Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Tales of the South Side: Scorcher O'Malley's Final Exam

Scorcher O'Malley was leaving Keegan's Pub when he was run over by a bus. 

The late Scorcher was enrolled in, but never attended Brother Rice, Leo, Mount Carmel Catholic High Schools and received his high school diploma from Calumet Public High School in 1971.  Scorcher was so named because he burned every bridge constructed during  his life.

Scorcher owed everyone, but no one ever expected re-payment for loans granted.  Scorcher lived life fully to his own talents and inclinations, which happened to be the laws of physics and the mechanics involved in draining a beer glass.

Upon gulping his penultimate pint prior to Paradise purchased by patrons of the pub, Scorcher stepped out onto the public pavement and again into the bustling thoroughfare that is Western Avenue at 10618 south.

Scorcher saw the approach of two bright beams belonging to the Chicago Transit Authority and then a great welcoming light luring Scorcher to a Tall Fisherman with a fabulous set of keys.

Scorcher was at the gates of heaven and St. Peter informed  him that he may not enter the Pearl-Perfect Gates  unless he passed a test.  Never having taken one in his entire time on Terra Firma. Scorcher cast a quizzical mug attached to a cocked noggin. 

What choice did he have, O'Malley agreed to give one a whirl. 
St. Peter decided to go easy on him, 'What has 5 fingers and is made of black leather?' he asks. 

O'Malley scratches his head, thinks hard and finally gives up." Hell,. . . I dunno."

 'It's a glove says St. Peter.'

'Glove, yeah.'

The Rock-like patience of the Fisher of Men coaxed out a smiled, 'Let's try again.  What has 10 fingers and is made of black leather?' asks St. Peter.

 O'Malley's jaw dropped. After a few minutes of pacing in a circle and scratching his head, the Scorcher  gives up.

 'Why it's 2 gloves - don't you see 10 fingers, black leather, . . .?'  says St. Peter amazed.

Being in a generous mood and recalling his own walk on the water, St. Peter deigned to give O'Malley yet another chance but thinking of an even easier question. 'Who is the patron Saint of Ireland?' asks St. Peter, thinking he can't miss this. After all, Three had been the salvific charm in Peter's own bout in the Garden. 

'Hey, I gotcha now! It wouldn't be 3-gloves, would it?' says O'Malley.

'Yeah, St. Three-Gloves . . . get your ass in!'

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