How do bishops make their money? inquired The Creature, from his position on the floor.
Let me alone, I assured him. My head is killing me.
Of course it is, he groaned. That’s because we were out all day yesterday and then we went to the Jaydrinkers, and then nothing would do you but to invite a crowd back to your place for more wine and singing.
Jaywalkers, I told him. The fucking Jaywalkers.
Let me alone, I said. I’m dying. What do you want? Who are you? How did you get into my house?
Bishops, he insisted. How do they make their money?
How the fuck do I know? Maybe there’s a lot of profit in abusing altar-boys.
Doubt it, he muttered. Costs a fortune buying all those sweets. Do you mind if I roll up a spliff?
I certainly do. Fuck off.
Maybe they do endorsements, he mused.
Like opening supermarkets?
Sex shops, he said.
Or let’s say a big company is bringing out new line in bishop’s hats.
That kind of thing. All the kids would want a hat with a famous bishop’s signature on it. And his number.
Which is bullshit, I said, since they’re probably all made in a Chinese sweatshop by eight-year-olds working for three cents a day.
Yeah, he said, and then they sell them into the shops for huge money.
That makes me sick. People buying Ratzo outfits for their kids and the poor starving Chinese children getting nothing for it.
I suppose they’d make money from equipment as well.
Such as? I said.
Well, let’s say Slazenger bring out a new range of graphite croziers. They’ll need a famous bishop to say he uses it. Slo-mo shots of him hitting an Irish government minister with it. Or a Polish president. Crozier bending under the impact and whipping back. Grainy, black-and-white stuff. Bishop drinking Power-Ade, unshaven. Buffed. Wife-beater t-shirt. You know the kind of thing.
They’ll need a signature on the shaft.
They sure will. And a big-name bishop can really clean up there.
Did you ever see a bishop with a beard?
Yeah. That guy in Westminster.
Doesn’t count. He’s Anglican.
Well, all those Orthodox guys.
No. They’re Russian. Doesn’t count
Even the Greek guys?
Especially the Greek guys. Doesn’t count.
Your point is?
Gillette. They’ll be looking for someone to replace Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry in the ads.
Sure they will. Henry and Woods are both cheats.
I stare at him coldly. Whereas bishops on the other hand are..?
Above reproach, he grins. Are you sure I can’t roll up a spliff?