Talk of the devil, or more specifically of his cyberspace rival, the bearded ballgown wearer who practices the Godding lark but no-one knows his name, and of whom of late I’ve made a few observations about on this blog.
One thing I’ve frequently remarked about is given his all-powerful capabilities, why does he punish his creations, namely us poor buggers, with so many bad things; typhoons, sinking ships, Trump, coronavirus and so on. It really is a pretty bad record of either job failure or sheer bloody malice.
As I’ve argued, the logical explanation for this constant lashing out has to be God being utterly fed up as the recipient of this relentless praying, of billions of buggers endlessly seeking his intervention for their advantage.
We saw this illustrated three days ago with about 20 skybayers killed in Bangladesh while praying to him, doubtless asking for stuff. Organising that would be a mere flick of the finger for God, who for all we know was having breakfast or lining up a putt in a heavenly golf-course when interrupted by this sky-baying racket. So bang, as said, a flick of the divine finger and collapse of the mosque.
Anyway, the other day it occurred to me I hadn’t read a Kingsley Amis for a while, so I scanned my library and pulled out “One Fat Englishman.” I saw in the frontispiece I bought it in 1966, three years after it was published and I certainly haven’t re-read it in at least the last quarter century.
Well, lo and behold there’s a marvellous and typically Amis piece in it dealing with precisely my skybaying point.
Set in America, the plot involves a fat English publisher anti-hero, Roger Micheldene, the guest of a gracious American colleague who puts on a dinner party for him. Other guests include a novelist, an academic, another publisher and their wives.
In the course of the evening Roger goes out of his way to be incredibly rude to everyone and forcefully attempts to have it off with two of the wives when catching them alone.
He’s a Catholic and later that night kneels beside his bed to pray. He opens formally with, “In nomine Patris, Filii et Spiritus Sancti” then launches into God brilliantly with, “Now, look here, this isn’t good enough. You know what I’m like and yet you keep on at me. All those people you know I can’t stand. Why do you keep sending along bastards like Atkins and Macher and bloody fools like that Parteger creature (these were the guests he’d insulted) if you don’t want me to be angry? When a chap starts talking the sort of pretentious cock that horrid little…” and so on in this vein his evening prayer continued, finishing with an appeal to God to help him succeed in ravishing his host’s beautiful wife. “You must know how much I want it for Christ’s sake”.
Well, doubtless finding this blunt approach refreshing from the standard unctuous praying style, God does intervene and Roger eventually succeeds with the beautiful wife.
So there’s a lesson there for skybayers, namely cut out the praise when you’re making your praying appeals and get stuck into God. Understandably he’d find it refreshing and jump into line and deliver the goods.