My mother is Italian and my father is Irish, which of course makes me Catholic. In many ways I am an exception to the rule; many in my generation do not practice the religion in which they were raised. While that may have been true for me during my college years, over the past 13 years or so, I feel as if I have truly embraced my faith.

I wish I could say that my devotion comes solely from 12 years of Catholic school or being an altar server but, while these factors certainly contribute to my faith life, there is another to consider. I grew up having a God complex.

Let me explain.

My father, Don, is many things; generous, honest, and frugal being just three virtues espoused by “the Don.” However, when God was giving out patience, my father must have chosen to “heavy up” on other virtues. As such, when the slightest bit of stress came into his life, the man could combine multiple swear words into legendary phrases.

My personal favorite actually does not contain any foul language at all; when someone is driving poorly on the road he simply refers to them as a “club member.” The club my father is referring to, of course, is the Asshole Club (my mother made him shorten the phrase to club member during one of our long drives from Connecticut to Florida when we came into contact with many “Club Members” along I95 South).

Back to my God complex.

When trying to teach me something that I could not grasp right away, where I had a tendency to cause a little “excitement” in the man’s life, he would often shout “Jesus Christ” before instructing me to make a correction. For example:

• While teaching me how to cut the lawn: “Jesus Christ, cut it in straight lines.”
• While teaching me how to drive: “Jesus Christ, don’t cross over the yellow line.”
• While teaching me how to play golf: “Jesus Christ stop picking your head up, God damnit!”

During this last instance, I turned to my father and said, “Don’t take the name of my father in vain.”

The God complex was now complete.

What you have just read is some “material” I am going to try during an amateur night of standup comedy while on vacation in ft Lauderdale at my parents country club. If you think it is funny, please let me know. I have some additional material as well, I just don’t think it is appropriate for a “Catholic” blog.