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As I didn't say to the archbishop

Atheism seems to get the cool, brainy people. We need witty thinkers to speak up for God

'A watermelon!" I shouted at the Archbishop of Canterbury. "She said that she carried a watermelon!"

Yes, it was a standard Wednesday night out for me: explaining the plot of Dirty Dancing to the leader of the Church of England.

I think Dr Williams has seen the film anyway. But it's hard to be sure. I didn't really let him get a word in.

Having been invited to a reception at Lambeth Palace (in error, I assumed, as I hurriedly accepted before the mistake could be rectified), I had been taken aback to see the archbishop actually standing in the doorway. The Archbishop of Canterbury. My jaw dropped. I clasped his hand. I gabbled something incomprehensible. I am a fan of his and I did the fan thing.

"Well done," muttered my friend Charlie as we finally moved through the doorway and into the reception. "If Lou Reed is standing in this room, I don't think I'll be able to embarrass myself as much as you just did."

Sympathetic, perhaps, to my star-struck awkwardness, the kindly Dr Williams came to talk to us again. It was an opportunity for me to be a little cooler. Say something witty, perhaps. Or wait for His Grace to speak. Or Charlie.

Instead, I apologised for my random opening remarks by way of a rambling soliloquy about the moment in Dirty Dancing when Jennifer Grey sees Patrick Swayze in a nightclub and fancies him so much that she can say nothing more sensible than: "I carried a watermelon."

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