Originally posted December 2nd, 2008.
My wife Tracey has recently been watching the Alibi channel, number 132 on the Sky EPG, during the afternoon and I must admit to being more than a little bit baffled by Father Dowling and his permanent live-in nun, sister Stefanie. I’ve compiled a list of things I’ve learned about priesthood and nunhood (nunship?, nundom?) from the show.
1:- Priests come in pairs. One junior one, to do all of that boring mass and confession business and one senior one, who does God’s true work; catching the dozens of murderers within the parish.
2:- Priests are allowed to lie. Like an Enron tax return in fact. This is o.k. though, since it is done in the pursuit of that most holy duty, catching stereotyped Italian-American murderers.
3:- Nuns=Sexaay! Apparently giving up vanity does not extend as far as giving up $100 haircuts, make -up, the taking of a saint’s name or keeping dozens of revealing, pre-Holy orders outfits. The lying to people thing doesn’t seem to matter so much here either.
4:- The police are just the worst people imaginable for catching murderers. It would seem that most detectives are unable to find their own arse with both hands and a set of directions. This explains why rotund priests and septuagenarian ladies (Murder, She Wrote) are the best sleuths around.
5:- Murderers, as a group, are a lot less violent than you might think. When cornered by a jovial, portly man wearing a dog collar, they are far more likely to spend ten minutes discussing in intimate detail how the crime was committed rather than say… shooting the interfering old fart out of hand. They may act like they’re going to shoot him, but their hearts are never in it, which allows for…
6:- Despite their criminal inability to catch murders unaided, police officers have highly developed, almost super human hearing. This explains their ability to burst in at exactly the right moment to save Father Dowling, despite the fact that he never seems to wear a wire, confronts murderers in one of three different, yet highly constrained environments, none of which are conducive to eavesdropping; namely locked rooms, warehouses or large public places such as junkyards or train station depots.
7:- Not all Evil Twins have goatee beards, some wear pork pie hats or fedoras.
8:- Illegal back room poker games populated by Mafia crime lords, are surprisingly easy to gatecrash. The crime lords in question are remarkably rubbish at spotting an outsider, despite the portly newcomers total lack of poker expertise. Makes you wonder how they got be crime lords in the first place.
9:- Priestly attire is the equivalent of a magical robe of tell-me-everything-you-know. People are always forgetting to tell the police vital pieces of evidence. Thankfully, the rate of unsolved murders is kept to a minimum by fat men in robes encouraging people to remember previously unknown factoids and important conversations.
10:- The Police Department knows it’s faults and is remarkably sanguine about letting civilians put themselves in harms way. If not for this heroically civic minded attitude, Amreica’s towns and cities would be overrun with murdrers. Hurrah, for amateur sleuths!
Thank you for listening, next time I shall reveal how Jessica Fletcher is in fact a serial killer with mystical powers of hypnosis. How else can it be explained that everywhere she goes people are murdered and her friends are framed for it. By my reckoning, her body count numbers into the hundreds.