Child in a Manger: Chapter 2

The little adorbs baby has been taken to the hospital…

That this particular infant lowly had turned out to be a she instead of a he was just one more surprise in a long evening of them.

Is it really so surprising?  I mean, it’s a 50/50 shot, right?  Or did Allison somehow assume that a manger-deposited child could only be male?


Anyway, Allison is trying to find a foster family for the baby (nicknamed “Joy” by the hospital staff), but it is proving difficult.  Which seems odd to me, seeing as how I can only imagine that thousands of childless people would kill for a healthy, month-old baby, but I suppose there’s red tape and such.  And, of course, we can all see where this will lead…

And Ivan was right about the “ignore what a woman says” thing actually being intended as criticism.  Sorry, Brock, but ’round these parts, a few too many men with your attitude have been lauded as heroes by their creators.  Hopefully, you’ll grow out of this.

In fact, Allison spends half a page ruminating on what a crappy cop Brock is, what with his “issues with women.”

Then, of course, he shows up, and there is some pretty good stuff about Allison thinking Brock is (looks-wise, at least), waaaaay out of her league, especially since she’s wearing a sweatsuit and feeling old and “dumpy.”

Allison and Brock once again knock heads over the whole was-mommy-good-or-not issue.  It’s not like Allison is a big fan of the mom, but…

Did [Brock] expect her to be the defender of women everywhere?  It was as bad as an unbeliever expecting her to speak on behalf of and defend the not always Christ-like actions of all Christians.

Huh.  Well, that dropped right out of the sky.

So, Allison, that happens to you a lot in your bitty insular town in west-central Indiana, eh?  If so, weird.  If not, it’s fascinating that your mind made that leap.  So, now we know who two groups of horrible people are: misogynists and atheists.

(Not for nothing, and not to excuse anyone who tries to make one person the spokesperson for the entire group, but maybe the atheists in Allison’s life (I’m sure there are so many) would lay off a bit if fewer Christians brought up our hellboundness when defending themselves against the charge of arrogance.)

Honestly, I was expecting a quiet ride after Chapter One, but this is getting interesting.

Another interesting bit:

“Destiny only has a population of seven hundred, you know.” [Allison said]

“I work here, remember?” [Brock said]

“For only two months or so.”

“Long enough.”

She had to smile at that.  He would never be in Destiny long enough to truly be a part of the place.  Only coming into and exiting the world within a ten-mil radius of the town made that possible.

Damn.  Okay, small towns suck.  They really, really suck.  Remind me never to move to one.  Geez.

Brock reveals that a few people saw a stranger hanging around the manger before the “interfaith” show began, in a coat that, in retrospect, was big enough to hide a baby.  Then he sees the baby and goes all goopy, so we know he’ll make a good daddy someday (soon).  Then he destroys the picture by rifling through the baby’s deposited diaper bag for evidence.  Finding none, he shakes Allison’s hand…

And lightning strikes and angels sing.  And they both kinda pretend it didn’t happen.

Yanno, the romance part of this is not bad at all, really.

Finally, as Allison privately tries to figure out if this is some sort of coded, mysterious Sign (of the kind God likes to send to his followers), we discover that the nativity scene featured a “cast and crew representing all four of Destiny’s churches.”

Seven hundred people, four Christian churches, defining “interfaith.”  I am sure that Allison is harassed on a daily basis by a bunch of arrogant, argumentative atheists.

Hi, Allison!




Posted on December 1, 2014, in Actually Not That Bad, Books, Child in a Manger. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. In fairness to Allison, I assumed the child was a boy too. The symbolism of a baby boy in a manger being the catalyst for a Christmas romance seemed like something the writer wouldn’t be able to resist. Naming her Joy isn’t any subtler, but it wasn’t the obvious choice.

  2. Even less inter-faith than I predicted! Yay.

    In some villages in England, you’re an “incomer” unless your grandparents lived there.

    If Allison shoves her Christianity down people’s throats, which seems likely on the showing so far, then it’s not unreasonable for them to say “if your brainworm is so great, how come other people suffering from the same infection do bad things”.

  3. Did [Brock] expect her to be the defender of women everywhere? It was as bad as an unbeliever expecting her to speak on behalf of and defend the not always Christ-like actions of all Christians.

    Sure, it is unfair to hold one person responsible for all the actions of a given group. But still, expecting a woman to defend all women and expecting a Christian to defend all Christians are two very different things.

    If I have blue eyes, it’s unreasonable to hold me responsible for the actions of all blue-eyed persons in the world. It’s just a trait I was born with, and there is no reason for anyone to believe that I am in any way affiliated with other people sharing that trait.

    On the other hand, if I am a member of a political party and have made that fact known, then it wouldn’t be surprising that people might bring that up during discussions about politics. No, I would not be responsible for every action of every member of my party. But since I had chosen to affiliate myself with a certain group, it is reasonable for others to assume that I consider that group to be worthy of my affiliation.

    Brock reveals that a few people saw a stranger hanging around the manger before the “interfaith” show began, in a coat that, in retrospect, was big enough to hide a baby.

    How do you hide a baby inside a coat? I mean, sure it’s possible, but how do you do it without looking incredibly suspicious? It’s a public gathering after all. A stranger carrying a strange baby is no more unusual than a stranger without a baby. Even if anyone saw the stranger first with a baby and then without, they’d simply assume that the child’s other parent must be around somewhere. But trying to hide a baby is just drawing attention to yourself.

    And later, when the baby is discovered, everyone is surprised to find a live baby instead of a doll. Suggesting that there had been a doll in the manger at some point. What happened to the doll? If the doll was just abandoned beside the manger, the switch would have been discovered immediately. So I guess the stranger smuggled the doll out under that big coat as well?

    Step 1: Hide a baby under your coat, hoping that the baby won’t cry, move, or otherwise draw attention to the fact that you are hiding a baby under your coat.

    Step 2: Walk right in the middle of a public gathering in a small, insular town, where the presence of any strangers is likely to be noticed.

    Step 3: Switch the baby with a doll in view of several witnesses who see you hanging around the manger.

    Step 4: Walk out of the room, carrying a doll under your coat, hoping no-one will stop you and ask you to explain your odd behaviour.

    This must be the worst planned baby abandonment scheme in history!

  4. Yeah, you shouldn’t demand that people defend every action of every member of your group… as long as the other person doesn’t claim that their group’s values are obviously superior and should be taught in schools and be made the law of the land.

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