A stranger calls.


Stan was reading the paper at 9 pm when the front door bell rang.Emile,his delightful tomcat who was asleep,nearly jumped out of his skin.Stan opened the front door cautiously
.“Goodnight,sir.” remarked the handsome man standing there. impassively
“Goodnight?”Said Stan confusedly,
”But I’ve never seen you before.Are you the sandman who comes to put little children to sleep?”
“Good evening,sir.” the man continued,”I’m so sorry my English is so poor.I am studying David McChrystal’s Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language and I’m still a trifle mystified by it.”
“What do you want?”Stan asked him.
”What do I want? I want to study philosophy and write a novel like Iris Murdoch did ”“
No,no.” said Stan” I mean,why are you here ?”
“A good question,why are we here? Do we have a mission in life or are we here as a result of mere chance and happenstance or even serendipity or did God send us on purpose ?”
“I mean,why are you here ringing my doorbell at this time of the night?”
“Shouldn’t that be evening,sir?” The stranger enquired sardonically yet politely.“
Look.are you after something?”
“Well,I’m after getting people to go to church or other place of worship.”
“Are you partly Irish?”Stan asked him plaintively.
“What’s happening,”called Mary from her study where she was reading a critique of Principia Mathematica for the seventeenth time
.“God only knows!” said Stan.
Mary came to the front door.She wore a green silk blouse with a jade necklace, a pair of smart jeans from Per Una and some pink trainers with yellow laces.On her face she wore Lancome of Paris light beige foundation,strawberry pink lipstick and purple mascara from Clinique.Her perfume was by Beyonce.
“Goodnight,madam” said the stranger.
“I think that’s slightly rude,” said Mary.”If you’ve never met someone before it’s inappropriate to say goodnight.”
“Well,you aren’t in bed,” he replied laboriously.
“What has that got to do with it?” she asked
“Inappropriate is often used to refer to sexual behaviour.”
“Well,who are you?” she whispered politely.
“I’m the new curate!””I’m Polish and I’m here ”
“Well,I’m sorry I don’t know a single word of Polish.would you like to speak in Latin?”“Ite,missa est!”
The curate exclaimed.“Uno reductio ad absurdum”S
tan muttered seductively
.“That’s Italian,UNO” cried Mary shyly
.“Well,it’s pretty similar.” Stan said ironically;
“Well,I must go,”said the curate anxiously
“You’ve not been yet so how can you go?” Mary asked mathematically, demonstrating the futility of logic.“
I don’t know,sir.Good evening,good afternoon,good morning.”the red faced man screamed as he ran hurriedly down the garden path.
“Are we Catholics ?”Mary asked Stan
.“Oh,I can’t remember,” he said.”Do we go to any church,synagogue or mosque?”
“Well,we may be non-practising at it all, I suppose.”
“Perhaps we’d better start practising,” he murmured affectionately.
“Oh,if you insist,” she replied in an un-wifely roguish tone.
“That’s right,blame it all on the man.In my experience it’s you who is keener than me on all of that.”
“What are you talking about?”she enquired seductively.Prayer?
Suddenly the door bell rang.It was the curate.
“Goodnight” he called.”goodnight”“Goodnight, old man” they responded in their reserved English fashion.
“Mioaw” cried Emile,”Mioaw,miaow,miaow.And so pray all of us.Amen
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