Anyone who gets bored and types random search terms into Google, or who spends as much time on Facebook as I do, will have probably by now seen something like this:
Which is just fine and dandy. But I’ve been going through diary entries this last week and a half, and came up with something from a few years ago. Flashback to August 2006:
Conversation in the office this morning:
“I made the yummiest lasagne last night,” Louise was saying. “And there was loads of it! It was like the feeding of the five thousand.”
I sat up in my chair, always eager to talk about Biblical stuff. “Do you know there’s a theory behind that?”
Michelle raised a sceptical eyebrow. “Tell me, is this a James theory?”
“No,” I replied, patiently. “It’s established. It’s more of a sceptic’s theory.”
“Go on, then.”
“Well, the hypothesis goes that the feeding of the five thousand was less a miracle of science and more a social coup. You see, in that sort of communal situation where you had a bunch of people – however large – gathered together, and someone started to share food, everyone else who had food with them was morally obliged to share their food as well. It wasn’t a legal requirement, just the done thing. Anyway, when Jesus took the bread and fish and started to divide it amongst the people, the sceptic tells us that everyone else there who had food started to share out theirs as well, and because there were a lot of people carrying food, they all had plenty.”
“Absolutely. Mind you, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this. It’s an interesting idea but maybe that’s all it is.”
Victoria, who started yesterday, said “I don’t think I’m comfortable with it either. I’m just taken with the image of Jesus pulling fish out of his sleeve, as if from nowhere. ‘And another one! And another one!'”
“Yes, it’s like Mary Poppins and her bag,” I said.
“Oh, don’t get me started on the bag,” said Louise. “I mean, when she pulls out that lamp stand…”
“It’s the mirror that does it for me. It’s simply that she has a bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside. It’s the same science as they use in – hey, wait a minute!” I said, leaping up in the realisation that I was actually onto something. “That’s it! Mary Poppins is a Timelord!”
Alison, sitting behind, guffawed.
“No, seriously. Think about it. She comes out of nowhere and disappears again into the ether. She can understand dogs. And where else is she going to get that kind of technology?”
The moral of this little tale? Sure it’s a meme. But, much like the Doctor himself, it’s older than you think.