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    Why The Pope And Dalai Lama Are Unlisted

    | Southampton, UK |

    (It is nearly Christmas, about 11pm. The Vicar has been out all day visiting elderly parishioners and has fallen asleep in front of the television. The phone rings.)

    Me: “Hello. St. ***’s Vicarage. Can I help you?”

    Man: “I need to speak to the Vicar.”

    Me: “I am afraid he is unavailable at the moment. Can I take a message?”

    Man: “Can’t you contact him? This is really urgent.”

    Me: “I am afraid I can only disturb him in an emergency. What is the problem. I am a Reader (lay minister). Perhaps I can help?”

    Man: “I have this really deep theological question. I’m sure only the Vicar can answer it.”

    Me: “I do have a degree in theology, sir. I’m sure I can help.”

    Man: “When is the Twelfth Day of Christmas?”

    Me: “??”

    Man: “Are you there? I told you, only the Vicar would know.”

    Me: “It’s the 5th of January. The day before Epiphany.”

    Man: “Are you sure?”

    Me: “Definitely. Why do you need to know?”

    Man: “Me and my mates are doing a pub quiz. It’s the one question we couldn’t answer. Thanks. Bye!”

    Me: “…”