The Magic Bells of Cork

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by Robert Whelan

“Hey Mollie, is that the phone I hear ringing? Could that be Skibootch calling from Ireland? Nah, that couldn’t be him already. I’m just dreaming.”

“No, Shaggy, it’s him! I heard McGuinty saying he was expecting a call.”

“OK, so let’s get a little closer to the bar so we can eavesdrop, and find out what Skibootch is up to now. I miss all his turmoil. He makes things around here exciting. We’ll try to figure what he’s up to by listening to what McGuinty has to say.”

“That you Skibootch? You what? You got your bell rung?”

Oh, you got to ring the Shandor Bells at St. Anne’s Church in Cork. How the hell did you get to do that? It’s a long story and you want to tell me all about it? OK, go ahead, I got time.

You say the church’s bell ringer passed away. So they posted the position and a man came in with no arms wanting the job. The clergy weren’t sure he could do it, but he convinced them to let him try it.

They climbed the bell tower and the guy ran toward the bell and hit it with his head. They gave him the job.

The next day he went to ring the bell, tripped, bounced off the bell and fell to the sidewalk below. Two guys were walking past.

One asked, “Do you know this guy?”

The second guy responded, “No, but his face rings a bell.”

The next day, the dead bell ringer’s twin brother comes in for the again vacant bell ringer position. He also has no arms. They lead him up to the bell tower, he runs at the bell, trips and falls to the sidewalk below.

The same two guys walk by.

The first asks, “Do you know him?”

The second guy responds, “No, but he’s a dead ringer for the guy we saw yesterday.”

So, what you’re tellin’ me is that after all that, you went and applied for the ringer job?
You did, and you got it.

What? Anybody can ring the bells at that church? C’mon Skibootch, you’re trying to ring my bell now, aren’t you? No, really, anybody can play their own tune on those bells anytime they want. That can’t happen Skibootch. You’re handin me the same line of bull from Ireland that you used to do here in Snowsville.

You did? You really did? You played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on those bells. They were the only tunes those simple people there recognized? All kinds of people were ringing out all sorts of unrecognizable tunes until you came along and wowed them with a simple Twinkle Twinkle.

Skibootch, if you were here, you’d have to buy everyone a beer for that whopper. I not going to listen to any more of your blarney. I’m hanging up now. Don’t call me anymore, just write it all down and attach it to an email. Maybe then you can look at it first and take out all the hooey. So long Skibootch.”

“Ya know Mollie, Skibootch was right. You can, for a small donation, play any tune you want on the bells at St. Anne’s in Cork. I was just readin that from a travel brochure. That’s how they rake in all those Yankee coins for their church. It’s not all from the religious, with a little extra effort they can get support from even people like Skibootch.

Come to think about it that might have been a good first step in his search for freedom from the Repo man. He was even thinkin about changing his name so McGoon couldn’t ever find him. Let’s check the emails he sends to McGuinty.”