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Sunday 12 April 2009

Episode 5:- 767 Weddings, 2 Irate Vicars and almost a Funeral

(Continued from Episode 4) Conclusion

James Pendletons of all shapes and sizes entered the church to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, played yet again by the talented organist, followed by all his other party pieces -again to tremendous applause. Both vicars were rather peeved at this latest delay. However, there were sounds of approval and satisfaction between all the Elizabeths and James as each one inspected their range of suitors and with remarkable speed they selected a James or Elizabeth of their preference. Before long they had rearranged themselves, each James with an Elizabeth sitting on his lap since there were no more seats available. They all smiled profusely at their new partners, making eyes at each other.

Yet there remained still two bridesmaids weeping. The vicar ambled over to them to enquire how he could comfort them.
“We are both 25 and have no partner still – we too do not want to be left on the shelf”, explained one pretty young lady.
“I cannot imagine that you will be, either of you. What are your names?” enquired the vicar.
Together they replied, “Elizabeth Pendleton – we are first cousins once removed from each other. We are related to James Pendleton from Liverpool as his second cousins once removed. Elizabeth is a very popular name, as is Pendleton, but the family tree researchers have not found us yet so we belong to nobody and cannot find our rightful place in the family tree which is becoming terribly complicated, demanding acres of paper to get all the details down. We are not there - anywhere! It is most upsetting.”

“Well, I may be able to assist you my dear, said the vicar addressing the first young lady, who was the most attractive, of course. “I am unattached and available – will I do?”
“Oh yes your reverence! Anyone would do really! You will do nicely but I had hoped for a James”.

“Well, actually I am a James, my full name is Rev James Evans. I would be honoured if you agreed to be my wife.”

“Oh, I’m so happy”, said Elizabeth, "I have a James at last!"

“Then that is settled”, said the vicar, “Then we shall make the arrangements for our wedding. Perhaps Reverend Harding would kindly do the honour!”

“Excuse me!” said the organist, addressing the second ‘available’ Elizabeth Pendleton, “my name too is James Evans and I would be honoured if you would be my wife - you look decidedly musical if I may say so - I can tell by your hands - I would think they span an octave and three, at least! And your Adam's apple looks as though you have a wonderful singing voice.”

“I am very musical, you are so observant. I can sing well and I play. Does that mean I can play on your organ?”

“Certainly, come up and join me in a duet - I will share my keyboard with you and we can share our lives together!”

“Then that is all settled, everyone is happy”, said Vicar Evans, “may I proceed now you have all settled down with your chosen ones? I am getting extremely nervous because I am due to officiate during a funeral service, scheduled after this wedding, in 5 minutes and we've barely started with this wedding - it has multiplied time wise by a factor of a few hundred, and . . . . . . !”

Walter interrupted . . . . "Excuse me Vicar, a horse driven hearse has arrived outside with a coffin, some guests and funeral paul bearers. Also quite independently three others have arrived - a gentleman describing himself as a Bishop with two nuns attending."

"Oh! jeepers! Just what I wanted, I must say! Show them in - I guess I'll have to modify the service again! What a mess!"
The Bishop and two nuns strode into the church. The Bishop looked rather amused. "We've heard you are having one of your a 'doos' here, Rev Evans, and thought we'd pop over - your 'parties' are far more interesting and amusing than playing croquet, aren't they my sisters? Quite a 'hoot' usually! judging by all these ladies sitting on these gentlemen's laps, can anyone join in? Or is this some kind of game you are introducing into the church? Tell me, what do you want me to say to the funeral entourage - they've been waiting for an hour and the deceased is getting decidedly impatient, although he's not doing much to complain at the moment! Better get it sorted soon before he does!"
"Wheel them all in!", said the flustered vicar.
"What is the full scope of the problem? Perhaps I can assist to muster a solution to this chaos that lies before me!" said the Bishop, obviously loving every moment.
"It's a very long story - perhaps you'd better start reading from Episode 1"

Five minutes later the Bishop had a full grasp of the situation.

