Monday, February 05, 2007

Marcus talks to the Exorcist

Ring. Ring. [answered by a young priest] Rectory. How may I help you?

Well, I'm calling for a Mr. O'Connor. I mean Father O'Connor. Seamus O'Connor. I was told he might be able to help me.

O'Connor? Hmm, O'Connor. Oh yes. You must mean the man we call Father Potty. He's here. Hang on a moment and I'll get him. [with hand over the mouthpiece, he calls out across the room] Seamus! Phone for you.

FP: Aw feck! I just got settled in for a nap. If it ain't the Archbishop, take a message.

Uh, may I tell the Father who's calling?

I . . . I . . . I'm Mark Backman. And I really need to talk to Father Potty.

Seamus, it's Mark Backman, and he really wants to talk to you. [quietly into the mouthpiece] Please don't call him Father Potty. He's kind of sensitive about that.

FP: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! I ain't goin' out to get smokes for anybody else today!

I doubt that's what he wants. [hands phone to Father Potty]

FP: What do you want? I mean good mornin' and a blessin' on you and yours.

Good morning Father Po— Seamus. You come highly recommended.

I do? [suspiciously] By who?

Let's say it was by a faithful adherent to your, I mean our, One True Faith. Highly recommended. And I do need your help.

[warming to the flattery] You need my help, my son? [his guard goes back up] Wait a minute. There's a lot of jokers around the rectory. How do I know you're not one of 'em? I can't hear as well as I used to, you know.

Really. This is legit. I swear on my sainted mother.

Ah, your mother passed. I am truly sorry to hear it.

No, she's fine. I was just trying to emphasize that I was telling the truth.

By lyin' about your mother's death? That's a poor way to try, if you ask me! Who told you to call me?

I promised that I wouldn't say.

Oh you did, did you? Tell me now or this conversation is over. And remember that lyin' is a mortal sin.

It is? Okay. [pause] It was Katherine Kersten.

Oh, Katie! That different! Why didn't ya say so in the first place! She's a satisfied customer, in a manner of speakin'. And what's your real name, my son?

Marcus Bachmann. I am calling about my wife Michele. Maybe you've heard of her.

Can't say I have. But I don't get around much anymore.

I don't know how else to say this. I think Michele may be possessed by Satan.

The hell you say!

[sobbing] I really do!

Ok, son. Take it easy. Most o' yer so-called possessions are explained by just a bad case of the snits.


Surely you have heard that term? It just means somebody is in a snit—worked up about something.

Now I understand. But I think it is more serious than that.

All right. Let me ask yer a couple of questions. Has she started to spit on other people?

She spit on a Congressman recently.

A Congressman? Sweet-Jesus-Soap-On-A-Rope! Let's calm down: that doesn't mean much by itself. Could be one thing, or it could be another. Has she been talkin' strange, other-worldly like? Screeching stuff nobody can understand?

Michele has spoken in tongues for a long time.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! That's bad. One last question. Has she started showin' affection for other men?

Oh no! I mean yes! She made out with the President of the United States!

Feck! Feck! Feck! Holy Mother o' God! Lucifer has got her for sure! Jaysus, calm down son.

Actually, I think I am calmer than you, Father Seamus.

Maybe, but I know that you'll be wantin' my help in gettin' your wife back, right?

Yes, Father, that's right.

But son, I'm really out of the business, officially, and the Archbishop frowns on freelance work.

But you're my only hope, Father.

[smiling in spite of himself] I suppose you're right my son. Where is your wife now?

We're both in Washington.

D.C? That den of inequity? It's no wonder you have a problem! But I suppose that if you're going to make out with a President and spit on a Congressman, that's where you'd need to be. You'll fly me out there, first class? You gotta be a fecking bishop to get a free upgrade these days.

Sure Father, anything. I love Michele.

Ok, here's what I need you to do. Got a pencil and paper? Good. Take this down.

[the conversation continues for several minutes, with Marcus writing furiously]

Got that? Okay, I'll meet you at National.

It's called Reagan now, Father.

Oh hell, I suppose it is. Apostate Irishman. Goodbye.

Thank you, Father. Goodbye.

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