I speak to you today in a quite exhausted condition after Tuesday’s Inter-religious Reconciliation reception here at the Palace. Were it not for the good offices of the young man with the wire in his ear and his 47 colleagues, the whole event may have descended into an unseemly brawl.
I did notice, whilst rehearsing my speech, that said young man was in fact wearing his shoulder holster. I questioned him about this. He said, “Archie, you can’t be too careful at dos like this. Any one of them religious types could kick off at any time, know what I mean? And they’ll all be bringing their own minders too. Which is why I’ve drafted a few of the lads in.”
My lady wife had worked tirelessly with the caterers [Godfood R Us] to provide a wonderful array of things on sticks and pastries to be offered to our guests at the end of my welcoming speech – which, incidentally, went well despite the presence of Father Brendan McGhastlie, a notoriously argumentative Scots cleric.
Also present was a Mr Eric Pickles, the government minister responsible for Communities etc.Sadly, it was around this substantial gentleman that some sort of inter-religious scrum broke out during my closing remarks.
However, no sooner had I finished speaking, than the cry of “Who ate all the pies?” went up (in several languages) near the buffet area. Respectfully forcing my way through a press of Buddhists, Quakers, Muslims and at least three Primitive Baptists, I found Mr Pickles being wrestled to the ground by several young men with wires in their ears. With “Who ate all the pies?” ringing in my ears, whilst thinking, “What would Jesus have done?” I helped these watchful young men usher Mr Pickles into an ante room, where, to my horror, we found at least two dozen savoury pastries hidden about Mr Pickle’s person. Most were squashed beyond recognition.
Mr Pickles’s car was ordered forthwith and he departed, claiming that the pies had been planted on him by his political enemies.
There will have to be an official enquiry, apparently. But that is for another day. Presently, I am thankful and relieved that my lady wife forestalled any further upsets by sending waiters around the excited throng with large jugfuls of her special water and soon inter-religious bonhomie ruled, interspersed with snatches of, “There was a vicar, a priest and a rabbi…..” followed by gales of inter-religious laughter. So all’s well that ends well….