big question. He had steeled himself for this question.

“If I do this, Father, will I be condemned to Hell for all eternity?”

Sullivan was silent.




“Say five Our Fathers and ten hail Mary’s,” said Father Sullivan. “Young man, your soul is in danger. You will be bathed in blood. You will become an atheist.” Father Sullivan slammed the screen shut.

He waited a moment and then left the Confessional. He knelt at the altar railing and whispered his penance.

Would he go to Hell if he violated his promise about Lent? Was he Judas? What did it mean to be “bathed in blood” he wondered? What was an atheist?

Billy, another friend from down the avenue, whose father also owned a television shop, didn’t even have to do Lent because he was a Protestant. Yes, Billy would go to Hell eventually because he was a Protestant but at least in this life Billy could have more fun. He’d be watching King Kong without worrying about Eternal Damnation.

If he gave in and watched King Kong?

He wouldn’t give in.

He didn’t give in.

He continued his Lenten vow.

At the end of his junior year at St. John’s Prep High School, where he had a full scholarship for sports, he became an atheist.





My Damn Wife


My wife, the Beautiful AP, is my editor. A few days ago I handed her my latest article “The Righteous Outliers.” I thought it was a brilliant piece.

“So what did you think of my article?” I asked her, awaiting praise.

“I didn’t like it,” she said.

“You’re kidding.”

“No,” she said. “You wrote about two people in the club and about Thomas [not his real name] and I think you are going to hurt their feelings and our friends are going to be upset by this.”

“I didn’t make fun of anyone,” I said.

“You’re good with dialogue. I heard those two in the club actually speaking in your article. You don’t think everyone is not going to know who those club members are?”

“I gave them fake names,” I said. “I can’t believe you didn’t like it.”

“I hated it,” she said.

“I mean people who have certain beliefs sometimes go to the furthest ends of those beliefs and become intolerable. They lose their sense of humor and they are so critical of anyone who isn’t as fanatical as they are. You see it in religion, politics, societies…”

“Yes, yes, the idea is good. These outliers are everywhere in society,” she said.

“Righteous, righteous outliers. So that’s what I was writing about. I thought I caught it,”

“And Thomas? Do you think he wants you to share with the world the fact that he is being followed by his former religious friends because he’s converting to Catholicism?”

“I didn’t use his real name,” I said. “I mean his former religious friends have shunned him or are waiting outside his house speaking in tongues and trying to save him from the Satanic Catholic Church. Those people are all righteous outliers.”

“I hated the article,” she said.

Today I gave my wife my written analysis of the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate hearing from Thursday. I don’t know the truth of what happened and I am glad the FBI is looking into the allegations. My article was merely my attempt to show that a certain stereotypical pattern existed in the situation with Ford being the quivering damsel in distress while Kavanaugh was the beastly, sexually assaulting angry man. I claimed this stereotyping could be portrayed in a movie and the critics would say that this stereotyping was trite. My article was not taking either of them lightly.

She read the article, turned from the computer and glared at me.

I was smiling. “I hit on something that no one thought about or wrote about,” I said.

“I hated it,” she said.


“I hated it.”

“Seriously,” I said. “Come on, seriously?”

“This is a serious case and women are not going to be calm in the face of what you wrote,” she said. “This is a serious and emotional issue. They will not think of what you wrote as an ‘interesting analysis.’”

“What did I write? What did I write? I was just showing how you can see a stereotypical pattern in the event, that’s all. It was with both of them.”

“People are going to misunderstand what you meant,” she said. “You know and I know that people post absolute emotional garbage on the Internet. The reaction to your piece is going to be fierce and you will be mischaracterized.”

“Jesus Christ,” I said. “You mean I can’t write about hard-hitting issues?”

“Of course you can. But, you called Ford a damsel in distress and Kavanaugh the beer-bloated male bully but you’ll find that no one will understand you seeing a stereotypical pattern in this case. People will be outraged, thinking that you are trivializing the whole incident and what it represents—especially to those of us who can say, “Me too.”

