Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union, Rated R, Strong Language, Violent Content

Okay you feeble pukes, listen up.

I'm Mars, the God of War, and I've come to help Emperor Bush deliver his State of the Union Address.

If you're wondering what happened to Anne, I stuffed her sorry ass down a well headfirst. It took less than 3 seconds. Then I ate her goats.

It is with great optimism that I look around at America today, January 31, 2006. First, the good news.

Lady Justice's scales are tipping way to the right as Judge Alito ascends to the High Court in preparation for creating a dictatorship in the proud tradition of ancient Rome.

All hail Emperor Richard Santorum! And he is an excellent choice, seeing that he has sons. Emperor Rick has what it takes to rule America with an iron hand. Anyone who opposes his notions on family values will be crucified. Thank you in advance, Judge Alito, for paving the way out of this ridiculous democracy.

More good news. America is at war! And we all know how wonderful war is, don't we, pukes? Now all we've got to do is expand this war. More war! Attack any nation that produces oil, until you corner the market! You DO love your Hummer, don't you, puke? I can't HEAR you!

Some country you don't like is building a bomb? Bomb them first! Strike hard! Spare no one! That's how empires are built, you pansy pukes. Think of the glory that was Rome, and then ACT!

With any nation there's room for improvement. I, Mars, make these recommendations:

1. Health insurance? What kind of bullshit is that? Yank that motherfucker! Only the strong survive. Only the rich deserve doctors. Case closed.

2. Caring for the poor? How about this? Enslave them! Put them to work, feed them starvation fare, and when they drop over, who cares? Rights for the rich! It fuckin' worked in Rome, didn't it, pukes?

3. Student loans? If your sorry bastard can't pay cash for tuition, what the fuck is he doing in college? As for women in college, forget it! What a waste of resources. Women exist for two purposes: to give men pleasure, and to breed. After that they should be working their asses off as slaves.

4. Tax cuts for the rich and expectations of obscene profit margins? I heartily endorse this. If your company isn't making enough to fatten its stockholders, kill the extraneous workers and make the ones who are left work harder. It's called capitalism, pukes.

5. Spying on anyone and everyone? Absolutely! And to that I would add encouraging neighbors to rat out subversives. Who gives a fuck if a few innocent people get crucified? It's been known to happen before.

6. Outsourcing torture? Why the fuck would you do that? Torture those criminals in the public square in Red States, where the locals will appreciate the entertainment!

7. Protesters in marches? Shit. You've got tanks. Mow those roaches down, round up the rest, take them to Red States, and feed them to lions. Why do you only use those nice stadiums on Sundays? Human sacrifices daily! You lose nothing by exterminating protesters.

Oh yeah. And no more abortion. We'll need those kids as slaves.
Queers can live if they're rich. Otherwise, flog them to death.

My last bold proposition: Restore the Roman pantheon! You already believe in a big, bold, vengeful God, so why not go the whole nine yards? Do that and you'll rule the fuckin world!

Now go forth and conquer, America the Bold. Make me proud.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Batman in the Bunker


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming to you live and direct today from Gotham City! The mood here is tense and sullen, and even the Joker's frowning as Batman - The Caped Crusader - brings in this report from Persia.

Batman: Hunker in the bunker, boys. Iran is just about finished building its very own nuke, and those wacko zealots won't hesistate to send it flying.

Robin: Holy Moses, Batman! Why would they do that?

Joker: You'd think their only knowledge of nuclear weapons comes from reading DC Comics books.

Thor: Marvel's always had better story lines.

Batman: Thor, this is not the time to be offering editorial commentary on the relative merits of two competing comic book companies. You're a god, for god's sake. Act like one.

Thor: Sorry.

Flash: Sketch out a scenario for us, Bruce.

Batman: It's very simple. Most reasonable nations view nuclear weapons as doing much more harm than good, in terms of environmental and worldwide quality-of-life degradation.

Aquaman: Absolutely correct! A radioactive cloud passing over water will kill or mutate all the undersea life! You wouldn't dare eat a fish for decades!

Boris Badenov: Yaaz, just look what Chernobyl did to Mother Russia! And zat vos accident!

Batman: I don't think the world can count on the religiously motivated leadership of Iran to take into account the entire fallout potential if they were to, say, bomb Tel Aviv or ... Gotham City.

Riddler: That's it. I'm packing my bags. I've never liked it here anyway.

