A dilema indeed
A dilema indeed

April 09, 2010

A most embarrassing and awkward situation has cropped up and it is one that is causing me much concern.

I have, of late, been encouraged by the bishop to broaden my horizons pertaining to all things theological and
doctrinal (specifically with regard to my choice of reading matter) and to move out of my ‘comfort zone’.

He assures me that such a move will enable me to more readily engage with the common man (or, I hasten to add for fear of sending ripples across the already choppy waters of feminism; women) in my preaching.

    I would surmise that his rationale is that word is out that I had not received a single nomination for the much esteemed ‘World of Anglicanism Sermon of the Year 2009’ competition. Despite the slightly hurtful undertones of the bishop’s well-meaning suggestion I have nonetheless decided to embrace his advice and to join the local library forthwith.

    It is many a year since I last availed myself of the opportunity to borrow from the municipal literature pool and much to my surprise I discover that I now need to supply not just my name and address but also photographic identification (or ‘ID’ as I believe it is called in the modern vernacular).

I found myself having to leave my completed (but not yet approved) application form with the rather surly librarian on the ill-named ‘Customer Care’ desk and ‘hot foot it’ to the nearby Boots the Chemist outlet where (I was brusquely informed) they had a photographic booth for such occurrences as that in which I now found myself.

    Having spent a good ten minutes falteringly attempting to familiarise myself with the requirements of the said photographic booth I pulled back the curtain and positioned myself purposefully for the off.
The unfortunate sequence of events that followed are that which I referred to at the outset of this missive.

    Having mentally rehearsed the four poses that I wished to assume for the automated photographer I deposited the requisite coins in the machine and waited with my first frozen pose.
As the first dazzling flash illuminated the cramped cubicle, and all but blinded me, a voice addressed me from the other side of the closed curtain.
This voice was not, it seemed, intent on engaging in conversation but rather in unburdening their weighted soul of its unsavoury contents.

    This untimely interruption temporarily fazed my normally calm clerical demeanour causing me to produce poses for the impatient camera that were nothing like those that I had planned.
In a matter of seconds I had been captured for posterity sporting a variety of facial expressions that ranged from bewilderment to consternation.

    It would appear that the poor (and somewhat misguided) person outside of the cubicle had observed my
ministerial entrance and mistakenly thought it to be some sort of mobile confessional booth.
Not only did my photographs suffer the effects of this unwarranted disturbance but I am now uncertain as to what to do with the supposedly confidential information that my ‘confessed’ inadvertently passed my way.

    I think I can overlook the small matter of his pretending to gift a busker with a pound coin when in fact it was a half melted, out-of-date chocolate replica.
His admittance that he has a stash of unreturned library books at home numbering into the hundreds is of a
completely different order.

  I now found myself in somewhat of a dilemma.
If I return to the library to complete my application is it my public duty to report the deluded fellow’s literary light-fingeredness or should I remain tight-lipped and retain the integrity of the confessional (photographic or otherwise)?
  Not only that but my dilemma is laced with irony in that I am sure that there is a jolly useful tome in print that tackles all such ecclesiastical quandaries but there are no prizes for guessing from which particular
municipal facility I would have to borrow it.