A famous faith healer was coming to Ireland, and the news had spread like wildfire round Dublin.
At the Point Theatre on Saturday there would be a very special event. It would be the only appearance in Ireland of the world-famous Brendini, one of the most famous faith healers of the time. The media had been full of the wonders that he had performed all over the world for months, and the city was full of excitement in anticipation of the spectacle that would await them.
Naturally, tickets for the event sold like hot cakes, and come the evening the theatre was packed out two hours before the show was due to start.
The audience sat in great expectation of the wonders to come that evening, and a number of them even began to feel a little overcome by the importance of it all.
At last the moment came, and the public address boomed out the news:
“Ladies and gentlemen, please meet and greet the greatest living healer. The one, the only, the fabulous Brendini!”
Lights flashed, smoke bombs exploded, fanfares blared and out strode the man himself to a standing ovation.
“Brothers and sisters!” said the great man. “It is a delight to be with you all, and tonight I hope to heal as many people as I can”.
This announcement was followed by huge cheers, applause and music.
“Now, without further ado,” added Brendini, “I would like some volunteers from the audience on stage right now. Is there anyone out there with an affliction? If so, please let me know now.”
“Here, sir. Over here,” cried Murphy. “I’ve got a badly twisted leg from where the horse kicked me. I can’t stand without crutches. Can you heal me?”
“Indeed yes,” said Brendini. “Come on up on stage. Now, is there anyone else afflicted?”
“Y-y-y-yes, s-s-sir,” called O’Brien. “I-I-I’ve g-g-got a t-t-terrible st-st-st-stammer.”
“Come on up to me,” said the great one, and O’Brien strode up onto the stage.
“Now,” said Brendini, “I want you, Mr Murphy, to go behind the screen,” and Murphy did.
“And now,” went on the great man, “I want you to raise your eyes to the Lord and throw out your left crutch onto the stage!”
Out flew the crutch, and the audience cried, “Hallelujah!”
“Now, Murphy, raise your eyes to the Lord and throw out your right crutch!”
Out came the second crutch and the people screamed, “Hallelujah – it’s a miracle!”
“Now,” said Brendini, “Mr O’Brien, I want you to go behind the screen, raise your eyes to the Lord and say the first thing that comes into your head.”
O’Brien walked behind the screen, and said:
“M-M-M-M-M Murphy’s f-f-f-f fell over!”