Thursday, July 21

Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

There are a few stories I could tell here but I'll make this a Famous Five/Mallory Towers moment and stick to a story from childhood that I can blame on being immature.

I was brought up in Dublin where I went to a rather posh all girls private Catholic convent school where not only was I the only Protestant in the school, but also the only black person. This meant that I was rather conspicuous and that there was very little that I could get away with. Have you ever tried to run from the scene of a crime as the only black in the village?

I'm embarrassed to admit that once I realised that I was limited in how much trouble I could be involved in, I decided to turn it to its advantage. Play on the fear, play on the neurosis. I know, I l know, I was terrible. I played on the fact that I was the only black person in my school, so every time I was accused of something, it already appeared to be a spot of racial profiling. Despite wanting to be like every other kid in the school (relatively anonymous by their very colour), I did however fear the wrath of my mother who would whup my arse if I misbehaved at school. I couldn't bunk off from classes because if I had been in school I would be spotted by everyone. So I did a heist on the convent pantry instead.

Whatever ideas you have about nuns, the ones at my convent had a shitload of gear. Massive boxes of chocolate, oodles of bottles of Sprite, lots of biccies and cheeses, and Holy communion wine. Prowling around the edges of the convent, we discovered that the nuns kept the key in a very open place for us to see. The key was like a crack dealer to a crack fiend, calling us, and eventually we 'cracked' and tried the keys out on the doors. When we opened the pantry and discovered a shitload of sugar food, for my seventeen year old self I was in heaven.

For weeks we took Twirl bars, Flakes, Dairy Milk and Sprite and swigged out of the communion wine. I felt brave after a few weeks and decided that the next heist should be one of the unwrapped Christmas presents on the top shelf. It was a whopper of a box of Quality Street choccies which I emptied and then rewrapped and put back on the shelf.

I don't know what made the nuns open that particular pressie that day, but next thing you know there were rumours of a locker inspection for sweets from the pantry. I nearly shat my pants at the thought that my ma was gonna kick my arse. However, I decided to keep the sweets in my locker.

All of the lockers were patrolled but I decided to be my vocal self to one of the teachers before they got to my locker. 'Don't be looking at me like that. I hate the way when something goes missing in this place that you immediately think that I took it'. They didn't even open my locker!

Fortunately it served as a whopper of a lesson for me and the pantry 'heists' stopped and I never stole a thing again!


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