Father Flynn had been parish priest at St Monica's for over fifteen years and
boasted that he knew all his parishioners by the sound of their voices. So he
was a little miffed when he was hearing confessions one Saturday morning and realised
there was a person talking whose voice he couldn't place.
'Are you a stranger here?' asked the priest through the confessional screen.
'Yes, Father,' said the voice. 'I'm touring with the circus that came into
'I see,' said the priest. 'And what do you do in the circus?'
'I'm an acrobat,' said the stranger.
'Bedad, I'd like to see you work,' said Father Flynn, 'but I'll be too busy
to come to the show.'
'No problem,' said the acrobat. 'I can do a few things now if you have the
Out came the priest from the confessional box and he sat in a pew watching
the circus performer do handstands, flick flacks, somersaults and multifarious
As this was going on, Biddie Murphy rushed out of church saying to herself:
'If that's the sort of penance he's giving, I'm going to change me underwear!'