It was the eighteenth day of Lent, and Dave Peterson was beginning to mentally plan his PCC resignation announcement ready for the next APCM.
He’d initially voted to flagellate himself on the basis that it would stop Simon from being crucified as his proposed passion play.
Now, eighteen days in, Dave was beginning to wonder what was honestly so wrong about a charity bake sale.
But he flogged himself regardless, partly because he didn’t want to let the PCC down and partly because he felt that, since he flogged himself on his birthday, he can flog himself until Easter.
Besides, since his kids were now back in school, he wouldn’t need to worry about homeschooling them anymore…. at least for now.
His wife Sarah missed the 6AM alarm buzz. But that didn’t matter, since her husband and the rest of the PCC’s wailing as they whipped themselves was sufficient.
“How long are you going to be doing that for, dear?” She asked Dave.
“Probably about a few minutes,” Dave replied, “I have about ten more to do.” He whipped himself a ninth time. “Nine,” he corrected.
“So I can have a shower now, then?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, go ahead.” Dave replied.
“Ok,” Sarah replied.
“Men,” she groaned under her breath, before getting out of bed to have a shower.
Once both Dave and Sarah were dressed, they joined their children Will and Eleanor in the kitchen for breakfast, so that Will could at least open some of his cards and presents, as today was his eighth birthday.
As Will opened a card from his grandparents Terrence and Mary, Dave noticed how happy he looked. Probably because he didn’t have to whip himself numerous times on his birthday morning.
Perhaps this is what it’s like not being on the PCC, he thought.
He also wondered what Will, and Eleanor for that matter, thought the last 18 days beginning with the wailing of several people and the sound of whipping was about.
One day they will understand, but not today.
“Granny and Grandad have given me a Lego police station,” Will said.
“Great, that can go in your room,” Dave said.
Will then opened his present from his other grandparents, Terome and Esmarelda; a beginners guide to law that seemed to have been published in 1955.
“Ooh, that’s interesting Will,” Sarah said, feigning excitement.
“Let’s have a look at that, son,” Dave said.
Will gave the book to Dave, who quickly put the book down once he saw that the first sentence was “the most important question in law is this; does this person deserve to be hanged?”
“We need to have a word with them,” Dave whispered to his wife.
“Yeah,” Sarah whispered back.
Will then opened his present from his parents; a £25 cheque and The His Dark Materials and the Book of Dust trilogies by Philip Pullman.
“Thank you,” Will said to his parents.
“At least you’ll have six books that are sustaining,” Sarah said.
Will then opened his gift from Eleanor; a £10 note.
“Thank you,” Will said to Eleanor before hugging her.
After opening a few more gifts (a junior bible from Simon, a bag of Haribos from John, a Horrible Histories book from Paul) it was time for Will and Eleanor to go to school.
“I’ll take them to school again, what with your back,” Sarah said to Dave
“Yeah, sure. I have a meeting soon anyway,” Dave replied.
“You have told them about the flagellation, haven’t you?” Sarah asked.
“No, why should I?” Dave replied.
“Whatever,” Sarah replied before taking Will and Eleanor to school.
She decided not to argue with Dave because she knew that if he told his work colleagues what he was doing, Noah Campbell would probably suggest that his employees do it themselves for “productivity reasons” and they would all blindly agree.
That kind of thing seemed to happen in male dominated environments.
Thank God for women, she thought.
Once Sarah was back from the school run, she sat next to Dave who was waiting for his second Zoom meeting to start.
“Dave,” Sarah said.
“Yeah?” Dave replied.
“I feel that if Janet or Jo were on the PCC, you’d probably be selling cakes outside the Hangman’s Noose,” Sarah said.
“I know, but they both seem so busy with the village council and the botanic garden,” Dave replied.
“I’m sure they’ll have some time to join the PCC, in fact they need to join. The council needs a woman’s sanity, rationality, and intelligence.” Sarah said.
“If you’re so passionate about this, why don’t you stand up for election?” Dave asked.
“Because I can’t. I’m married to you. It’s a conflict of interest.” Sarah replied.
“What if I resigned?” Dave suggested.
“Then I would. In fact it might be best,” Sarah replied, “then I could persuade either Janet or Jo to stand for election and together we’d make sure this idiocy never happens again. Whipping yourself doesn’t help anyone, not even you.”
“Ok, ok, keep your hair on,” Dave replied.
“And them when she’s old enough, Eleanor will join either or both the Village Council and the PCC and then you’ll be sorry,” Sarah said, almost on the verge of anger.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Dave said.
“Yeah, make sure you do,” Sarah said.
Dave’s Zoom meeting suddenly began, and he was engrossed in work matters.
Sarah then started to write yet another high quality Guardian article.
Yes, she thought, girls really do run the world.