Gabriel's sandals.

In a previous blog (Love thy neighbour-but keep dry) I wrote light-heartedly about the loss of the angel Gabriel's sandals whilst on a mission to break the news to John The Baptist's dad, Zecharia, that his missus was pregnant. It's worth a recap because further evidence has come to light that helps complete the picture of lethal religious and corporate protectionism.

Zecharia is believed to have been away on a fishing trip with his mates when Gabriel literally dropped in on gossamer wings. "Erm, Zech....there's good news and bad news. You and your wife Liz are beyond child-bearing age, right?" "S'right" says Zech, "What of it? You wanna buy the crib we've had in storage all these years?" Gabriel then gives him the glad tidings, which sets him back a bit since Liz'd gone off sex some years ago - hence the regular and lengthy fishing expeditions with his pals from the kebab house on the corner.

We now have some rough translations of what happened next. Once Zech's mates had stopped laughing and the news began to sink in, Zech, understandably, tried to take a swing at Gab fearing that Liz had been playing away with this fly-boy. Gabriel did the only sensible thing and took off, with Zecharia slashing maniacally at him with his fishing rod. A lucky cast caught round Gabriel's ankles and his sandals, not as previously stated as falling off, were hooked off and fell at Zech's feet. With shouts of "Fly back down here now you cowardly, horny ba*ta*d" ringing in his ears, Gabriel flew off to live another day and John The Baptist was born.

Now, this is where it gets really interesting. On one of the another days, Gabriel, as we know, gave similar good news to Mary and Joseph. Mary was bent over dusting her favourite camel footstool and felt something odd happening. Being, as she was, unfamiliar with the wicked ways of men in general, and flying angels in particular, she was more than a touch bemused; a situation made worse, it seems, when Gabriel asked her nonchalantly but persistently if her cousins Elizabeth or Zecharia had given her anything for safe-keeping. "Like what?" she says. "Oh, I don't know - a pair of leather sandals, maybe. Rather fetching peasant design. Lost them a while back while chatting to Zech. I'm rather fond of them and they stop me getting friction burns when I have a rough landing"

Anyway, our scholars think this is the provenance of the sandals central to the entire Antibell Conspiracy. It's borne out by further evidence found, of all places, in various photos of Gabriel on Wikipedia, and in churches worldwide, where it can clearly be seen that the fertile angel is bare-footed.

So it's all beginning to fall into place. Is it any wonder that the most apparently innocent of objects can assume such huge religious importance? Is it any wonder that conspiracies can spawn such dangerous zealots as we've read about elsewhere in the main story?