Call me eccentric if you will but I’m very particular about milkshakes. The café at Tullamarine makes a decent chocolate shake but it’s my belief that they should be served in the tall metal mixing container not a glass and it was for this reason that I keep such a vessel in my car. I was engaged in pouring my shake into this when I was interrupted by the arrival of my good friend, the ace reporter, Tiffany who, looking disdainfully at me, greeted me with “You idiot Jackie.”
I didn’t take offence at this and smiled in greeting
“What’s happening Tiff?”
“I’ve just come from St Bernards.”
“The catholic boys’ school in Essendon?”
“That’s right Jackie. Following Eddie McGuire’s remarks about Caroline Wilson and the ice water slide the school wanted a female reporter to talk to the boys about respect for women.”
“What did you tell them?”
“Technically that what Eddie did was wrong but you should not have the same level of expectation for him that you would have for someone like Lindsay Tanner so that it was less of a crime. Then I told them that reporters feel that freedom of speech is more important than whether you cause offence and this overrides any other issue here.”
“Sounds right to me Tiff how did it go down?”
“The boys liked it but one of the brothers was somewhat upset so I told him about St Bernard.”
“The school’s patron saint?”
“Yes. He has a link to ice water too it’s part of his temptations and intercessions.
One day, to cool down his lustful temptation, Bernard threw himself into ice-cold water. Another time, while sleeping in an inn, a prostitute was introduced naked beside him, and he saved his chastity by running.
Many miracles were attributed to his intercession. One time he restored the power of speech to an old man that he might confess his sins before he died. Another time, an immense number of flies, that infested the Church of Foigny, died instantly after the excommunication he made on them.
So great was his reputation that princes and Popes sought his advice, and even the enemies of the Church admired the holiness of his life and the greatness of his writings.
“How did the brother react to that?”
“He ran away – perhaps he was worried about his chastity,” Tiffany gurgled.
“St Bernards is where the twelve disciples are training isn’t it. I haven’t gone to watch because they want privacy.”
“Well” said Tiff “I sneaked a peek and the boys, many of whom barrack for Essendon, Simon Madden and Gary Foulds being two famous ex-students, have been watching and told me quite a lot.
Training has been very intense, just seven of them at the moment, and they are pushing themselves hard. Lots of decision making drills – three on four etc. and a lot of opportunity to improve their skills – especially kicking off the non preferred foot. With no matches to worry about they can afford to make some mistakes to get it right.”
My milkshake made that gurgling sound that occurs when it is finished. I looked up.
“Will Hurley stay?”
“”I’m confident” said Tiff “but I don’t know. Perhaps if we pray to St Bernard….”