A priest, a grocer, and a butcher lived in a shared apartment on Wallace and Third. It wasn’t much, but for the three humble men, it was home. They shared all they had with one another, which also wasn’t much, each man being devoted to the public service of their rural community, giving what they could where they could.
The butcher often had meats left over at the end of the day too close to spoiling, so he would bring them home for his fellow roommates. The grocer had similar supplies of fruit and vegetables which were soon to spoil as well, yet even with their attempts to preserve these foods, it would frequently go bad before they could eat it all.
One day, the priest offered an idea: they could obtain a chest freezer to store the foods in, keeping them fresh for longer. After sharing his idea with his roommates, they all agreed it was the right move; so, after reaching out to his congregation, the priest was offered a refurbished freezer as a donation.
The roommates were pleased. It was a small freezer, but it fit well in their humble home, and provided the storage they needed. Over the next few days, they enjoyed many a meal, more than they had previously been able, as the freezer kept their supplies fresh, and flavorful.
But the freezer was old, and out of the blue it stopped working while the priest, the grocer, and the butcher were all out of the house, doing their daily work. When they returned that evening, the food had all gone bad, and the house was filled with the smell of rotten meat and vegetables.
The butcher and the grocer’s tempers flared before the mess of spoiled food. The grocer blamed the butcher for over stuffing the freezer with meats. The priest stepped in, trying to salve the argument, but as he did, the butcher blamed the priest, saying if he had gotten a better freezer, none of this would have happened. Their argument went on for hours, until finally, they decided they could not come to a satisfactory answer of who was responsible on their own. The priest called his friend the judge, and asked if he could assist them in the debate.
Within an hour, the judge had arrived, and by that point the smell of the spoiled goods had become quite strong. Each roommate shared their feelings on the subject; the grocer blamed the butcher, the butcher blamed the priest, and the priest blamed the grocer. After only a few minutes the judge raised his hand and declared he had an answer: the priest was responsible.
The priest was shocked. He asked how it could possibly be his fault; he had only provided the freezer, and it was in good condition when he brought it in. It was the grocer and the butcher who had filled it to the brim, had pushed it to its limits. But the judge was not swayed in his verdict.
After all, to the Vicar goes the spoilage.