I can’t believe I didn’t tell you all about this before. Not sure how I happened upon this story, but it takes place in late 2006. It is a true story, out of England. It could be the greatest story ever told.
In some Southwark, England, they have a Bishop. He is the official liason of the church for the neighborhood. Think, a father Mulcahey type figure. Just the neighborhood man of the lord. Good stuff, and not a bad idea in these times. Anyhow, he got mugged after a Christmas party last Winter. It is terrible. Let him tell it:
“The problem is, I don’t remember anything. This has been a difficulty from the start,” he said ruefully. “I told the police I arrived home without my briefcase and with bruising on my face and a gash on the back of my head. There was this story about me being in a car at London Bridge, which I can remember absolutely nothing about. I thought I was travelling home on public transport. I went to the doctor the next day and was told my injuries were consistent with a blow to the head, so I assumed I had been mugged, but that’s a supposition. I am hoping the police will be able to be clearer.”
Frankly, it is too terrible to even think about. Who the hell robs a Priest coming home from a Christmas party. I refuse to accept that things are that dire around the world. I am an optimist, and a Democrat… and no one is going to give my neighborhood preacher any shit. So, the town banded together to seek witnesses of this horrid and depraved act.
With God as our witness, does anyone know what happened to the good Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark? Turns out, someone did. This, dear reader, is where the story is about to get friggin’ awesome. Someone did see what happened that night. We have a witness and all shall be revealed.
Paul Sumpter, the car’s owner, was playing pool in a nearby bar when the car’s alarm went off and he and a number of other customers went out to investigate. They say they found a white-haired man wearing a cassock under a black cloak, sitting in the rear seat.
Yes, Paul comes out of the bar and finds some nutjob laying in his Mercedes. By ‘his’, I mean Paul’s. Said nutjob is in this Mercedes backseat throwing toys out the door onto the street. He was throwing Paul’s daughters toys out into the street. These were Paul’s Christmas presents to his daughter. So, Paul leans his head in the car and says:
“Oi, what are you doing in my car?”
A reasonable question, wouldn’t you agree? This gray haired assailant answered gleefully:
“I’m the Bishop of Southwark, it’s what I do!”
true story! what the hell does that mean? “it’s what I do”? you break into cars, your destroy children’s toys? Paul was able to settle the rest of the mystery. He tried to help the man out and called and ambulance. Old guy was so drunk he fell out of the car and cracked his noggin open. Then, refused medical help and stumbled away. He was so pissed (limey speak for drunk ass drunk) that he remembered NONE of this when he woke up. He vaguely remembers attending a party with whiskey, and nothing else. Witnesses say dude got faced!
So, he woke up in the morning with a gash on his head and all his stuff gone. He had assumed he was attacked. So, he called police. Nope. All his stuff was found and returned to him from down the street where he dropped it walking home.
My point here being, if you ever find yourself doing something remarkably unwise… especially if drink has been involved, it is critical you shout “I’m the Bishop of Southwark, it’s what I do!”
Post script: he still denies this happened, but admits he started drinking and does not remember stopping drinking.
Dr Butler, who lost his briefcase and mobile phone and suffered a bump to the head in the incident, admitted he could remember nothing of the journey home from the drinks reception.
As for the official record, meaning
1. the british press
2. the police
3. and me
the record remains as follows:
The man was alleged to have been throwing children’s toys around and to have announced: “I’m the Bishop of Southwark. It’s what I do.“