I went to a Catholic elementary school. In the 1950s and 60s. Not just any school but one that was run by a group of nuns. Not just any nuns but nuns of the most traditional variety. Nuns who would have collected firewood for the fires of the Inquisition. Some may have.
The school was pretty strict. How strict was it? Well, a former guard at a Nazi death camp applied for a job as security but was rejected as being too soft. He ended up in tears after the job interview.
Of all the nuns, the one stand out was Sister Brutalitica. I don’t dare use her real name. She may have passed away by now but I am not taking any chances.
I bring this up because I watched the debate last night between Donald J Trump and Joe Biden. As I watched the constant interruptions and rudeness by the commander-in-chief I was stuck by how weak Chris Wallace was.
He was the moderator. He was in charge. The Trump and Biden campaigns had spent months pounding out the rules for the debate. Rules both sides agreed to. Wallace had one job. Ask questions and keep the debate on track.
To his credit, Wallace asked some very insightful questions. He went after the weaknesses of both candidates. He asked for specifics. But he failed miserably to control Donald. So, as was his plan, the president did everything in his power NOT to have a debate. He just wanted to insult and aggravate. Wallace was flummoxed.
So, I said to myself, what if?
What if this debate was moderated by Sister Brutalitica.
The first time Trump interrupted Biden I can see the good sister standing up and glaring. The glare of death. The glare of power. Her squinty eyes boring a hole in Trump’s thick skull. She says ‘Behave”.He shuts up.
The next time Trump interrupts Biden the good sister stands up again. This time she walks over to Trump. She stands toe to toe in front of him. She is five feet tall and still looks down on Donald. She looks him in the eyes : “Last chance”. He withers under her presence. He behaves.
The next time Trump interrupts Biden the good sister again stands up. She says not a word. Slowly and deliberately she strolls over to Donald. The entire room is silent. Anticipating. Hesitation. Beads of sweat form on Trump’s big head . Then, like a rattler waiting in the grass, she strikes.
Trump’s cheek reddens as he feels the back of the good sister’s hand. His carefully glued coiffure do springs up revealing the balding noggin. Sudden. Swift. Violent. He staggers backwards. He grasps the podium to keep his balance. Sister Brutalitica whispers quietly. “That’s it. No more”.
Trump, being who he is, continues to interrupt.
Oops. Now the nun is angry. Mad. Now, if you have never seen a mad nun consider yourself blessed by the Almighty. Cujo on steroids. Hannibal Lecter times three. Mussolini would hide. Pol Pot would slip quietly into the night.
Sister Brutalitica flies across the room. Her feet never touch the ground. A blur of black robes, dangling rosary beads and the “weapon”. The ruler. Not just any ruler. A custom made solid oak ruler. Monogrammed. Notched. A ruler never used to measure inches or feet. A ruler designed with one purpose. To bust knuckles. A wooden sword of justice. To keep the peace. To institute “law and order.” Known only as “The Ruler”.
No one knows what happened to Donald. We heard the crack of oak on skin. We sensed the knuckles breaking. We heard the cries and whimpers. We saw a tiny hand on the scruff of the neck. In a flash we saw an orange head connected to a bloated body go flying off the stage.
The debate was over.
Chris Wallace, take a lesson. Law and order, Sister Brutalitica style.