I was accosted the other day by a severe-looking lady in a tweed suit.
Father, she said, where do you stand on gay marriage?
It is an excellent idea, I assured her. Too many marriages are frosty and full of gloom.
No no no, the lady persisted. What position do you take on homosexuals?
Such questions are for the confessional, I replied.
Father, said the lady, I simply wish to know what you think of same-sex marriage.
Sadly, I confided, from what I have heard, it seems that all marriages end up that way in the long run.
A small umbrella can cause a surprisingly painful bruise on the top of one’s head. There is no respect left these days for a man of the cloth.
Later, as my housekeeper Mrs McGarrity applied mercurochrome to the graze on my forehead and poured me a small drop of Crested Ten to settle my nerves, I began to ponder the tweedy lady’s problem.
Mrs McGarrity, I said. How long have we been together now?
Twenty-four years, she said. Ever since Mr McGarrity passed away and I had to seek employment.
A long time, I mused. May I please ask you a rather delicate question?
Mrs McGarrity blushed and smiled. Oh, Father!
Please! I protested. I did not mean to suggest anything untoward.
Really, Father? she replied, narrowing her eyes. Is that a fact?
Following Mrs McGarrity’s unexpected resignation, I have taken to watching the television in order to pass the time, and therefore, perhaps it was the good Lord himself who brought about these circumstance, though I do not understand why Mrs McGarrity became so irate, nor do I understand how all the crockery in the kitchen came to be broken.
But be that as it may, I sat down last night to watch the TV and there was a new programme where Gay Byrne used to be, a programme called Saturday, I think.
Its main item concerned that nice fellow who chuckles on Winning Streak, the man with the moustache – I can never remember his name but you know him, I’m certain. Murty something. He reminds me of a chap who worked in the drapery section of Clerys years ago. If he ever gives up his work on Winning Streak, I am quite sure he would make an excellent shop assistant with little or no training.
He was talking about his hair transplant, and his hair doctor was with him on the show to explain how reasonable his prices are. I thought it was very decent of him to take time out of his busy schedule. He is a sort of emergency hair doctor and he runs a hair A&E department although to be perfectly honest with you, I did not think his own hair was any great shakes. Physician heal thyself, I thought. The cobbler’s children are worst shod.
The presenter gave Murty a very good amount of time, which is only right and proper since Murty is an employee of RTE and if you cannot look after your own, who can you do a turn for? Am I right? Of course I am.
Next there was a very strange interview with two Russian trollops calling themselves Pussy Riot Act. They did not know one word of English and yet there they sat, as brazen as you like, using their pimp as an interpreter. They did not even have the courtesy to laugh when the presenter, Bernard Connors, told them one hilarious joke after another, but what would you expect? These are people who disrespected the Eastern church in a most vile manner. Say what you like about Mr Putin, but he is a strong determined leader who will “stand for no nonsense” and he promptly threw them in jail for mocking his beliefs. It is sad that the authorities in Ireland no longer come down so hard on those who sneer at the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church.
I must say, I am very impressed by this fellow Bernard Connors who took over from Gay Byrne. He was right to ask the Riot Act girls about nail polish and boyfriends instead of all this depressing talk of politics and Russian prisons. Brendan has just the right touch and he does not like to bore the viewers with facts, unlike some I could mention.
I was completely baffled by the last part of the show, unfortunately. I think it was a sort of guessing game. Apparently there was a fellow on the show last week who wears women’s clothes. I cannot understand men wishing to wear dresses, but that is beside the point, I suppose. In any case, this fellow made a disparaging remark about Ireland’s greatest writer and a group called, I think, the Onanist Society, concerning a thing called “homophobia”. I am not familiar with the word but I was “no slouch” at my ancient Greek lessons in the seminary, and it clearly means a fear of sameness.
Oddly, although the programme was about this word, nobody was permitted to utter it, and nobody was allowed to mention the Onanist Society either.
This is why I am sure it was a game, like “Charades”.
I am cold, it is late and nobody has made me toast. I wish Mrs McGarrity would come back, and I still do not know why the lady in tweeds was so concerned about marriage being gay. Life is not a barrel of laughs, you know.