I recently went to church with a young autistic lady aged about twenty and her mother.
The young girl behaves and acts very much like Rain Man (Raymond Babbitt) in the Dustin Hoffman film of that name.
We were not at Mass. This was an evening meeting where we had a visiting speaker going on for hours on end discussing missionary work in various countries around the world.
The young lady’s mother left her with me and went to the kitchen just by the Sacristy to help prepare the teas and coffees and other refreshments for after the talk is over.
The talk started and the young lady’s mother had not returned, so we sat down and listened to the visiting speaker relating stories from various far off lands.
It was a very hot summer’s evening; and after a few minutes of sitting there, the hardness of the wooden church pews combined with the humid stickiness of the atmosphere to create a very uncomfortable feeling in the Southern regions of the human anatomy.
To be fair, my companion stayed quiet throughout the long ordeal although it was obvious she was getting a little uncomfortable and tired with the monotony of it all.
Eventually the visiting speaker stopped and the priest asked us to stand up for final prayers.
As we stood up I noticed that the woman in the pew just in front of me must have been wearing a thong. Either that, or she was not wearing any underwear at all. The reason I say this, apart from its obviousness, is that as she stood up her delicate flowing skirt got caught or wedged within the crack of her voluptuous derriere revealing its ample contours and curvatures.
Now normally one would tend to ignore such a distraction and look the other way; and believe me I tried; even though she was standing only inches in front of me. But what was an unexpected distraction for me became something completely different to my young lady friend. For her this was not right at all.
To my horror, she lent forward and carefully pulled out the skirt from whence it was caught.
Surprisingly, the woman in front of me did not feel a thing and did not react whatsoever.
I shook my head violently and whispered to my friend to leave it as it is.
To my double horror and near heart-attack she proceeded to lean forward once again and replace the skirt in its previously wedged position.
This time the woman felt someone touching her particular sunset; she turned round suddenly to see me standing right behind her and my companion busily reading the hymn book she’d picked up.
She was about to slap my face when she suddenly remembered where she was.
She sat down promptly and said nothing.
We waited until prayers were over and everyone was leaving. I asked my young friend to go and help her mother in the kitchen, and then I tried to explain to the unfortunate woman what had happened and that it was not really me who tried to do what I did not do.
I doubt she believed me and she left without saying another word.
And that’s another confession I’ll have to explain to my priest. He said once he looks forward to my confessions as he’s never laughed so much in his life.