Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Complementarian Inquisition

The scene: the Hnaefs' apartment. As told to me by Hnaef.

Hnaef: Nice day welding the rivets onto ocean-going liners, Daph?

Daphne: Not so bad, Hnaef. Some of the little beggars were a bit tricky, and I had to use quantum entanglement technology to get them into place. But then we had to work out a way of getting the boat out to sea.

Hnaef: Isn't that tricky? I don't know much about geography, but I'm sure it must be 10 or 11 miles from Husborne Crawley to the sea...

Daphne:  Rather more than that, Hnaef. I'd draw you a map if you could understand it. But the good news was that I whipped up a giant diffraction grating and used Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to transmit the boat straight out to the coast off Lowestoft. But enough about my day. How's the knitting coming on?

Hnaef: I've finished the cardie for Little Hnaef #1, but then I had to break off before doing anything else, because Eileen's car wouldn't start. Thankfully I just had to change a plug lead and...

Daphne: Oh, Hnaef - you've been getting your hands oily? How are your nails?

Hnaef: Let's not worry about the nails. I am able to deal with minor car-related issues. I wasn't expecting a kind of Complementarian Inquisition....

Three men in badly-fitting cheap suits enter the room, followed by a woman with a tea-trolley.

Drayton Parslow (for it is he): NO BIDDY expects the Complementarian Inquisition!

Hnaef: Shouldn't that be "no body"?

Drayton: Probably. But I was just being gratuitously offensive. Our four chief weapons are fear, surprise, a slavish devotion to the writings of Mark Driscoll, and rigid literalism.

Daphne: Erm.. aren't you supposed to have five things in your list?

Drayton: No. One of our weapons is rigid literalism.

Hnaef: Fair enough. So what's the charge?

Drayton: That you have been doing WOMEN'S WORK!

Deacon Fang: Ooooh.

Elder Rodney: Aaah - women's work.

Mrs Doyle: So will you have a cup of tea?

Hnaef: I accept that it would normally be Daphne doing the motor mechanics...

Deacon Fang: Ooooh.

Hnaef: But I had just finished the cardie. And Eileen is such a numpty around cars. Last time her car wouldn't start it was all we could do to stop her laying hands on it. And I didn't want her hanging round the place all afternoon.

Drayton: It was the cardie that was women's work, not the car. As it says in the Good Book, "man that is born of a woman - thou shalt not knit, for that is work for those of soft hands."

Daphne: Where does it say that, then?

Drayton: Well, it definitely doesn't list welding and quantum mechanics in Proverbs 31.

Daphne: It wouldn't, would it? They hadn't invented one or discovered the other.

Drayton: I must consult with my cardinals. I mean, Elder and Deacon.

Mrs Doyle: Now, will you have a cup of tea?

Drayton: We have consulted. And we must ask one question. And that question is.... Was the knitting manly?

Hnaef: Well, it was knitting. You know. For Little Hnaef #1, who is a girl., after all.

Elder Rodney: So it was a pink cardigan? You have committed the sin of effeminate knitting?

Deacon Fang: Heretic! Heretic!

Hnaef: No. It was a camouflage cardie. Not that we approve of violence, but we wouldn't like to stereotype.

Drayton: Can we see the item, to ascertain its sufficiently manliness of construction?

Hnaef: Yes, it's here. We gave the cardie to Little Hnaef #1 this evening, along with one that Daphne made last week and also this one that my great-aunt Ruby knitted for her.

Drayton: You gave her three cardigans?

Daphne: Yes. You see, Aunt Ruby and I have always been very competitive. Whenever Hnaef does any knitting, we make the same items and we see which one the recipient thinks is best. It's just a bit of fun...

Drayton: And since your great-aunt is an old woman - I presume - naturally her knitwear is better?

Hnaef: Far from it. In fact Daphne won. You could say my wife's was prized above Ruby's...


  1. Brilliant punch-line, didn't see it coming!

  2. I can't get over the concept of 'manly' work?

    Surely work is work, whoever does it. It's offensive to man and womanhood to try to define it on a gender only basis. Admittedly, men can't under normal circumstances, breast feed, but what is impossible for man, is possible for God :)

    However, I digress. I can't see why knitting should be regarded as unmanly? It's a good manual skill, which requires as much skill, dexterity, accuracy and speed as a man lifting his pint. So, why should it be limited to women?

    And I dislike the sneakiness of the policing of work by a men only group. True equality demands that the Arch Druid must be involved to scuttle the lot of you.

    1. Manly knitting is fine, it's pink knitting that's the problem.

  3. Love it too!!

    The great and sainted Richard Rutt (RIP) knitted his own mitre when he was Bishop of Leicester - and preached on the theology of knitting.


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