The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Midnight Mass
by Christopher G. Meade

William was in that special state of drunkenness in which the world becomes mere putty and everything is as you would like it to be. For obvious reasons, he needed to urinate, and to him the giant oak doors and sandstone spire seemed perfectly reasonable for an inner-city toilet block. William did not know it, but he was just in time for the sermon.

After much fussing with a convoluted latch on the ‘toilet’ door, William stumbled in. The priest looked up for a moment, then continued droning on at the congregation. William took no notice of them, for he had already spotted ‘the urinal,’ a little high perhaps; and made of stone. Luckily, he found a cushioned stool waiting for him; he stepped onto it mumbling, “Bloody architects!”

He unzipped his fly and released a steady stream of amber into the receptacle.

If you are familiar with The Catholic Church, you will know that it is quite a feat to halt a priest mid-sermon, especially one with both the appearance and vocals of Vincent Price. There was that deathly silence in the air which only comes when a large group of human beings are deciding whether to posture, flee or kill. When William had finished he turned around, stepped down from the stool and gazed suspiciously at the parishioners. They were shocked, but the prevailing emotion was fear; it was written on their faces. This was that Devil they had heard so much about, or at the very least one of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But if that was so, what did he have to say? What message had he come to convey?

“What are all you ladies doing in the men’s toilets?”

No response. “Oh well, discretion is the better part of valour,” said William, as he turned to wash his hands in the untainted holy water to his right.

As providence would have it, there was a white donation box attached to the wall, near the door. In his altered state William perceived it to be an electric hand-dryer. Seeing no button, he began waving his hands underneath it in all manner of queer ways, to see if it was automatic. When this failed, he started banging it with his fists, cursing all engineers who have ever had anything to do with electronic hand-dryers. This caused the bottom of the donation box to fall out, and along with it came all the envelopes of the more humble and therefore more generous churchgoers.

“Ah, hand towels! That’s more like it! I hate those blowers anyway; they never dry your hands properly.”

William stooped down, picked up the envelopes and wiped his hands with them. There was no rubbish bin in sight so William, not wanting to risk the $150 fine for littering, put the envelopes into his pockets before he ambled out the door. The church lay silent, and it was half an hour before anyone was sensible enough to call the police. But don’t worry about William; they never caught up with him, the Devil looks after his own.