Get to your places!’ shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches.
The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.
The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting `Off with his head!’ or `Off with her head!’ about once in a minute.
The good Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , known to us as Lewis Carroll, must have been a delegate General Convention, writing so knowingly about managing flamingoes, about players fighting for hedgehogs and a Queen in a furious passion. Sounds like Columbus to me.
At last night’s 2 ½ hour hearing before the Standing Committee on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion on four resolutions (A160-163) that deal with the expression of regret, election of bishops, public rites for blessing same-sex unions, pastoral care and Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (where churches get to pick which bishop to be aligned with). The parts of the players were played by the 70 or so speakers who took their turns chasing hedgehogs at the microphone, including The State’s favorite theologian, Kendall Harmon, who mumbled something about fudge. (No queer jokes, please) Alice was played by + Gene Robinson, who started all this with his fall down the rabbit hole three years ago, and now finds himself completely befuddled by the madness of it all. And the Queen? She was played by eminent English Biblical Scholar Bishop N.T. Wright who had sent a letter to the gathering with the shrill warning that by consecrating Bishop Robinson, the Episcopal Church had “followed the pattern of America’s imperial actions in the world.” (What does the right-wing do with that back-handed compliment?)
The role of the Cheshire Cat has apparently been awarded to the Reverend Barry Beisner who’s trying to become bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Northern California. Everything was going fine for Fr. Beisner until somebody noticed that he’d been married three times and divorced twice. He goes back before the Joint Legislative Committee on Consecration of Bishops tomorrow to explain it all. Thank God, nobody is accusing him of being gay. He may yet disappear, leaving only a smile behind, though.
Once the Convention gets past all this boring crap, then comes the real excitement: the election of the Presiding Bishop whose presidency may well include the dissolution of the Anglican Communion. Curiouser and curiouser.
Hand me that damn flamingo, will ya?