My first day in parochial school had much the same welcoming festivities as do other prisons. We were uniformed, lined up by height and marched into our crowded cell block. Margarita Chismosa became so nervous she sprung a leak that swam around her ankles.
We were ordered to sit and be quiet and were told the schedule of classes and behavior expected of us. Ramoncito Dimacumpleto doesn’t want to let go the skirt of his Mamasita and he cling it to tight until he pulled down his mama’s saya,I laughed so loud when I saw Romoncito’s Mama’s pubic hair and she’s not wearing panty.
Ramoncito was the only son of a politician, who lived in my neighboorhood and was a simpleton. He was turned out of the school as the teachers felt that his presence would spoil the other children. His Vice Mayor father was worried and wanted to teach his son at least basic things about life so that he could manage the landed property and cash he would leave after his death.
Once he called Ramoncito and asked him to visit the weekly flea market in town and purchase something worth five pesos and gave him a five peso note. Happily Ramoncito, went to the flea market and was happy to see droves of people entering and leaving the market. So many things were on sale and he could not decide what to purchase.
Finally he saw a man standing near a heap of cantalope called in zambal “pakwan” and asked what it was. The Shop-keeper saw Ramoncito and recognized him as a stupid person and told him that it was the egg of a horse and cost five pesos. Immediately Ramoncito gave him the five peso note and received a fairly big pakwan. The shopkeeper cautioned Ramoncito that he should carry it carefully and not drop it as the baby horse inside would flee if the egg had broken. So Ramoncito took care and carried it on his head safely.
On the way he felt thirsty and decided to drink water from a pond on the way. He carefully put down the horse’s egg under a tree at a slightly elevated level. He did not notice that he covered the opening of a burrow where a rabbit lived. When he went to drink water the rabbit wanted to come out of the furrow and forcibly pushed the pakwan and ran away and in the process the pakwan had broken into two pieces.
Ramoncito saw something running from, inside the horse’s egg and was disappointed to find that he could not catch the young baby horse. Dejected he went home and told whatever had happened to his father. His father cursed his own fate!
As Ramoncito almost finished narrating his stories behind my ear about the horse egg, two or three recent arrivals broke under the pressure and their whimpering could be heard as the veteran ecclesiastic finished our indoctrination. Margarita Chismosa became so nervous she sprung a leak that swam around her ankles.
The building itself was ancient. In fact, I’m sure, Emilio aguinaldo slept there when the Spaniards guardia civil were looking for him. Its eight-foot iron fence that encircled the property made one gasp in fear, knowing that once inside there was no way out.
It had five floors with the basement always locked and strictly off limits. I’m sure this is where Dracula’s coffin was hidden. The books were just as old, still claiming the world was flat and bleeding was the way to cure disease.
The rules of learning were simple. Do as the padre said or die the death of a thousand tortures.
Unfortunately, I did not grasp this theory. I was never an honor student, class officer, hall monitor, or even asked to clap the erasers (a known privilege). In fact, my behavior seemed to warrant a monitoring of the sterling silver crucifixes.
Disobedience to any of the ordinances was dealt with swiftly. The offender was to sit in a round two foot tall garbage can placed at the front of the classroom.
The other students would giggle and the teacher would point to the sinner and explain that if he didn’t change his ways he would go to hell.
I set what was to become the record for the longest sentence in this cylindrical jail, two weeks. I accomplished this feat with a provoking comment made to Raymundo Bundat. While he was working hard at his favorite hobby, picking his nose, I leaned over and in a voice just loud enough for everyone to hear I remarked that if he kept digging with such vigor he would hit China.
The receptacle fit me like a glove and the garbage made a soft cushion compared to the wooden desk seats. I decided God created it for my benefit. I enjoyed this notoriety and ensuing popularity very much and because of that, needless to say, homework was removed from my agenda. Classroom antics were now my priority.
The next level of punitive correction was banishment to the coat closet where the evil demons lived. After you entered, the door was shut behind you, as if never to open again.
Frankly, I felt quite relaxed in this dark room. I didn’t have to do any work and with a little housekeeping (putting coats on the floor for a bed) I could get some needed rest. (At home I shared a bedroom with my elder brother and this privacy was a dream come true and I can have a bold magazine on my left hand and my right is completely free do play with my dick).
Having an inquisitive mind I often asked many unwanted questions. For example, if all people originated from Adam and Eve, wouldn’t their children have had to marry each other? Noah’s Ark prompted at least a thousand more questions. How could they fit all the animals of the world in one boat? Wouldn’t they eat each other? Wouldn’t the termites destroy the vessel? How could they get creatures as far away as Australia and Africa?
My inquires were discouraged as evidenced by my teacher using my head as a battering ram to open the door oh-so-familiar closet; the site of many an unconscious nap.
By this time, my fellow inmates refused to be seen with me, fearing recrimination by association.
I decided against all further lines of questions until my head stopped throbbing from pain.
As a special treat, religious instruction was supplemented with religious movies and “The Ten Commandments” was an annual event. Years later I concluded that Charlton Heston (Moses) finally got tired of yelling at his people to hurry up though the desert and so he founded The American Rifle Association.
