As a child, Robert Lee dreamed of going into the ministry, but he had terrible dyslexia. The Dyslexia Institute of London treated him, and by age 18, he seemed normal enough. At age 27, Robert realized his dream, was made Reverend Lee, and was appointed to be the new Vicar of Nibbleswicke.
Reverend Lee was very nervous driving to his new post and very nervous going to sleep in his new room for the first time. His nervousness must have triggered some of that old dyslexia still left in his brain, because when he woke up, he had a new problem. Robert started reversing not the words that he was reading or writing, but the words he was speaking instead. He had no clue what had happened to him, so he did not hear himself saying “dog” instead of god and “tirips” instead of spirit.
His first assignment as vicar came in the form of a note, urging him to see the parish’s wealthiest contributor to solicit a donation. Miss Arabella Prewt had already purchased one hundred knee cushions for the parishioners to kneel upon during services. When she answers her door, Robert calls her Miss “Twerp” and her dog a little “god.” Miss Prewt thinks that Robert is a crazy person, and slams the door in his face.
Reverend Lee’s verbal dyslexia becomes worse as some of the things he says sound slightly vulgar. He tells a group of knitting women they “stink,” and while giving First Communion to a group of girls, he tells them not to “plug” the cup of wine, but to “pis” instead. His first Sunday service goes over very well at first. The parishioners think Reverend Lee is quite clever at making up new words to spice up church. Then he politely asks them all not to “krap” on the narrow road leading up to the church, but rather to “krap” along the side of the church instead.
A doctor finally diagnoses Robert with a disease common in tortoises who call themselves “esio trots.” The doctor tells Robert his problems will be solved if he walks backwards while speaking to make the words come out right. Robert makes himself a rearview mirror and delivers his sermons while walking backwards in circles. The parishioners grow accustomed to it and learn to love their new Vicar.