“Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The respected Lake District hotelier, and my keen business rival, Simon Berry, came to Christianity in a remarkable way. He was a non-believer and his wife was trying to convert him. Simon was having nothing of it but said “If I’m handed a bible, free, in the next seven days I’ll be convinced”. Six days later he was in a second hand book shop when the woman behind the counter took out a book and gave it to him. It was a bible. Simon asked “How much do you want for it?” to which she replied “Nothing”. “Thank you very much”, he said “you’ve changed my life”. He has been a committed Evangelist Christian ever since.
I wondered if I’d had my “Simon Berry” moment tonight. I was on my computer, reading through the dozens of emails from religious folk in the States (see yesterday’s post) criticising me for replacing the bible in the bedrooms at the Damson Dene with Fifty Shades of Grey, when I came across one which said that unless I repented my hotel would be destroyed by “flood, fire or pestilence”. A few minutes later I telephoned the hotel and the receptionist said “I can’t speak to you now, we’ve got a terrible flood”. When I called back later I found out that the flood had only destroyed two rooms, not the entire hotel. Clearly the Americans just aren’t praying hard enough. But perhaps we should be on the look out for fire or pestilence next.