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Preach and Desist

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“What’ve you got there then, Dougal?” Ted asked, arms folded as he watched Dougal coming back with the mail tucked under his arms. One oversized envelope in particular caught his eye, which was under the younger man’s right arm while the rest of the post was under his left.

“It’s the mail, Ted.” came Dougal’s response.

“I know it’s the mail but what’s that there, your right arm.”

“Ahhh! Is there something on my right arm? What’s wrong with it Ted? Get it off, get it off!” Dougal yelled, dropping the envelope to the ground.

Rolling his eyes, Ted waited until Dougal scurried off into the living room before walking over and retrieving the dropped item. Scanning it quickly he noted a large stamp on its top which read ‘LEGAL DOCUMENTS INSIDE.’

Frowning in concentration, he entered the living room himself and scratched his chin. “Did you have to sign for this, Dougal?”

“Oh that’s right,” Dougal said, snapping his fingers. “I forged your signature Ted. I nearly forgot, thanks for reminding me.”

“You what?” Ted shouted, stirring Father Jack from his nap in his chair.

“FORGE! FORGE!” Jack shouted at the top of his lungs.

“Father Jack, calm down, no one’s forging anything.” Ted said.

“Except for me forging your signature, Ted.” Dougal interjected. “See, it’s easy to forget, isn’t it?” he added.

“DRINK!” roared Jack, getting to his feet.

“Cup of tea, Father?” Mrs. Doyle sang out as she walked out of the kitchen, pushing her cart in front of her.

“Mrs. Doyle, not right now, I- wait, yes.” He took a cup off the cart and held it out for Father Jack, who, to Ted’s surprise, took it calmly and sat back down. “Oh, well, I’ll be… first time for everything, I ‘spose.”

Then Jack wrinkled his nose as he smelled it, tossing the cup across the room where it smashed against the wall and spilled hot tea everywhere.

Sighing, Ted left well enough alone as Mrs. Doyle went to clean up the mess with a chuckle - “oh Father Jack, you’re a mischievous one, you are!” she said with a laugh - and turned back to Dougal.

“What’s that about my name again?”

“I signed it, Ted. Now tell me, do you dot the ‘i’ in Crilly with a heart or with a smiley face? I panicked and went with the heart because, ah, you know, the Church preaches about love and all that junk so I figured why not, but on the way home I thought, that Ted, he’s a happy fellow, maybe it’s a smiley face after all.” Dougal rambled. “Did I guess right, Ted?”

“It’s neither, Dougal! Why would a priest sign his name with a heart or a smiley face?!” Ted’s face reddened before he turned back to the envelope. “Anyway, it’s here now, but what is it?”

“Ooh! Maybe it’s a law degree! By any chance did you apply to law school, Ted?” Dougal said earnestly.

“Dougal, will you calm down and be reasonable, I-” Ted said, catching himself. “Can you calm down, at least? Now, when on earth would I have ever had the time or the inclination to apply to law school?”

“Well, you’re always going on about the Trinity this or the Trinity that, maybe you applied to Trinity College when I wasn’t looking.” he replied. “You don’t always tell me everything, Ted, you know.”

“No but… oh! I know! Maybe one of our parishioners died and left us their fortune in his will!” Ted exclaimed with a smile. “Yes, that must be it, it’s someone’s estate!”

“You mean left the Church their estate, don’t you?” said Dougal with a frown.

“Er, yes, of course. The Church.” Ted was already ripping the envelope open and pulling out the documents inside. Once they were out he examined them and his smile sank back down into a frown. “Wait a minute, this isn’t a will, this is… it’s a…”

Dougal peeked at the letter. “What does cease and desist mean?”

“It’s about my podcast, they want me to stop doing it immediately, as they claim it’s infringing on their copyrights and trademarks.”

“Ahhh, right, that’s the one you record on the computer, yeah? What’s it called again, Ted?”

“iGod.” Ted replied, still flipping through the pages. “This appears to be from Apple’s lawyers, I… well, I guess I’ll have to shut it down.”

“Like the Garden of Eden? You know, the one with the apple… I think there was an apple in there somewhere anyway.” said Dougal.

“No, Dougal, it’s not like the Garden of Eden, this is the computer company.” Ted said, dropping the envelope and the papers on the table before folding his arms. “Well isn’t that just lovely.”

“I can’t remember, Ted, it’s a long book and that was the first chapter I think, it went waaaaay over my head too.” Dougal shook his head and mirrored Ted’s actions, crossing his arms.

“It’s just as well anyway, Father,” Mrs. Doyle said, walking back past the Fathers with the remnants of the smashed tea cup in a dustpan. “I think you might’ve been… what do the youngsters call it? Hooked? Hackneyed?”

“Hacked, I believe it is, Mrs. Doyle, and why do you say that? asked Ted.

“Because I tried to search for your podcast online the other day and, oh mercy, the things that came up on my screen!” screeched the housekeeper, screwing up her face and crossing herself with her free hand. She stopped, tapping her chin with a finger as she thought upon it some more. “Actually, no, wait. That one might’ve been my fault, I think I made a typo. I was typing ‘o god o god o god’ over and over, because it didn’t work the first time, and I did not like what I saw, Fathers, I’ll tell you that.”

“FECK! ARSE! GIRLS!” Father Jack yelled, surprising them all and causing Mrs. Doyle to cry out and flee into the kitchen.

“...well, maybe it is for the best then.” Father Ted said with a sigh.