(A story about Father Bernard Vaughn)
One day, Father Bernard Vaughn was in a small town in Lancashire, called Wigan. He was leaving the town, and was standing in the railroad station awaiting the train, which was late. He went up to the baggage man, piling trunks, and said:
“What is the name of this place?”
Father Vaughn paced up and down the platform a few more times.
“What did you say the name of this place was?” he said again to the man.
“WIGAN!” the fellow shouted. “Look at that sign, starin’ you in the face!”
Again Father Vaughn, after a few more excursions up and down the platform, and because there was still no train arriving, went up once more to the same employee.
“I have a dreadfully bad memory,” he said. “What is the name of this place?”
“How did you get here if you didn’t know what the name of it was?” the man shrieked, walking away from him.
The train finally arrived. Father Vaughn boarded the train and entered one of the compartments. He sat down with a large, audible sigh.
“Oh!” he said. “Oh! I am so glad to get out of this place. I never met such uncivil people. They are so discourteous, so impolite.”
“I don’t agree with you, Reverend,” said one of the other passengers in the compartment, putting down his morning paper. “Lancashire folk are well known for being courteous and polite, particularly the folk from Wigan.”
“Well, then, let us see,” said Father Vaughn, as he opened the train window and beckoned to the baggage man.
“Will you please tell me what is the name of this place?”
“Will you go to hell!” the fellow replied.
“Do you see what I mean?” said Father Vaughn, closing the window.
—From London Is A Place
By Father Leonard Feeney