On the front wall of my classroom at Central Catholic High, just above the blackboard and the map of the world, there hangs a cross with a little metal Jesus nailed to it It is flanked by two statues - one on each side - each about three feet high - and each resting on wooden pedestals that jut out from the wall... The figure to the left of the crucifix is Saint Joseph...or, is it...Saint Anthony? Perhaps Saint Francis of Assisi? Well, nobody really cared anyway... But to Our Savior's right, dressed in heavenly blue and creamy off-white, there stands The Blessed Virgin - Mary, The Mother of God! Her arms are outstretched as if to gently embace Her veiled head is slightly tilted in grace Her pursed lips are smiling in sad self-efface And beneath Her bare feet there writhes the crushed serpent - Satan * During class (whenever the old nun gets distracted) the boys of Algebra II engage in a curiously primitive ritual of marksmanship as part of their general coming of age Their weapon of choice is a Bic pen barrel - hollowed-out and loaded with bullets made from saliva-rolled tidbits of paper * At the moment the good Sister turns her back this roomful of restless youths fires volley after volley of well-aimed spitballs at the likeness of the Holy Mary The sound of each shot - a compressed little "pop!" The shells fly fast and strike with deadly accuracy They do not bounce off but stick to Her body where they eventually dry, remaining there the entire school year... and beyond... * Throughout all this torture She just stares back - motionless and silent A true Christian martyr humbly accepting the desecration that only a pack of cruel Catholic boys knows quite how to bestow She blesses them as they molest Her She prays for them as they persecute Her (all before the eyes of Her helpless, dying Son!) * And the godless young infidels, caught-up in the heat of their first gang-rape, are transformed into a mob of snickers and mischief They revel in this opportunity to display their primal abhorrence for all things feminine, maternal and religious For through such experience they will acquire that manly taste for despoliation... Through such experience they will muster the courage to violate and overpower... again and again! * As I gaze up at Saint Mary, now defiled with the mucus of two dozon budding male eggs, a bundle of nervous energy know as Jimmy Hughes turns around from his desk in front of me Through a blur of glasses, braces, pimples and sweat he whispers coarsely "I think I got her in the tit!" Upon closer examination of the Blessed Virgin, I could see that...indeed he had.