THE email was to the point. Nuns must not wear long pants under their habits. I'm not sure what to do now. Tights, black tights, are acceptable under the rules, and what about the undergarments?
Last night, a woman told me how her uncle stole a long black double-gusset knickers from the clothes line of the Drishane nuns' holiday home back in west Kerry when he lost his football togs.
But do nuns wear underpants like we do? (By the way, the real nuns are all for it. One retired teacher told me she burnt her habit 35 years ago and it was the best thing she ever did.)
I dunno what do to do now, as Nunday is on next Saturday.
We have nearly a thousand people dressed as nuns, coming to Listowel to smash the previous world best of 250, set in Pinewood Studios.
The rules are so strict. Independent accountant David 'Classy' Fitzmaurice is our very efficient head of compliance.
"We have to ensure all nuns wear habits below the knee, there has to be a veil and the white bit around the neck."
We sold the nuns' outfits at a cost price of a tenner each, with an extra tenner to take part in the world record attempt. It's all for Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis centre.
Can you imagine it? A thousand nuns dancing down Church Street in Listowel behind a Jamaican reggae band.
But our efforts will be in vain unless we wear black shoes and that's another rule.
Then the nuns have to be corralled in an enclosed space in the Listowel Emmet's football pitch for 12 minutes while 'Classy' counts us.
But there's more. Inspector Martin McCarthy has to make sure all is in order and the counting is above board.
This is no North Korean election count. The entire proceedings must be filmed by three cameras, one of which is set up on a giant heist.
The GAA will steward the event and if we're to beat the Yanks, our toughest defenders will ensure no badly dressed nuns will be allowed inside the enclosure.
The cracked idea came out of a few drinks one night. It was Cora O' Brien who thought of it. She and her husband, Martin, are our leaders.
It was close to Christmas, three years ago. The terrible news came through that Martin and Cora's lovely 16-year-old boy, David, had died from suicide.
Martin, devastated, sat in the living room drinking a brandy. "How could such a thing have happened?" My memory is of the dark rings under his eyes. He didn't sleep for days.
Cora, a close pal, asked me to write about David's death. The promise was made beside her son's coffin.
I knew if I was to keep my promise the events of 20 years ago would have to be written about. I wouldn't be able to do this but for Martin and Cora. They have spoken publicly of what it is to lose a child to suicide. Talking is their cure.
This column was going to continue as it started but I couldn't break that promise.
For years it was my dark secret. Mine alone. Up to a few minutes before the deadline I wasn't going to do this. You see, everyone thinks I'm a happy-go-lucky type, and I am, but back then it was different. Here goes. I hope I'm doing the right thing.
Hard to believe it was 20 years ago; it's as if I'm looking at the movie of another life.
I see a young me in the wreckage of my solicitor's business. I disgraced my family. Let good people down. Myself, I didn't care about.
I strung the long white flex from an old dictating machine around a timber beam in the attic and the plan was to jump off a chair into oblivion.
I was so distraught I couldn't breathe. I put my hands out but it was as if a wall enclosed me. There was no escape. Blinded by tears and stuck in the morass of failure, I had a vision of myself lying in the darkness of a coffin with the lid on, at peace.
There's a moment when you can opt out. A last chance. I took it.
I think Bob Geldof described it best when he sang "a silicon chip inside her head was switched to overload". That's what happens to people who die from suicide. In my experience anyway.
If you are in trouble, I beg of you, resist that terrible impulse, which might only last a few seconds, when the chip inside your brain is in overload. If you can do that, you will be fine. In time. Talk to Pieta or any of the other excellent people, such as the Samaritans who helped me that night.
I thought of my kids, my wife, my family in those crucial seconds. In some way, I knew they needed me. Bad and all as I thought I was.
The story of Huckleberry Finn came into my head. It was one of my dad's favourite books. I suppose he knew some day it might save me when he read the story out loud at bedtime. It's only now I realise what he was up to.
Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn ran off and it was presumed they were drowned in the Mississippi. The boys snuck into their own funeral service and when they saw how much they were loved by the grieving congregation they eventually returned home.
I often think if those who take their lives could only see their own funerals in some sort of cosmic preview, it would save them too.
If they could only feel the love and, yes, the hurt; the 'could-I-have-done-mores', the blame game we inflict on ourselves when someone we love dies from suicide.
It took a few years to get back on track, with the help of family and friends.
Life is never perfect, I'm fairly together right now and, on Saturday, I'll be celebrating Nunday -- not just as a nun but as a survivor.
It's only at times like this you realise just how good we are as a people.
WE are sold out of habits in the middle of the worst ever recession. People will go hungry to support Pieta House.
The stories are told to us in whispers of the death of loved ones, or narrow escapes. We all have black nights of the soul, but the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
Cora summed it up best: "If only we can save just one person. Just one."
You too can save just one person. Yourself.
Our plan for Saturday is to have fun, lots of fun. You need that, too. It's part of the cure.
Cora, our chairperson, gave permission for a special prize: I'm putting up the Mark Twain Cup for the best Nunderwear.
• Listowel Nunday is on Facebook
The Samaritans' 24-hour crisis helpline: 1850 609090 Pieta House is at www.pieta.ie