Last week there was a break-in at our church office. Thieves managed to jimmy one of the back doors, and then used a trolley and presumably some very buff arms to make off with the safe from the back office. I’m quite impressed that they managed to move it at all. Less impressed with the criminals’ ability to choose their target; the safe contained neither cash nor anything of financial value. They successfully absconded with a safe full of master keys, which they self-evidently didn’t need, and the church’s roster of baptisms and marriages, dating back to the 1940s.

Police found the safe, broken open and empty, lying at the bottom of Adelaide River. That’s about a hundred kilometres away, so I don’t know how they found it, but good on them. We haven’t recovered the registry, which is a major blow to … people who want to know how many people got married in our church in 1957. It did have a lot of sentimental value to the church members, particularly those names were in the book. I suppose my baptism was noted in there somewhere.

The really interesting part from my perspective is that ours isn’t the first church these criminal masterminds have hit; apparently the Catholics and Anglicans have had safes stolen in the past month as well. I’m not sure how many break-ins it’s going to take these geniuses to realise that churches don’t actually keep vast stores of ancient and priceless treasures locked up in the vestry.

We keep them in the bank like everyone else.

So since these guys have now stolen three church safes and have presumably not come away with anything valuable enough to be worth the effort, I have come up with two possible explanations for their behaviour:

1) They’re dumb.

2) They really are criminal masterminds, but they weren’t after money in the first place. They’re on the trail of a ten thousand year old legend, promising immortality and endless riches to whoever can break the four seals on the tomb of St. Capsicum of Guam.

The first three have already been broken by an evil conglomerate of mining magnates, kidnapped nuclear-physicists and Nazis, and now the thieves are in a desperate race against time to find a way to break the seals before the Nazis take control of the entire international ruby market.

A clue to the fourth seal is rumoured to have been transcribed by an eccentric parish councillor in an undisclosed church in Darwin City, and hidden from the outside world in a secret code written across time into the very fabric of the baptisms and marriages registry, which is really a cipher for the charter of a top-secret para-church organisation known only as “The Disillusionati”. The race is on to find the right registry, crack the code and niggle St. Capsicum before it’s too late.

With the DMUC registry located at last, the criminals are currently zooming across the Philippine Sea in a hot wired speed boat, with angry Nazis in hot pursuit in hovercrafts armed with machine guns.

As an extra insurance policy against a double cross, the mining magnates have abducted the thieves’ girlfriends and taken them to a top secret lair on the outskirts of St Petersburg. But unbeknownst to them, the girlfriends are ninja pirate alien zombie librarian vampire robot kung-fu masters. And they’re ready to kick some Russian Nazi arse.

Meanwhile, our church has to have all its locks changed, and do something about shoring up the door that apparently only needed a fairly token effort to force it open. Thanks for nothing St. Capsicum.



Garry with 2 Rs

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