"Kids. Can’t stand ‘em. Monsters of ego, every one. You know how you can tell a kid from a leech? That’s a trick question: you can’t. Well, actually, you can. If a leech gets hold of you, you can burn it off with a Bic lighter. Try that with a kid, and sure as you’re born, the little bastard will scream and cry like a Templar at the stake. Then he’ll tell his parents and you’ll get a nasty letter from your vicar general.
Small wonder nobody wants to have ‘em anymore. They’re plumb useless. In the old days, you could put ‘em to work — small hands were made for cleaning out machinery. You could send one off to the army, to be a drummer, or to the navy, to be a powder monkey. If the kid was a girl, you could marry it off, although I’m sure those dowries tended to eat into the old retirement fund. I’m not sure I completely hold with that dothead practice of eighty-sixing girl children, but then, every man of affairs has to cut down on his overhead somehow. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
So, I take it upon myself, as a pastor and catechist, to strip these little maggots of any illusions about the world, specifically, about their own significance in it. Whenever one tells me, “Good morning, Father,” I’ll ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Or I’ll say, “You want it to be a good morning? Wash my car. That’d be good.” And then, to drive home the point — because, God knows, this is an ignorant generation — I’ll flip the bird.
I think it’s a shame that bullying’s gotten such a bad name lately. It’s a useful practice. First, it serves as a sop for kids’ ambient annoyingness; every hour that kids spend picking on each other is an hour they don’t spend bothering me. Second, it teaches kids deference to people bigger than themselves, which may be the only hedge against complete anarchy. Finally, it inculcates values. If there were no bullies, how would kids know that being ugly or fat or a homo is a bad thing? If you just said, “From their parents,” then by all means, let’s check your credit so we can get you into that beachfront condo in Yuma, Arizona with all deliberate speed.
Blessing kids in the Communion line? I found a way to put an end to that particular brand of post-Conciliar idiocy. My friend Dave, a Navigator in the K of C who sings tenor in the choir, picks off the grubs with a wrist rocket. Nothing makes for good catechesis like a stainless-steel ball-bearing in the face. How the Council Fathers at Trent failed to come up with that one I’ll never know — they must have been having an off day.
Every now and then, some hand-wringing liberal sob sister will try to argue that Jesus loved kids. I always tell ‘em the same thing: “Screw you, buddy, and the hybrid car you rode in on. Did Jesus pick any kids to be His Apostles? I don’t think so. When He raised that kid from the dead, did He mollycoddle her with a lot of baby talk? Hell, no; He told her, “GET UP!”, plain and ugly. I’m sure his next words were, “Make yourself useful — set the damn table, or I’ll take the skin off your ass.” If the Son of Man was Mr. Rogers, then how come you never see him in a cardigan sweater? Riddle me that, Batman."
I hear the guy's a Jesuit. Time was, all Jesuits were like this. Just picture him saying it with a cigar in the corner of his mouth and you'll get it.