20 Apr 2005, Comments (0)

The Odour of Sanctity

Author: Helen

There have been signs and wonders at the Cast Iron Balcony. Having been one to scorn superstition and divination, the Cast Iron one has been forced to soften, to recant, to believe!

It started a few weeks ago: the smell. We’d had a couple of toddlers over for dinner – they’d got the parents parentsat– and when they’d gone, there were two large patches on the rug. (No, they didn’t look like the Virgin Mary, or anything.) What with the wet patches and the smell starting up, it was obviously wee. I didn’t think twice, just cleaned it up with carpet cleaner, dried, aired etc.

But the smell got worse. It was sulphurous and urinous and generally pretty bad. Looking back, I realise now that it was the odour of sanctity.

The Pope died. The Cardinals put their frocks on and went into their huddle. The odour grew in our living room. “Phwoor, what stinks?” we complained. Listening to AM on my way to work, I was struck by the Vatican’s response to our world of high-tech communications: They used smoke signals to convey their decisions or lack of them to the adoring populace outside. Now that’s modern. I thought the scene at St Peter’s Square was a powerful metaphor for Catholic conservatism; the watchers needed the smoke to be black or white, and milled about like restless chooks when it looked like any shade of grey.

Today, the Cardinals sent up their puff of white smoke, and Significant Other finally confirmed my suspicion by moving the couch.

You guessed it. Dead rat. And the same day, the conservative Cardinal Ratzinger became the leader of the Catholic church. We could have made millions on Centrebet. The answer was right there under our noses. Phwooooar.

I’ve been blogging this till it’s safe to go back into the living room. SO is a hero. I have resolved to take more notice of signs and portents in future. Next time, it’s the chicken entrails.

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