Dancing for the Messiah

There’s a bloke in Hotham Street who dances to bring the Messiah. Tall, fair, the dancer elevates himself onto a pair of Pritorius springheel devices that boost him from his natural six foot four to about eight feet. That’s before he starts to dance. As he jigs his head bounces higher than the fence behind him. He bounces there for an hour or more at peak times, waving his large yellow Messiah flag, for the traffic to see and to know his good news. In advance of the coming.

In past times a Messiah Dancer here waved a flag that read: HONK FOR MOSHAICH. The honking brought an early start to the day of Hotham Street residents who preferred devoutly to sleep in.

The springheeled one dances alone nowadays. A year or two back he danced with two fellows, one a short guy with a brown beard, the second a wide man, not young, white of beard, his movements minimal of amplitude, his girth more than ample, waving his flagless hands at passing cars. Small children in cars called out “Merry Christmas Santa!”

Many were this dancer’s years upon the earth, but these past weeks he dances no more. With luck it will turn out to be a temporary disability like a sore ankle or a new great-grandchild that has taken him from the streets and from the bringing of the Messiah.

Equally possible is that Messiah arrived quietly – noted by the two retirers* but unknown still to Springheel Jack. Certainly it is noticeable that nation currently does not lift up sword against nation. But lions and lambs need checking before we should allow little children to lead them.

Over history Messiah followers have had their hopes raised in dark times only to see them dashed and the times darken. In Jewish tradition the Messiah will arrive on a donkey. So far no donkey sightings in peak traffic on Hotham Street.

Messiahs are of course sometimes secular: Melbourne supporters welcomed theirs last week in Paul Roos; Liberal stalwarts were redeemed a few days ago. Richmond and Collingwood supporters might as well gather around Springheel Jack and wave their own flags.



*’retirees’ is a term to be reserved for persons who retire against their will.

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