Bowling balls. Druids. Hearing aids.
The 446th Annual Druids’ Conference grand finale featured the power of sorcery among thousands of sixteen-pound bowling balls colliding in a myriad of magical movements more ear-shattering than anything ever heard before. The near deaf plucked out their hearing aids and the world’s eardrums burst before the grand meeting disassembled.
“What they was wrong with the car?”
“I don’t want to go to the bar,” said Kasmil
“No,” yelled Albert, “What’s wrong with the car.?”
“The car? Oh, something about the druids. The druids level and something about a bowling ball. I didn’t know druids were carpenters and why do they bowl? Datgumist thing I’ve ever heard of.”
“Where’s your hearing aid?”
“We don’t need no cleaning maid,” said Kasmil, “Yer mother cleans up around here, you should know that.”
Albert raised his voice to another level, “I said where’s your hearing aid?”
“You don’t have to yell, I ain’t deaf you know,” said Kasmil as he walked from the room shaking his head, “Datgum kids now-a-days.”
What a clever approach! The dialogue is so real.
Cute as the dickens, Walk.
Clever, Walk. Did you see my report to you at the previous place?
I don’t think I’ll get my wrench back any time soon. Clever? Foolish? Only history will tell.
“Druids were a mysterious, sacred sect with an oral tradition. They shared their beliefs and rituals using only the spoken word, which is why Druids are still such an fascinating enigma today. How can they call themselves the Daring Druids if they injure their ears to the point of needing hearing aids? If they cannot hear, they cannot tell stories to one another.”
“Oh, Edward!” replied Susan in her usual way.
“Seriously, Honey. Scott, Tom, Jerry, and Mark–or should I say Twyrch, Scopulus, Iarbonel, and Cathbad—should reconsider. How can you carry on an oral tradition if you cannot hear anything?” continued Edward.
“Honestly, Edward! Sometimes you need to leave your history professor self on campus. In any event, our Scott is definitely his father’s son. Who else but a World of Warcraft fan who is the son of a Medievalist would follow in the footsteps of In Extremo, the German medieval metal band, to start a Celtic Druid metal band? ”
“Okay, okay. So I should have kept the In Extremo links at school… Now, please explain to me why we are heading to the bowling alley.”
“The AMF Bowling Center over on Clay Street is trying to attract younger patrons, so they are starting a new summer concert series. On Saturday night, they have musical groups perform in the food area right before the late night Xtreme Bowling begins. Tonight is the debut performance of our own Daring Druids, and we are going to the bowling alley to support our son. So no more grousing about oral traditions, amplifiers, and hearing aids!”
“All right, all right,” muttered the defeated Edward. “Of course, I’d do anything to support our son, Twyrch, including remaining hidden a dark corner during his group’s first gig.”
“And remember—we cannot let him see the camera!”
Seamus reached back over his shoulders and drew the hood of his brown woolen cloak over his long black hair. Slipping his feet into sandals, he opened the heavy wooden door of his cell, kissed his right forefinger and middle finger, placed the fingers on the Irish cross over the doorway, then stepped into the dorter.
As he passed the rows of empty cots, he noted the absence of other monks. They must all be in the refectory, he thought, and added a prayer that none were yet in the misericord.
The wooden soles of his sandals clapped on the cobblestones floor as he left the dorter and entered the windowed cloister. I should wear the horsehair-soled ones, he thought, but they hurt so much on these stones. Well, the Abbott can’t hear them anyway.
At the end of the long hallway, he turned left into the lavatorium. Seamus rolled back the sleeves of his cloak, dipped his hands into the trough of running water, and began scrubbing them with the coarse brown lye soap made at the monastery. Only Patrick was in the small room, drying his hands on burlap.
“Brother Patrick, “ said Seamus. “I pray God be with you tonight.”
“Thank you,” said Patrick, “ and with you, Brother Seamus. How is the Abbott this day?”
“Weakening, I am sorry to say. I am about to take him his evening meal. What have the brothers prepared for us?”
“Boiled potatoes and cabbage, along with fresh haddock.”
“Sounds wonderful, as usual. The Abbott can eat the fish and potatoes if I mash them for him. I’m afraid the cabbage is too much for him to chew, though. Perhaps some of the broth will do him well,” answered Seamus. “And the other?”
We Omagh Monks are ahead of the Dublin Druids three games to two” said Patrick. “That new novice Brendan is gifted at nine pins. He alone can take credit for winning two of the games. Have you finished your new bowling ball yet?”
“I have. The Lord willing I will make those Druids laugh yet.”
“There are a cheery lot, are they not,” laughed Patrick. “Begorrah, I have yet to see one even smile. I don’t know how they win anything, with all their doom and gloom prognostications directed at their fellow teammates. Do you really think they will keep their promise to laugh if we win the contest?”
“Yes, well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here and become prideful. We are blessed that we have been able to meet two nights in a row. And their Lorcan and Eoghan are determined bowlers, are they not?”
“Do you anticipate difficulties tonight? The brothers have completed all their prayers and chores and are anticipating the evenings contest.”
