Replacing Quasimodo

After Quasimodo’s death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent word throughout Paris that a new bell-ringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews in the belfry. Several applicants demonstrated their skills, when a lone, armless ma came in and said he was there to apply for the bell-ringer’s job.

The incredulous bishop said, “But you have no arms!”

“No matter,” said the man, “Observe!” He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody. The astonished bishop listened and knew he had found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo.

But suddenly, the armless man tripped, and plunged out the belfry window to his death.

When the stunned bishop reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. One of them asked, “Bishop, who was this man?” “I don’t know his name,” the bishop sadly replied, “but this face rings a bell.”

Despite the sad event, the bishop continued his interviews for the bell-ringer of Notre Dame. The first applicant said, “Your Excellency, I am the twin brother of the poor, armless wretch who fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty.”

The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, but as he prepared to ring the bells the man groaned and clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop’s cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. “What has happened?,” the first monk asked breathlessly. “Who is this man?”

“I don’t know his name,” sighed the distraught bishop, “but he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”


This joke was reprinted from "The Book of Catholic Jokes" by Deacon Tom Sheridan, with permission of ACTA Publications. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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