The face of St Pancake appears in a plate.
Enough of this foolery. Lent arrived, and Eccles retreated into the wilderness. The first wilderness he tried was the desert of Telegraph blogs. Here there had clearly once been a great civilization: people spoke in hushed tones of the legendary Damian Thompson, James Delingpole, Tom Chivers, Daniel Hannan, and the millions who hung on their every word.
But when Eccles arrived, he saw a deserted wasteland. In one corner, Judith Potts was gallantly carrying on her popular series of "cancer" posts: "Why cancer can be fun", "Make the most of your cancer", "How we grew to love cancer", ... and so on. In another corner, there was still Pete Wedderburn with his "furry animal" blog: "Why the possum is man's best friend", "Give your mother a scorpion for her birthday" and "A gorilla is for life, not just for Christmas".
One of Pete Wedderburn's remaining fans.
But apart from that, nothing. No Toby Youngs, no Norman Tebbits, not even a humble Geoffrey Lean. What calamity had struck the Telegraph? All Eccles could find was a broken statue, bearing the following words: MY NAME IS DAMIAN THOMPSON, KING OF KINGS, LOOK ON MY WORKS YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR...
Lies, all lies...
Eccles moved on to the Guardian, well-known as a wasteland full of dangerous creatures. There he suffered three temptations at the hands of Giles Fraser. At this point, some readers will say "There is no such thing as Giles Fraser. He doesn’t exist. At his best, he is a very human projection of ourselves and our darkest nature." But still, the legend goes as follows:
Fraser showed Eccles his Guardian articles and said: "If you are a saved person, then turn these stones into spiritual nourishment." But Eccles replies: "It is written: 'Man cannot live on the words of Giles Fraser, but only on words that come from the mouth of God.'"
Then Fraser took Eccles up to the moral high ground, from where he could look down into the abyss of Radio 4. "Jump in," he said. "If you are a saved person, then the Lord will protect you from the Today Programme, the Moral Maze, and all other places where my views are to be found." But Eccles replied, "Don't tempt me to turn on the radio. Please."
Can Radio 4 really lead you to Evan?
Finally Fraser showed Eccles all the United Kingdom and its splendour. "Bow down and worship Ed Miliband," he said. "and a new socialist era will dawn, in which children may learn all about homosexual relations, yeah, even at the age of five. What's not to like?"
But Eccles shouted "Get thee behind me, Fraser!" and left for another wilderness.
Eccles flees the human projection of our darkest nature.
To be continued.