Posts Tagged With: time lords

Never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint

It was raining, so we went to see Mary Poppins. The screening room was comfortably full of children in t-shirts and discarded waterproofs. The adults sat and steamed for a while. Joshua was rooted to the spot for over two hours; rarely have I seen him so engaged.

“She was wonderful, wasn’t she?” I said afterwards. “But did you notice something?”
“What’s that?”
“She turns up from nowhere, wearing a crazy scarf. She can speak dog. And she takes her companions on magical adventures. And then she disappears again, as if by magic.”
“Penny in the air?”
“Tell me what you mean.”
“She has a bag that’s much bigger on the inside.”
“And the penny drops.”
“She’s a Time Lord?”

Those of you who have been following for a while will be aware that this is not the first time I mentioned the connection between Doctor Who and Mary Poppins. And, additionally, that I had the idea years before it became popular. Even despite the trappings and props, it’s the whole character: her English eccentricity, her aloofness, her sense of confident, assumed superiority…I have always been of the conviction that a female Doctor is not only unnecessary but would kill the show, but if we had to have one, I mean had to, I’d want it to be Julie Andrews.

“She’s clearly a Time Lord,” said Gareth when I mentioned it. “Her bag is obviously dimensionally transcendental. But since she’s clearly conducting subtle mental experiments on small children, I suspect that she’s an earlier (and slightly less evil) incarnation of the Rani. (I tried making a suitable anagram of MARY POPPINS, but only came up with MOPSY PP RANI, which is presumably how this gentler Rani signs her letters.”

“Maybe she’s like the Valeyard equivalent of the Rani,” I replied, “existing between her twelfth and thirteenth. But because the Rani is fairly sinister (as opposed to outright evil), the Valeyard Rani is fairly nice. This presumably means that somewhere out there is a Valeyard Master, rescuing injured puppies and giving children ice cream.”

Then Gareth found this.

I am frightened.

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Kind, but extremely firm

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.

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