There was no greater surprise that morning
Than that which awaited Stanley Sam Holloway
As he checked all the messages that had been sent overnight
To Stan S Hollow at Yahoo Dot Co Dot Uk
See Stan had never been a popular figure
Although he’d never done anyone wrong
And if it weren’t for this error in circumstance
Its unlikely he’d have been immortalised in song
But this a.m. lay in place, in embolded typeface
A slew of messages all bearing his name
Where usually lay none, there were a hundred and one
And at first, it seemed some kind of game
“The Gates will be open at the third trumpets blow”
Read the first, then more startlingly another
“Kill the seraphim first, then give the angels the worst
Bring me the Father, the Son, and his Mother”.
Stan blinked his bloodshot eyes a couple of times
Checked the address on the emails again
Still the truth will out, there was no doubt
It was clear someone somewhere had omitted an “A”
“Today we bathe in the blood of Heaven’s Holy Host”
Went the rough gist of all the other emails
“The population at sunset will be naught but Holy Ghosts
As will any demon whose plan of attack fails”.
Now Stan was never noted for exceptional smarts
But neither was he disruptively slow
And if the devil was poised to overthrow Heaven’s rule
He’d need to find a way to let God himself know
So it transpired that on that this muggy Tuesday morning
Instead of pounding a keyboard at the office where he worked
As the traffic sat gridlocked on the ringroad of town
Stan was pounding on the doors of the church
Just like sixty – eight per cent of the rest of us mortals,
Sunday morning’s were for the bed, not the pew
Still if Jesus wasn’t hanging round the precinct downtown
Then a Priest would just have to do.
Ushered inside, Stan felt his hackles rise,
At the thought of telling the old man the truth
Yet what he had to say was too important to delay
And they ducked inside the Confessional Booth
“It’s like this, Father”, Stan started to say
But a hand held out brought him to full stop
“Tell me, my son”, said The Priest, on a run
“How long since you told all your sins to God”?
There was no time to lose, Stan’s reason enthused
If they hung around too long, Heaven was certainly in for it
The only way to stop the slaughter was to do what he oughtta
And play ball with this obstinate curate.
Stan racked his brains for a couple of words to say
That would maybe keep the old man quiet
Sure he drank too much beer, hell that was quite clear,
And he never could stick to his diet.
His memories delved back to when he was twelve
Stealing sweets from the local grocery store
And of more recent times, of the night spent entwined
In the legs of his sister – in – law.
All this brought him down, and it brought on a frown
And for a moment he felt quite lost at sea
But were these all sins? Hell, no! He grinned
Misdemeanours I’m sure you’ll agree.
Still, Stan sputtered the above in the hope that it would
Acquiesce and move to matters more pressing
But the manner in which that old Son Of A Bitch
Handed out penance was far more distressing.
Before the old man would hear of another word from Stan
Fifty “Our Fathers” and Fifty “Hail Marys” would be needed
And though he knew hide nor hair of either of those prayers
His protestations went wholly unheeded.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven, Happy and glorious” he tried,
“Long to reign o’er us” was the best he could do
And before that there altar, as his lyrics began to falter
Asked “Is there anyone else I could talk to”?
After much negotiation, Stan stood in the vestry
Pleased they’d resolved that slight hiccup
As the phone to his ear crackled into life clear
Just like that, he was talking to the Bishop.
“I got this email, Your Worship, you see”,
He managed, before the phone became a lightning rod
For obstinacy it seems, because just like the Priest
The Bishop asked “have you told your sins to God”?
Stan’s head started to swim, nothing to do with the gin
Or the herbal tootie he’d sampled last night
It was ten to eleven, and if he was going to save Heaven
He was in for the fight of his life.
He dutifully listened, hearing the clocking ticking
And began to doubt his ability to cope
As he replaced the receiver he felt a slight fever
At the thought he’d have to contact the Pope.
Suffice to say, Stan spent all that day
Annoying the Vatican’s answering machine
With half – cut threats of battle, on and on he prattled
And aroused the attention of the Police.
They in turn told the army, who thought he was barmy
And immediately traced all of Stan’s calls
Which were made exemplar to the Knights Templar
The FBI, NATO, Salvation Army, and Interpol.
Imagine the surprise that Stan swiftly surmised
When he next deigned to open his front door
A battalion of soldiers, SWAT teams, and SAS boys
Yanked him from his feet and bound him on the floor.
So it was while Stan sweated, how they all later regretted
The shameful waste of resources displayed
For while they shackled his wrists, an obvious terrorist,
The Devil’s army was kicking open Heavens Gate.
In they all poured, as one, quite the horde
A – raping, and a – murderin’ and a – makin’ – folk – quite – dead
God and all his angels took one look and ran for cover
“If only we’d had some warning”, one or two of ’em ruefully said.
Now I’m not trying to sell you on the power of religion
Tell the truth, none of that makes any sense to me
But if ever there’s a parable, then it’s the one I’m tellin’ ya
And I’m hopin’ you’ll interpret it like me:
Because I’m not tellin’ you to get down on your knees and pray
I’m not saying you should become more devout
But take your problems straight to the one you need to tell
And for God’s sake, miss the middle men out.