Thursday, February 08, 2007

Marcus and the Exorcist team up

Scene: Evening at Reagan airport at the curb. It is raining, and a slight man with a scruffy gray beard waits with a small black leather doctor's bag. He is wearing an Irish tweed porkpie hat and a raincoat, but he has no umbrella. The rain is dripping off his nose.

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" the man intones under his breath, "Marcus better get here soon, or I'll freeze me arse."

Just then, a green sedan of unknown provenance pulls up to the curb. The passenger window opens, and the driver calls out, "Are you Father Seamus?"

"I am," replies the man, "and I hope to God you're Marcus Bachmann!"

"That I am," says the driver, who thinks to himself: I'm even starting to sound like an Irish Catholic.

The little priest opens the rear door and places the valise carefully on the seat. Then he climbs in front next to Marcus. "Hell of an evening out there. Give me snow in the winter every time."

"Sure, and I agree," replies Marcus. Father Seamus looks at him a little strangely.

"Have you done as I asked, my son?" inquires Father Seamus.

"Oh yes, Father. I think I've got it all. The straight jacket and the shackles. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find these things. I drew a big blank at the medical supply houses. I thought some of them were going to call the cops on me. I finally found what I needed at a place called Elvira's House of Pain." Marcus shivers involuntarily and continues, "I don't ever want to see the inside of that place again! But at least the clerk, a woman I think, but really muscular, didn't give me a second look."

"Good. Did you get the jug of distilled water for me to bless?" asks Father Seamus.

"Yes. I also spent a couple of hours at Michele's office, removing all the furniture from the reception area. There's nothing loose to fly around. That's why I was a little late. Are you sure that's all necessary?"

The priest snorts, "You may depend upon it, my son."

They drive wordlessly toward Capitol Hill for a while, and then Marcus asks, "What's in the bag?"

The priest is quiet for a moment, and then says, "Holy warrior supplies. Some vestments and the exorcism manual."

"You have a manual for this?" asks Marcus, incredulous.

"Why yes, of course. I don't remember all of it. I've also got a Holy Relic."


"A Relic. It's not the bone of a saint, but I do have Archbishop John Ireland's false teeth. Evil spirits tremble at the sight of a True Relic."

"Has this True Relic ever bitten anybody?" asks Markus.

"Not when I've used 'em. Can't speak for everyone else. But I don't think so." Father Seamus measures the silence for a question, and finally asks it, "Son, you're not Irish, are ye?

Marcus sighs and says "no" softly.

"That's okay Marcus, Katie's not Irish either. So I assume you're German Catholic like Katie?"

"Well, I . . . ."

"Because I was thinking we should stop by you church and say a few prayers and light a candle for your dear Michele."

"Father, we don't have a church out here in D.C. yet. Our church home is still in Minnesota."

"Ah, I see. Just out of curiosity, what church do you go to?

Marcus hesitates, and then says, "We are members of a church in Stillwater, a Lutheran Church in fact. A Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Church."

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! STOP THE FECKIN'CAR! I want to get out!"

"Come on, Father Seamus, I was only being honest with you."

"You've got some mighty peculiar ways of demonstratin' honesty and goodwill. I thought you and Michele were Catholics. Now I find you're not only not Catholics, but you're Lutherans who believe His Holiness the Pope is the Anti-Christ."

"Katie said we would have to be Catholics for you to help. I didn't know what to do, so I kept quiet about it until now. But seeing you work on this, I really want to become a Catholic, and I want Michele to become one, too."

Well, you can speak fer yerself all right, but we'll have to get your wife out of the clutches of the devil before she can decide what pew she's going to sit in."

"So you'll still help us?"

"Yes, but I'll be makin' you a Catholic the hard way, Marcus. That first confession of yours is going be a doozey."

"I understand, Father Seamus." [a pause] "Father Seamus, I was wondering whether I could use exorcism in my business."

"And what business might that be."

"It might be, well it is, turning homosexuals away from their sinful lifestyle. I know that's a top priority for Catholics, too." And James Dobson thought that Ted Haggard's problem was not homosexuality so much as possession by evil spirits. I think Haggard himself once called homosexuality a form of possession."

Father Seamus is thoughtful for a moment, and then says, "I don't think it would help, my son. I know some homosexuals myself, good Godly men, if you follow my meanin'.

"I guess I do. Well, here we are. We've got to get up to Michele's office pretty quickly. I told her to meet me there at eleven.

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