Monday, May 07, 2007

Battle of the Christian Nuns

Last night, I attended a swing dance in the basement of a Croatian Orthodox church, which gives you an idea of my scintillating social life. I have to say, though, that it was probably the only club in New York City where the bartender was peddling a book by a Croatian dictator: Horrors of War by the general and fascist Franco Tudjman.

The coat check concession was manned by a Croatian Orthodox nun. It had never occurred to me that there were nuns other than the Catholic variety that haunted my childhood. This nun was slightly built and older, probably in her 60s, and at first glance she very much resembled my fifth-grade home-room penguin, whose name my memory has repressed to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder.

I wondered if the coat-check nun hit misbehaving Croatian Orthodox children with her ruler or, as my fifth-grade nun did, with an open fist. Were the Croatians as quick to rush to judgment as the Catholics, meting out punishment reflexively, without establishing guilt (because as Catholics, we were all guilty sinners from birth)? Which sect's nuns hit harder? In an ultimate fighting championship bout, which nuns would emerge triumphant? Would it be on Pay-Per-View?

In the short term, I had to remind myself to avoid mentioning to the nun my opinions on the internecine Serb-Croatian struggle in the former Yugoslavia, if I ever wanted to get my coat back...

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