An Irish Penance

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It always seems like it never rains, but what it pours, except in Snowsville, where it never warms up. To Brigit Murphy just coming off of a recent mystery of misplaced overalls turning up in her famous chowder, and her recent embarrassing spilled coffee incident at Starbucks she now found herself confronting an even more frustrating quandary. How in the world would she ever redeem her embarrassment and regain her status as a proper woman in a proper dignified community.

It seems that in all the hubbub surrounding the chowder mystery, and the even bigger Starbucks disaster had been the subject of an ever increasing stream of unmitigated gossip and behind the back mockery going on from pub to pub in her Irish flavored community. So much so that she was becoming increasingly angry. She found herself lashing out at all those, so called, fine gentlemen who frequented those establishments. She was even calling them unflattering names, and knocking over their Guiness pints as they sailed past her as she stood at the bar at McGuinty’s Saloon.

McGuinty took exception to Brigit’s excesses, and banished her from the premises. Brigit did not take that lightly, and vowed to show McGuinty a thing or to. It so happened that the Circus was in town and they had set up near the saloon. Brigit in her need for redemption for McGuinty’s insult promptly went to the circus grounds and entered the area where the Elephants were quartered. canstockphoto11416287Surreptitiously she filled a bucket with Elephant dung and quickly returned to McGunity’s Saloon and heaved the whole bucketful onto the sawdust covered floor in front of the bar. The result was disaster. Such a disagreeable odor established itself in the sawdust that it took weeks to finally get it back to a habitable condition.

McGuinty was avenged, but in the process, lost a fair amount of livelihood before things were back to normal. This next series of incidents again became a prime topic of gossip in the community, and Brigit was roundly condemned as the offending culprit. It stung her, and she became increasingly aware that her behavior was fully categorized as sinful. The irony for the whole situation was that the Circus with all of its color, pleasant sounds, and excitement became the source of an offensive insult to the traditional source of Irish cultural enjoyment – the sawdust floored pub.

Brigit’s only recourse was to again visit the confessional and seek redemption for her offensive behavior. As she entered the church she noticed that several of the Circus performers were standing in line in front of her. Performers from the very same colorful and merry circus where she had procured the Elephant dung. Several were in colorful and short skirted acrobat costumes.

Father O’Doul was hearing confessions. He was well known for his advocacy of non-alcoholic beverages and had a penchant for giving unusual penances. You never quite knew what he was going to prescribe, which made going to confession with him a somewhat exciting prospect. O’Doul was also aware that the performers from the Circus were going to confession at that time, and he happened to be a great fan of exciting acrobatic performances. In fact, as one of the Circus acrobats was leaving the confessional, he asked her to do a few cartwheels for him as she went down the aisle to leave. He would watch her from his seat in the confessional.

As she left the acrobat went cartwheeling right down the main aisle and out the front door. Such excitement. It left everyone breathless. Especially Brigit and she loudly cried: “Glory be and will ya look at what Father’s giving for penances today, and me with no pants on.”