Back in 2006, I was living and working in London. I moved in to a flat in Camberwell with my friend Jonny, whom I had met in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Jonny was the organist at a church on Vauxhall Bridge Road and inevitably I tagged along and made that my church too.
One summer’s evening as we were walking back from church, we passed the Camberwell Evangelical Church. There was an evening service on as we could hear singing even if we couldn’t clearly see through the windows.
It seemed clear to us that they were doing some renovations as there was a yellow skip outside on the road, stacked high with debris. The skip was also on fire.
“We should probably go in and tell someone that their skip is on fire,” I said.
“Yeah,” Jonny agreed. “But we should break the news to them gently. We don’t want them to get into a panic about it.”
Jonny went ahead of me, pulled open the church door and we stepped inside. The person on door duty that evening spotted us and approached us.
“Hello, can I help?”
Jonny spoke. “Do you have any sausages?”
“Do you have any sausages?”
“It’s just we were passing and we noticed that your skip is on fire.”
“WHAT?! THE SKIP IS ON FIRE?! THE SKIP IS ON FIRE!!“
Jonny turned to me as we were leaving the building, “Well, that approach didn’t work.”
“No, you’re right,” I said, “He still panicked.”
“Maybe I should have asked for marshmallows.”
And we wandered home, leaving them to extinguish their flaming skip.