The Xmas Drop Cafe - Cheers
With Christmas looming, the fifteen newly resident saints stayed mostly within the Guesthouse for Saints.Â They were on compassionate leave!Â All of them were having a long overdue break from whipping the pagans into line with the promise â€“ in a loving sort of way â€“ of eternal hell and damnation.Â That had been a tremendous workload, and the happily sinning heathens were not exactly grateful for being assured of places in the burning pits.Â Equally draining had been the bestowing of a hundred blessings here, a thousand over there and another ten thousand everywhere else just for luck.Â On top of that, they were expected to work miracles as well.Â It had been like slaving in a blessed circus, performing impossible juggling acts while tip-toeing along a high wire without a safety net â€“ with unspeakable martyrdom to petrify the imagination if they fell from the wire.
They were all mindful that many a Christian had been fed to the lions and that many a lion had been thrown to self-righteous Christians.Â And the saints were neither!Â They were saints in desperate need of R & R.Â They had been balancing astride widespread and unsteady stools, above both the hungry lions and blood-thirsty Christians.Â And they were all suffering from compassion fatigue.Â The one-way street of giving had been draining.Â There had been endless hordes of ingrates with begging bowls raised to receive blessings and to demand bigger and better miracles.Â And while their cups had runneth over, there wasn't even a trickle being given back by the ungrateful wretches.Â Who would give to the sainted ones, now that it was their long overdue turn to receive.Â Who?Â Who?
God gave to them via the conduit called Saint Nicholas, the patron of motorcyclists.Â He'd provided free board and lodgings in the guesthouse, supplied all the communal facilities on the first floor, and the fully equipped cafÃ© in what had been the huge attic. Â As well as the coffee emporium, there were billiard and pool tables, darts and all sorts of weird and wonderful electronic games in the upstairs loft.Â They were asked for nothing in return â€“ not even being required to swear allegiance to motorcycles or having to learn how to ride a black one.
However, Saint Nicholas had been a tad mystified to discover that some wag had temporarily changed the name of the coffee house to The Xmas Drop CafÃ© to fit in with the pending festive season.Â But Saint Bede the Venerable was neither nonplussed, non or plussed by the matter.Â He had firmly pointed out that the word, Xmas should not have been used.Â For the uppercase, ominous X could be misconstrued by the more faint-hearted among them as being a cross - foreboding blood curdling crucifixion in the cafÃ©.Â Easter was the time for that!Â Saint Nicholas, however, thought that the Xmas word should not have been written in a black whiteboard marker pen.Â It should have been in red to reflect the jolly season.
The prime suspects for the vandalism, as Saint Bede termed it, were saints Agnes, Maria and Dymphna.Â All of whom were teenage girls with possibly rampaging hormones and delinquent defiance.Â Though, of course, none of it was absolutely certain.Â Which didn't deter Saint Leo the Great from standing with papal dignity and authority to denounce in Latin all vandals â€“ and he excommunicated all such pagans on the spot.Â He fully expected that such deft and swift condemnation would have the desired effect of forestalling any further teenage acts of rebellion.Â After all, by using his God-given authority he had persuaded the Vandals under that barbarian Genseric to desist from pillaging ancient Rome.
Saint Dymphna fessed up to renaming the cafÃ©.Â Being the patron of the mentally ill, she pleaded temporary insanity and begged not to be sent to an asylum.Â Whereupon Saint Maria fell to her knees and begged God to intercede â€“ for she was scared of the dark and did not wish to be deprived of her cuddly, nubile roommate.Â God obliged, once more through Saint Nicholas, who decided that there was nothing to forgive.Â But he prayed that demented Dymphna would please use a red marker pen the next time she was overcome with artistic or other teenage urges.
Whereupon saints Maria and Dymphna immediately retired to their room on the ground floor for some fervent grounding.Â Later, they placed Saint Nicholas at the very top of their list for the giving of Christmas presents.Â And struck off Saint Bede's name.Â The old fart could jolly well venerate by himself.Â Which he did.Â For he retired to the music room-come-home theatre â€“ which was also a temporary classroom â€“ to continue teaching spoken English to those in need.
