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Look Dorothy I may have had some affairs in my time and stolen all your inheritance but consider your soul in all this....if we get a divorce you can't get communion anymore

Look Dorothy I may have had some affairs in my time and spent all your inheritance but consider your soul in all this….if we get a divorce you can’t get communion anymore

“Did you know Thackeray now that you’re divorced you’re not allowed receive Holy Communion” Spike Righteous said with alarm in his voice as he read from the paper. “Why ever not?” I demanded, my face going scarlet. “Because you’re one of the unclean” Biffo “The Garda” Boyle replied with relish. “He’s right Thackeray…..unless you apologise sincerely for your sin of divorce The Catholic Church says there’s no bread for you” Spike replied, smacking his lips in delight. “Well they can bloody well keep their wafers then….I wont go hungry without them” I answered crossly “and I wont be paying for Fr Michael’s new BMW this year either….or his mansion….see how he likes that”. “Now now Thackeray” Biffo interrupted calmly “don’t be like that….just because you sinned against God….doesn’t mean that you are exempt from paying the Easter and Christmas dues….Church Law is very specific on money related matters…..it’s like the property tax”. “Of course you could have your marriage annulled” Spike suggested raising his eyebrow “then you could have as many wafers as you want I reckon”. “I’ve always liked annulments” Biffo said, shaking his head “the idea that it just simply never happened….250 guests….U2 playing as wedding band….best men…bridesmaids….wedding pictures….but no….get an annulment and it was all a figment of everyone’s imagination”. “How do I get one of those then Righteous?” I asked, frustration now in my voice “I mean its unlikely I’ll get to be Chairman of the club this year if I’m not seen in the front row every Sunday sticking out my tongue for the cream crackers…I mean there’s a lot at stake here”.

“Well you could say that the marriage was never consummated” Spike said solemnly “then that would be grounds for an annulment”. “But I have three children goddammit”  I answered in exasperation “ why even Turlough is the very spit of me except I’m more debonair and sophisticated …obviously”. “You could try and say it was an immaculate conception” Biffo interjected helpfully “it’s worked before you know”. “You’ll never get away with it” Spike said shaking his head “if there was only one child you might…but three is just pushing it too far….you’ll just have to go for the other option”. “What other option” I shouted in surprise. “A brown envelope” Biffo and Spike answered together. “Do you mean to say it’s simply a matter of handing over a thick envelope just like I did at the Galway races with Bertie so I could get planning permission for that housing estate?” I asked in awe. “Well no Thackeray….Bertie won that on a horse remember” Biffo said, winking and nodding at the same time. “Yes…well the Church says that they can offer a special dispensation in particular cases…ie for an undisclosed sizeable sum and the matter will be cleaned up nicely” Spike said shrugging his shoulders. “You’ll have to spend some time in Limbo for your sins though” Biffo said “you can start paying for it now by getting a round in. “No….Limbo doesn’t exist anymore” Spike interrupted “they got rid of that….no money in it apparently”. “Get your own pint in then Biffo…you ungrateful cur….but I’ll have a mass said for you Spike for all your advice” I said patting him on the shoulder. “That’ll cost you €40 to have one of those done Thackeray….I’d rather have the pint instead” Spike said calling over Tracey man-barmaid. “I’m beginning to think this whole church thing is a money racket….still I wonder could they annul my bank debt if I threw in a few extra quid” I said in wonderment. “The Lord works in mysterious ways Thackeray” Biffo said with a smile “and while you’re at it why don’t you ask them to do that party trick of turning water into wine” and we all guffawed. Annulments…still it seemed like a good idea at the time…

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