God’s Grandeur

I was out strolling by the canal the other morning when I was accosted by an ACRONYM – an Asbo-Carrying Ruffian Of Narrow Yob Mentality. He growled something unintelligible at me in his barbaric innit-spreche, which I countered by telling him, as bravely as I could, that I offered him the chance to turn himself from an ACRONYM into an ACROSTIC – an Asbo-Carrying Ruffian Of Spiritual Transfiguration In Christ.

Without waiting for his reply, I whipped out of my pocket my much-thumbed paperback copy of the Selected Poems of duck-mesmerising Victorian Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, and immediately began to declaim, in a booming voice, “God’s Grandeur”.

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God. / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; / It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil / Crushed.”

The ACRONYM was too sunk in his vacuity to react in any perceptible way, but the words of Hopkins are shocking and mighty and irresistible, and I knew I had the upper hand.

Nearby, on a leaf, a mealybug unfurled its wings and soared high into the heavens.

My work was almost done. I took the ACRONYM by the hand and led him towards the church, where Father Boggis waited with an old rugged cross and a handful of nails. I patted my pocket, feeling for the hammer I carried there. I looked forward to landing the first blow, nailing to the rough wood the filthy ruffian hand I held in mine.

NOTE : For readers outside the UK, it may be helpful to explain that an Asbo, or ASBO, is itself an acronym, for Anti-Social Behaviour Order, a terrifying deterrent to scalliwags, innit.

5 thoughts on “God’s Grandeur

  1. Stop..!
    Don’t put the nail through the hand…!
    It needs to go though the wrist…
    If you nail though the hand it will pull through the flesh and the ACRONYM will end up hitting his face on the floor..
    I’m assuming you intend to secure his feet as well..?


  2. At my alma mater (Durham) there was a certain tension between “town” and “gown”, meaning that the rah students kept getting beaten down by the local ASBOs, and a student was beaten to death in 2001.

    i got in about three or four altercations in my time there and i am a peace-loving man and don’t go out drinking. One student (studying Chinese and Law) told me he had been cornered by some enraged drunk Geordie swine and defused the situation with a bright, lunatic grin and a (lengthy) monologue in Chinese. Another friend told his would-be assailants that his boyfriend was waiting for him, and again this so stunned and horrified them that they fell back in appalled silence.

    i either fought the Geordie scum with fists & boots, or just stared vacantly at the ground, thinking about a girl i was infatuated with. Both worked quite well.

  3. i live in hope – my ex-Tai Chi tutor, who is also probably the most physically dangerous man i’ve met – now lives in Durham. It is only a matter of time before he kills a Geordie.

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