This evening's events are barely over before they have acquired the nickname "Pizzapocalypse". Today's all-age spontaneous worship perhaps was more - ahem - spontaneous than we expected.
We like to make the monthly Beaker Saturday Evening get-together, "Eileen and Hnaef's Saturday Takeaway" as all-age-friendly as possible. Which basically means we supply sweet tubs from the local Cash & Carry and hope the kids will leave us alone while we read Luther's Commentary on the Book of Romans, or "Fiona Phillips's Guide to 10 Really Nice Famous People I know", or "Sheepish Spirituality - Engaging with the World for Total Cowards" or whatever we're on this time. But this month we unfortunately got the mixture of sweets a bit wrong, with a preponderance to the blue.
Dunno what it is with the blue sweets and the children's group. I don't believe they still contain dire and unwise colourants. But then, thinking about it, what is naturally blue? We'd be safer with orange sweets. At least we know it's the natural colour of something. David Dickinson for starters. Anyway. Twenty "Little Pebbles" were let off the leash for the "quiet worship time". Which included a rendering in seven part harmony of a nose-flute arrangement of "Make me a Channel of Your Peace." And some fool said to the kids that it was OK to join in, using the assortment of instruments in "The Music Box".
Four ocarinas, a dozen tambourines, some vuvuzelas and several sets of maracas. You couldn't hear the nose flutes. Not even the bass. So Grimwald, very annoyed, ran over and did the one thing you really shouldn't do in a church service. He shouted at a child.
Now, you shouldn't shout at children in church for lots of reasons. Firstly because they are a better representation of the Kingdom than the rest of us. Secondly because it's you who are always automatically in the wrong when you use power against innocence. Thirdly because you look like a bully. Fourthly because you're just adding to the noise.
But mostly because little Kitti is a fierce young creature of seven summers. She has absorbed the lessons in women's equality and struggling for your rights that Daphne Hnaef has instilled in her. And her family comes from Bletchley. In short, she's not one to take any crap, as I believe the expression is.
And the final reason why Grimwald shouldn't have shouted at Kikki was, he still had his nose flute in place.
The actual damage to Grimwald's physiognomy was obscured at the time as half a dozen of the Little Pebbles discovered the stack of pizzas that Charllii was removing from the oven ready for our tea. Hyped up on blue colourant, and with the blood lust up after Kitti's defeat of Grimwald, there were pretty soon pizzas flying like Frisbees. The deep pan aren't so bad - at least they're fairly doughy. But the thin crust can give a nast welt in the skin, I can tell you. I've spent the last ten minutes dabbing iodine on Burton Dasset. He hadn't been cut, it just cheers me up to hear him screaming.
Anyway. Eventually the Moot House was knee deep in dough and tomato sauce, and smelling strongly of oregano. We had to switch on the sprinkler system to clear the place of rioting kids, and wash away the fragments of Mediterranean cuisine.
Hnaef's just texted back from the hospital. Grimwald's ability to "see" the sounds around him as colours is starting to fade.They're hopeful that the flute will come out in one piece. But they're not sure it will ever be playable again. At any rate, nobody else will want to borrow it. And we've agreed that next time we have an All Age act of worship, we're going to put the children's work in another building. Or, ideally, on another planet.