“I don’t even know what you mean,” I said. Actually, I knew exactly what she meant but didn’t want to admit it.

“I mean: don’t publish it,” she said.

So I am writing this reaction at 2:30 in the morning. My problem is this: I know my damn wife is right about both articles. If it were ever Frank Scoblete versus the Beautiful AP testifying before the United States Senate—I would not be nominated as writer of the year.

Now comes the hardest part. I have to give my wife this article for editing. If you are reading this, it passed muster. If not…well, this will be the third article dumped on the trash pile this week.

Frank Scoblete’s latest book is Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available on, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Mary Louise Roncallo and First Holy Communion


In second grade, I felt sorry for the poor Protestants who had no idea of what our Holy Communion was all about. Father McCain explained it perfectly. “Boys and girls, only the Catholic Church has the Truth with a capital ‘T.’ Our Holy Communion is a sacrament where the real Jesus Christ exists in the bread that you receive in the Holy Eucharist, which is another name for Holy Communion.”

Since we were going to make our First Holy Communion next week, Father McCain had come to the second grade classes to make sure we knew what this sacred event was all about.

“Those poor Protestants think that the giving of the bread and wine is just a symbol, which means it isn’t real. No, my young Catholic men and women, the transubstantiation which as you all know means that the bread and wine are really changed into the actual body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is real. Jesus Christ is fully in each and every Host [bread wafer] that you consume. You are taking Christ into your body to cleanse you and to make you strong spiritual Catholics so if the atheist Communists conquer the world you will have the strength to never deny your religion even if they torture you to death by putting burning spits on your skin, poking out your eyes and cutting off your heads and doing even worse things. Remember that the Communists are the most murderous people on earth.”

How could those Communists make their spit burning hot? How did they do such a thing? Did they spit in a pot and boil it and then throw it on your exposed skin? What animals those atheists were!

And those poor Protestants, too; they had no idea of the Truth with a capital “T.”

“The Communists and the Protestants are all going to Hell,” reminded Sister Elise Martin in her stern voice.

“Sister,” said Father McCain, and then he broke with the Catholic tradition of that time by saying, “there are some very good Protestants who just don’t know any better. God is all merciful and I think some will be saved.”

“But all the Communists are going to Hell,” scolded the sister. Disagree with that was her tone.

To forestall a theological argument in front of impressionable minds, Father McCain said, “Oh, yes, all the Communists are going to Hell.”

“And most Protestants,” added sister forcefully. Father McCain gave her a look out of the side of his face but he didn’t say anything. This nun always wanted the last word and she always got it.

“Father?” asked Joel, one of the two Jewish kids – yes, some Jewish kids were in our school. “If this bread is the body and blood of Jesus when you bite into it does it bleed?”

“No,” said Father McCain. “The miracle is that the bread stays bread but is transformed on a real and spiritual level into the body and blood of Christ.”

“If you examine the bread then it is still bread?” asked Joel.

“Yes and that is where faith comes in,” said the priest.

“The true faith Joel, the true faith, not like some others,” added Sister Elise Martin.

With these big questions of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine; with Hell dangling over the heads of most people on earth (and on Catholics who sinned), with atheists who could put burning spit on you, many of the girls had religious questions.

“Father,” asked the love of my young life, Mary Sissallo, “if we are eating the real body and blood of Jesus Christ does that mean there will only be two people in the Blessed Trinity instead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost since Jesus is being eaten piece by piece?”

“God’s ways are not man’s ways,” stated the sister.

Mary Sissallo looked confused.

“Sister,” said Father McCain, “let me answer the questions, please, as that is my job as a priest.”