Robin: Holy emu, Batman! Is there anything, I mean anything we can do as Superheroes?

Batman: I'm afraid our hopes are pinned completely on the Chinese and the Russians.

G.I. Joe: Our government could stage a pre-emptive, full-frontal attack...

(Chaos as the other superheroes and villains bombard G.I. Joe with wadded-up paper towels.)

Darth Vader: I know this is rich coming from me, but can't we reason with these people?

Batman: Sorry, Darth. When you've got zealots who believe that they're ordered by their deity to start pocking the earth with radioactive craters, there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do.

Thor: All right, we're off to the bunker. But we're not having any Dr. Strangelove antics. No humans allowed! Let them reap what they sow. From now on, we comic book creations will just keep to ourselves.

Spiderman: Can I at least bring Aunt May?

Batman: Yeah, but make it snappy. The bunker doors close promptly at 0800. And I'll trust all you super guys and gals, and villains, AND you, G.I. Joe, to leave all your weapons up here ground level to get incinerated when the nukes start to fly.

G.I. Joe: Roger. Say, Pete. Is your Aunt May pretty?

(Chaos as G.I. Joe is strapped into a jet pack and sent in the general direction of Mars.)


Friday, January 27, 2006

Gods or Not

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just climbing on board for the first time, here's our philosophy in a nutshell.

We've never quite been able to figure out why a One God put on His thinking cap and Intelligently Designed a universe and then let His creations worship other gods before, during, and after His reign.

By the time the Big Guy said, "You shall have no gods but me," gosh, there were praise and worship teams spread out all over the globe. Some of them had fancy pyramids and epic Bibles and everything! Circles of stone surrounded by barrows, paintings in caves, Mother Goddess statues, you name it. A veritable supermarket of celestial excellencies!

Almost like the Intelligent Designer said, "Ooooooops! A day late and a dollar short. It'll be hard enough converting the ones that already believe in other gods, let alone retro-fitting the millions and millions and millions who've already gone to the Other Side."

Well, the Intelligent Designer has comported Himself like any corporate CEO, using myriad tactics and tweaking his message, and usurping holidays from other traditions (because we do like our holidays, don't we muchachas?), all in an effort to assert His oneness and only admit True Believers to His Holy Hershey Park.

Trouble is, in the wake of this, He has sidelined some exceptionally able gods and goddesses who really want to work and who really really miss their former praise and worship teams.

Seriously, would you rather have meaningful employment and the high regard of the many, or sit around on a couch that is so old it has your butt imprinted on it, watching "Green Acres" for the 560th time?

Our philosophy here is that one is the loneliest number. It's so bad that even the Big Guy had to become Three-in-One to tolerate it.

Throw open the gates, and let the bored gods return to collect and console their praise and worship teams!

You don't have to go through the religious motions just because your pastor is so handsome and reassuring, and the choir can get around Handel on Sunday morning. Step out, look around, say to yourself, "I think I'll try a new pantheon today."

And if you're not quite sure what your true tradition might be, determine your continent of origin, country if possible, and consult

They've got a plethora of dynamic deities just waiting for your perusal.

Just remember, this is America. You have the right to worship buzzards if you want to. (They prefer to be called Thunderbirds. It's more respectful.)

One nation, under the Thunderbirds, indivisible. . .


Thursday, January 26, 2006

See God Love.

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We hope you'll enjoy your stay. How do you like our new official logo?

Please be advised that this site is now Google-free, at least until those despicable billionaire thieves stop caving to Chinese government
interests and let the citizens of the most populous country on the planet communicate honestly with one another and the rest of the world.

Chinese government to Google: Bend over, we'll drive.

Google: Oink oink. Is the check in the mail?

Today's topic: Great Expectations, Dashed

Pope Rat has issued his first encyclical. About time, he's been wearing that fancy expensive crown for almost a year.

The former head of the Holy Inquisition (they call it something more user-friendly now) might have been expected to inveigh against pagans, even to call for a renewal of public burning of witches.

Instead he releases a 76-page document, the jist of which is, "God is love, and we must all start with this kind of love to achieve love in other venues."

Hold the presses. What a novel notion!

He must be attending Methodist sermons.

Oh yeah. The pope encourages Christians to give to the poor and to show mercy to the disabled and the downtrodden.

