Classic Confession: The Morgue

Twenty years ago, when Simon was a whippersnapper presenter on BBC Radio 1, he received thousands of letters from listeners confessing their darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, begging for his forgiveness. Every day, Father Mayo read out a confession - and then he'd decide whether to grant forgiveness or not.

Read a classic Confession below, then Send Simon Your Confession


Dear Father Simon,

To set the scene, my friend, whom we'll call Bob, failed to achieve the required grades to enter medical school, so in search of a career with 'action' he applied for and successfully joined our local county constabulary.

After four months' intense training the obligatory attendance at an autopsy was called for at a local hospital. On hearing this Bob enthused at the opportunity to view some real 'action'.

During the previous four months one particular member of the class had been the ultimate pain in the proverbial, and a loud one at that, quickly obtained the nickname Blackwall Gob. Blackwall had quickly started his boasting "I've-seen-it/done-it-all-before..." attitude when he was informed of the pending hospital outing.

Both Bob and the instructor of the class had both quietly aired their opinions of what they thought of Blackwall, and so seeing the mortuary visit as a perfect opportunity to verbally castrate the mighty mouth, started plotting. The day arrived and 26 pasty faces alighted from the police van and entered the mortuary department.

The doctor scheduled to lecture the group was still finishing off a customer (sorry!) and so the group was asked to wait in an anteroom behind the main theatre. This room led off to the refrigerated room where the body drawers were situated. Bob and the instructor pulled Blackwall to the side and asked him if he would like to help play a joke on the rest of the unsuspecting class. Of course he grabbed the chance.

They said he should lie in one of the body drawers with a sheet over him and then when the doctor showed the class around he would pull out the relevant drawer and then Blackwall could sit up and frighten the rest of the class. We duly stripped him of his uniform down to his Y-fronts and laid him to rest!

To make it clear to those of you who are unfamiliar with a mortuary drawer, when the drawers are pushed back in, the fridge is open plan. That is to say when Blackwall was pushed back in, he could look either side of him and see all the other 'residents'!

They assured Blackwall that he would only be in there for two or three minutes… They knew that after ten minutes one of two things would happen – either he would start shouting and banging to get out, or he would mutter something like "For goodness sake, hurry up..."

Well, the latter occurred, as planned, and this is where a strategically placed second person came into play! Another 'keen to quieten Blackwall' candidate had offered his services. He lay in an adjacent drawer and in reply to Blackwall's lonely (or so he thought) mutter replied, "Cold in here, isn't it?"

To say that the screams from Blackwall Gob could have woken the dead is not an overstatement, and to say he was introverted after the prank is perfectly true.

I would like to beg forgiveness for Bob and his instructor, but also for the likes of myself who thinks the prank hilariously but quite rightly cruel.

Yours requesting absolution,


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