Sister Elise Martin’s face turned tight and she nodded slightly. Most of the boys were delighted that Father McCain had slapped her down. This nun favored the girls. She always told the class that the girls had the fast route to heaven because the mother of Christ was a woman and even though Christ was a man, he was also God which meant that other men were inferior because they were not God. This made sense to her but I had no idea what she was talking about – except I understood that girls had a better chance of going to heaven and boys were in trouble.

“Mary Sissallo,” said Father McCain who knew all of our names, “that was a very good question. You used logic to try to understand something that seems impossible – that Jesus could be consumed by man and still exist in other forms at the same time. But that is the power of God, to do the impossible. God created the Universe but He is not subject to the laws of the Universe as we are. He can do all things that He wishes to do even if they seem impossible or illogical to us.”

That was as good an explanation as any I had heard even though I had no idea of what it meant. Most of religion made no sense and that is why you needed faith.

“If the Host represents Jesus,” said Catherine Elizabeth O’Connor.

“No! No!” jumped in Sister Elise.

Father McCain held up his hand indicating that sister should be quiet.

“Jesus is there fully in the flesh. The Host does not represent Him; it is Him.”

“I am sorry,” said Catherine, adjusting her thick glasses. “Here is my question, Father. What if the Host falls to the floor?

“Since the Host is the sacred body of the Most High, Jesus Christ, the priest is the only one who can pick it up off the floor. No one else can touch the Host, only a consecrated Catholic priest.”

Now you would think that at this stage in our development the boys too would be in awe of the sacrament we were about to receive, and in some ways I guess we were. It was, after all, an absolutely amazing thing to be eating Jesus Christ Himself. But we had other concerns; much more immediate practical concerns that were far easier to understand and took up more of our mental time.

Oh yes, there was a BIG other thing in our minds, Big with a capital “B,” which overshadowed everything Father McCain was telling us.

I was nominated by head-nodding acclimation to ask the BIG question.

“Father, if someone pukes…” All eyes immediately turned to Mary Louise Roncallo, who had puked enough times since kindergarten to make us fully aware that First Holy Communion could be an amazing stage for a spectacular performance by the vomit-comet queen.

“That is disgusting, Francis,” yelled sister aiming her deadly eyes at me.

Riding right over her, Father McCain said, “Yes, Francis, if such a thing happens, and it has never happened in my thirty years in the priesthood so don’t worry, the priest would have to take the elements of the Host out of the, ah, uh, stuff.”

The only ones who didn’t know we were talking about Mary Louise were Father McCain and Mary Louise herself. Mary Louise didn’t seem too self-aware or she wouldn’t eat like a hippopotamus, often bullying to steal the other kids’ food. She would do this to the smaller kids who were afraid of her massive hairy body; she would loom over them until they sheepishly handed over their sandwiches, cookies and pies; and she would also steal food from the tougher kids when they weren’t looking as she had lightning-fast hands when it came to food.

Mary Louise Roncallo seemed the size of a horse; had the appetite of an elephant and the hygiene of a pig, and she was now fully coated with small black hairs all over her reddish skin.

“So,” I continued in order to make sure I had this exactly right. “If you were the priest and someone puked all over the place…”

“Francis Scoblete!” shouted the sister. Father McCain put his hand up to silence her again.

“Yes, if I were the priest that is what I would have to do. It is one of the Laws of the Church.”

So for the next week the boys set up a notebook guessing at what time in the First Holy Communion Mass Mary Louise would let loose. I figured she’d launch sometime after receiving the body and blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Up until then her stomach would be empty since we were supposed to fast from after dinner on Friday evening until we ate Christ at Saturday’s First Holy Communion ceremony. Since there were 23 boys in the class, the times were spread out all over the place.

All the girls, except for Theresa Blodgett, refused to participate in our lottery because it was disrespectful to the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. I tried to explain to some of the girls that the Lord wasn’t the issue; it was Mary Louise. The girls disdained me. Maybe Sister Elise Martin was right after all; girls were better than boys.

The big day finally arrived.

