Stretch here. I don’t get embarrassed, but this was fucking embarrassing.
This one still makes no sense to me. We used to have this church assembly in school. There were three buildings: a Georgian-style Junior school, a modern Senior section, and fucking Hogwarts for the first to third years.
Inside Hogwartsland was a purpose-built church which seated about 800 school kids. The headmaster, Mr O’Connor, would regularly bring us all in here for masses, assemblies, choir practice etc. He was a small, bald man whose head would grow redder the angrier he got, which was a lot.
I was neither a shy nor outgoing munki but skirted the edges of both. Even at age nine, I had developed a bit of a thick skin to slagging and was no threat to the bullies or the bullied.
During one of the masses myself and another lad were messing from word go. Nothing major, but we had been shushed by one of the teachers early on. I went to get communion and took it in both hands. Even then I didn’t want priests putting anything into my mouth.
I flung the communion wafer in my face. It was thicker than the ones we would normally get in our local churches on Sundays. Typical. I was accustomed to those thin wafers and waiting for them to gently melt. This was a different proposition. I sucked and sucked but all the saliva had dried up. It had got stuck at the roof of my mouth. I sat back in my seat and my pal started laughing at the face I was making trying to dislodge this object.
Other boys around me noticed what I was doing and began smirking. I put my finger in my mouth to get rid of the wafer just as it flew out, landing on my legs. A burst of laughter from all the kids around me alerted the headmaster, who shouted, “STOP THE MASS.” The priest stopped, the kids stopped. “MacGIBBON! STAND UP!” I watched as his face filled up with blood, drips of sweat shining on his bald expanse.
“What is so FUNNY that you feel like you had to disrupt this Mass?” I sat wide-eyed. “STAND UP MacGIBBON.” I got up but put my hands on the rail in front of me for support. “WELL?” I looked around. The entire school were watching me like hyenas. “Sir. I, I, got my communion stuck in my mouth.” I tried to be a little more confident. “Then the communion fell on my, my…” I couldn’t remember the word for legs, trousers, jacket, nothing.
“It fell on my, my, my (silence)…LAP.” A thuderous roar of laughter pealed out and I realised I had gone red as fast as the headmaster, who was now going purple. I stood in horror; I had no idea why the kids were laughing. The headmaster seemed to take my utter humiliation as punishment enough and told me to sit down and shut up. The blood slowly left his face.
As we filed out of the church back to our classes, a kid I know who is good for slagging came over, punched me on the arm, and said, “Ha, Lap. Ye said Lap, ye sap. Reddenoh!!” To this day I still don’t know what happened there.
Meanwhile, this is from the new Cinematic Orchestra. It’s got Roots Manuva and it is beautiful, especially when the strings come in at the end.