An hour or so into the event, it was time for the POW and MIA Missing Man Ceremony. A young cadet read the words about the meaning of the empty table. [Don't know what it's all about? You can read about it here.]
It's a powerful time. The explanation of the missing man is as powerful as any prayer given by any random priest or, yes, monsignor, in all the Catholic churches and all the Catholic high schools which rent out space for events like this one. And it was at that precise moment that the Director of Mission and Ministry at the school knocked on the door I was standing near.
His car was blocked, you see. And that rightfully so angered him. Someone in what turned out to be a pretty sweet grey BMW with license plate beginning with 7JBF had parked in an area with a no parking sign. He passed the lowly woman and went to a tall man and explained -- loudly -- his predicament. The man tried to appease him, saying he'd make an announcement as soon as this ceremony was over.
The monsignor could give a rat's ass about waiting. "I'll make the announcement myself," he said. "This clearly isn't a school event. Everyone here knows to follow signs."
I maneuvered him outside -- where his car was parked on the fuckin' lawn, dudes! -- and got the license plate of the offending car and he followed me back to the room.
"Do I need to make the announcement? I'm an hour late. Did you hear about the shooting of the police officer last night in San Francisco? I have to go see him."
I tell him -- again -- that we'll make the announcement. Could he please just wait one more minute?
A nicer woman tries to appease him by engaging him in conversation, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about him. I hope he's okay."
Gruffly, the monsignor notes the officer will be fine but, really, who the hell are you people and "I can't wait to meet the owner of that car."
When the ceremony is done, the tall man and I make the announcement. I quip about how Christian the monsignor is and how I hope the owner of the car makes it back alive.
My immediate reaction was to write a letter to the school and the monsignor and tell them exactly how fucking rude that man was. I'll grant you the guest should not have parked where he did. But, honestly, the demeanor of this man of God, representing not only the church but the school as well, was so inappropriate.
I will not write a letter. I will not get the JROTC blacklisted because the monsignor is a mighty dick. The world is filled with mighty dicks. I bet they have their own club. And their own secret handshake.