The family attended a little celebration in the presbytery. Caught up in the festivities, they lost track of the wrecking balls on little legs. After a desperate search, they discovered to their horror that the kids had broken and entered into the assistant priest quarters and in a stroke of absolute genius of miniature menace had rubbed Vicks Vap-o-rub all over every surface of the room. In the process, the kids had managed to get as much Vicks in their eyes as they did the room and thus were cowering with tearing red eyes awaiting their certain doom.
Believe it or not, this is where the story gets wierd…
The children were in such distress from having rubbed the Vicks into their eyes we took them to clean up in a bathroom before the mandatory smacks and banishment to the car with mum, while I made profuse apologies and embarrassed offers of compensation for anything that was damaged in any way.
The assistant priest was livid with rage. He demanded that I spank the children and was undeterred when I said they had already been punished and were going home to face more serious consequences. He demanded I bring them back inside and spank them there in front of him. The party spirit faltered somewhere when the whole house rang with cries of “I want to see them spanked!” Even the next day, when I called to ask for an itinerary of items I could replace he refused compensation but insisted “Justice is not done till they are spanked in my presence.”
For the next few weeks we had homilies and parish bulletins repeating the theme of spanking as justice and the right of adults to be protected from children.
I’ve been a little twitchy around the smell of Vicks ever since.
Now, I can understand the priest being somewhat peeved or worse. But going Al Capone (“I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND!) on the rugrats seems a wee bit much. However using your homilies and the bulletin to wage a Vicks vendetta must definitely be frowned upon in the priestly handbook, no?
I think father should have paused long enough in his vap-o-rampage to have a “what would Jesus do?” moment.
I think it would be very funny if we all chipped in and sent Peter a case of Vicks for the holidays. It would be even funnier if we sent one to Father.
Be sure to pay Peter a visit and give him your sympathy (plus he has a good graphic to commemorate Father Bruce Banner). I would like to say as a parent we have all been there, but I don’t want to go anywhere near there.