Sorry Catholics. This one just came to me and I had to let it out.
So, I’m not Catholic myself (I’m Episcopalian, we like to say it’s all the flavor of the Catholic Church, but with half the guilt, and the only reason we get on our knees in church is if somebody spills a martini or drops a golf ball) so I guess that’s the first strike, but they say confession is good for the soul, so one day I decided to head on in and see what all the fuss was about.
Me: Bless me Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession.
Father: My goodness. How old are you?
Father: You must have a lot to confess.
Me: I do. How much time ya got?
Father: Well, I’m here for another 45 minutes.
Me: Hmm. That’s not going to be enough time.
Father: Do you want to come back later?
Me: (calculating) do you have plans for the long weekend?
Father: Other than self-denial, and topping off the font, nothing really.
Me: Good. If we start now, I’ll probably be finished before then.
Father: Wait. It’s Monday.
Father: I don’t have that much time.
Me: Well can I lump things together? Like, “I took the Lord’s name in vain a million times? “
Father: A million? That’s quite a lot.
Me: You haven’t met my family.
Father: You don’t really want to lie in here.
Me: I’m sure God’s OK with a guesstimate, right? I mean, He knows the real number, so I’m sure the point is just confessing that I’ve done it a lot, right? His ears have got to be burning. Say, this chair is really low and uncomfortable by the way.
Father: That’s for kneeling, not sitting.
Me: Sure it is. Christ, no wonder they told me not to trust you people.
(The priest stifles a snort of disgust)
Me: Oh, sorry. Million and one. Add that to the tally.
My phone rings. Hawaii Five-0 ringtone.
Father: Are you going to get that?
Me: I’ll let it go to voicemail.
Father: (resignedly) take it. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Me: Yo. I’m in confession, what’s up? No, stop laughing. No, I’m not going to tell him that. Because it’s embarrassing. I’ll call you later. Right, where were we?
Father: You’re trying not to go to Hell.
Me: Oh, right. What else? Well, I’m not Catholic.
Father: I’m astonished.
Me: I’m Episcopalian.
Father: Oh. Well there are worse sins.
Me: Also: gay.
Father: That’s a bigger one.
Me: Um, what else to say?
Father: Well, what’s the embarrassing thing you weren’t going to tell me?
Me: Do I have to?
Father: It is confession. It doesn’t leave here.
Me: (cringing) I bought the No Doubt album “Tragic Kingdom”.
Father: I think we all did.
Me: Last week.
Me: Seriously, it’s uncomfortable on this thing. You all should really consider redecorating. Can I just sum it all up? Like, say I’ve done lots of freaky things with lots of freaky men and be done with it?
Father: I suppose. Do you wish to perform an Act of Contrition?
Me: What’s that?
Father: Tell God you’re sorry, you detest your sins, you dread the loss of Heaven and the torments of Hell.
Me: What? Did Heaven close? London nightlife will never be the same.
Father: Erm, you can begin.
Me: O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen
Father: That’s very good. Are you sure you’re not Catholic?
Me: No, but I get stuck in a lot of wiki-loops.
Father: Alrighty then. A hundred and twenty Hail Marys and ninety-six Our Fathers should cover it.
Me: Can you write those down for me?
Father: Wiki it. We’re out of time.