Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I was in York Minster on Easter Sunday and his grace, Archbishop John, was glad-handing the pilgrims on their way out. Acting in my capacity as a member of the counter-press, I asked him if he was sticking to his pledge of not changing his underpants until Bob Mugabe had been lynched, boiled-up and eaten, Bless you, my son, he grinned.  I couldn't smell his underpants, even though it was a hot day and he was well wrapped up in archbishop clothes, so who knows, him and his Saviour, I guess. I woudn't be at all surprised if he was wearing underpants made of cloth of gold, handsewn by some scrubbed and shrivelled Anglican nuns, especially for him, fringed with diamonds, and had been hullshitting the Faithful all along, about him and Uncle Bob and his self-denial of bodily hygiene.  I mean, being an archbishop, he wouldn't expect to be walking around York, all greasy and shitty in the down below department. He certainly didn't look as though he hadn't changed his underpants for five years.  I missed his sermon but saw, instead, right afterwards, the Choral Matins, locked behind iron gates in the  Quire;  there were only about a hundred of us, virtually outnumbered by choristers and deans and precentors and crippled, old sidesmen demanding money.  I gave them a tenner, what his late revoltingness, the phoney reverend, Ian Sypillis Paisley, used to call a silent donation, and was glad to get out of there alive.  But the music was fantastic, I had never heard any of it, psalms and anthems in settings by Victorian devouts, as it was happening in the beginning, is happening now and will carry on happening, alleleuia, amen. And there were only a couple of readings by the dean and some other dude, short and to the point - Do as God fucking tells you. That'll do until Christmas, save to reflect that a life ordered by the Church calendar obviously has its leisurely attractions, its comforts, especially when the regular rituals are performed in such a setting, glass and wood and stone, its shapers' hands long coffin dust, its restoration and repair as constant as Time.


Dick the Prick said...

They sort of try and enforce the 10 squiddly entrance fee which is a bit rum. I dunno, as you mention, it's probably a bit like the Forth Bridge in its constant requirement for repairs. Ho hum.

Did you go round the back into the Treasurer's park and gardens and stuff? Neither my ol' dear or I could ever remember them being open under any other ArchBish and were jolly chuffed for it. Went a few weeks back at the start of the inordinately fine weather and were noticeably surprised by the complete lack of pissheads and also the ubiqiuous litter that seems to dominate picnics these days; ooooh, I sometimes go a bit mental at litter louts.

Sounds like you had a jolly time. The Chapterhouse is a bit special.

jgm2 said...

Youngest just back from giving it yahoo in Chichester Cathedral. Nominus sanctus spiritus. It is, as you say, just a short time ago that the entire UK ran to the Christian calendar.

Now we merely urged to buy more shit and spend more on the same shit in order to 'promote growth'. Load of shit. Growth, my arse. Fuck growth. Less is more.

As for changing underpants. I'm a continent adult. I've been commando for decades. Apart from that skiing gig obviously. Don't want to be sitting on one of them ice-encrusted lifts in nought but a pair of jeans.

Fuck no.

Although, amongst several thousand Italians I seemed to be the only one in jeans, leather jacket and beanie hat while on the slopes. Ie the clothes I wear every other fucking day.

With the money I saved on ski-wear my missus bought another fucking fur coat. When Gaia does it's 'The Day After Tomorrow' thing then we'll be well tooled up for minus 80C and liquid CO2 shit.

PT Barnum said...

The media coverage of Easter becomes more perfuntory and tangential every year that passes, it seems to me. Christmas still gets the full treatment of carol concerts and drama-mockumentaries, but Easter? Pope Benny's Orbi-tory and a Biblical flick on Channel 5 seemed to be the sum total.

I'm as lapsed a Catholic as they come, but the ceremonial glories of Ash Wednesday, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday have, as Mr DtP points out, been replaced by carpet sales and a DIY-fest. Even the original pagan fertility rite would be an improvement...

Agatha said...

Too much information, Mr. jgm2, if being commando means what I think it means. Still, jeans wash easily, not like suits. Surrounded by men in suits in the workplace, it is best not to dwell on when the trouserings last saw good, hot, soapy water.
I, also, am a lapsed Catholic, Mr. PT Barnum, and remember when Good Friday was a slow, solemn, hungry day, with the statues and shrines all shrouded in purple and the Eucharist removed from the altar, its little silver and gold cupboard door left open to show its emptiness. The men of the parish did vigil in the church all night. Now, Good Friday isn't even a public holiday in Scotland - I don't know about England, not having been there in a while. In Scotland, on the day that's arguably the most significant day of the liturgical calendar for all Christians, everyone's at work, and the tills ring merrily all afternoon long.
This being lapsed is a bit tricky at present, as the daughter, in middle-age, having been brought up in a most secular fashion, has become a Christian and is turning to me for advice in an area I had thought long since withered within me. God moves in mysterious ways and Brian Cox is clearly one of His voices, with his eager exposition of impenetrable Universal mysteries. We are all star dust.