I decided to flex my creative muscles this St Patrick’s Day weekend, and wrote my first comedy story! I was going to write something more serious, but when I saw that the name of the Pope when St Patrick allegedly died, I took it as a sign to go the comedic route!
St Patrick, the well renowned cleric of all of Ireland, had travelled from Malin Head to Mizen spreading the good word. He had converted all the Kings of Ireland, as well as the lowly men and women who served those same kings. He had cured a few lepers, helped a child walk again and even sent every snake packing. Almost all of Ireland now believed in the One True God.
There was one small town in Leitrim left.
But first he had to stop by Donegal to heal an old chieftain who once tried to get Patrick whipped for not worshipping the Tuatha Dé Dannan. Now, twenty-four years later, he was begging for Patrick to heal him of a terrible illness.
“Really Mick, it’s just lice.”
“Please Paddy!” Mick scratched his red curly hair, his fingers digging into his scalp. “I swear to Balor-“
“I mean, I swear to Jesus, I’ve never felt an itch as bad.”
Patrick didn’t heal the man, but simply applied logic. The lice lived in the hair, so just remove the man’s hair. He took a knife from his belt, the one he didn’t use for eating, and stood beside the man’s head. It was repulsive. The man had more lice than hair. Patrick just reminded himself of his eternal reward for converting the island, and began to shave.
After a while, the man, now completely bald, was shaking Patrick’s hand and thanking him profusely.
“You’re a terror of a man ya know that?!”
Patrick nodded, and wiped the knife on the end of his robes. “Hopefully that will be the last of itch. Be sure to burn that,” Patrick waved at the pile of lice and hair, “Before it spreads, you know?”
“I will I will, don’t worry. Thanks now and Gods, err… God bless ya now.”
Patrick waved and left the man’s home, pretending not to notice him begin to scratch his genitals.
It took a number of days to reach North Leitrim, the only place he hadn’t really preached. Although there was no way to be sure, Patrick knew that once he had taught these people about Christ the Saviour, he was home free.
He arrived, spread the word that he had something to say and found a rock to stand on. Once he had managed to get a few people gathered in the village square, he began to preach.
“I’ve been sent to you with a message! A message of love, light and liberation!”
He raised his walking stick high above his head, holding onto it with two hands. This always gets them going. But there wasn’t much of a stir from the crowd yet. Alliteration usually helped get their attention, and the pose had the people down in Wicklow all riled up. He continued.
“I am Patrick, a former slave who has grown to love the Irish people and their-“
“Who sent ya?” A voice from the crowd interrupted.
This is new, thought Patrick.
“Who said that? Come forward good man and let’s get a look at you.”
Patrick put on his warmest smile and extended his hand to the crowd. No-one came forward. Silence. One person coughed loudly.
“In any case, I was sent by the Lord Almighty Himself. The One True God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy -”
“What’s his name though?”
Again with the shouting out… thought the Saint. Well, not Saint yet, but he’d heard that Pope Hilarius was fast-tracking the process.
“He is Our Father, the one True God. He has no name. He is three persons in one, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy-“
A man up the front put up his hand, but shouted out anyway.
“Wait, so what you’re telling us is that there are three gods, but they all go by the name God?”
“No no, there’s just the one God,” clarified Patrick.
A woman with a missing front tooth replied back to the man.
“Frank you tit, he said they’re called the Father, Son and the Holy.”
“Ghost,” finished Patrick.
“WHERE?!” the woman spun on her heels.
“No no no,” Patrick held his fingers to each temple, and took a deep breath in. “What I mean to say is there are three sides to the one God. The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost are all different sides to the one God.” He paused and tried to let that sink in. The woman with the cracked tooth was looking over her shoulder, pulling her shawl closer about her head.
Frank put his hand up again.
“Sure we wouldn’t have to worry about the Ghost as it’s not Samhain, right?”
“No, the Holy Ghost is a positive Ghost. It fills you with the Fruits and Gifts of God so you can live your life as sin free as possible.”
The crowd started to murmur at that point. What had piqued their interest? Was it living sin free? Was it the Holy Ghost being positive? Patrick started feeling positive about the sermon at last.
The woman with the missing tooth shuffled closer to Patrick, still anxiously looking over her shoulder. Frank was talking to a man beside him with thick black hair.
“I would like to tell you the story of Jesus, the Son of God, who died to save all of you.”
Frank put up his hand again. Patrick gripped his walking stick tighter.
“…Frank, do you have a question.”
“Go ahead, but loud enough so everyone can hear you.”
“I like stories. I hope this is a good story.”
“That’s… not a question.” Patrick gripped his walking stick even tighter, but continued on. “Over four hundred years ago, in a land called Galilee, there was a young woman called Mary. She was a kind and gentle soul, and was visited by an angel, who told her she was with child. The angel said it was be a special child and that he WHAT IS IT NOW FRANK?!”
The second Patrick started his story, Frank instantly put his hand up. With every word Patrick said, Frank waved his hand more and more until he was hopping up and down, holding his arm up with the other.
“Sorry Paddy, but my friend Derek wanted to ask ya a question.”
“Then why didn’t Derek put up his hand?!”
Frank awkwardly nodded to the black haired man he had been speaking to, and Patrick immediately noticed that the man had both arms missing.
Derek shook his head slowly. “Like calling my dog Dog. Stupid really.”
Patrick sighed and shook his head.
“No, no… It’s like… Feck what the shite is it like… Wait, here!” he fumbled in his robes looking for a spare coin. Surely he had one? There it was! He pulled it out and showed the crowd. A few oohed and some awed but most of them stared, furrowed brows all round.
“God is like a coin. But
“God is like a coin. There are two sides on a coin, right? Both sides are different, both are separate, but they are still part of the same coin!” He searched the faces of the crowd, hoping to see a glint of understanding. Instead he saw a few yawns, a cough, and one woman picking her nose.
This wasn’t Patrick’s first time having to deal with a crowd not ‘getting it’. He realised that trying to understand the hypostases of the coeternal consubstantial persons of God wasn’t easy to understand the first time around, but really, he had said it three times now.
“But…” Derek began, “A coin has two sides.”
“Imagine it has three sides.”
It was hard not to laugh at the sheer look of confusion that crept across Derek and Frank’s faces. Derek looked like he’d slap his hand over his mouth, if he had one. Frank had just rolled his eyes up into his head, mouth wide open, as if the answer was floating somewhere above his head. All the while, the woman at Patrick’s feet was shivering from fear, darting her head from left to right as if watching a particularly fast tennis match.
There was no doubting it, Patrick had to bring out the big guns. The one thing that would make people line up and convert in seconds.
“If you believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghos- URK!”
Just as Patrick started to say the word ‘ghost’ the woman who had been so scared jumped from where she was sitting, and ran screaming into the crowd. Unfortunately, she was so close to Patrick that she head butted him in the crotch just as she jumped. Patrick doubled over, but in doing so lost his balance. He teetered on the edge of the rock as the woman’s screaming drove the rest of the crowd into a frenzy, all running in different directions.
Patrick fell off his perch, landing flat on his back. As the crowd ran off he simply lay there, admiring the clouds above him, hoping that someday, somehow, all his work would be recognised.