I got a phone call last night.
I knew it was the Archbishop, because I use personalised ringtones, and the phone merrily warbled “When the saints come marching in”.
“Hiya Bish” says I.
“Bless you, Grandad” Says he.
“I didn’t sneeze”
“Ah, don’t start that. This is serious.”
“I suppose it’s about that dumb interview you did in the Irish Times?”
“Yeah. It doesn’t seem to have gone down too well. I was wondering if you had any insights into it. I read your blog yesterday, and you seem to have a good grasp of religion in the computer age”
“Thanks. But you stepped over the mark a few times. I mean to say, what was all that about coarseness and aggression?”
“You must admit, Grandad that people are getting more aggressive and using coarser language?”
“Aw f*ck, Bish. You’re not of that bandwagon again? Jayzus! But what was all that about agression on the roads and drinking?”
“Well… I’d had a couple of pints on me and some bitch cut me up on the motorway, so I had to thump her. It made me realise there was a connection. I didn’t used to be like that”
“That’s old age, Bish. You’re getting less tolerant. That’s all. And you shouldn’t have talked about abuse, child protection and the increase in sexualisation of children at an earlier age”
“Sh*t, yes. That was a bit of an own goal I suppose, but I though we managed to brush that under the carpet?”
“Naah. People here have long memories. And they remember the days when we all had to doff our caps to the priests, and the church’s word was law. Those days are gone Bish. You should know that. You’ve lost the respect”
“Is that why people don’t go to Mass any more, and why we don’t have vocations?”
“That’s what the interview is all about, Bish. You are just a bit p*ss*d because the church collections are down, and you’re trying to browbeat people into going back to church. Admit it.”
“True. But I have a high standard of living to maintain.”
“And what was all that about Podge and Rodge? You’re stepping on a few toes there too.”
“I heard they were always going on about ‘bashing the bishop'”
“They are talking about something completely different. It’s not personal. Have you ever watched Podge and Rodge?”
“No. I must confess I haven’t”
“Tell you what. Call around on Friday evening and we’ll watch the omnibus edition. You’ll enjoy it.”
“Great. I’ll bring a few cans.”
“Oh by the way Bish?”
“If you are passing RTE on the way, could you stop off and heave a couple of bricks at that c*nt, Pat ‘The Plank’ Kenny?”
“F*ckin right! It’ll be a pleasure!”