Mary Breasted Why Should You Doubt Me Now?

ISBN 13: 9780374528232

Why Should You Doubt Me Now?

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9780374528232: Why Should You Doubt Me Now?
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The Virgin Mary had made an untoward appearance in Dublin. Is she real? Is she a hoax? Mary Breasted's gift for poking fun where it hurts the most has produced an irreverent, irrepressible, unforgettable book. Ireland will never be the same.

"Breasted's perfectly aimed dialogue and brisk action skewer the jumbled politics--sexual, religious and marital, in academia and the governing Dail--that shape life in modern Ireland." - Publishers Weekly

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About the Author:

Mary Breasted is also the author of I Shouldn't Be Telling You This.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Why Should You Doubt Me Now?
Why Should You Doubt Me Now? 1 If there is a fate that can befall a man worse than having the Virgin Mary appear in his bedroom just as he is about to seduce the most beautiful apprentice horoscope writer in Dublin, Rupert Penrose did not know of one. When the apparition came he suddenly knew nothing at all except that he dared not move a muscle. His heart, which had been pounding wildly ever since Attracta Dorris had climbed naked under his duvet, now threatened to break out of his rib cage and catapult itself onto the floor. He was not a young man. The violent shock he got the moment he turned to look in the direction toward which Attracta was dementedly squinting might have killed him if he had not blessedly taken a bit of wine just before the Virgin descended. He might never have turned to look if he had thought he could smother Attracta's distraction with kisses. But Attracta was a nervous girl who had required three preliminary glasses of wine to stop clutching her elbows and hunching over her wonderful upspringing breasts. She had required a subsequent three full glasses to tell him the sorry tale of her first and only love affair, a shameful business carried on in the unclaimed parcels room of the Glenageary Postal Sorting Office. She then revealed that her lover had promised to marry her as soon as he acquired enough money to move out of the family bungalow. Instead, he went off to Canada to seek his fortune in the dishwashing trade. He sent Attracta one postcard, which said, "Wish you were here," without a return address. She never heard from him again. "I hope you are not going to tell me you are still in love with that scoundrel," Penrose said to her, pouring one last dollop of wine intoher glass. "He doesn't deserve to touch the ground you walk on. Besides, you could have hundreds of others." "But no one will want to marry me!" Attracta protested, bursting into heartfelt tears. "Don't be silly!" Penrose said scoldingly and took her into his arms to stroke her head in decent fatherly fashion. She was undressed and under the duvet five minutes later. He climbed into bed beside her and commenced to make amends for the six long years that Attracta had waited for her dastardly dishwasher to return. She had been responding with what seemed like six years' worth of unspent passion, so that when she suddenly broke off and whispered, "Rupert, stop! It's a visitation!" he thought she was having a hysterical attack brought on by the intensity of her attraction to him. "Don't be silly," he said, more tenderly than before, while kissing her flushed cheek and attempting to steer her chin toward his. Ardently he added, "We're all alone here." But Attracta was gripping the duvet and squinting her eyes in a most convincingly insane manner. Penrose turned around to be able to tell her authoritatively that there was nothing in that corner of the room except a small pile of laundry. What he saw terrified him so much that he forgot to cross himself. In the circumstances, he was to reflect later, the gesture might have seemed a bit hypocritical. He was a married man, and Attracta had come to his flat in the sincere belief that he would offer her only his best professional advice. She badly needed tips for dealing with Madame Bukowski. Attracta had been working for her for nearly a year, and in all that time Madame Bukowski had not told her one thing about the art of horoscope writing. She had merely used Attracta to fetch cups of tea, sort her mail, answer the telephone, dust off her desk, and shop for secondhand paperbacks by Barbara Cartland. Penrose had an idea that Madame Bukowski never intended to teach her the horoscope-writing trade, but he did not say this to Attracta. His intuition told him that Attracta, though not aware of this herself, would be only too glad to move on to another topic. Much experience with troubled young women had given Penrose the coiled patience of a panther. After the poor girl had drunk her first three glasses of wine and confessed thatshe sometimes mislaid pieces of Madame Bukowski's mail, Penrose needed only to say, "I don't understand what a beautiful girl like you is doing in the horoscope-writing business at all. Surely you have a fiance," and she was holding out her glass for more. Pitiable creature, she did not deserve to have the Virgin interrupt her first passionate embrace in the space of six years. Penrose listened to the wild thumps of his heart. What would Attracta do if he were to die of a heart attack here and now? Would she have the good