"The solution is very simple, we have 2 Vicars and a Bishop and between us we can undertake all the weddings here except one plus the funeral - we can do it in one sitting. The wedding of James from Liverpool to Elizabeth must take place in St Benedicts church, Liverpool under the remit of Rev Harding - that will be later. All the rest can be done here, including yours Vicar! Now bring in the coffin please - who is the deceased?"
"James Pendelton, your grace!"
"What! Oh No! I cannot believe this! Am I mad or is this a nightmare? I have total information overload!" said the exasperated vicar, almost spent with exhaustion.
"Come on old chap it's only a name, dear boy, very common round these parts - let us proceed. This combined wedding and funeral ceremony must be a first in my considerable experience! The hymn choices are going to be a bit tricky, how about these foe a short list?

'Nearer my God to Thee',
'Abide with me',
'Rock of Ages',
'Give me strength',
'Help, Lord, the souls that though hadst made, and perhaps,
'Deliver us Lord'
There, the balance should be about right from that little lot! There should be banns called, of course, but as Bishop I am in agreement to waive that requirement - we all want to get home for our teas after all. I see the registrar is here. Little fellow, can you manage to write all the details of the deceased documentation plus the, let me see 767 plus 2 = 769 marriages? No! Well there are 694 (sorry 695 at the last count) followers of an Australian photographer outside doing nothing! Go and elicit their assistance and bring them in to witness the weddings and help with the writing! There that's settled! Of course there will be a huge shortage of rings so today we shall be using imaginary ones unless someone can miraculously drum up 769 of them. Now let me begin."

"But you grace! If we have any more people in this church it will sink! It will be too heavy", protested the vicar.
"Rubbish, my man, oh ye of little faith - this church is built on rock and not on sand! Just do it, and get them all in, there's a good chap!"
"First! I want the two feuding James Pendletons and their Elizabeth partners to come to the front, shake hands and make up. There is no reason how you can expect eternal forgiveness if you cannot forgive each other - and you've got the mean it! Come come. There that's better! I don't expect you to have Sunday lunch together but be civil and nice to one another!"

