As is traditional with anywhere we go to enjoy ourselves, there will be some thing that really winds me up. At GuilFest, it was the first five minutes spent in the company of our neighbours in the campsite.
We had bought a Quechua 2 Second tent from Decathlon the previous week (not a 2 Inch tent as we heard someone call it) and had already practiced putting it up and packing it away again afterwards. I’d watched the videos on the manufacturer’s website to ensure I didn’t miss anything. We were reasonably prepared.
It’s late Thursday afternoon but still adequate light when we turn up and declare a patch of grass our own for the weekend. There’s a bit of breeze but nothing serious and so out comes the tent from the bag. Modern tents are a marvellous design and the shell is immediately there ready to peg down.
At that moment, the wife-half of the neighbouring couple marches over with a mallet declaring that as a Christian she couldn’t stand by and do nothing when people are struggling.
I was shocked and offended but, being a devout atheist, didn’t tell her to piss off back to her own tent. In the space of a minute she had:
- Insulted us by deciding we were struggling when we had barely started
- Removed any sense of achievement we would have had from putting the tent up unaided
- Hammered pegs in so hard that it took me ages to get them back out of the ground on Sunday
- Told us again she was doing this because she was a Christian
Days later, I am still annoyed by the ignorance and stupidity of that person.
I’m trying to work out why she needed to explain she was a Christian. She seemed to decide doing so gave her carte blanche to interfere anywhere and anyhow she liked. Was she implying a non-Christian would just stand by and laugh while other campers floundered around, having no moral compass with which to guide them? Being a Christian isn’t anything to be proud of – it just means you have one more invisible friend than normal people.