'Here I stand! Here I stand!' I had a Playmobil Martin Luther for my birthday in August. He's kind of cute with his little feather and tiny German Bible. But Luther been playing havoc with delicate balance of my study's ecosystem. He and David Sky don't get on for starters.
My pet monkey was removed from being chair of governors at his daughter's primary school. The other board members got fed up with being zapped by Robo-Clerk. That and the school being rated totally and utterly inadequate by Ofsted.
Robo-Clerk had a battery failure on the day the inspectors visited and it was evident that Sky didn't actually know anything about the school. He thought Pupil Premium was a superior kind of tea for kids. 'Just guessing.' he said. 'But what about the gaps?' the inspectors persisted. 'Gaps? We prefer to call them perforations in the trade.' Sky explained, helpfully.
The school is going to have to join a MAT. One that doesn't allow monkeys to act as chair of governors, and where Robo-Clerks are banned. A story on the debacle featured in one of the National Governance Association's Friday newsletters. Top item. The monkey was so chuffed.
Anyway, Sky now has some time on his hands and likes to hang around my study. Just like the old days. Apart from the presence of Martin Luther. 'Here I stand! Here I stand!' he keeps exclaiming and then goes around standing on stuff. Even David Sky's head. 'What do you think I am, the diet of Worms?' the monkey complains. Then Luther tickles Sky with his feather, which he really hates. Cue big row.
It's getting a bit much, really.
What's especially awkward is that I'm currently reading Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet by Lindal Roper. It's a bit 'warts and all' and little Luther has been reading it. Makes him really mad, 'But I was right! I was right! Here I stand! Here I stand! Karlstadt was my enemy. He took the bent coin. He took it! And I do not have an Oedipus complex!' Sky chips in, 'Oh give over. Calvin was a better Reformer than you. Everyone knows that. Much more biblical. Why were you so mean to poor Karlstadt? And who's Oedipus Complex exactly, when he's at home?'
You can imagine what it's like with those two arguing. Once Sky offered Luther a nice cup of tea as a peace offering. 'Nein. Get me Wittenberg beer.' was the reply. Cue another big row.
'Bad case of 'Founder's Syndrome', you, mate.' opined Sky. 'I looked it up on Wikipedia. Suits you to a T':
Founder's syndrome (also founderitis) is a popular term for a difficulty faced by organizations where one or more founders maintain disproportionate power and influence following the effective initial establishment of the project, leading to a wide range of problems for the organization.The passion and charisma of the founder(s), sources of the initial creativity and productivity of the organization, become limiting or destructive factors.
'Ring any bells, Marty?'
'Look', Luther shot back, 'I'm the most popular Playmobil figure in the world. Over 1 million of me sold. I was the first Reformer. 95 Theses. Diet of Worms. Here I stand! Here stand!'
'95 Theses, eh?' replied Sky. I read somewhere that rather nailing them to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church with an actual hammer and nails, you used glue. Glue. Afraid of hurting your poor little thumb? Blu Tack, was it? Pritt Stick, perhaps? Like a little kid. Anyway, you're only a toy, not the real Martin Luther. And don't go all Buzz Lightyear, thinking you're real. You're not, OK?'
'Has serious academic Lyndal Roper written a biog of you, monkey boy?' asked Luther. 'Have they made a film of your life with Mike Reeves doing the voice-over in his best interesting voice for children? And if I'm not real, you're not.'
Sky: 'If I'm not real, why are you arguing with me, weirdo?'
Luther: 'Aaaaaarghhh! You're the worst Anfechtungen ever!'
Me: 'Right, you two. Behave or Bathsheba and Kate are coming round.'
Just then the doorbell rang. Carol singers. The strains of Silent Night could be heard from the study. Sky chimed in, 'Silent night, holy night' and Luther sang out, 'Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht'. Harmony at last. It's Christmas Eve and all's well with the world. Well, almost.