When I was in Catholic school and was finally old enough to become an altar boy, I eagerly went to the meeting to sign up. To be honest, I can’t remember why I wanted to be an altar boy so badly. Maybe it was getting to be on the altar, which is a stage where they perform holy shows. Maybe it was the outfit. I don’t know.
During the meeting, it was explained that we not only had to serve mass on Sundays but we also had to serve 6 and 7am mass during the week. This did not sit well with me. I was never one of those kids that were an early riser. Having to serve 9 or 10 o’clock Sunday mass was already pushing it but 6am during the week? That was just insane. I was ten years old and expected to get up at five in the morning, serve mass and then go to school all day? Was this the Catholic Church or a Chinese sweatshop? Needless to say, I took my complimentary cookie and got the hell out of there.
Things didn’t change much as I got older. I was more interested in staying home and watching TV then I was in participating in any after school activities. What was the point of sports? Especially since I sucked at all of them. Sure, I could sit on the bench but there was no TV there like there was at home. And the Boy Scouts? Who wants to be in that sausage factory? They don’t even sell cookies.
I took heat from my parents and teachers for not participating in any extracurricular activities but I didn’t care. One of my rules in life has always been to stay away from anything with the word “extra” in it unless “portions” or “money” followed it.
Now that we know about the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts and other organizations, I’m starting to think maybe sitting on the couch all those years wasn’t such a bad decision after all. Sure I may have suffered from childhood obesity. Yes, I wear lace less shoes because I’m not great at tying fancy knots. But I’ve never been in the shower and had to play God-I-Hope-That’s-The-Soap with Jerry Sandusky. I’ve also never been molested by a grabby alcoholic priest or some hairy scoutmaster telling me to call him Uncle Wally. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters?
So don’t believe the hype, kids. Stay on the couch. Remember: Overachievers get traumatized for life but lazy kids don’t get diddled.