Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Warning: May Contain Nuns

I’d like to claim ownership of the joke about the black-white-red-all-over nun. Well, they started the war between us, and I’m sure you’re aware one of the most powerful tools in conflict is propaganda. There was a time when my war cabinet were coming up with several of them a day, from ‘Candles out, girls!’ to ‘That’ll be the cobbles...’ all with the aim of discrediting the sisters so they’d stop bothering me. Yet their counter-measures meant that by 1997, my fear of nuns was such if I so much as got a few bars of ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’ I would drop down dead.

Fortunately, I think we sorted a truce and I managed to get on an immersion therapy course to embrace, cherish and champion nuns in all forms, the draw being the name: ‘Get Back In The Habit!’ It was a very relaxed thing; they started off by showing us pictures of Sister Sledge, and flashing up images of friendly-looking penguins, and by the end of the first day, we were all singing along to Whoopi Goldberg’s magnum opus Sister Act.

The nuns had instigated it all, bringing the fear by a slow grinding down by a crack team of SOS nuns in Leicester who decided I was the quintessence of all evil, and should be followed around the fair city. The times did I turn around to find there was a nun gliding behind me are too numerous to recall, their hands steepled in prayer, eyeing me with a look of holy intent. After three years of this, just the swish of synthetic fabric or the low rattle of rosary was enough to make me power-mince away and hide somewhere sinful. And that is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Yet thanks to my therapy, nuns are now the staple comedy ingredient in my life. Anything is funnier when it’s in a habit, including frying eggs or riding a motorbike. So, imagine my delight when dear Gertie gave me a copy of A Nun in the Closet, a story of two holy sisters having to leave the convent to sort out a bizarre inheritance, and end up embroiled in the most wonderful mystery. I was reading it on the train last night and laughing so hard, I cleared all the seats around me.

For some reason, the nuns have stopped following me these days. Perhaps they are holding to our treaty, or I’m now on the morally gay and narrow, so don’t need watching. Perhaps they’ve discovered my evil best friend Declan and are swooping down on him like VTOL Flying Nuns as we speak. Yet the war seems to have been abated.

Myself and ASDA checkout women... well, that’s another matter entirely.

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