There stood Father Clery, staring at a table filled with a large wonderful feast of foods, with a variety of pies, turkey legs, stews of all kinds and breads. The redolence scent made Father Clery hungry. He was mesmerize by the food that for a second he had forgotten why he was there until he heard a man laugh. The laughing man greeted him warmly.
“Father, Father,” shouted the man. “Come in, come in and join me in this feast. Pull up a chair and sit by my side.”
Father Clery approached the man and saw exactly why the daughter was greatly disturbed. Her father was quite a corpulent man, with a robust belly and a chubby face. Father calmly sat next to him and smiled.
“Hello, Bernard,” Father Clery said. “Good to see you in good spirits.”
“Thank you, Father. To what do I owed this pleasure of your visit?” said Bernard.
“Well,” Father Clery began. “I came here in the insistence of your daughter. She is worried about you and believes you are eating yourself to death.”
“What rubbish,” Bernard said. “I’m perfectly fine, as you can see. Why, a man can’t be jolly without any one thinking there is something wrong with him.”
“But, father,” his daughter pleaded. “You won’t stop laughing and when you laugh you eat to your heart’s content. You’re eating yourself to death.”
“Don’t be absurd,” said Bernard. “I enjoy a good feast when I’m feeling jolly. Isn’t that what life is about to be jubilant.”
“There is nothing wrong with being merry,” said Father Clery. “All in good measures of course.”
“Of course, of course,” said Bernard. “I simply can’t help myself, Father. When I am happy I want to eat. My daughter worries too much. Why, she even has the doctor coming over everyday to check me over.”
“Your daughter has a good sense to worry about you,” chided the doctor as he entered the parlor. “Your blood pressure is high, and the added weight is not good for your health. You keep eating like that and you will dig yourself an early grave.” The doctor began checking his blood pressure, took his temperature and then listened to his heart.
“Hogwash,” said Bernard. “I simply can’t help myself.”
“So tell me,” Father Clery wanted to know. “When did this all start?”
“Well,” Bernard thought for a moment. “I have always had a healthy appetite, but then suddenly, I began laughing and I couldn’t stop. I’ve tried, but I can’t restrain myself.”
“I see,” said Father Clery. He turned to everybody else and said, “I was wondering if I can speak to him alone.”
“Certainly father,” said the daughter and turned to leave the room. The others followed behind her. She closed the sliding doors and left Father Clery alone with Bernard.On Talking Terms