The Priest’s Tall Story
[Because of the day that’s in it, and because of the continued absence through negligence of the Content Provider – Legal says that will be the basis of the case against him, so I have to mention it publicly – today we have decided to hook you up to the on-line streaming service of the Most Holy and Interminable Rosary from the Parish of the Lost Souls, Co Laois – Ed.]
… mourning and weeping in this valley of tears …
Father Zed: Oh, I have just noticed, on the wee people icon that you can press on the hovering menu thingy, that a veritable army of around 20 followers from some cult website has just joined us. Well, ye are all very welcome, as everyone is to God’s House, which, for the time being, appears to be the internet.
Just a small bit of housekeeping and then ye can join in with the rest of the parishioners in the interminable recitation of the Rosary dedicated to the petition of releasing us from this lockdown so that we can go back into the World and spread joy about the Good News wherever we go. Except to Protestants.
So … keep your microphones on mute except when ye are saying the laity’s half of the Our Fathers and the Hail Marys, and joining in with me in the Glory Be’s. If you have particular people you want to pray for, use the meeting conversation tab on the wee hovery menu doofer and write their names in there – I’ll keep one eye on that and try to give them a shout out at the start of the next decade of the most Holy Rosary. OK? You can also put anything else you want to share in that conversation tab too.
Right, off we go again.
The 79th horrible mystery, Jesus leaves his Homework on the Bus.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name … Oh, I see a wee question from someone called Question Girl up there in the conversation tab. Let me have a look for a minute …
… yes, Question Girl, I am quite sure that there are at least 79 horrible mysteries in the FULL Rosary. You may just be used to the standard Rosary with its glorious and sorrowful mysteries, and what have you, but this is the full metal jacket version of the Rosary, and has many more mysteries than you might be used to. OK? So …
… thy kingdom come, they will be done, on Earth as … Oh, my, these new people are certainly quick off the mark with using the conversation tab. Another one here, from Query Boy. I think I might press this other button on the hovery menu thingy and screen share it with everyone – it’s probably quicker that way. Fingers crossed, I’ve never tried this button before. Here goes!
Query Boy: You’re just #making it up, aren’t you?
Father Zed: Certainly not, Query Boy. If you search in the Vatican Archives, you will find the complete list of the horrible, confusing, outrageous and slapstick mysteries which are an adjunct to the usual Rosary and only to be used in times of international pandemics [tautology: pandemics by their nature are international – Ed.] What was that? It was like I was possessed, with a different voice than mine, in brackets, coming out of my mouth! Very strange. But, thank you for your question, Question Boy, if I may call you that.
Query Boy: You may not as my name is Query Boy. Not that, not making up extra decades to the rosary, I meant #making up the whole thing, God, Heaven, Hell, original sin, Adam and Eve and all that. It’s all just made up, isn’t it?
Father Zed: Well now, I hardly think that a virtual chapel during a service is the time or the place for such a wide-ranging discussion, do you? There is a Parish Zoom Game of Twenty-Fives on a Friday night at which matters of that nature are sometimes discussed in the wee small hours. I can send you a link to that get-together, if you like?
Query Boy: Youse play Twenty-Fives? For money?
Father Zed: There is money exchanged, yes; we are not children.
Query Boy: I’m in. Do youse take Bitcoin?
Father Zed: Bitcoin?
Michael (parishioner#4): Watch him, Father! He might be a scammer. Or worse, a card shark.
Father Zed: I think the correct term is card sharp, Michael. But thanks for your contribution. Remember, though, we are taught to welcome the stranger and treat him as one of our own. Especially in these worrying times. And if he has the stake money on him.
Michael (parishioner#4): I’m just saying he’s not sitting on either side of me on Friday night. I don’t want some blow-in landing the Fingers on my Jack of Spades to stale the trick off me.
Angela (parishioner#13): Me neither. He can sit down the other end of the table.
Father Zed: Angela! Welcome back! I thought you were dead?
Angela (parishioner#13): Turned out to be only wind, Father.
Father Zed: Well, that’s a blessing, at least. Look, we can sort out the seating arrangements on Friday night. Whose house is it in this week, anyway?
Michael (parishioner#4): Liam’s. And he has a drop of the pure stuff got.
Query Boy: Do youse actually meet up in #Real for this card game?
Michael (parishioner#4): Have you tried drinking poitín through the internet? Wrecks the electronics.
Query Boy: Right! I’m definitely in. Where does Liam live.
Father Zed: All details are in code in the Parish Bulletin. Disguised as the funeral arrangements. Now. Can we get on with this Rosary?
… it is in Heaven. Give us … Oh, what does that mean?
(22 people have left the meeting)