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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 04, 2005

Holy Holy Holy

I haven't got a lot of time for religionists, you should know that about me. So While I think we should get at least a week off work because the Pope has died, that's not because I care.

I come from a large family, had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. My mum was married twice and started young, and that's how it was. When I was 7,8 years old, I had a friend at school, Andrew Brammer, and we were inseparable, lost in our own little world of made-up characters and a rich fantasy life. I remember once we decided to build and launch our own space ship. We were very serious about it. It involved a vaguely rocket-shaped piece of wood, a cardboard box, and a lump of coal.

Anyway, that's by the by. We were probably friends because we were, jointly, the last boys in our year to still wear shorts in the summer. Yeah, man, I'm hip. One day, walking home from school (we lived at opposite ends of the same, very long, road), he stopped me just as I was about to cross over to my house, and asked, sotto voice, if I was a Roman Catholic.

That's how he put it. "Don't tell anyone I asked you this, but are you a Roman Catholic?"

Not being a religionist of any ilk, I had no idea what he was talking about. At all. Took me years to put together his membership of the Boy's Brigade (as opposed to the Scouts), and the delicate question, which was obviously prompted by his rabidly Protestant parents, who didn't want him playing with any Catholic boys. Fuckers. Also made me a little bit sad, that his parents should contaminate his 8-year-old mind and life with questions of sectarianism.

Ironically, and I didn't know this till many years later, it turns out that my family name made me, probably, more orange than they were.


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