Tales from rural bank – Reverend Spleen departs
Teach us to number our days. The Bishop called today. Nothing unusual about that.
If I didn’t hear his bumbling tones inquiring about Church stocks and bonds and his personal high risk investments, it wouldn’t be Monday morning.
But this morning he called in person. I was sitting in my office having my usual vodka-laced black coffee, before the start of another financially busy day, when ‘The Idiot’ interrupted me.
“His lordship’s here,” he stuttered.
“Which one?” I demanded. My client list is so full of real and fake lords, that I’m not usually fazed by their unexpected appearances.
“The Bishop, ma’am.”
I nearly flew out of my seat. Had he found out about my secret? Was he planning to withdraw his investments? Did he want to change his bank?
My reputation, loss of huge fees for portfolio management and loss of a major account holder set me in a panic.
“Your grace, no your Excellency, your…”
“Forget the greeting, my dear, I need to speak to you a rather delicate matter.”
My heart sank. He knew. He must know or why was he here?
I swigged a cup of my vodka coffee, and waited for the bombshell.
“It’s about the Reverend Spleen.” I thought I would wet myself, but held my legs close together, hoping Ginger was asleep in the corner.
Thinking of how I’d live down the shame of those wretched philistines knowing my business and judging me. I’d have to move out of the area. Change my name (again), retire to the back of Never Never Land – at least I’d lose the wrinkles.
“…so, because of that…”
I’d have to give up my postcard cottage adorned with wild yellow roses and pink honeysuckle.
“… but to resign…”
The Idiot and his mother would buy it for next to nothing, as they’d always fancied it, and I’d leave in such a hurry that I’d accept the first offer…
“…with immediate effect, my dear, my apologies.” His voice was its usual broken and bumbling self.
“Yes, of course, I’ll leave right away.” I could feel the tears welling up inside my eyes. But I was determined to be brave.
“Millicent, you seem very upset by Spleen’s departure. I never thought the two of you were that close.” His voice was enquiring.
I was too relieved to care, then and there and hastily dismissed the somewhat bemused Bishop. Then I plied ‘The Idiot’ with one of my vodka-laced coffees, unbeknown to him and he telephoned his mother, who spoke to her niece, who told her that she had heard from a friend who used to clean for Reverend Spleen, that he was caught with his pants down, massaging the breasts of a buxom blonde.
Papua New Guinea
Apparently, he forgot that he had a regional clergy meeting at his house that day. And the Church have sent him to recover by teaching English and faith to a little known tribe of cannibals in Papua New Guinea, or so the rumour goes.
In the words of Malcolm Spleen, former bonking vicar, in his last sermon: “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
This calls for a vodka on the rocks…