Friday, April 3, 2009


"Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy."

So what is it exactly that inspires me to start blogging again?; the continuing global financial crisis, gang violence plaguing Vancouver, the G20 Summit, rising unemployment and social unrest around the world….

None of the above.

If anything the recent story about the Holy Hand Grenade scare in London will certainly do the trick. It seems that a replica of an iconic Monty Python prop from "Monty Python & The Holy Grail" was suspicious enough to cause the bomb squad to be called in. Apparently caution is warranted when you stumble upon an object that includes a gem encrusted cross on top of golden sphere laden with sacred text on the side.

In a "post 9/11" world defined by real (and fake) terrorism threats, with increasing levels of xenophobia, anxiety and paranoia thrown into the mix, it's not surprising that even a Monty Python gag could inspire such dread. Had someone stumbled upon these same lethal Python props even a decade ago there likely would not have been the same panicked response.

Of course we all know that the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is completely innocuous without the appropriate instructions from the sacred text in the Book of Armaments (Chapter 2, verses 9-21), which includes the following instructions;

"First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count... Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."

Thankfully there is a safe guard in place resulting from the fact that anyone who is numerically challenged will find it near impossible to effectively yield the Holy Hand Grenade.

Of course I do have to wonder what sort of crisis response there had been if someone placed a giant wooden rabbit outside of Parliament, or if The Knights Who Say "Ni" had shown up demanding a "shrubbery" ("one that looks nice and is not too expensive").

It is indeed a strange, absurd and wonderful world that we inhabit today, and thankfully Monty Python still has the ability to illustrate this so clearly.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I had not heard of the holy hand grenade scare! I find it comforting to know that, just when you think that Monty Python has been long forgotten, some incarnation resurfaces and puts everything into perspective.

Allison said...

Funnily enough I just watched Monty Python and The Holy Grail last night. The coconuts migrating discussion still has me chuckling today. Great post!

I also love seeing the word "xenophobia" in print. Twas my thesis title. :)

Comrade Kevin said...

It did take care of that killer bunny rabbit, though.

Westcoast Walker said...

Hi Barb - I agree with your point, and I wonder if 100 years from now people will still be doing silly walks or imitating the Knights say "Ni".

Allison - "xenophobia" is indeed a lovely looking word(even if what it represents is reprehensible). Other favourites of mine to see in print are "vouchsafe", "hitherto" & "ubiquitous"

Kevin - That evil bunny was indeed blown to bits, even though King Arthur had trouble with the countdown, therefore perhaps caution is warranted.