Frank McCourt is going through the process of his First Communion at his church. His new teacher is named Mr. Benson and teaches him catechism. One of the boys in his class named Mikey Molloy tells him a story about "Cuchulain’s wife, Emer, who was the “champion woman pisser of Ireland” and won her husband in a pissing contest." Frank was very worried that he had committed the worst sin there was, so he went to confessions. He ended up showing up late for his Communion, had a hard time swallowing the wafer, and ends up throwing it up in his Grandma's backyard. Frank's family doesnt end up getting along very well...his grandmother doesn’t speak to his mother, his mother doesn’t talk to her siblings, his father doesn’t talk to Angela's family, and no one talks to his uncle’s wife. His parents had to go to the dentist and get fake teeth because they were constant smokers. Also, Frank finds out he needs to be rushed to the hospital to get his tonsils removed. Later on in the chapter Angela signs Frank up for Irish Dance Lessons. He gets embarrased by this. He tells his mom he is going to his dance lessons, when really he is ditching them. Malachy wants Frank to be an alter boy, but Angela thinks it wouldnt work out because he hardly has clothes decent enough for school, let alone church.
Frank McCourt was born on August 19th, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York. This was the time of the depression, and his family had a hard time dealing with it in Brooklyn, so they decided to move back to their home country of Ireland. His father was an alcoholic, who used his weekly wages to purchase alcohol, often leaving no money for his family. This meant that they had to go without food for the week, or borrow from the grocery store, promising to repay them. This also left his father without a job, more than once. 3 of the 7 kids in his family died because of diseases caused by malnutrition. He quit school when he was 13 to work, to try to feed his family. Then he was drafted by the Army. He attended New York University, even though he never attended high school. He taught in New York schools, for about 27 years. He is still living today, telling the stories of his childhood, and accepting rewards for his memoir “Angela’s Ashes.”