Fresh hell in the fifth grade

Fifth grade was a year on the fringes. Everyone got nicknames that year (Mine was 'Dra, what an unfortunate nickname). The inside jokes ran rampant. We had sex ed. Our skin was starting to freak out, our moods swung back and forth like erratic pendulums. We memorized Color Me Badd lyrics as we danced around stocking footed in our Umbro shorts. Confusing times. That was the same year the boys in my class stashed a girlie magazine in the boys' bathroom. Catholic school bore down on this discovery. The boys from the 3 fifth grade classes were hauled off to--we were not told where. I thought maybe to do some kind of chore, like picking up trash in the baseball fields as punishment for being smart alecs.

Instead they were taken to the church rectory where Father Tony lived. I learned later that Fr. Tony had a heart-to-heart session with 45 boys about the matter of the birds and bees.

At the time, I had thought. Oh, good. Man-talk. Holy confession without the penance. That's nice. The girls got to play Mum's the Word with a koosh ball and ate Sweet Tarts that Miss Mather had stashed in her desk drawer.

But some twenty years later, all I can think is: Fr. Tony should have gotten Sweet Tarts for life.

Where is the justice? That poor priestman! He took vows of poverty and chastity and has to wear an unattractive collar all day and live right next to his workplace and what does this man with huge hands and very large glasses get in return?

What, I ask you??

He gets 45 hormonal rageballs over at his home in the middle of the week asking questions about the mechanics of boom-chicka-bow-wow. And nobody slipped him a tip or sent in any reinforcements.

There is a special place in Heaven for Fr. Tony. I don't think they allow fifth graders to visit. Not for all of eternity.