Tom Gough was born in cow shed in county Wicklow, Ireland, to parents too poor and too ignorant to do anything other than give him away to a passing caravan of scraggly men they felt sure were contemplative monks. The men turned out to be unlicensed circus performers “on the lamb,” and so began Tom’s marvelous journey toward spiritual enlightenment and slightly more stable employment.
When he was twelve, and in the midst of a particularly complicated maneuver on the Corde Pareille, God spoke to him in the guise of an especially large bearded woman. He was instructed very specifically to set aside the circus life, finish college, and get some seminary training, “who the hell cares where!” end quote.
It turned out, for a variety of confidential and frankly embarrassing reasons, that the seminary, about which God could hardly care less, was one associated with the University of Post Office Box 7122 in Cleveland, Ohio. Six months and 48 easy payments later, Tom was fully certified as an ordained minister and/or shoe repair technician, whichever happened to offer better prospects. At the moment, in the age of Payless™ and the disposable pump, ministry seems much the better path, so Tom has embarked on a dedicated life of service to the Church.