In this month’s Spalluccipedia entry, I want to have a chat about a much loved member of the Sam Spallucci books, the Reverend James Francis MacIntyre, or “Spliff” to his friends.
One of the longest running members of the Spallucciverse, Spliff first met Sam when they were students at Luneside University about nineteen years ago. Living on the same corridor, they quickly bonded and formed a friendship that would last way beyond graduation.
Spliff acquired his nickname as he was known as the guy on the corridor who was always able to lay his hands on varying recreational drugs, something which he put behind him when, after university, he went to selection conference and was accepted into training for the Church of England. Ordination subsequently followed, along with a number of disastrous postings in numerous parish churches. It was finally decided that he should be placed somewhere where he could do little harm and, at the start of the Spallucci series, we find him settled in for a few years as the chaplain of his old university.
Somewhat of a known maverick, he still managed to get himself into trouble with the authorities of both the church and academia, however he was greatly loved by the students and was never fired, even though his libido often found him in embarrassing situations. Having said that, in the Spallucci series it is apparent that his ecclesiastical superiors are trying to persuade him that perhaps it is time for him to move to a country parish.
Sam continually refers to his best friend as his rock and sees him as someone who keeps him continually grounded in the world of weirdness that is constantly unfolding around him. However, by Troubled Souls it is apparent that Spliff is, in fact, ill and is hiding the details of his condition from Sam, something which proves to create tension between the two friends.
A number of characters in the Spallucciverse have a certain amount of grounding in real life. Spliff is most definitely one of these. He is actually based around three characters (as I mention in the video), bringing to life a colourful character with real depth of personality who is always there for Sam through thick and thin.