Being a recovering Irish Catholic, I've managed to compile a great many jokes guaranteed to send me straight to hell. Most of them were told to me by my ageing mother, who grew up in an Irish neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. She was a product of a catholic school called "Our lady of the Imminent, Disastrous Ascension of Guilt" or something like that and actually joined the convent with two friends after graduating high school. They only lasted about three weeks before they fled the sacred walls in the dark of night. I've always pictured it like a jailbreak, searchlights swinging back and forth as the eighteen year old versions of my Mom and her friends, faces smudged with dirt, the pale blue of their initiate habits glowing faintly in the moonlight, crouch in the shadows, waiting, timing the lights until....NOW!!! They sprint madly towards the towering stone walls, eyes wild with determination. The alarm klaxon is sounded by Sister Mary Roseola, who was vigilantly standing guard, hidden behind the statue of St. Francis of Assisi."Aaaawoooga-Aaaawoooooga....". Mother Superior is summoned by two of her underlings and rises from bed fully clothed, severe black habit already in place. The underlings shrink back in awe as she stalks down the cobbled hallway, cape billowing like some holistic Darth Vader, seeming to float above the stones... She reaches the balcony overlooking the courtyard just in time to see my mother and her accomplices scurrying over the top of the wall.

My Mom is the last over and before she drops to the ground. she happens to glance back. She freezes, catching Mother Superiors eyes, which are sparkling with holy fire. Time seems to stop. The old nun slowly raises her arms, seeming to encompass the whole convent within them, and a voice emanates from her, a voice betraying her 138 years....."The Lord God of Hosts has called upon you to be his humble servants, and you in turn have taken an oath of marriage to the church...You cannot betray that oath!!Return!!!Return to your rooms and repent!!!!REPENT!". My mom is held transfixed in the old nun's gaze, much like a rat hypnotized by a cobra, but snaps out of it before her will is completely drained.... A rogueish smile flits accross her lips as she raises her fist, middle finger extended, and she drops out of sight over the wall. As she falls, she hears the ancient holy woman desperately shriek "You can't divorce God!!!!!!" before collapsing into the arms of her two faithful servants..... That's how I like to picture my Mom's excape from the convent, but I tend to have a flair for the dramatic. I'm sure it was nothing like that. I think they just turned in their habits and sentenced themselves to endless whispers and "tsk, tsk.." sounds on Sundays. It's funny though, one of my best friend's Mom joined the convent with some of her friends as well, and they too escaped. Every St. Patrick's Day they have a huge party and his Mom and my Mom and all their ex-nun friends find a corner of the house and start singing nun songs and doing nun shit while laughing hysterically. It can go on for hours and is very weird but pretty entertaining after half a bottle of Black Bush and seven Guinness'....

I've droned on enough about my religious dysfunctions. Now for some jokes guaranteed to send you to hell!

One day, Jesus is walking around Heaven. He's just kind of wandering around, conversing with people here and there, catching up on Heavenly gossip when an old man sitting by himself catches his eye. There's something strangely familiar about him and Jesus can't shake the feeling that he knows him. He decides he must talk to him. He walks up and shyly says "Excuse me, sir...I must ask...are you a carpenter?" The old man looks up slowly and says "Why yes, I am...Why?" Jesus just smiles, replying that he was just curious, and moves off into the crowd.

A day goes by and Jesus can't stop thinking about the old man. Could it be? The kind face, the fact he was a carpenter.... could it be Joseph, his father!?!He decides to track him down , finding him once again relaxing by himself. "Excuse me sir, I'm sorry to bother you again but I must ask....Did you have a son?" The old man gets a far off look in his eyes and replies. "Ahh yes, I did have a son once.... He traveled the world spreading love and teaching people to be kind to one another, to lead a good life....People still tell stories about my son." The old man smiles warmly and Jesus' heart starts pounding as he's overcome by happiness. It must be!! He takes the old man by the hands, looks into his eyes and says "Father?....." The old man's face breaks into a big smile as he replies.....
"Pinocchio?...." Bada boom.

Number 2
Once again, Jesus is lounging in Heaven, though this time he's hanging out with St. Peter. After discussing the latest goings on, the conversation eventually turns to their favorite miracle Jesus had performed. After thinking about it for a minute Jesus makes up his mind. "You know St. Peter, I really liked it that time I turned the water into wine..." He looks down, smiling modestly,"...I thought that was pretty great. Nobody'd seen that before!" St. Peter nods in agreement, staring off in the distance remembering...He looks back down at J.C. " Y'know Jesus, that was pretty great, but the one I really liked, the coolest thing you did, was that time you walked on the water. That was reaaaallly great. I mean, what a miracle! EEEEverybody liked that one! Amazing!" They're both nodding their heads in agreement when an idea hits St. Peter. "Say Jesus..." J.C. looks up expectantly, St. Peter continues, "....Do you think you could do that again for me? I mean, it was pretty amazing and all..." Jesus thinks for a minute and jumps up, telling St. Peter he'd be glad to.

They travel down to Earth and soon they're standing on the shore of a small lake. Jesus looks over at St. Peter smiling, says "Here goes!" and steps out into the lake. S.P. is thrilled. J.C. gets out about 20 yards and St. Peter notices something....the water is over the tops of his feet! "Holy shit!" (or whatever S.P.would say) he thinks, "Jesus is sinking!". Pretty soon the water is up to his knees and even Jesus is concerned, looking amazedly at his swiftly descending nether region. St. Pete can't figure out what's going on. The water gets up to J.C's armpits before it hits him. He starts waving his arms madly at Jesus and screams out "Jesus Christ, get out of the water! The last time you did it you didn't have holes in your feet!!!" Groan.

These jokes are actually funny, but it's all in the telling of them, and I know for a fact there's a few recovering Catholics, some Catholic school refugees, that are smirking to themselves, still a little bit afraid of what God would do to them if they laughed out loud. God Bless....

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