It was then Mickey flew towards Eddie full of the joys of spring. For he had been asking all the Elizabeths if they knew of any little budgie hens available. His luck was in for a little green budgie hen winked at him as she peeped out from a handbag - she had been watching him for half an hour and thought to herself, 'This is the chap for me'. Mickey flew over to her and said, "Hi babe, what's your name then? Don't tell me, I bet your name is Elizabeth or is it Lizzie?"
She nodded, "Lizzie".
"Thought so, suits you. What lovely eyes you have! Do you realise I have travelled through time itself just to meet you? Come lassie with the classy chassis, come fly with me!"
He took off and she followed him. They flew round and round, up and down, weaving between the pews and furnishings. It was love at first flight. The congregation loved it - they all clapped in admiration of their acrobatics. After a while they both landed on the Bishop's mitre. Mickey said, "Your grace, we are in love. Will you marry us?"
Their little service was done first and was very short. Mickey kissed Elizabeth affectionately on the beak but she blushed profusely. "Not in front of all these people, dear!" she said.
The Bishop commanded, "Now to the service, there are 767 couples divided by three which equals 256.333 each." No that won't do! Can't start cutting people into three! Oh! I'll do it all and you two can join in - so here we go!"
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say farewell to this gentleman, John Pendleton, and to witness the marriages between John Pendleton and Elizabeth Evans, John Pendleton and Elizabeth Pendleton . . . . . . . . . etc . . . . . . . . etc.
Has anyone got any cause of impediment why these couples may be married?"
SILENCE (wonderful!)
"Do all the John Pendletons take your chosen Elizabeth Evans or Pendleton to be your lawful wedded wife?"
"Do all Elizabeth . . . . . . . . . . "
The service was highly unorthodox and lasted for hours but eventually it was completed with the funeral finally over as well. There was no sign of a protest from within the coffin which was a relief for all.
The Bishop concluded, "You are all married, you may kiss the bride but make sure she is the correct one. You are free now to go forth and multiply and fill the Earth. I expect Rev. Evans will be inundated with Christenings within the year."
"There remains one thing to do to unravel this fiasco! That is to get the other wedding party to the correct church and I ask Eddie Bluelights to use his motorised contraption to get them there as soon as possible. The service is over go in peace, . . . . wait for it, after the blessing!"
The organist, James Thomas, and his new bride, Elizabeth Pendleton, seized their chance for glory and played with wild abandon as a duet this time all the difficult organ pieces in their repertoire as 767 happy couples left the church. Vicar Evans was exhausted and relieved it was all over. Rev Harding wondered still whether he was asleep and dreaming. He looked shell shocked. The Bishop took it all in his stride and commented that he had not enjoyed an afternoon as much for as long as he could remember and asked Rev Evans what he had planned for next week.
James and Elizabeth boarded the ambulance together with all their principal players, Walter, Sarah, Cyril and other close family. Rev Harding would travel on the stretcher for a well deserved rest.
It was then that Mickey spoke to Eddie. "I am not going back with you, Eddie! I want to stay here with Lizzie in this time zone. It is much nicer! The people are much nicer! The air is much nicer! I don't want to go back to that horrible world in which we live!"
"I understand, Mickey, just what I was thinking - it is much nicer here. I have to go back because my family is there. But you cannot stay here, Mickey! You might alter the whole course of history! You could seriously violate the laws of cause and effect! Just think if you and Lizzie have some chicks and one of them becomes your ancestor you could run the risk of a fatal error in the time-space continuum! It might cause the whole universe to quietly dissapear! Interfering with the laws of time is highly dangerous!"
Mickey argued, "Well that's what you have been trying to do today isn't it, with you trying to alter James's mind concerning 1905 and hoping when you return to our time you will find John and James living to a ripe old age? What happens if they do? That could cause a space time violation too, couldn't it? They might have more children and that might alter the course of history as well!
"That's different, I think, because James and Elizabeth are both here already and I am trying only to change an action and not introduce a being into the equation belonging to a different time."
Lizzie interjected, "I don't think it will be a problem because I cannot have children - I had a hysterectomy last year so Mickey being here cannot in any way alter the laws of cause and effect."
"That should be alright I guess, but I will miss you, Mickey! and you were a fantastic substitute for a Sat Nav."
They said goodbye with tears in their eyes and Eddie drove away with the sirens and blue lights flashing. For a little way the two budgies flew beside them making ambulance noises but finally could not keep up and returned to their new life together.
"Boy have I got some questions for you, great grandfather, and grandad and grandma!" said Eddie as they sped to St Benedicts church.
Meanwhile Congleton church was completely empty when old Joseph Pendleton, who had been dozing, woke and enquired, "What did that lady want to know about George Pendleton, the miller?” Where is she? I have a lot of information for her!"

The End
(If you have missed earlier installments it might be worth starting at Episode 1)

Finally here is a riddle!
It has to be presented as a strong Irish accent - otherwise the game would be given away.

Here it is:

There were twins
One was 'terty'
The other was 'tertyto'
One was born in March
The other's birthday was in September
And they married each other.

How is all this possible?
(I'll give you the answer next time - but I'll give you a hint. They are natural and identical twins)

I must go now because some men in white coats have just knocked on my door. I am now going to pour myself a stiff drink, have some fish and chips and inform my good wife that I have resurfaced into the real world for a few days - she thinks I'm mad! I am having a rest from blogging and she has now my undivided attention - goodnight!


  1. The twins weren't related?

    Very satisfying ending, Eddie. Welcome to the crazy white room, and don't worry about that jacket your wearing...the arms are supposed to go around your back and buckle like that.

    Take some well deserved rest. It was a great wedding.

  2. A ripper of an ending! Loved every minute...a thoroughly satisfying and delightful read...but sigh...although I know you must attend to your non-blogging life, I am sorry to see you go...and disappointed to come to the end of this fine feathered mayhem...Alas, you MUST go...But I shall await the Bard's return...blessings to you and yours! ~Janine

    P.S. Like the new pic! "Suits" you...

