Monday, November 5, 2012
My Permanent Record
I read a story in the news today about a Catholic nun, Sister Marie Thornton, who was arrested for embezzlement. Sister Susie, as she is known, was a finance officer of a Catholic college and had embezzled $1.2M over ten years... to fund her gambling addiction. OK, I must be a big jerk because this story kind of thrilled me. I was transported back to my grade school years, where most of my nun interaction occurred. Nuns for the most part were scary, omnipotent, and not big kidders. I was no juvenile delinquent by any means, but I spent a good bit of time standing in the corner (the 1960’s version of Time Out) for “talking to my neighbor”. Or maybe I just made smartass comments to myself and got caught. Whatever. The nuns intimidated me terribly, especially when they told me whatever I had just done would GO ON MY PERMANENT RECORD. Yikes! I have yet to see this record and don’t know where it is stored. I wonder if these records have been modernized and are now kept in cyberspace somewhere. This is why I sort of chuckled at the downfall of Sister Susie of the Craps Table. Finally... a nun with a bad thing to go on HER permanent record! When I was in first grade, we thought it was great fun at recess to race to open the convent door for the nuns. I assume we had also figured out the benefit of earning brownie points. One day, as I had my eye on the prize (the convent door), I didn’t notice a girl bending over while playing hop scotch. I sailed over her head and landed on my face, almost knocking out my only permanent tooth. One of the nuns took me inside the convent to clean me up. I don’t think I noticed the pain or the fact that my lip was swollen as big as a cantaloupe. I was standing in the nun’s kitchen... a real, honest to God kitchen. I guess I expected it to be a cave with bones laying around and bats hanging from the ceiling. I assumed I was the only child to go inside and emerge alive. It was glorious! I felt like I got a bit of sympathy, and would maybe get a pass next time the discussion of my Permanent Record came up. Perhaps Sister Susie should try taking a header in jail. It worked for me.