My mother dressed me in the special First Holy Communion suit with a carnation in the lapel. The girls all wore white dresses to symbolize that they never got dirty. I didn’t realize at the time that the white dress symbolized that they were marrying Jesus Christ. When I was told that a few months later I said, “I thought Jesus Christ never got married?” Later I was told that being the bride of Christ was not what marrying Jesus really meant. These nuns could drive you crazy with their “it means that but it really doesn’t mean that” routines. After a while I just shut my ears – and that made Catholic life a lot easier to handle. It could drive you crazy knowing that everything that was was also everything that wasn’t.

The nuns lined all the classes up in Our Lady of Angels school yard, with the girls on one side and the boys on the other, each group forming their Holy Communion line. We were lined up in height order; the smallest boy, Hugo Twaddle, first, all the way to the two giants of our class, Kenny Peterson and the towering Patrick Heelan being the last two. I was in the middle of the line.

The girls were lined up with itsy-bitsy Maria De Cardinale first and the humungous Mary Louise Roncallo last.

The parents filled the massive Our Lady of Angels church, which was on Fourth Ave between 73rd and 74th Streets. Once all the parents were inside, the organist began the music and we were slowly ushered into the massive church.

If you faced the altar, the boys were seated on the left side of the church; the girls were seated on the right. Nuns patrolled the aisles, making sure no one talked as this was, as one nun reverently put it, “Your entrance into Life Everlasting through you own free will given to mankind at the dawn of creation when we were perfect but made all the wrong choices from then on.” That seemed formidable…whatever it meant.

As we entered the church the shortest kids were seated in the front rows; the tallest kids in the last rows. A couple of parents dared to take pictures in the church as the procession entered and they were quickly tongue-lashed by the nuns nearest them. “This is a house of God!” loudly proclaimed Sister Elise. “Not a photography studio!” Since Our Lady of Angels was a huge church anything that was said, even when whispered, would echo. So everyone in the church could hear sister’s admonishment echoing throughout the building. “NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO! NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO! NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO! NOT A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO!”

The boys and girls had somber expressions on their faces. This was not the time for levity, even when Ladislav Hamlin ripped a rather loud and disgustingly smelly fart. We ignored it, except for a couple of giggles from some of the boys. Every girl completely ignored it even though it could be heard and then smelled for quite a distance. All the girls had their heads bowed – God were they religious.

Once we were all seated, Father McCain and several altar boys entered the altar area and the Mass began. In those days the Mass was said in Latin which sounded mystical and the priest faced the altar so no one could quite see what he was doing. That made the Mystery of the Transubstantiation even greater since it was all so secretive.

Father McCain gave a sermon about the importance of the Holy Eucharist in the life of a Catholic because it was our chance to share in the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the Life of God Himself.

Then it was time for us to eat Jesus Christ, the Lord, Himself. The nuns went from row to row indicating when it was our turn to go into the center aisle, our hands in prayer mode, and then we walked slowly and solemnly to the Communion railing. Since Mary Louise was behind me I wasn’t able to see her until I came back from being given a dry, tasteless wafer which I was not allowed to chew – Christ had to melt in your mouth, like M&Ms. As soon as I had that bread in my mouth I committed a little blasphemy when I thought, “Christ doesn’t taste too good.”

Coming back to my pew, there was Mary Louise passing me going to the Communion rail – her face as red as blood. I could see those little heaves starting that if left unchecked would result in horror for all around her and a win for the kid who picked the right time.

I was already seated in my pew, kneeling, supposedly praying to Jesus, and the Father and the Holy Ghost, but I was actually watching the monstrous Mary standing after receiving the Host. She turned to walk back to her pew. Now the white line showed on her forehead. The boys gasped in excitement. The MOMENT was at hand!