“No more than usual. Two days prior I accidentally nudged his hearing horn under his bed so he cannot hear the balls rolling across the stone and hitting the oaken pins. To be playing a secular game when there are crops to be harvested surely is a sin, but what fears me most is if he discovers we have refashioned the dungeon misericord into a bowling hall,” said Seamus. Patrick raised his eyes to the ceiling and made the sign of the cross.
The two entered the refectory where two dozen monks were eating in silence, not by the promise of their vows, but in anxious anticipation of what might befall them this night.
Questioning eyes turned to Seamus as he entered the hall, though all the monks knew it was too soon for an answer. Seamus said nothing and indicated nothing. He went to the serving trencher and spooned a small portion of potatoes and fish onto a wooden plate, then mashed the two together. In a simple goblet he ladled some cabbage broth, and placed the two serving dishes on a wooden slab.
A few minutes later, Seamus pushed open the door to the Abbott’s room, clearing his throat loudly as he did. There was no response from the man seated at the window. Seamus paused and watched for signs of movement. Seeing the Abbott take in a breath, Seamus again cleared his throat and spoke, “Good evening, Abbott Benedict. I have brought you a fine meal.”
Slowly the Abbott turned towards Seamus. “Oh, I didn’t hear you, Brother Seamus. I still cannot find my hearing aid anywhere. Have you seen it perchance?”
Seamus looked down at the tray in his hands, then chanced a sidelong glance at the Abbott’s bed. He could just make out the dim off-white shape of a hollow goat’s horn on the floor, almost totally hidden by the wool blankets that draped to the stone floor.
“Abbott, I’m sure you have simply misplaced the horn. We will find it some day.”
Abbott Benedict raised his rheumy blue eyes to Seamus’s and said nothing. He picked up the wooden spoon and began eating. Seamus began speaking of the work accomplished so far with the monastery’s crops and of the work yet to come. The Abbott nodded occasionally, but remained mute. When the Abbott finished his meal, Seamus placed the plate and goblet on the slab.
“Would you like some assistance in getting to bed, my father?” said Seamus.
“Yes, please, Brother Seamus. That would be kind of you. My legs don’t seem to have the strength I think they should have. Ah, I think the good Lord will be calling for me soon.”
“That would be his proud gain and our misfortune,” replied Seamus as he helped the man rise and then offered his arm. The Abbott sat on the edge of the bed and Seamus lifted the old man’s legs onto the straw mattress, then drew the woolen blankets over the Abbott’s thin frame.
“Would there be anything else?” asked Seamus.
“No, no, you’ve done enough, Brother Seamus. You can put out the candles before you leave. I will say my prayers in the dark tonight. The Lord doesn’t need light to hear my words.”
“ I wish you a good night then, my Abbott,” said Seamus, pinching the wicks of two beeswax candles between his thumb and forefinger. He walked across the Abbott’s cell and reached for the iron latch.
“One thing, Seamus, before you leave.”
“What is the score? You aren’t letting those dratted Druids beat us, are you?”
Well done ladies, well done.
Did the Druids scare everyone away or did your hearing aide battery go dead and you didn’t hear about the new topic?
Luther yelled at George, “I SAID…WHAT IN TARNATION DO DRUIDS’ BALLS HAVE TO DO WITH BOWLING?!”
“Oh for Petes sakes, Luther, how come you ain’t wearing your hearing aid?”
“Well I reckon that’ll be all right.” Luther agreed.
“Where you going, Luther?”
“Well George, are you losing your mind? You just asked me if I wanted to come with you to get some lemonade.”
George just sat there. “Luther, I sure don’t remember saying nothing about lemonade but now that you mention it, it does sound good. And Luther and George shuffled off down to the lemonade stand.
I love having you here and your post has me chuckling.
Shaddy–thanks for asking about “life after the wedding” a couple of prompts back. I’ve had to do some catching up here so I’m very much behind with my reading everybody’s submissions. As far as my pedicure appointment goes, well, I guess I could write an esssay about that! Good grief! You wouldn’t believe all I went through just to shove my feet into some heels with enough open-toe to show only two and a half toes. I don’t get it, you know?
Your comment above is very much appreciated and could not have come at a more appropriate time for me. “I love having you here” will be a reminder to me that this is home.
Good un Kathy. I glad you survived the wedding and glad you’re back.
Yeah, Kath, you’re home. We don’t need pedicures to kick off our shoes and relax here, as long as y’all promise not to laugh at my feet. Loved your post, and I’m waiting for the pedicure post.
Three Druids sat at a bar drinking their woes away. One was blind, one had an ear infection, and one had problems in his nether regions.
The blind one lamented, “Oh, woe is me. I tied my donkey up to the light post outside and the street sweeper came along. I tried to go move it but I couldn’t see to save my ass.”
The second one continued, “Oh, double woe is me. I visited the Druid Doctor and he told me that my infection was hearing aids.”
The third just laughed at them, “Shut up already, you should be me. I have to walk bow-legged I’m so swollen up. It’s like having a couple of bowling balls hanging there.”
Thus is the story of the three druids who drank too much fermented fluids.
I’m relieved to know you didn’t lose your sense of humor with all the sweating I assume you did over the weekend.
Sweating and a good dose of poison ivy.
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle