"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
"It's you, isn't it, Dave?"
"Well, yes, but you're not supposed to know who I am!"
"Forgive me, my son, for having ears and a memory. If you really want anonymity you should get rid of that ever-present wad of Juicy Fruit. I knew it must be you before you ever said a word."
"Ummm, anyway, bless me for I have sinned."
"Somehow that doesn't surprise me as much as you probably think it does. What've you done this time?"
"But you came all the way down to St. Anne's in this miserable rainstorm to seek absolution. It must be something!:
"Well, all right...I can see I don't get an easy out unless I spill the beans."
"You don't get an easy out ever, buster. You know that by now. Come on, unburden yourself. And let's try to snap it up here, shall we? There's a game on tonight and we neither of us want to be missing that."
"All right... Father, you know I work at the power company call center, right?"
"Yes. You chew gum even when you talk on the phone to customers, I'm told."
"Not all the time. Anyway, the call center rule says you have to raise your hand to go to the bathroom, if you have to go at any time other than your scheduled break."
"Like a schoolkid?"
"Exactly. It's so degrading. My supervisor is named Felicia Frost, and she's this..."
"I know her. Little red-haired lady, full of energy, always smiling?"
"That's the one. Gee, Father, you really get around."
"Celibacy doesn't automatically equal reclusive, David. Go on."
"Well, Felicia walks around listening in on everybody's calls, and when she reprimands you, she does it in this sweet voice with a big smile, but her eyes don't smile, Father, her eyes gleam like some kind of predatory bird that's just spotted a mouse."
"Look, this is about your sins, not Felicia's."
"Sorry, Father, just explaining. Anyway, I had my hand up today, wanting to go drain the lizard...oops, sorry."
"Never mind. I have three brothers. I guess I know what you mean."
"Oh, good, good! Anyway, I had my hand up, headphones around my neck, and Felicia walked over and said, very sweetly "Do you need to see a doctor about your kidneys?" I just stared at her. Then she said "Or are we going to have to ban water bottles at the desk?" Father, I just couldn't believe it!"
"So what then? So far I have a good idea what to offer Felicia in the way of penance..."
"I'm getting to it. I put my headphones back on and she went back to her desk. Then about a half hour later, I finished up a call, and I got up and walked over to her desk. She started flapping her hands and going on about my scheduled break, but I didn't let her finish. I marched right up to her..."
"You didn't strike that woman in anger, did you?!"
"No, of course not! What do you take me for?!"
"Somebody who was desperate to take a leak and who didn't like being treated like a pimply schoolboy?"
"No, I didn't hit her, in anger or out of it. I stood in front of her desk, pulled it out..."
"Oh no. Do I really need to hear this?"
"Yes, Father, I'm almost done. I whipped it out and let fly all over her desk. I mean, I'd been drinking from my water bottle all morning so I had plenty stored up. I got all her paperwork wet, and hosed her big coffee cup and the pictures of her kids...I really hosed down her workstation."
"It sounds like it. Then what happened? I guess I have to ask that."
"Nothing. She jumped up all white in the face and shaking all over. She pointed at me then at the door and screamed "Just get out!" Nothing else, just screamed for me to get out and kept screaming it while I gathered up my things."
"IOn all fairness, David, what else could she have said? You're lucky she didn't sic the security guys on you."
"I'm grateful for that, Father. So I left. And an hour later I got a phone call from Felicia's boss to tell me I was terminated."
"If you say you're shocked by that I think you need more help than I can give you."
"No, I wasn't surprised at all. Kind of relieved, actually. So, that's David Pritchard's bad deed for the week."
"If you'll pardon the vernacular, David, I'd say it was a doozy. I could tell you to say ten Hail Marys and four Our Fathers, but we both know you're not a bit sorry. You know and I know, and you know I know, so don't belittle either of us by denying it. I could tell you to apologize to Felicia, but quite honestly, I don't think that would be wise for another year or so. I wouldn't even write her an apology for a few months."
"Fair enough, but what about my absolution?"
"You're a lost cause, David. I'll pray to St. Jude on your behalf, him being the patron of lost causes, and I'll recommend you do likewise. But if you were looking for an easy out, as you put it, you're barking up the wrong confessional. Now, drive carefully in this rain. I want to close up and go watch the game."