  3. Oh, and I'll take a guess at the riddle...they are Anglican priests, for sure...that much, I can guess.

  4. Mr Eddie, a toast to this is a wonderful, wonderful play!
    You have written this so well it's like watching a very entertaining broadway show!

    Say hello to Mrs Eddie. :-)

  5. Thank you so very much for your encouragement my three special friends from across the pond.
    Janine, Cherry and Michael. I was considering giving it all up a few weeks ago! However, I am pleased to say there will be plenty of other opportunities for 'merriment'. God Bless!

  6. Oh Eddie, it had a happy ending and they all lived and loved their lives through, happily ever after.
    The twins, I would guess two pairs of twins.????

    Love Granny

  7. Good evening Mr Eddie,
    You and S&S posted comments on my blog at the same time!
    I just thought I'd let you know that it made the girl from cherry blossom street giggle! :-)

  8. Just discovered your blog and now that I have I guess I'll be reading for a long time to come. I really like your style. Be back soon to play catch-up!

  9. Hi Eddie, I'm coming back later to read this post (not dressed yet!) but I just had to say a big thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog about my dad's presence. Your words were very much appreciated and your blogging-friendship means a lot to me.

    Thanks again, my friend.
    CJ xx

  10. Hi, Eddie...I have passed an award onto you!!! Although you may not appreciate it...LOL! Your blog inspires me...for details about the award, go to my Dummy blog-- Cheers!

  11. I will have to come back & read through this *book* as I am at present unpacking from a recent stay on the east coast.
    It all looks very humorous!
    You look nice in civvies but I like a man in uniform! He he!

  12. Thank you Eddie for your kind comments, especially as it brought me here. I have so much enjoyed your story. What mahem your ancestors created, LOL. You will have to keep the stories rolling as I have added you to my daily reads.


  13. Your daughter sings like an angel, Eddie...I'll gratefully take a CD!!!!! Will write more later! Glad you enjoyed the award...It's great fun, isn't it??? Cheers! Janine

    P.S. How do you get an MP3 player for your site?? That's just too cool!

  14. There is a movie waiting to be made out of this, Eddie!

  15. I know the names have been changed to protect the innocent but I still recognise myself.
    You look as though you have lost weight Eddie, have you had a makeover?. All this fame is going to your head.
    Regards to you and yours'
    Geraldine x

  16. Greetings Eddie! As 1/5 of the total 5ths receiving the award Janine is passing along, I just had to stop and see my litter mate, as it were. Wish I had time to read your story in its entirety. I don't right now but WILL be back! Always love to read your comments to Janine. Blessings to you! You know ALL the best people. :)

  17. Thank you very much for that song!
    Your daughter's rendition of Autumn Leaves is lovely! Great voice! Wow, talent runs in the family!

  18. Geraldine, it is so great to hear from you! Please forgive me altering your charcacter to make you appear like a dragon - far from it - you are a lovely, lovely lady who helped me a lot with my family tree research - thank you. However, you know me with my imagination and over developed sense of humour! I'm just wondering when the Bishop and two Vicars are going to show up! Until we meet again! x

  19. Should I be confused?!!! I guess marriage isn't that easy or we would be living in a much more complicated world.

    CJ xx

  20. Dearest Eddie,

    I thank you most kindly for your warm greetings at "my place." I feel I know you as well from reading your lovely comments to Janine. And I am so please to have formally made your acquaintance.

    I have left a more appropriate acceptance speech over at Janine's for, in my elation yesterday, I neglected to respond appropriately. I feel today's remarks are more in keeping with my true sense of gratitude.

    Oh, and Eddie, your daughter has a lovely voice!

  21. Am now a follower, having read your delightful play. I'll miss your budgie, too, and so sorry you had to leave him in an alternate universe. Maybe mine, Kiwi, will join him and they can have long talks into the evenings about life with the likes of us. Kiwi had a beautiful voice as well and can entertain them with airas.

    I'm with David McMahon - should be a play or movie. This would be delightful!

  22. someone answered somewhere but I'm guessing they became ordained or judges or ships captains and "married" each other that way.


    Great blog!

  23. I agree with David!


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