John Walker's Electronic House

House Of Good God

by on Sep.04, 2005, under The Rest

This morning I did something I haven’t done voluntarily for six years. I went to church.

Clearly, working for churches for the last six years means that it’s not exactly unusual, but to go because I chose to, rather than because I was obliged to, is apparently quite a different thing.

So that was good. Anyway, the RULE of going to a new church is that you have to stand around looking lost to see if people will come up and say hello, or if they are all evil, self-enclosed Nazis. I’m pleased to report that they weren’t Nazis. Of course, if they were Nazis, then I wouldn’t have had to say the same things about myself ninety-seven times, while people feigned interest that I’m a freelance writer (I always say “writer” instead of “journalist” because when you say “writer” to customs officials in America, they don’t lock you in a jail cell for the whole of eternity, and it’s best to be in the good habit).

Of course, their interest was always piqued at one point. I would say:

“Yes, I’ve just finished a degree in youth work and theology, and so now I’m working out what I want to do next. I’m concentrating on the writing at the moment, but there’s a project in Bath that I’m interested in setting up.”

What they would hear was:

“Yes, I’ve just finished a degree in youth work and… [YOUTH WORK! YOUTH WORK! HE DOES YOUTH WORK! HE COULD DO OUR YOUTH WORK!] …in setting up.”

But that’s not what I brought us all here to talk about this evening. Instead, it’s about how really quite impressively rubbish I am at talking to girls. And at the same time, how I’m absolutely the greatest person at it ever.

After the service, deliberately standing around looking lost again, but this time deliberately looking lost near a girl who looked over the age of 20 without being married (the Great Auk of church congregations), there was an awful moment when it changed from a new guy waiting to be talked to by people, to two people trying to look at each other without making eye contact, while each fought an internal battle of whether they should just bloody well say hello. I won/lost, and spoke.

We swapped degree information, she explained that she’s re-submitting one of the modules this week that she didn’t pass last year, and I suggested that she must be feeling very relaxed. She said that that was the problem, and that she had just bought Sims 2 and was playing that inst… [SHE PLAYS COMPUTER GAMES! SHE’S A GIRL, AND SHE PLAYS COMPUTER GAMES! MAYBE SHE WILL MARRY YOU THIS AFTERNOON] …wasn’t enough RAM in her computer. I told her that when fitting it, you have to push down so hard you think you’re going to crack the motherboard, and the ground beneath the computer. She laughed… [I MADE AN ATTRACTIVE GIRL LAUGH WHEN TALKING ABOUT RAM! I’M POSSIBLY THE GREATEST MAN EVER IN THE WHOLE HISTORY OF ALL TIME!] …about how PC World was a dreadful place to buy anything, so she was getting it from the internet. I asked what she was going to do with her degree in Auto Mechanics and German [WHAT ON EARTH KIND OF DEGREE IS THAT? I MEAN, SURE, YOU JUST FINISHED A DEGREE IN YOUTH WORK BUT COME ON – HOW DO THEY POSSIBLY? WAIT – SURELY YOU CAN MAKE A JOKE ABOUT THAT “VORSPRUNG DIRCH TECHNIQUE” OR WHATEVER IT’S CALLED – THAT CLEVERLY COMBINES THE TWO IN A BRILLIANT WAY] …”so a joke about vorsprung durch technik would be appropriate then?” [DAMN JOHN, YOU’RE CLEVER – YOU MADE IT IRONIC THAT YOU WERE EVEN SAYING IT] “…a pound for every time someone said something like that…” [DAMMIT] “…thought about joining the army for a while, but then changed my mind.” “Was it the shooting innocent teenagers that put you off?” [WHAT THE HELL? WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING? SERIOUSLY, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?] “…four years of study and three years of service that did it.” “So the shooting teenagers bit was fine?” [GOOD GRIEF MAN! ARE YOU UTTERLY OUT OF YOUR MIND? YOU WERE SO GREAT WITH THE RAM THING, BUT WHAT IS THIS?] “…not thinking about that prevented it from being a problem.” [AM I SAFE? DID I REALLY GET AWAY WITH SUGGESTING THAT SHE DOESN’T MIND THE IDEA OF MURDERING TEENAGERS?] …how we would see each other again in a fortnight, and said goodbye.

By writing this, what I’m ensuring is that were the moment to occur when we both fell for each other, she would then discover this blog entry, and immediately think, “He wrote about me on a website read by 150 strangers? Man, that was close.” And never see me again. But of course, it’s important to ensure my everlasting lonely misery, and to make sure that I’m insured against the danger of any chances of happiness.

14 Comments for this entry

  • Kieron Gillen

    Avoid Girls, John. They’re evil.


  • DAT500

    Don’t listen to Gillen, John. He’s trying to get the monopoly on Evil Girls.

  • DaveT

    I also attend church on a generally non-voluntary basis.
    But then again, it’s usually to make lots of noise. Which is lots of fun. Which I did today, which was lots of fun.
    And I despair about the lack of single girls there too.

    There used to be lots, but I scared them all off. Or something. Or alternitabely, they aall finished their degrees and went off/got boyfiriends infintely better than me, or so I’m told. It’s great to be me. No really.

  • Richard Hamer

    You should count yourself lucky that you actually have any young women who go to your church.There are only extremely old ones at my church who, very occasionaly, elope with the priest to South America.

    Well, that was only the one time.

  • Paul Black - Khan Of All Essex

    Be the Alpha Male. Alpha Male. King Of The Pack. Yes.

    Also, chicks dig the Star Wars Lego game.

  • KM

    Just move to America. American girls love accents ;)

  • bob_arctor

    150 people??!! I’m in too deep. I’m hardcorer than the 1337357 hardcore!

    Good luck with girls John. You have my sympathy.

  • David

    That was very very funny. Mainly because it’s so brilliantly true. My church is pretty cool, as long as were still comparing church goodness stuff.

    Also, at the moment, I attend chruch voluntarily. Brilliantly, I may soon be attending (the same) church involuntarily to work with primary schoolers. This is excellent.

  • Mrs Trellis

    I voluntarily went to several churches on holiday. To take photos of the many iterations of Jesus and hiss about the other tourists.

    I can’t talk to girls either, you know. They confuse me.

  • bob_arctor

    Mrs Trellis… I’m sorry I haven’t a clue.
    Got that in 3 or 4.

  • bodnotbod

    You’ll never get laid, in any case, picking up girls in church.

    I suppose the vicar might give you a touch.

  • AndyKrouwel

    So, you do youthwork, eh?

  • Dave M

    Buy her a copy of that singles threesome thing. Maybe she’ll take the hint : )

    Reminds me, I need to start going to church too…hoping to do one of those theology degrees, so it cant hurt