Tuesday, 14 October 2014
One day I was a boy ...
I remember being quite upset at this sudden outburst, especially since my grandma always smelled of lavender.
When I got home I told my father what the teacher had said and he asked "Which grand-mother? ... I know my own mother always smells of the sweetest delicate best quality Norfolk lavender. Although I'll admit your mother's mom does smell of potpourri!"
I explained that the teacher had not specified which grandma stank. So my father wrote a letter of complaint which I had to take to school with me.
My teacher replied that she had never commented on, nor would she ever presume to comment on, my family's body odour; although she suggested that I eat less beans!
On reading her letter my father gave me a clip round the ears. He then wrote again to the teacher apologising for the misunderstanding and explaining that beans were less expensive than other foods.
On reading my father's letter the teacher gave me detention after school.
On the Saturday I went to Confession. Our church had an old fashioned confessional which was a wooden booth where the priest sat and the penitents would kneel on either side and confess through a small window.
I told the priest all that had happened and how it was really a non-sin on my part thus deserving a lighter penance this week. He said "Don't speak so loud I can smell your grandmother kneeling on my other side!" Although he did not specify which grandma he could smell.
Then he gave me an extra penance for speaking loudly and for drawing attention to old peoples' body odour. Which technically I had not done because it was not me who started all this; it was my English teacher who said "Your grammar stinks!"
I think the church got this whole question of confession and absolution wrong somehow. I got a penance for my teacher's sin!
Moral: So did Jesus.