“I’m giving up my religion,” I said to Consuela (my Tejana maid) yesterday, as I relaxed on my chaise longue. Consuela stopped dusting the ornaments in our teepee, her feather duster poised above a thirteenth-century Chinese bronze. She raised what we in Scotland call an ‘eebroo’ and looked at me. There was silence, except for the flap-flapping of the door-flap in the morning breeze.
Consuela herself is a devotee of the Romish faith, which she takes to some extremes, I can tell you. By her hammock is a small, home-made, Marian shrine; a ten-inch statuette in blue and white china, flanked by holders for votive candles and decked in rosaries and crucifixes-on-chains, has fresh wildflowers placed by it each morning during the flowering season. The shrine is flanked by pictures of the Sagrado Corazon and Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. I have swallowed my own philosophical objections to idolatry because Consuela comes as a package. I have my concerns about the votive candles, however. Fire hazard, y’know. I managed to speak of this concern to Consuela when I first took her into my employ and, grudgingly, she agreed to keep an extinguisher next to her hammock. I allowed her to paint it (except for the oblong plate with the technical instructions) with a representation of San Miguel Arcangel.
Anyhow, there we were yesterday morning, looking at each other.
“Not my faith,” I said. “Nor my belief, nor my prayers. Just my religion. To devote time to the outward form of religion when so much remains to be done in the betterment of humankind seems wrong to me.”
Consuela resumed her dusting. Half under her breath she muttered something about a “damned lady-of-leisure”, but I ignored the remark. As I said, Consuela comes as a package, and part of that package is an almost Jesuitical devotion to work. Laborare est Orare might well be her personal motto.
I have to admit that yesterday morning might well have been my last day of true leisure in a long time. Terrible news came, in the form of a telephone call from my Solicitors (Hunt, Lunt, and Cunningham) to the effect that our ‘lurker’ had walked! Apparently due to the expiration of the writ Usque ad Nauseam formerly lodged at the Office of the Scrabster Fiscal, the lurker’s advocate had appealed ex vallo for a stay of process. To everyone’s surprise, the Judge Depute of the Court Ancient and Risible then ruled in favour of a cessation of missives, stating that the precedent of transport-in-chief had been violated on three counts. The panel of procurators had no option but to concur; their abandonment sine die is tantamount to dropping the whole case. This man – if I can call him that – who blighted our lives for so long has escaped scot free. Unbelievable! “Is there no justice in the fair land of Alba?” I asked the clerk who had telephoned me.
It was to get worse. Consuela later told me that his bevy of ‘friends’ on Facebook had doubled, his blog had gone viral, and the number of twits following his tweets on Twitter had increased exponentially. The world has gone raving mad.
“Jings! Crivvens! Help ma Boab!” I said. Not necessarily in that order.