The Bell Ringer

Quasimodo has a Hunch about You

By Gregg Sanderson

Tintinnabulation: (tin’ti-nab’ya-lay’shan) n. The ringing or sounding of bells.

Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, is an ugly son-of-a-gun who rings the bell. He’s gentle at heart and means well, but every chance he gets he’ll ring that doggoned bell. The tintinnabulation is maddening!

He’s like some of the people in your life who “ring your bell.” They mean well but have a way about them that sets you off every time they pull on the rope.

Who is this Quasimodo character, anyhow?

It could be anybody and everybody in your life or out of it, living or dead. In this analogy he shows you how your emotions work.

Usually those closest to you make the bell ring loudest because they know just where to grab the rope. Spouses and ex-spouses are especially astute. Nobody knows how to do it quite like those significant others. That’s why we call ‘em “significant.”

Family members are good at it too, even parents who have passed on. Many people spend lifetimes in anxiety over their ability to please a dead parent.

Children play the bell-ringer role as well. The ropes on the bells are your vulnerability and those kids know where every one is hanging. It seems they pull on them at the most inopportune times.

Then there are the others at work or school who do things in a way that annoys the daylights out of you. One has a whiney voice resembling the union of blackboard and fingernails. Another has curious personal habits. Some are so protective of their work they sabotage yours. People who deal with the public can tell you horror stories about the Quasimodos they meet.

You don’t have to know Quasimodo to get your bell rung. Think of the driver doing 25 mph down the two-lane highway five minutes before the store closes.

Quasimodo doesn’t have to be a person. He could be a traffic jam, a corporation, Congress or the president of the United States. Whatever turns you off.

Get the idea? Quasimodo is whoever and whatever gets you upset—produces tintinnabulation.

Clang – Fear; Clang – Anger; Clang – Resentment; Clang – Hurt; Clang, Clang, Clang – Guilt, worry, sadness, humiliation, despair, disappointment, rage, frustration, anxiety, stress. Ah, stress. That word seems to sum them all up.

Some authorities who should know better tell you stress is good for you. They ignore the harmful effects on the body, the premature aging and the lousy feelings.


As long as Quasimodo pulls on the rope, the bell rings and you can’t feel love or joy or peace of mind. This tintinnabulation does much more than make you unhappy. It also has its effect on people around you.

How can you stop the ringing?

The obvious solution, of course, is simple homicide, but society frowns on it. And the consequences could introduce you to Quasimodos you’ve never dreamed of. No, you have to do something a little less drastic. Besides, chances are you’re somebody else’s Quasimodo.

Bribery might work. Give the kid a couple of bucks to go to the movies. Send Quasimodo on a trip around the world by canoe. That can get expensive, so you can also leave and it’ll be a lot cheaper.

You could cut the rope. That would be perfect if you want to live in a cave and not have any more human contact. That doesn’t sound like fun.

Revenge is a possibility. If he beats you to the last parking space, you’ll let the air out of his tires. Just don’t let him see you do it.

If he tries to tell you how to live your life, you live it another way (even if his suggestion might work better). If he bugs you with advice, you can ignore it.

You could find another job or spouse, but you can’t always find another parent (or child). Nothing we’ve thought about so far can work for all the Quasimodos.

Wait a minute!

How about…

YES! Do you care what Quasimodo does, or do you just want to stop the ringing? Aha! If you can stop the (emotional) noise, ole Quasie can turn somersaults on the rope for all you care. It won’t bother you, and you can enjoy his antics or applaud his dance.

How can you stop the ringing? It’s your bell. Just remove the clapper! The bell can swing all it wants and it won’t make a sound. You’ll hear the bluebird of happiness chirping its li’l heart out. Love, joy and peace become the order of the day.

Beats the hell out of a frontal lobotomy.

The Quasimodo story is an analogy. All you have to do is know that the clapper represents your BS (your NEED). It’s whatever you must have to be happy. It’s anything you want where you feel bad if you don’t get it.

You may want your football team to win, and that’s OK. If you go into a suicidal funk when they lose, then it’s more than a want. Your happiness depends upon the score, so it’s a NEED.

You may want your child to be an “A” student, but if you get angry over a “C” you NEED an “A” student. You may want me to show up on time, and if all you remember is the once when I didn’t—you need for me to be on time.

To stop the ringing in Quasimodo’s bell, remove the clapper—the need. That’s what we’re all about and there are several methods for that.

What are these needs and where did they come from? They’re your BS (belief system) and you started to get it before you were old enough to know what was happening.

Next month, we’ll show you a new way to look at life to produce greater happiness and joy. Stay tuned for more BS you can use.

Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner inthe Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What EverHappened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the NewThought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhereat any time. You can see it at

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