Saint Sebastian, one of the students, reluctantly switched off the huge television.Â He and the rest of the boys-only class had been watching an adult movie to help them with their English, for the voluptuous star was born in the United Kingdom.Â But borne as she was, her uniting royally, even though using the stiff-upper-lip English method, was best not spoken about.Â For the Roman Emperor Maximian, fed up with this pompous Gaul's gift of gall, had Saint Sebastian shot full of arrows to teach him to keep his big fat mouth shut.Â And the Captain of the Praetorian Guard hadn't enjoyed the Emperor's gift of execution.Â But through this exchange of unwanted gifts, the good saint had thought it wise to learn English so as not to repeat the experience.Â Let there be no more such misunderstandings.Â But he kept his hand on the hilt of his sword just in case.Â He might have to unsheathe it, this being the season of gift giving.
Teenage Saint Dominic also attended the spoken English classes to try and overcome his thick Italian accent.Â He was a goody two-shoes who lacked a full charge of hormones.Â He'd initially ignored the flirtatious glances and inane giggles of Agnes, Dymphna and Maria but a top up of hormones was kicking in, immeasurably helped by the boys-only movie research.Â What better way to impress the girls than to have English rolling off the tongue under the mistletoe?
Saint Genevieve, a bit of a saucy trollop according to Saint Joan of Arc â€“ with it taking one French woman to know one â€“ was also fantasizing about the mistletoe.Â Saint Leo the Great and a papal indulgence was her Christmas wish.Â And it'd be most satisfying to include the other hot-blooded Italians as well.Â She'd give them what for!
For her part, Saint Joan of Arc had decided to curve around Saint Sebastian.Â Being the patron of soldiers, she too could wield a blade, though crossing swords was not the crossing she had in mind as a Christmas gift.Â It was her turn to receive, and who better to give it to her than a man in uniform?
Saint Veronica wasn't thinking along those lines.Â She wanted a new image.Â And who better to give her a makeover than Saint Romanus with his Melodist fingers?Â And he played the organ so wonderfully.Â But unbeknown to her, the Greek saint did so gaily.Â His musical and other tastes were so broad that he didn't know whether he was Arthur or Martha.Â But it was understandable that Romanus was totally confused, being a native of Syria and of Jewish descent.
Saint Martha wasn't confused at all.Â For Christmas, all that she wanted was a peaceful rest.Â Saint John of God reassured her that such wasn't out of the question.Â After all, although her brother Lazarus had been raised from resting in peace, he had inevitably returned to that state of being.
Saint John's Christmas wish was simple â€“ not to have the Guesthouse for Saints turned into an asylum.Â He'd lived in one before.Â It was not an experience to be repeated.
Saint Basil the Great's Christmas wish was to engage in learned conversation with saints Bede, Leo and Sebastian about how to whip the guesthouse into shape â€“ to install some rigid discipline; and such would have appealed to various of the good lady saints panting at the bit
The blessed Saint Jude had no Christmas wish.Â His had already come true.Â He knew that the guesthouse was not a lost cause.Â And any work he put into keeping it on a steady keel as the unofficial manager of the establishment would not be wasted.Â For the guesthouse was a long-term proposition.Â Saint Nicholas had ensured that it would continue long after he was called to heaven; or if before such a summons, he fell off his black motorcycle onto his head and was carted off to a sanctuary for the brain injured.Â The saint had wisely, and most recently, made and lodged a will with Ms Svelte Legalbeagle.Â It bequeathed everything to the saints now in residence at the guesthouse, with Saint Jude named as executor.Â The only caveat was that the establishment be at least doubled in size within a period of 13 months.Â With 13 being considered lucky by the benefactor.
For his part, Saint Nicholas only wished to go for a ride on Christmas Eve and have a coffee in some new cafÃ©, where he'd at last find Ms Right.Â Saint Jude could have told him that the latter part of that wish really was a lost cause.
Tales from the Divine Drop Cafes