Mary started to make her gurgles, “ugh, ah, urp, urp, blurf, yorg” as she slowly headed back to the last pew. The girls in front of her were now very much aware that danger was in the offing as they heard the prelude, “ugh, ah, urp, urp, blurf, yorg,” and so they started to walk faster to put some distance between themselves and her, knowing full well that with the projectile vomit of Mary Louise there was really no escaping if the comet headed towards them or over them. With that arcing vomit-comet doom looming, you’d get some, most or almost all of it on yourself and everything around you. It was fate; like Christ having to be hung on the cross to save the rest of us from bad things. It was the way of the world.

The adults started to look at her as the white line now covered her face from forehead to nose. You could see some of the adults pointing, “What is that dear? On that kid?” “I have no idea, honey.”

Loud: “Ugh, ah, urp, urp, blurf, yorg!” You could hear it echoing in the church. “Ugh, ah, urp, urp, blurf, yorg.” “Ugh, ah, urp, urp, blurf, yorg.” “Ugh, ah, urp, burp, blurf, yorg.”

Sister Elise turned towards Mary and stopped in her tracks. The nuns all knew of Mary’s puking prowess and none of them wanted to get in the way either.

Louder: “Ugh! Ah! Urp! Urp! Blurf! Yorg!” (Echo, Echo, Echo.) All heads turned towards Mary Louise Roncallo.

“It’s coming!” I whispered to Arman Carmen Buddy Frasca the Third.

Loud as all Hell: “UGH! AH! URP! URP! BLURF! YORG!” (Echo! Echo! Echo!)

Mary Louise’s head started to sway from one side to the other. Her face was now totally white. Her mustache was highlighted prominently. The girls ahead of her were now sprinting to get away. The boys’ side of the church were all ducking and praying she wouldn’t turn in our direction. The parents looked befuddled.

And then: “Arrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!” and a HUGE (with a capital ‘H-U-G-E’) vomit-comet rocketed up out of her mouth and sailed majestically up over the pews where the adults were sitting stunned. As the comet dripped on them small multi-colored pink gobs of whatever had been in Mary Louise’s stomach, the comet made its descent into the pews where even more parents sat in wide-eyed awe as the comet landed and splashed gallons of stinking goo all over them.

From the altar I saw Father McCain quickly turn around, look in bewilderment as the sounds of hundreds of attendees echoed in the church.

McCain saw the vomit-comet splash its contents over pews and pews of his beloved church floor, and the kneeling parents and other parishioners and (God save him) he yelled (without thinking mind you of his role as a servant priest of the Almighty God) he yelled right from the altar: “OH, CRAAAP!” which echoed all over the church, “Ohhhhhhh CRAAAP! Ohhhhhhh CRAAAP! Ohhhhhhh CRAAAP!” to the bug-eyed    astonishment of all the adults and First Holy Communion recipients.

The parents who had been baptized in the gooey gobs from Mary Louise fled the church uttering low screams; wives and grandmas weeping into their handkerchiefs. All their new clothes had been drenched in dreck. Other adults held their noses as they tried to act unconcerned but they quickly fled the church too. A few of the other kids puked too as Mary Louise had lofted a Godzilla-like blob that smelled like the bodies burned in the never-ending fires of Hell itself. It was hard not to puke. Even I fought the urge.

“That was great,” said Jake “the Snake” Jacobsen.

“That was an atomic bomb!” smiled Billy Bell.

“I think I hit it on the head when she’d do it,” said Hugo Twaddle.

The stern-faced nuns escorted us all out, by rows, in an orderly fashion, and we went into the schoolyard, still in height order.

I could imagine poor Father McCain going through all that puke when everyone left the church looking for pieces of Jesus’ body. It wasn’t easy being a priest in the Catholic Church.

In the schoolyard as we were about to split up and look for our parents, Mary Louise said, “I’m hungry,” and stared at the smaller girls.

(The above is an excerpt from Frank’s Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! )

Frank’s latest gambling books are I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps, and I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack. Available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.