Tales of nonsense and items of little interest, sometimes true, always poorly thought through. Less sophisticated than most newspapers and magazines.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Saints On A Plane

I usually do not get many takers for the middle seat next to me on airplanes. Maybe I look intimidating, maybe I stink, maybe people take one look and think “fat bastard, no way am I sitting there”, maybe it’s the joke plastic dog turd that I place strategically on the seat next to me to ward off would be invaders of my space. I don't know, but whatever the reason, I'm not complaining.
For those who don’t know, Southwest Airlines do not have assigned seating, fine if you are one of the first on board, horrid if you are one of the last. I make sure I am always one of the first and usually get lucky with two seats to myself. Every now and again though, on a full flight I am forced to try and make myself small so that somebody can squeeze into the unlucky middle seat. Yesterday, it was an elderly Hispanic woman who smelled like she had recently taken a bath in pine sol floor cleaner, shake ‘n’ vac and a whole bottle of highly concentrated ‘Eau De Auld Lass’ perfume. The shit she was wearing had to be toxic, it made my eyes water and my nostrils itch. If Bin Laden got his hands on a bottle of this stuff who knows what damage he could do.

So she gets settled in and after rooting around in her ridiculously oversized handbag for a while, pulls out a tatty paperback entitled “The Miracles of The Saints”. She immediately turns to the index and I notice that several words have been highlighted, one of which was “skin rashes.”

Now I have never claimed to be a good catholic, to do so would have been a lie and would therefore have nudged me a little bit closer to hell. I stopped going to church when I was about 10 and never paid attention in Religion class at school (although I wish I had), and so only know very little about the saints and the various causes to which they are patrons. I know all I need to know to get by in a casual conversation about St. Christopher, St. Francis and St. Patrick, should I ever find myself in that position. If the conversation was to turn to even a slightly more obscure saint, I may as well get my coat.

So, sitting next to this overpoweringly perfumed old lady turned out to be an edumacation as I tried to read her book without her noticing. I learned that St. Jude is the patron saint of impossible causes. I learned that St. Bernadine of Sienna is the patron saint of people with respiratory problems. Naturally this aroused my interest and has led me to research further. What surprises me most is that many saints patronize multiple causes. I did not know this. I also learned that the patron saint of skin rashes, amongst many other things is St. Anthony the Abbot. In fact I learned that no fewer than 5 saints patronize skin rashes, so if you have a skin rash you are somewhat spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a saint to pray to. You can pick from Anthony the Abbott, George, Marculf, Peregrine Laziosi or Roch. A tough choice! It can be hard to think about anything else though when you have an irritating rash that won’t stop itching can’t it? So to assist those of you who may be afflicted, I am happy to provide you with a quick rundown on the candidates….

  • Anthony the Abbott – Also the patron saint of Swineherds, Basket Weavers and Amputees. Lived alone in an abandoned fort in the desert for 20 years. Was a good fried of St. Paul the Hermit and is often depicted with a pig which he used to rub against when his rash acted up. Marks out of 10 – 5
  • George – Also the patron saint of England, Syphilis, Leprosy and Boy Scouts. A popular saint, supposedly killed a sheep eating dragon but was tortured and beheaded by Palestinians. May have been homosexual, often depicted holding a huge lance. Marks out of 10 – 3.
Swallow My Lance...Filthy Animal

  • Marculf – Also the patron saint of Scrofulous Diseases and Hot Pockets. Little is known about Marculf but apparently if you touch his relics your scrofula will go away. Invented microwaveable pastry snacks and founded the Hooters chain of restaurants. Marks out of 10 – 7.
  • Peregrine Laziosi – Also patron saint of AIDS sufferers and open sores. Got into a fight with St. Philip Benzini after spilling his pint and calling him a queer. So-called hard man who claimed to have cancer of the foot but it got better all of a sudden the night before they were due to amputate it…soft bastard. Marks out of 10 - 5.
  • Roch – Also patron saint of Diseased Cattle, Knee Problems, Tile Makers and Dogs. Supposedly born with a birth mark shaped like Elvis on his chest. Caught the plague and went into the forest to die where he made friends with a dog after eating a big red mushroom with white spots on it. Was arrested and jailed in France for being a spy. Often depicted with a dog licking his “plague spot”. Marks out of 10 - 6.
Come on lad...Give it a quick lick. Good boy....

Hopefully this helps make your choice easier. I know many of the regular readers of LB suffer from a nasty rash every now and again, if praying to your choice of saint from above doesn't work for you, try applying some spray on "I Can't Believe Its Not Butter". If that doesn't work either, take a leaf out of Roch's book and have the dog lick it off.