Friday, 5 August 2016

Saint Peter Explains

(Note: I wrote this in about 2000, originally. Any resemblance between it and old friends is entirely coincidental. No Future Friday post today. Normal service will be resumed next week.)

Saint Peter of the Pills is here today. I’ve always loved this guy. We were at school together, and it's been a couple of years since we last spoke, and a lot has gone on in his life. When I found out he’d been beatified, it was something of a surprise. He is young, only a couple of years from having dropped out of college. That he is the Patron Saint of Recreational Chemicals, and that he bestows his protection and showers his blessings upon the stoned and the wasted, the high and the E’d, that came as somewhat less of a surprise.

It has been said that being a saint isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Peter disagrees.

A beam of light comes through the window and appears to form a halo around his head. This seems to happen a lot with my saint friends.

Peter's still new at this, two months in, and so far he is enjoying it immensely. Things have changed since the days of Antony and friends (Antony is one Peter avoids: no fun to be had in those parts). For one, Peter hasn't suffered and died, and he isn't even Catholic – but the job, it appears, was open at the time.

Besides, if Catholics and Protestants can have their patron saints – although the protestants are admittedly in denial – why not the universalist tendency?

This is how he puts it: You know Mother Theresa, right?

Right.

Patron saint of the homeless.

Is she? Did that finally go through?

Yeah, it did.

You are surprisingly up on your beatifications.

Goes with the field.

Fair.

Thing is, it's not about a group of cardinals in a committee deciding who's going to be a saint, is it?

I thought it was exactly that.

You’d be surprised. Terri –

Terri?

We’re like this. He holds up crossed fingers. I am sceptical.

Point is, she was patron saint of the homeless about twenty years before she died.

How do you figure that?

She told me a few days ago.

Ah.

Anyway, it's like, why do you have to die? And what's with this miracle business anyway? Hardly anyone believes in miracles these days anyway. It just depends on who needs a patron saint and who's there to fill the job.

That doesn't explain how you got the job.

Friend of a friend, mate. Friend of a friend.

I have to say, beatification really agrees with Peter. He's taking it all in his stride, and doing a rather good job of it. He’s off to Ibiza tonight, in fact. I’m sort of envious.

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