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Saints Alive
by Oonah V Joslin

Paddy shifted from foot to foot. He hated hanging about outside these places and it was embarrassing to be seen by anybody you knew, even a fellow sufferer like Seamus -- but he wasn’t for going in. “My wife just loves these wee religious shops,” he explained.

“Aye, Theresa’s in there too.”

“What do they see in it, Seamus?”

“I don’t know. She’ll likely come out wi’ another rosary an’ she has enough to choke several saints as it is.”

“Eithne’ll likely buy another statue, Daphne the daft, patron saint of puddles or somethin’ equally stupid. And isn’t she the one complains of all the dusting?”

“Mind you, all these saintesses look to have been very beautiful women if you go on the statues, Paddy don’t you think?”

“Aye well wasn’t that their whole trouble, Seamus?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well now from what I hear they always attracted the wrong men. Sometimes it was a king or a judge or a governor and they only wanted the one thing.”

“And what was that then Paddy?”

“You know, Seamus. Sex.”

“Oh that!”

“And sometimes it was even the girl’s own Da.”

“Sure isn’t that illegal?”

“Well I don’t think they had the same idea of legal in them days, Seamus. And girls used to marry very young. As young as twelve.”

“Well you don’t want to get caught talking like that these days, now Paddy.”

“Well of course it’s disgusting but people didn’t live as long you know.”

“So how did they get to be saintesses, these girls?”

“Well they all refused to have sex, Seamus. Some of them even had their breasts cut off and made into marzipan and had to carry them round on a plate!”

“Theresa could carry hers on a plate these days, Paddy, they’re hangin’ that low!”

“Join the club, Seamus! And Eithne’s gie good at refusin’ sex too.”

“Sure I’d even forgotten what you meant by one thing, Paddy.”

“So we’re married to a couple of saints, then?”

Paddy looked at Seamus and Seamus looked at Paddy and they both shook their head.

“How’s about a swift pint?” said Paddy.

“Sure, they’d string us up wi’ rosaries, so they would.”

“So…We’ll be blessed martyrs sure! George and Dragon?”

“Parched Quill.”