"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Man-flu, righteous umberellas, WWGF do? high disclosing physicists and intimidating Bishops.
I've been off work for three days with man-flu - bravely borne and without fuss, of course. Just a white wine spritzer please. Larry, one of my American friends was unfamiliar with the term. Two of my female friends felt well placed to advise him.
"Man-flu" is the worst kind." June is in her 70s. She is very wise. "Women never have it."
Erika developed the idea. "Man flu can be anything from a slight runny nose right through to a tickly throat and the occasional sneeze. It requires absolute bed-rest, lots of heroic suffering and being looked after. It must be borne with strength and fortitude and one must make sure not to make too much of it."
I think man-flu is a great existential balance because while it is about male stoicism, it is essential to hint at significant suffering.
So: I had uncontrolable shivering and every joint, bone and muscle ached. After three days I also had cabin fever. Isn't day-time T.V. rubbish?
I note from Facebook that Larry now has a sore throat. I've no doubt that this is the onset of man-flu so I'm pleased we were able to put him right.
The problem is that in our house each of us only has a twenty four hour tolerance of other people's illness. For the first day all is sweetness and light. Beyond that, tough shit. You're on your own. Get over it.
I had trouble with the DVD recorder while I was off and was too wooly headed to cope. The answer to all such problems is to ring the mad physcist.
"What-ho shit for brains. Can I ring you back? I'm in the loo. Oh bollocks, I've got shit on my phone." One of the things I love about John is that he likes to keep you very well informed.
I set off for church this morning in the pouring rain with an over-large sports umberella. About a hundred yards from church a passing knob-head decided to drive very fast through a large kerbside puddle. At times like this I should ask What would Jesus do? I don't. It's much more fun to ask What would Giles Fraser do? Or What would George Carey do? This latter one is easy because he would, of course, see it as a direct attack on Christianity in modern society - and outside a church too. My, isn't Christianity being marginalised?
Had the traffic lights been red I have no doubt that my umberella would have left a series of impressive dents (and a shattered windscreen) in said car. As it was he accelerated away leaving me dripping wet and cursing loudly. It was probably a good job I wasn't wearing my dog collar but I did feel I could identify with the righteous indignation of Jesus and can now picture him cleansing the temple with a large sports umberella. I like a bit of muscular Christianity. I could be the military wing of the C. of E.
That's not to say that I necessarily believe that Giles Fraser would beat the living daylights out of the driver, but hey, that aggressive haircut? Enough said.
I spent the first ten minutes standing against a very hot radiator in the vestry, smelling of wet dog and looking, I have to say, rather as if the radiator and I were on far better terms than was absolutely healthy.
Talking of dog collars - good segue, huh? - my Boss related an incident with the Diocesan Bishop. We don't get many episcopal visits in school, in fact I think this was the first. I had been intrigued when the Boss told me the vicar of Wakefield was coming to see him. I should have realised he meant the Bishop. The purpose of this visit was unclear but as we have a local clergyman who keeps going on about church schools, we both suspected that this might have been the clerical agenda. The Boss has been very open to this possibility: "Over my dead body." Yes, that open!
How did it go? I asked the next morning.
"Well.." The Boss had a wicked twinkle in his eye. " ... it was very amusing. Poor Mrs. Fox in reception was dealing with a particularly awkward parent who was becoming spectacularly aggressive about the fact that his daughter's mobile phone had been confiscated. Just as he was reaching a crescendo of cursing he looked around and saw the Bishop standing there, legs firmly planted and an eyebrow raised."
Ah, well, the flash of a purple shirt can often work wonders.
"Purple shirt? Not a bit of it! He was in full papal regalia, mitre, staff of office and all. He never uttered a word but the parent gulped noticeably, put his head down and departed muttering "You've not heard the last of this!" Mrs. George has decided that she'll dress as a nun when dealing with parents from now on."
Comprehensive education is indeed a broad church.