A friend of ours was telling us about his latest holiday. He and his wife signed up for something called Christian house swap.com where – wait for it – Christians swap houses. You pay a small fee, run the hoover round and go mess up their home instead of yours.
‘It’s a great idea’, he said, ‘long as you’re relaxed about having strangers in the house and flexible about theirs. After all, what’s not to like?’
Indeed, I nodded, trying to unclench my buttocks. Strangers in your home, eh? Totally cool.
No problem at all with them READING your books.
Rubbing their sticky stranger fingers over your DVDs and leaving them Out Of Their Case. Walking with their Feet on your carpet and laying hands on your SPOONS.
Gives us a whole new take on fairy tales. Forget Mr Wolf; the real intruder’s in the red pac-a-mac. He and granny were doing a Christian house swap until Red Riding turned up. The animals are the victims. Happy ending? If she fell down a hole and stopped stalking granny.
And don’t get me started on Goldilocks. Dirty blonde hair, love. Get over yourself. Plus, she’s TRESPASSING.
Sleeping in Big Bear’s bed. Eating Baby Bear’s porridge.
Which brings me back to my original argument. What could be good about allowing friendsyouhaven’tmetyetandneverwill into your home? Sure there’s the biblical stuff about hospitality. But, like joy and kindness, it’s not really my gift.
Plus, how do you know they’re Christians, eh? Tell me that. Ask them if they’re in an accountability group? Vet ’em on their favourite preacher (extra points if they use the words ‘helpful’ or ‘awesome’). Attempt to hug them FACE-ON and see if they break? Chat about the weather and drop in ‘what’s the chief end of man?’
Let’s face it, there’s christians and there’s Christians. This is a King James household: I don’t want someone polluting our cats with The Message. Listening to Secular Music. Or setting off the motion sensors with their hand lifting. They may well love Jesus, but what if they’re not SOUND? What then?
I tell you, it’s the beginning of the end. Lock up your CDs, close your curtains and expel the immoral brother.