The religious teachings started to show signs of success in my character. I joined the altar boys. On top of my duties as a wee-sized garcon serving the Friar, I was expected to learn Latin. I was having a tough enough time conquering Mexican english. I lasted two days. All the kneeling and running around made me yearn for my bed in the coat closet.
Shortly after my departure from the altar it was confirmation time. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop and each student was to pick a name of someone who was known to do good deeds. This choice was blessed and given to you as your middle name. Most of my classmates picked the names of saints, I did not.
My first and only choice was Zorro. He saved villages with his sword and wits and I felt honored to be part of this heritage. I submitted my choice and after a brief meeting with the powers-that-be I was confirmed Cocoy Zorro Zaragate.
The years passed and the end was in sight. What I worked so little for was upon me. I finally graduated much to everyone’s amazement. As my teacher commented to my parents “If he was left back any more times, we would have to make him principal”.
Well, the worst was over and I was on my way to high school and freedom. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I quickly learned that my early education was merely a prerequisite for the horror that was before me.
My parents enrolled me in an all boys, no nonsense sweatshop run by a religious order of brothers. In comparison to grammar school it was like being transferred from a local jail to maximum security prison.
We were assembled in the auditorium and introduced to the Dean. He explained that now we were young men and should conduct ourselves as such. We were assigned a homeroom: my teacher was Brother Tobias.
He was known as “Batty” because he was about 85 years old and quite senile,his hobby is marturbating if his not in robe. Besides talking to himself which many times ended in heated arguments, he dealt out unexpected yet hilarious forms of punishment.
Tom Peeping was caught cheating on an exam. He was immediately brought to the front of the class. Batty pointed at a spot on the blackboard and asked him if he could see the dot.
He answered no. He was told to look closer and closer and when his nose was touching the slate, our beloved instructor hit him in the back of the head with his two hundred pound King James.
You could hear his head slam against the hard surface. His legs turned to jelly and his eyes rolled to the back of his head. I laughed so hard I thought I would see the Almighty himself.
The subtext on everything throughout the four years was either religion or sexual misconduct. This was apparently needed with a population of nine hundred boys between the ages of thirteen through eighteen, oozing hormones.
Within the first week we were shown a movie where Cynthia and James were exploring each other’s happy zones. Unfortunately, all the nude scenes and heavy breathing were edited out.
Upon its’ conclusion, opinions were invited from the audience. I stood up and gave it a thumbs down for its lack of character development, it’s obvious absence of plot, and unsatisfactory ending.
I was immediately introduced to the standard weapon of choice for crowd control employed by this particular religious sect. It was the three-sided ruler.
I was asked to put out my right hand which was then cracked. To be sure, this was not my only encounter with this strong persuader and to this day you can still read the inch markings two through five on my right hand.
Regularly, the sex theme was brought up, this time by our counselor Brother Dugas. He informed us that too much self indulgence could cause blindness.
Like a spy I scanned the room. Tim Libog who was wearing bottle-bottom glasses. I immediately turned him in as a known chicken-choker.
The instructor thanked me for my help but said God would take care of the offenders and for me not to concern myself. I was relieved to hear this and decided to celebrate with a well deserved nap. I made arrangements for the coat room.
I guess the torments of incarceration five days a week wasn’t enough: a voluntary retreat in January was planned. When asked, I said absolutely one hundred percent no to this offer.
I was persuaded by “the dot on the blackboard theory” and changed my vote to yes. We were bussed to an old monastery where we were put in individual lockups.
The building was extremely cold and drafty. We were told it was God’s way to toughen us up for the temptations in life. After a weekend in that icebox, the warmth of hell seemed like a reward.
The retreat was the next level in examining our religious fundamentals. The first and most important doctrine was predestination. Simply put, your fate is already sealed. Sorry about that.
Once this concept fully hit me, I was ecstatic because no matter what I did the dice were already rolled, so there was no reason to worry about the next life.
I decided to shake things up a bit.
Batty asked what we thought of the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I immediately informed him and all within my voice range that God was in hell for turning all the inhabitants of the two towns into salt.
God had disobeyed his own commandment of “Though shall not Kill” and therefore was in the barbecue pit. There was a hushed silence in religiousville.
I felt everyone’s eyes on me and thought my profound statement inspired them. In reality, my fellow students were saying their good-byes to the soon to be terminated inmate.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught my decrepit educator reaching for his wooden equalizer. I ran like the wind, with the white-collared lunatic hot on my heels.
I made a direct path for the exit door and hit it at full speed. Unfortunately, it was locked and after I was scraped off the floor, I was severely pummeled.
The four years of high school seemed to take centuries to pass. The big day came and I was released.
While my parents were celebrating my graduation with a family party, I took my uniform and books and filled up a garbage can in the back yard. I threw some gas on top and lit it up.
I was elated.
Yeah !Ramoncito Dimacumpleto is now a Priest, Margarita Chismosa a newscaster,Tom Peeping is in jail for raping his steep daugther. Here I am regreting myself for not becoming a priest,missing a good sexual experience with different nuns on my bed every night and multiply my clan.Hehehehe!