Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Missionary positions

Sydney's inner west converged on Moretti's pizzeria last night to celebrate 29 years of live uncensored Erin (Erin being my gardening novelist housemate, as opposed to Emma, my thespian godmother housemate, Mads, my keeping-it-real at the NSW state govt housemate, and Max, my cat-food-eating and gentleman-about-town housemate, to say nothing of the odd resident snail, with whom there's little risk of confusing Erin).

For reasons that continue to perplex, my plateful of the Moretti's pizzeria experience lagged a good 15 minuti behind everyone else's. I did my best to keep up a steady stream of peerless repartee, but was rendered temporarily dizzy by the combined forces of hunger and vaporised garlic. I have vague recollections of a slick of drool dangling from my chin.

By the time my pizza arrived, I'd drawn up basic plans for converting Mt Vesuvius into an industrial scale, high-efficiency Neapolitan pizza oven. It took the better part of a primavera to recoup my wits. Just as I thought they were recouped, a vision of startlingly eroticised Christmassisity arose before us: three long-haired teenagers, in black spandex and santa hats, gyrating and lip-synching to the electro-funk version of "Joy to the World".

It was Australian Idol meets Rock Eisteddfod meets amateur pole-dancing class (minus the poles), and while I'm never one to look censoriously on an uncoerced adult shoulder-shimmy, unexpected pelvic thrusts are a little disconcerting mid-pizza.

But I haven't lived a life entirely unbesmirched by dubious public performances myself, and as dubious public performances go, this one had an audacious, high-octane tackiness to it that got close to winning me over. They stopped dancing. We applauded. Our lives, all in all, had been enriched by the sight of three young women prancing round the pizzeria in santa hats.

And then they started working the tables. Collecting donations? Selling CDs? Nup. Handing out religious tracts. Christmas is upon us. What is Christmas all about? Jesus. Repent. Believe. Open your hearts to eternal life. Etc.

These kids were missionaries, proselytising pelvis first.

A flick through their website, suggests good, clean fundamentalist fun, but ol' Wikipedia tells us different. The Family, aka The Children of God, has hit Sydney town, bringing their flirty fishing ways and their urban funk dance moves with them.

Hey, if it's ok to use scantily clad maidens to sell ice-cream, or battered chicken legs, or golf clubs, then it's ok to use 'em to sell apocalypticism and the Book of Isaiah.

But still, I feel sullied and peculiar.