Time for a little bit of sight-seeing in the morning and we went to St Isaac's Cathedral. After a poor night's sleep I didn't feel up to climbing up to the dome, but the ground level was vast and impressive, very bright and colourful unlike most Cathedrals. I'd just read about the crucifix that had crushed a man to death in Italy, so was slightly wary of standing underneath any of the massive statues that lined the dome.
That's quite a way to go, isn't it? To be crushed by a massive falling Jesus. It's hard not to see that as some kind of message about how you've been living your life. So that's why I felt it prudent to be wary. I think the guy who got crushed was there to worship Jesus and I spend my whole life taking the piss, so if Jesus responds so cruelly to his followers then imagine what treats he has in store for me.
Let's say it was just an accident and God had just taken his eye off the ball for a bit, then that's going to make things a bit awkward in Heaven. Is Jesus going to address it? Maybe He'd make a joke about it - "Remember this!?" and then come running up towards the guy pulling a scary face. "Seriously though, sorry about you being crushed by that giant me." Even if Jesus didn't mention it it would make for quite an uncomfortable eternity, walking around Heaven and constantly seeing the guy whose effigy crushed you. However much I liked Jesus I think I'd be pissed off about that. "Couldn't you have stopped that happening? Now everyone is assuming I must have done something really evil to be treated in this way. If I had to die couldn't you just have given me an illness or allowed me to perish rescuing small children from a burning building? Why did I have to be crushed by a massive Jesus?"
I mean if there is no God and life is just random then this is an horrific tragedy, but if there is any god at all, then this must be some kind of statement. And do you want to worship any god that would choose falling Jesuses as his medium for communication? As with all these disaster based messages it's just too open to interpretation. Is He cross about the canonisation of John Paul II, in which case why take it out on this poor guy? Is he saying Jesus is not a deity, in which case why kill only one of His worshippers at random? Is he trying to make some point about the health and safety concerns of modern sculpture? I don't know. But come on, you're God, just appear to us and tell us how you're feeling and what's annoying you. Or if you're shy just leave a message on our ansaphones while we're asleep.
To be honest I've been more worried about Rasputin taking some kind of revenge on me (even though I've always been reasonably positive about him in the past) - he did, after all, murder the bloke from Boney M when he dared to come to the city on the anniversary of his own murder - but we seemed to get through our Russian jaunt without any real problems or threats. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed the four days here. And from now on any day that I am not crushed by a massive falling Jesus is a gift.
Foolishly I forgot to mention this year's programme fund. Donate at least £15 on my new justgiving page and then email your address to email@example.com and you'll be sent a signed limited edition programme when they're ready. The more you give the bigger your name will appear in the programme. The name you put in the name box on the justgiving page will be the name that appears in the programme. All the money from this, of course, goes to Scope. If you wish to advertise in the programme then please email me at the address above and I will let you know the rates. Thanks as always. The total raised by these programmes over the last decade now exceeds a quarter of a million pounds. Thanks so much for your generosity. Every penny in the bucket at the end of gigs really does count!
The RHLSTP with Harry Shearer is now up at the British Comedy Guide and iTunes.
The theme tune to Meaning of Life is now available to buy for just 79p from iTunes. Any profits will be put into the AIOTM fighting fund. There will be no profits. Not sure the link that I have is working - here is is, but it's fairly easy to search for on the iTunes store.