Tag Archives: superstitions

The wrong end of the stick!

13 Nov

Dear friends

One of the downsides to my vocation is that I am rarely (if never) completely ‘off duty’, so to speak. This state of affairs is little helped by the fact that my clerical attire somewhat singles me out in a crowd thus making me a magnet for any who have need of a man of the cloth.

That said, it is not only the familiar dog collar that illuminates my presence. Whilst most homes get away with sporting an innocuous name or door number by way of identification, my residence is clearly ‘marked‘ as ‘The Manse’.

Last Saturday, having ventured into town to pay a small fine on an outstanding library book (not outstanding in the sense of it being great, rather outstanding as being overdue) I found myself accosted in the street by a couple of swarthy ladies proffering ‘lucky heather’. 

Not only do I distance myself from such superstitious mumbo jumbo but this particular bloom has the unfortunate effect of triggering my perennial hay fever and therefore, from my perspective, not in the least bit lucky.

Having paid my dues to a surly librarian who was in no mood to listen to my explanation of mitigating circumstances (it had been doing sterling service propping up a wobbly table in St Cliff’s foyer) I retraced my steps through the town only to once more be confronted by those persistent purveyors of purple plants.

Having successfully fended off their second attempt to persuade me to “take some heather with you to church, Reverend“ I hastily made my way back to the safety of the manse, post-haste (well as speedily as my trusty Nissan Micra would allow).

Even an additional chocolate digestive taken with a reviving cup of tea could not shake my unease that I might yet still be a target for these peddlers of happenstance, my dog collar having given me away fair and square.

When the phone rang I will confess that I was still feeling more than a little on edge. The voice at the other end quickly seemed to justify my anxieties and I promptly slammed down the phone as I would on any telephonic interloper who was attempting to sell me their wares.

It was only next morning, as I prepared to enter St Cliff’s sanctuary in readiness to deliver another in my ‘Leviticus Highlights’ series, that I discovered (to my horror) that I had got the wrong end of the proverbial stick.

It appeared that the phone call was not in fact another attempt by the aforementioned ladies to foist on me a sprig of lucky heather rather someone asking me to give a lift to an elderly lady who lives but two doors from the manse.

Not only did I find that I had inadvertently declined a request to ‘take Heather to church’ but I also now discover that the lady in question was planning to make a substantial donation to St Cliff’s Roof Fund that particular day, had she but come.

Having been spurned by my good self not only has the offer of a much-needed boost to our Roof Fund been withdrawn but so also has her membership at St Cliff’s.

My only crumb of comfort in this whole sorry debacle is that it assuredly underlines my belief (at great cost to myself) that heather is, and never will be, lucky. 

Well not in my case anyway!

Onward and upward

Derek

You can also find me at  www.facebook.com/derektheclericsquirkyworld

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