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Facing the Music

It's the 19th Century, in Paris, and the famous bellringer, Quasimodo, has died. The word goes out that the priests of Notre Dame are searching for a replacement bellringer

One day, the priest in charge of hiring the new bellringer is polishing the bells when a man enters the belfry. He has no arms and a disfigured face with a nose that's obviously been broken many times. He tells the priest that he's here for the bellringer's job

The priest takes a moment and says, "But how can you be a bellringer? You have no arms."

The man says, "That's no problem. I'll show you how I do it, and if it's acceptable to you, then you can hire me." The priest shrugs and agrees.

The armless man backs up until his back is to the wall and runs full speed right at the closest bell, slamming his face into the bell, which causes the bell to give off this tremendous BONNNNNGGGGG. Immediately, he backs up and runs full speed into the next bell, hitting it with his face and causing it to peal just like the first bell. Soon, he's backing up and running into bells, hitting each with his face until he's actually playing a song by hitting bells of different tones. After a little while, the Priest notices that he's staggering a little from hitting all the bells and starts to ask him to stop. But before he can, the man staggers, trips over his own feet, and slips right out one of the tower windows, falling to his death onto the cobblestone street below.

The priest runs down to the street and stands over the dead, armless man. Another priest runs up and says, "This man who just died, Qui l'est? (who is he?)"

The first priest just looks at the second and says, "I don't know, but his face rings a bell."

So, again the word goes out that the priests are still looking for a bellringer, and again, the priest is in the tower when another man shows up and proclaims that he's applying for the bellringer's job. The priest gives a start, for this man also has a disfigured face, a broken nose and no arms.

The priest, shaken, cries, "But I saw you fall to your death from this window a couple of days ago.

The man says, "No, that was my brother. We look a lot alike"

The priest says, "I cannot let you have the job. I just can't take the responsibility of you getting hurt."

The man says, "My brother was a weakling and I am much stronger. I can do this job. Let me show you, and if you agree, you can hire me. It will cost you nothing to let me try."

The priest, not sure what to do, agrees. The man, just like his brother, backs up to the wall and runs his face full-tilt straight into a bell, causing it to ring with a beautiful tone. Soon, he, too, is hitting bells with his face and actually playing a song by hitting different toned bells in sequence.

The priest is very impressed, but again notices that the man, although he has lasted much longer, is also starting to stagger from the repeated blows to his face. He starts to try to stop the man, but before he can say anything, the man also trips over his feet and falls out the window, plummeting to his death on the street below.

Again, the horrified priest runs down and is standing over the body when another priest runs up and says, "Mon Dieu!! How terrible! Who is that man?

The first priest says, "I don't know, but he's a dead ringer for his brother."

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