grace to dress him? Would she be able to? "Isn't she beautiful!" Attracta whispered. She seemed to be crossing herself under the duvet. "Do you think it's really her?" "Her?" said Penrose, still too stunned to have asked himself as much. Nervously he ran his finger down Attracta's warm, silky arm. "Rupert!" she whispered crossly. "Stop!" "Attracta, I didn't mean--I wasn't--perhaps it's best you got dressed, my dear," he said. "Not when she's looking at me, when I can see her looking at me!" Poor child. Did she think the Virgin Mother had appeared only to reproach her? She could scarcely have amassed enough sins, waiting in her bed-sit for endless postcards that never arrived. "The Virgin Mary sees you getting dressed every morning, or if not the Virgin, certainly God," said Penrose rather pompously. Bishop Meany was expected to come by in less than an hour. "You can't see God," said Attracta, adding sourly, "whoever He is. Anyway, I don't see you jumping up to get your clothes. It's you she's coming to visit, seemingly." "Oh, don't be silly," he protested, although he knew himself to be the greater sinner. "Yes, Rupert, I'm absolutely certain it's you she came to see. Because she likes your column." "You don't think--" he started to say, and then he went crimsonly silent with gratified authorship. The Virgin liked his column! Had such a thing happened to a columnist before? Rupert Penrose was, despite his English name and his inability to uphold his marriage vows, a good Catholic. He respected the Pope. He strongly disapproved of divorce, abortion, and secular education. Hethought that the women's liberation movement was the worst thing to have happened in the world since the invention of the automobile, which last he also considered an offense against the natural order of things. On the subject of artificial birth control, he was not quite to be pinned down. He usually dealt with it only by implication, when praising the practice of celibacy in marriage. That he was also a good Irishman, everyone in Ireland knew. His weekly column appeared in the popular Dublin Sentinel, a newspaper not too respectable to print the daily horoscope of Madame Bukowski but hardly gritty enough to publish the photos of topless beauties that appeared daily in the British tabloids. Penrose bemoaned the influence of all things English. He sometimes went so far as to urge that jamming devices be erected throughout Ireland to block out all radio and television signals from Britain. He was very proud of the fact that he had turned down the London publisher who once made him an offer for the rights to Ourselves Alone, and he always mentioned the incident in the column he wrote to young university graduates at the end of May, exorting them to go forth and do likewise in the face of all British blandishments. He dispensed much free advice to the young, seeing himself as the lone voice of moral sanity in a world growing ever more senseless with moral decay. He thought that the only hope for Ireland was to return to a simpler lifestyle back on the land, a life without modern machinery to deprive her strapping young men of honest labor and without television or cinemas to give her young women false ideas about the uses to which beauty ought to be put. He was so opposed to the automobile that he refused to own one, getting himself about Dublin on a sturdy English Raleigh of indefinite age. When it was pointed out to him that a bicycle is also a machine and that his was doubly damning because of being English, he would snort impatiently and say that he never pretended to be anything other than a poor sinner trying to make his way through the wilderness of this world. He was, he said, as much in need of protection from temptation as the next fellow. He sometimes wrote that he looked forward to the coming catastrophe of worldwide economic and moral collapse, for then Ireland would be cut off from pagan America and Satanic London, and within onehundred years no one on the island would have heard of Candice Bergen or bulimia or Wimbledon. When he said he was as much in need of protection from temptation as the next fellow, Penrose was being modest. He had quite a bit more than the average fellow's share of opportunities to sin. He was not particularly handsome, but he was certainly noticeable. A man of medium height, slender build, and rosy, healthy complexion, he had only one distinctive physical characteristic. His eyes protruded too much. He looked continually surprised or even alarmed by what he saw in the world, and this made him immediately appealing to women, most of whom wanted to quell his anxiety. But there was a certain kind of woman, the sort who read his column and admired it, who seemed to want to share his anxiety. These were invariably women, like Attracta Dorris, who had been mistreated by men, and they had vague but large fears about what the world was coming to. They were never happier than when lying in Rupert Penrose's arms listening to him denounce their favorite television programs. Such women sought him out. They wrote him letters. They came to his lectures at the Toyota Night School where he reluctantly obliged himself to earn extra cash teaching Irish history to Japanese microchip company managers and the wives of foreign diplomats. Unha...

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9780374290078: Why Should You Doubt Me Now?

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