Bless This Laundry Room

Nnnnnnokay, time for another spot of mockery and ridicule. I’ve done plenty of real work today – plenty, I tell you. Finishing an article, subbing, official correspondence, all sorts. (Of course, I also took an hour or so to go for a walk in the fat leafy yellow-green lush spring streets, but hey, I’m not a vegetable, here, I can’t sit at the desk for twelve hours straight.) So it’s time for dessert. (Yes, besides the orange, and besides the chocolate cookie. Be quiet.)

Well, after all, what do you expect, when you get real estate agents and vicars together? Rational dialogue? I don’t think so. On the one hand you got people who talk about fabulous homes with cozy stoves and divine soffits and the original reputable hand-carved Torrescino marbled antiqued spotted louvered hatchukas, and on the other hand you got people who talk to an imaginary playmate, so you see what I’m getting at.

The Church of England is going into partnership with estate agents to offer blessing services to people moving home. From this week, house buyers in a number of dioceses will be offered the services of a vicar, who will say special prayers to cover almost every eventuality.

The hatchuka breaking down, the soffits going mouldy, the hand-carved Torrescino marbling peeling off and dribbling onto the Swedish hand-sanded birch flooring, the spiders taking over the bathtubs completely, the den filling up with bears, the flat-screen tv not being flat enough – all of it will have been foreseen and prayed about and warded off and prevented by an honest to god authentic hand-dressed black and white two-eyed church of England vicar. Now that’s exciting.

As the vicars go from room to room, they will lay hands on everything from the bed, praying for a healthy sex life, to the lavatory, asking for “good health and to give thanks for sanitation”.

Wait – wait, wait, wait, you forgot the prayer of protection, and the going in with the left foot first, and the facing not Mecca, and not the opposite of Mecca, but the side (the side of you, towards Mecca, so that you’re facing the side, instead of Mecca – see?), and the squatting, and the door closed, and the not doing it in front of fifteen people who have just sat down to three-cheese lasagne and spinach salad and don’t want to watch, and the making sure to do what the prophet did, because only the prophet knows how to use the toilet the right way, even though he never actually clapped eyes on one. Just asking for good health and saying thanks for the sewer system is nowhere near enough. Pikers.

In the kitchen they will say: “O Lord, to all who shall work in this room that, in serving others, they may serve you and share in your perfect service and that in the noise and clutter of the kitchen they may possess you in tranquillity; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” A prayer for the garage says: “Almighty and everlasting God, be to this household a guide in all their journeys and a shield from every danger.”

The noise and clutter of the kitchen! What noise and clutter? Who are these people, how do they think they know what our kitchens are like? My kitchen happens to be exactly like an undisturbed expanse of new snow: chilly, pale, clean, pure, and silent. Noise and clutter indeed. I save that sort of thing for the living room, thank you.

Mr Painter said: “We will pray for people who are anxious about dry rot that they will be given guidance about how to tackle it. There will be those who are worried about security and we will ask God to watch over the house.”

So…praying is a way to get guidance for people who are worried about dry rot? Not just, you know, looking up dry rot in the yellow pages, or online, or in one of those Yes of Course You Can Do House Repairs Yourself books? No no, I know, that’s a silly question. Anyway, I gotta go: I’m going to go back to school to get a degree in real estate divinity.

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