This is an expansion of an ongoing project I've been mulling over... the original post is here: http://lauralexx.blogspot.com/2011/07/as-we-know-it.html . Constructive feedback is ever appreciated.
By Day 6 of the Apocalypse we had pretty much all agreed that the biggest problem was our lack of death. People were starting to get fractious. Even the stalwart Christians were showing signs of noticeable anxiety about the length of time between the end of the world and the appearance of their Lord and Saviour to tell them what to to do and shepherd them to a chaise longue and a few grapes. Mrs Hemell had written a strongly worded letter to the BBC and had been very close to sending it before Mr Baxter pointed out that the BBC probably had little to do with the whereabouts of Christ. No one was really sure whether Points of View was still running as we'd all agreed not to use our televisions in case it turned out we needed the electricity in the future. Stockpiling always seems sensible at a time like this.
The missing Jesus was a cause of some concern at the first meeting of the Apocalypse Committee at the Village Hall. Iris Shoe caused violence to break out by suggesting that perhaps JC was just working his way down the country and that really 6 days was quite reasonable if you considered he was probably going to do the cities first. Mr Arthur (first name also Arthur) asked her if Jesus would be visiting all the towns in size order, Mrs Shoe said she had always assumed so, and Mr Arthur responded that he'd driven a lorry for 38 years and that was the most illogical assumption possible. He said any traveller worth their salt knew you should plan your route geographically. Beryl, who owns the corner shop, slapped him around the face for suggesting Jesus was a gypsy.
Iris pointed out that, if you didn't start with the biggest place, how would you know where to begin the tour? Everyone agreed that the country's extremities were no place to begin a mission of salvation - Scotland was not designed for such prestie. So Iris again asserted that she felt they would be reached in due course once the Good Lord had reached them on his list. Unfortunately, Beryl's hand got away with her again when she worked out that this meant Staplegrove would be visited first, despite the fact we had twice beaten them at the South West Floral Village Awards between 2006 and 2009. At this point Nigel decided he ought to take Beryl home as there were whisperings about Apocalypse Fever. Mr Baxter wrapped his dog's leash firmer around his hand.
With Beryl and Nigel gone it was felt that perhaps we should put the issue of what to do until Jesus got there to one side for a few minutes. Mr Young pointed out that some of us didn't really think he was coming anyway, and even when he did turn up, there was no guarantee we'd want to go with him.
"We'll have to wait and see what he's got to offer first. Might be worth our while to barter a little bit."
Once he and Mrs Dressing had stopped giggling over how much fun they'd had on the group holiday in Morocco with all those "funny stall owners", the vicar stood up and declared that there would be no bartering with Jesus Christ when he arrived and that all their bartering should really have been wrapped up in prayers in Church before the apocalypse had even happened.
"But we didn't know when to expect it." Came Mr Young's sullen reply, "I was still making my mind up."
The vicar said that the power of the Lord should be felt in your heart and soul and you shouldn't need persuading. Mr Young said that it wasn't his fault if Sky had more compelling programming than the pulpit. Suddenly I think we were all beginning to miss Beryl.
The idea was floated that, perhaps we should split the Apocalypse Committee into a further sub-committee entitled, The Welcoming Committee and they could take full responsibility for what we would do when Jesus got there. A buffet seemed like the most logical option and so the vicar agreed to work with Mrs Shoe and Mr Frinton on planning a menu and looking for a suitable venue. If we could give it a lick of paint then the Village Hall would do at a push, but there was a feeling in the room that perhaps Jesus was a little more outdoorsy.
It had taken us a full 90 minutes to agree on this and, as we had eaten that week's ration of Bourbons, we decided to call it a day and reconvene in 36 hours for the next meeting. Mr Baxter made a hasty exit with his dog as the Welcoming Committee's conversation turned to Jesus' morally surprising lack of vegetarian persuasion. No one wanted to be caught with just hummous if Staplegrove had sprung for pigs in blankets...