Gosh, the originality is breathtaking. And it goes on like this for 76 pages.
Where I come from they say charity starts at home. So my advice to Pope Rat is to find himself a humble fishing boat and sell Vatican City and its many treasures to private collectors, giving the largesse gained to the poor and the downtrodden.

Or maybe he should just organize The Mother of All Monte Carlo Nights, taking a clue from the local parish church/school down the street from me. Drink and gamble the night away, assured that you're helping the poor!

Once again the bored gods are wondering how this religion continues its hegemony, given the hypocrisy throughout.

Blood's all I got to give, but hey. Here's my arm.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Oreos for Me, Carrots for the Goat

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Ask not on whom the axe will fall. It falls on thee. So laugh while you can and be grateful for the small things. Like Advil and your dishwasher.

About a half mile from where I live there was a racetrack (horses). It started losing money, so it closed. It got razed, and the good ol' township found itself with 300 acres of asphalt and oak trees.

Down come the oak trees, 100 of them in the prime of life. A SIN.

Up goes this huge store called Wegmans.

Have you heard of this place? I've never seen one before, but judging from the size of the exterior, it could hold the entire fan base of the University of Michigan football team, with room left for some Penn State fans.

When my mother-in-law saw it during her last visit, she said, "Oh! When is that going to open? I can't wait! They have forty different kinds of apples! Everything you could ever want!"

I don't know about you, reader, but what I want is a grocery store that's small. If I get to Aisle Six and I've forgotten something in Aisle One, I don't want to have to call in the dogsled or the rapid transit to get back there.

And you know what else I want? I want a store where I can find things without having to ask an employee. There's nothing quite like going up to a cute guy at a customer service desk and inquiring the location of the Preparation H.

What do I need with 40 kinds of apples? All apples pale in comparison to Macouns, and everyone from West Virginia knows that Macouns can't ship. So no matter how classy Wegmans is, they ain't gonna have Macouns. Maybe 20 kinds of tasteless Red Delicious (what a misnomer).

Why are we so fascinated with big in this country? What happened to intimate? A store that has "everything I want?" Okay, I want a brand new Ferrari, on sale with coupon.

Aisle 126, right-hand side. Next to the Preparation H.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How to Raise Money the Catholic Way

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You might think this is some evil pagan site dedicated to slaughtering kittens in pentagrams. Forget it. You're wrong. We're surprisingly moral around here.

No smoking.
No gambling.
No potty words.
No racial or ethnic slurs (except hillbilly, because we are)
No slaughtering anything, especially kittens and oak trees.

There's a Catholic church with an attached elementary school near my house. Like all other church/schools, they need to have fundraisers to keep the old coffers brimming.

Today when I drove by I saw a little sign. It read, "Monte Carlo Night. Cocktails, Entertainment, Casino Games."

I assume this is a fundraiser for the school, and not the way the priests choose to spend their spare time.

I wonder if they're going to have those cute waitresses in the stiletto heels.

And they call us pagans ... pagans.

For the record, while this druid imbibes wine in the privacy of her home, she is opposed to gambling, except for the occasional gift basket raffle. Encouraging the kind of behavior described on that church's sign is hardly what one would expect of a ... church.

Maybe the priests down there are tired of boring confessions and want to hear something fresh. I'm sure they'll be richly rewarded by "Monte Carlo Night."


Monday, January 23, 2006

An Open Plea to the Mormons

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We welcome all praise and worship teams here and pass no judgment. However, today we want to make a special plea, aware that Internet communication is universal and permanent.

I speak for my entire family here. Even mega-church Sis.

We do not want to be baptized posthumously into the Mormon Church.

I'd put this caveat in writing and attach it to my Daughters of the American Revolution papers (on file) if I could.

Many and many a year ago, my mother (who now sleeps with the Confederate Dead) took a bus trip to the newly-opened Mormon temple in Washington, DC. For awhile there the Mormons had the temple open for tours. I don't know if they do now or not.

Ever seen that thing rising from the tree line as you round the Washington Beltway? Looks like the Magic Kingdom on steroids.

Anyway, Mom was taking this tour, and she saw this huge mural depicting heaven. Not surprisingly, God and Jesus were surrounded by blissful folk, while other not-so-lucky people looked on, disappointed.

Mom never let a thought go unspoken. She asked the tour guide: "So, the happy ones are Mormons, and the rest are folks like me?"

And the tour guide answered: "Ah, yes. