...and it turned to God
, who had been invited onto the Mogg (or Mugg?) campaign
for six or eight weeks as a guest god and had caused a certain amount of havoc
s. There was an encyclopaedia
article about God, showing a theatre poster
(or album cover
?) in a 1920s expressionist
style, grey-scale angst
And over the page there was a small picture of an inn-sign featuring God's coat of arms, which was a bit fussy for my taste, I was surprised it wasn't simpler. This led to certain Central European princely families descended from God who were now fallen on hard times and had to seek adventures in foreign lands.
And what a bunch they were: a few pleasant-looking, ineffectual middle-aged men in ragged clothes, sitting on the landing of a stairwell, outside an office where they (we) were being recruited.
Cut to several weeks later, and what a difference a bit of basic training and a smart new uniform make. Not much. They were still smiling the same feeble way, sitting on the ground in the stairwell, except they were noticeably smarter dressed... just. It was supposed to be a safari suit, I suppose, this uniform, but it was just an old floppy hat they'd go fishing in, and Bermuda shorts, that were an improvement on their previous.
One was leader and said "let's go". He walked downstairs, leaving half a fountain pen and a trail of thin liquid where he'd been sitting (not ink). Someone else said he'd been sitting on a lemon, and found this humorous. I didn't see the connexion between the fountain pen and a lemon.
Then they told me to hurry up and come with me. I'd never been on a safari before. I packed some extra things into a handbag, packing things as I usually do: books most importantly, and checking that I've got hairbrush, band-aids, aspirin, that sort of thing. I didn't know where we were to go so I took my passport just in case. I rejected a few books as too big to go in the bag, and took one on Australian Aboriginal languages, more because I'd been wanting to read it than in case it was useful, and my concession to rugged safari life was to only take a thin volume of poetry rather than the several I was currently reading.
I wondered, if we were going into the Amazon jungle perhaps, would my usual emergency stock of two or three band-aids and some aspirin be appropriate? Also, did I have time to ring my parents to let them know I wouldn't be around for a little while?