One of our goals in Catholic School was to save the Pagan Babies. For only five dollars, which seemed like a pretty good deal to me, we could get a Pagan Baby baptized and sent to heaven. They even showed us short movies of Catholic missionaries in Africa baptizing the Pagan babies to spur us on. We could buy a saint stamp for ten cents to paste in a book, and when the book was full, we could redeem the book for a Pagan Baby, whom we could name on our Pagan Baby Adoption Certificate. When we were first told about this opportunity, I rushed home to my parents and said, “Guess what, I’m going to have a baby, and she’s black,” which would have given my dad multiple heart attacks were it not for the biological impossibility of my statement at that tender age.
These Catholic equivalents to S&H Green Stamps prepared us for the future because they taught us how to buy on the installment plan. I asked our teacher if our book were half full, if we could we redeem it for half a Pagan Baby, but she said no, so there was always a rush to fill the book before the Pagan Baby Awards Day ceremony. There was a poster with Jesus in a pastoral scene at the front of the classroom and every time someone adopted a Pagan Baby, we got to add a child to the poster. By the end of the school year, Jesus had become the most prolific father in history.
In a way I thought the pagans were lucky. They automatically went to limbo and didn’t risk going to Hell until the missionaries baptized them. I could just imagine tribes fleeing the missionaries to make sure they kept their spot reserved in limbo. When my mother told me that our dog had gone to “doggie heaven,” I wondered whether unbaptized pagan dogs went to “doggie limbo.”
After realizing that once the Pagan Babies were baptized, they too would need a Catechism to guide them along the straight and narrow path, I wrote K’s Catechism for Cannibals in perfect Palmer Method penmanship, providing dozens of important questions and answers as well as prayers written just for the pagan cannibals.
Q: Is it better to cook a Virgin Martyr or a Heretic?
A: It is better to cook a Virgin Martyr than a Heretic because the Virgin Martyr is sweeter to the palate and the meat is softer to cook than that of a Heretic.
Q: Should a converted Cannibal woman continue to walk around topless?
A: A converted Cannibal should continue to walk around topless because Priests are celibate and will not be tempted.
I even provided the cannibals with a prayer to say before each meal.
Our Martyr, who hath been cooked, blessed be thy meat. Thy flesh be done, so thy sweet taste will fill us when we eat.
I sold my literary creation to my fellow students for a dime and then contributed all my earnings to converting the Pagan Babies in Africa. Despite my altruistic intentions, when the sisters got a copy of my addition to the canon, they imposed an excessive number of penances on me. The nun who imposed the greatest guilt and fear in us was Sister Mary Margaret whom we referred to as Attilla the Nun because she behaved more like a four-foot, ten-inch tall Auschwitz prison matron than a Sister of Mercy.
Some students were convinced that not only did she have eyes in the back of her head, but that the Blessed Virgin Mary had endowed her with the ability to see through walls and read our minds. It was rumored that she made extra money in the summer by training Marine Drill Sergeants, and we had no doubt that she gave every penny she made to the church. We joked that Satan would rather do battle with the Archangel Gabriel than Sister Mary Margaret because at least Satan had a chance with Gabriel. Even K watched her step around Attila the Nun.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
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Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
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