Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Nativity nightmares

I was Mary.

I didn't want to be Mary.

I didn't want to be Mary because everyone kept teasing me about Mary's Husband Joseph: "ha ha ha, you've been making babies with XXX XXX (boy that played Mary's Husband Joseph) behind the Clown Wall*"


Children are stoooopid because, had they been accurate with their teasing, it should have been "ha ha ha, you've been making babies with the Lord Creator, God Almighty, behind the Clown Wall" – I still wouldn't have been happy, but it would have been a hell of a lot less yucky. Bleurgh.

Anyway, I digress. I wasn't happy about being Mary because I wanted to be The Angel Gabriel.

Fulfilling a long-standing dream to be the Angel Gabriel

My friend Lucy got to be The Angel Gabriel.

The Angel Gabriel had a whole gaggle (chorus? what is the collective noun for seraphim?) of angels, of which she was the leader, that stood around her (i.e. hiding her from view). She got to stand in the gallery, upstairs at the back of the church, where the bell ringers normally hang out, and only had to stand there, in a white robe (a.k.a. a bed sheet with a hole in the middle) and a tinsel halo, hold her arms aloft and be "radiant".

I wanted to do that.

I didn't want to walk with The Donkey ("Little donkey, little donkey, on the dusty roooooooad"), and the Yucky Boy down the road to Bethlehem (a.k.a. the aisle, the aisle which, incidentally, I walked down on my wedding day) or knock on The Inn Door ("get lost, there's no room"), or cradle the Son of God (Tiny Tears) before placing him (actually a her - I checked) gently (dangling by the ankle) in to The Manger (a cradle from the reception class filled with straw from George the Guinea Pig's bedding stash) and welcoming the Three Kings (one in a taxi, one in a car, one on a scooter, beeping his hooter) with their gifts or the Shepherd (washing his socks by night) and his cuddly sheep toy.

I wanted to Shine Resplendent from the gallery at the opportune moment and then disappear again, away from the eyes of the audience.

So, I thought, I'll show them, they'll never make me Mary, Mother of God, again. When the time came for The Angel Gabriel to Shine Resplendent I marched down the aisle, sorry, Dusty Road, and fully hammed up my "arrrgh, the light blinds me" acting.

The direction I received was "shield your eyes from the aura beaming from God's messenger, be over-awed by the glowing light". Instead I adopted the pose of a person in the unhappy event of seeing a nuclear bomb drop: my torso surged backwards by the blast and my arms flung in front of my face to protect my retinas from being burned by the searing white light, my mouth prised open by the silent cry of "ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH".

My mother, seated half way down the aisle, thoroughly unimpressed by my usual over-acting muttered from the side of her mouth: "not that over-awed Victoria"...

At that I stomped back to my stool, mouthed my way through "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy" and "We Saw Three Ships" and snarled at the recorder players in the front pew. I wish I'd learned to play the recorder.

I never played Mary again.

Or The Angel Gabriel.

Funny that.
Angel with a bag bomb...

*a random concrete monstrosity in the playground against which we played may violent games of dodge ball, around which we played Blind-dah-Date, and upon which we were safe from being Tagged or Caught in games of KCT (Kiss, Cuddle Or Torture for those not in the know)

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