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The Vacuum - Issue 15 - God spacer The Vacuum - Issue 15 - God
Mr. Keogh Investigates
by Nicholas Keogh
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Wednesday
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Thank you God for tap water, God bless reconstructive surgeons, God help anyone in prison and hallelujah brothers and sisters that once again it's May. This week my colleague and I are window-shopping for religion. I've already talked to some of the born agains on the street and got a selection of menus making me hungry for salvation. This one offers a bitter blend of accusation and promise of passion. 'Do we accept or reject?' This other one tells me that my best shot just isn't good enough. Now that's very disappointing. There's an awful lot to take in here and I don't want to go giving myself indigestion. 'How to find your way in Northern Ireland' is bound to come in handy. 'Finding the way. The way to help. I lift my eyes to the hills. The way to hope.' Now I have to admit that the instructions seemed a bit on the cryptic side when we were trying to find the Mosque. It turned out it's on the way to B&Q. We got a great welcome there. We could only go as spectators because we don't know anything about Islam and I was very self-conscious about the holes in my socks.
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The last wedding I was at most people didn't know what bits to stand and kneel and sit and we were all over the place. I wondered did that ever happen in the Mosque? It all seemed a bit too labour intensive for me, completely changing your life and all of that. I'm looking for a quick fix, a good clean hit of redemption and a dose of fire and brimstone.
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Sunday
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It's the Sabbath and we've got a busy day of rest ahead of us. How much rest can you fit into one day? According to our itinerary, lots. First stop, Paisley's Church on the Ravenhill Road. The sun's shining and springtime is turned up to number ten. The dandelion clocks say it's a quarter to June and everything is busy running and flying about. The park is full of firework flowers and jezebel bushes. Slow motion explosions of fuck me blossom. They'll have half the park before the week's out, the tarts. Bees and moths and allsorts. Pollen powdered hobos, irresistible, dreamy, lusty bon bons.
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And on the Lord's day.
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Mr. Bloomer is outraged that I'm not wearing a tie and makes me hide my scruffy coat in a hedge before we go in to face Big Ian. We swing past the church when the nerves get the better of us. Second sweep is a success and we're into the lion's den. As long as we get a good dark corner there's no need for alarm. There's hand shakes all round and everyone's pleased to see we have joined them for the day. People are very friendly and hold the doors open for us. Maybe it's not so bad. The man himself can't be with us today and sends his deepest apologies. But the show goes on.
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Why are we sitting in the brightest most central place in the building right in front of the shouting man? This is another fine mess you've gotten me into Mr. Bloomer. Focus. All I have to do is hold in a nervous laugh for an hour and God will reward me with a clean escape. Could you please now stand and turn your hymn books to hymn number 645. Mr. Bloomer, with head held high, joins in the jubilation. They're all in it together. I'm on my own. The words in my copy of the hymn book are all squiggling about and I can't find 645. 'Vile and sinful my heart may be, the love that Jesus had for me.' No I can't say I know that one, but my colleague seems to be charging through it rightly. Tonight Matthew I'm going to be half demented and I'm worried about falling off the balcony. O God be merciful to us. I can't get this bitumen off my hands, but I suppose it'll come off eventually. Unlike the wages of sin, Mr Bloomer, that no amount of Nitromorse will get off. Only a life of remorse will start shifting those stubborn ones. No modern perversions used in this church. Where will you spend eternity Mr. Patrick Bloomer you bad article? There's not that much more we can do for you now. It would take an eternity of repentance to even get round the U-bend of your soul. Praise be Lord Jesus, was it me for me alone, years I spent in vanity and pride. Oh send out thy light and thy truth. Shout, Shout, Shout, Repeat, Repeat. Altogether now for trust and obey, 'cause there's no other way. Shout, whisper, repeat, repeat, repeat, The End.
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Back in time for Songs of Praise. These sing-along words are far better than the squiggly books in big Ian's. 'So lets talk about Cellu Sculpt, the body sculpting anti cellulite cream. Re-awaken your senses says new woman'. After a good sing Alan Titchmarsh likes to go to sea with a good book, but as Mr. Bloomer quite rightly points out there is only one Good Book.
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Look at the state of this place. That man the other night said Jesus is coming and I haven't as much as a biscuit in. Funny enough the time I met his Da he didn't take a cup of tea. It was just straight down to business with him. 'Go on jump through the window you cunt'. He must have known that it wouldn't break and it was one of those tests like when he told yer man to burn his child then said not to bother even though he'd gone and got all the wood and everything. He's a bit funny like that I suppose and he doesn't seem so keen anymore on appearing to people through statues. I haven't heard of a good talking statue in ages. I met one of those talking seagulls before but to tell you the God's honest truth he had a filthy beak on him and think he must of been sent up from the ones downstairs.
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Time to break the bread into packet soup at the Christian cafe. Then off to a chapel to light some candles. Get there and it's shut. We're starved of religion until 7.00pm I'll fit a few prayers in. I pray for my colleague's condemned soul and thank God for inventing fingers.
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Whitewell Tabernacle here we come. You should see the size of the chandeliers here, they must have been made specially. Here we go. Hallelujah children of God we've come to the right place. Everyone now hands to God and lift-off. Backsliders raise your hands and I will pray for you. A man will save us. A man. One man will save us. Pastor you are a man. No, children of God, I am A Glad Man. Any more Backsliders in the house tonight? Raise your hands. I see you struggling Brother Bloomer. Turn your back to evil. Turn your back to the forces of evil. Do I see a bad man becoming a glad man? Brother Bloomer fight Satan. Brother Bloomer renounce Satan. Brother Bloomer cast out Satan in the form of a gas. In the form of an eggy gas. A noxious gas not visible to the eye of the sinner. A gas with the power to corrupt body and soul. Hallelujah child of God. I see a corrupt world. A corrupt world full of perverts. This world you live in full of perverts. Paedophiles.
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Paedophiles will be cast out side the walls of the new kingdom. Outside the walls. Outside the walls, with the dogs. Sodomites in your dirty moth-eaten clothes, outside the walls with the dogs where you belong. The second coming of Christ will cast you outside with the mangy dogs. Do I hear an Amen? Amen! I said do I hear an Amen? Amen brothers and sisters! Hallelujah! Amen Pastor! yeho ye boy ye! For the love of God. Jesus Christ. Holy mother of fuck! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen. Praise Jehovah and fuck me sideways. Amen.
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