My youngest boy made his First Holy Communion yesterday. It was a great day and everything went really well – apart from yet another one of my patented mortifying incidents which I shall report to you as soon as I figure out exactly how to write it. I know… just write it.
Anyway, during the ceremony-thingie, one of the young guys made a throwaway gesture which hurled me right back to my own First Communion about thirty-eight years ago.
It was something that I had completely forgotten about until I saw this be-suited young fellow doing what he did.
What did he do? Well, he did it over and over again actually and his unconscious gesture was definitely something I was doing myself on that day many years before… over and over again too.
It was no big deal really. All that he kept doing was thrusting his hand into the inside pocket of his natty new suit. Plunging it in and taking it out, plunging it in and taking it out…
But that was enough to take me back to my own new suit of some many years ago and my own big day.
It was reversible… my suit, that is, not the Communion. The ‘side less used’ was a blue and white check while the main event was… okay, truth, I can’t remember what colour it was – brown I think.
It came all the way from America and the reversible aspect of it was really very cool – if I’d been cleverer I could probably have gone up for my First Communion twice but I wasn’t so very calculating back in those days.
That was cool but it was the inside pocket that held the real attraction. I had always wanted an inside pocket and, for my First Communion, I got one.
There’s no mystery to it. Inside pockets were cool because the cool guys used them in the movies and on TV. They reached in and pulled things out of them. Particularly guns. I was a bit too young for Bond but I've seen since that Connery did seem to draw his Walther/Beretta out of his inside pocket from time-to-time and Illya Kuryakin certainly did it quite regularly.
And then I got to do it too. My gun was actually very nifty. You could stick the front of it into a potato and it would extract a little nubbin of spud which could then be fired at unsuspecting dogs… and grannys.
Was this a particularly Irish toy – the potato gun? I could see how it might well be…
Of course, I've learned now that guns are actually very heavy and would ruin the cut of your reversible communion suit. The well dressed gunslinger sports a Berns Martin Triple Draw holster. Dead posh, I'm sure, but I favoured the inside pocket option and I'm still here, yeah?
If I’m to be honest, I was still infatuated with the idea of an inside pocket even after I became a teenager. I realise that’s sad but it also true.
Real Truth? I’m actually still pretty excited about my inside pocket.
I mean, how could anyone not be?