The reverend Ming The Merciless is hiding in my kitchen with a cup of tea. His boss fetched up on a bicycle this morning and is allegedly not especially taken with the vicar's endeavours to set a small stone gargoyle on Tolly Maw, nor to call it ‘Bok’. I asked if the Bishop could be all that bad but Ming only hissed before blaming his current troubles on reruns of the comprehensively unfunny and annoying Vicar Of Dibley.
“I won’t be Dawn French,” he says reading my mind. Probably literally.
“The Bishop cannot possibly expect you to be?”
But he can if his boss say so, and it’s his boss that has come to the village. And his boss is god, and god is John Le Mesurier. Not to be confused with the longest running show in London’s West End (wherein dirty French people are not so in the manner of postcards from the 1920s), Le Mesurier was previously the Angel Of Unfortunate Union, noted as far back as Babylon as a being 'whom everyone loved, but whom everyone that loved him would then sleep with Tony Hancock'. A little befuddled I can see god from the window being so tremendously charming as to have all the Tilda Swintons clustered about him with terrible adoration. I can also see naked from the waist down a rubbery Tony Hancock hiding in the phone box.
“How does John Le Mesurier become god?” I say.
Ming caught stealing my biscuits has the good grace to look guilty. I’m pleased. He never did when he set earthquakes and tidal waves upon us - I see now why his chosen career. He says, “It was only advertised internally, he was an angel so back in ’83...”
“Ah,” what more can I say? Well, “Are you sure that’s wise?” He jumps, I grin. Out of the window Hancock’s got hold of one of the Tildas. She’s made of sticks and cruel laughter but he expects that does Hancock and he’s got these big hands and fat fingers like saveloys left in a motorway cafe’s biggest pan an hour gone breakfast.
I run a bucket of water.