The Feast of Saint Mary Flannery

Today is the birthday of Flannery O’Connor. Our friend Garrison Keillor included a nice bit about her in today’s Writer’s Almanac, which also featured an entertaining poem on Big Macs and lenten dissent — which Flannery would probably have frowned upon, or turned into a more wondrous gothic horror story in which the priest gets put in a wood chipper:

Lenten Dissent
by Cherie Lashway

There once was a logger, named Paddy O’Connell,
Who at lunch during Lent, found himself at McDonalds,

And had just settled down to his Big Mac and fries,
When along came his priest, much to both their surprise.

The priest said to Paddy, “Just what are you eating?
In this season of Lent, I sure hope you’re not cheating.”

Paddy said to the Father, “I’ll tell you no lies.
I’m enjoying a Big Mac, along with some fries.”

The priest said to Paddy, “I see no repentance.
Because of this sin, you will have to do penance.

“By Friday or sooner, I say that you should,
For our fireplace, deliver a cord of chopped wood.”

Now our timberman, Paddy, an overworked man,
Did think to himself, “I don’t think that I can.”

But early on Friday, our priest, he heard shoveling,
And looked out the window at Paddy not groveling.

And saw with confusion, dismay and disgust,
That the wood bin was now almost filled with saw dust.

He called down below, barely hiding his ire:
“Hey Paddy, your penance was wood for the fire!”

To which Paddy said, rising up from his work,
While wiping his brow and concealing a smirk:

“I’ve brought you a cord, like you said that I should,
But if burger be meat, well then sawdust be wood!”


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    You and JOB should have a O’Connor portrait contest to be settled at the writer’s conference.

  2. Cubeland Mystic says

    Is there really going to be a writer’s conference? You guys joke. I think you can add calendar objects to your side bars and then you can post up coming events. Seriously I need a couple months to get things on my calendar. Like if you were going to read something this summer I need to find the time to get the book.

    Let’s not forget the cubeland part. I am under the lash most of the time, but I want to participate.

  3. Churchill says

    I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of Flannery O’Connor, but I did find myself the other day thinking of her distinction between the irksome and the non irksome, at a time when I should perhaps have been feeling more charitable.

  4. Churchill says

    I should add that I don’t find the posters here irksome.

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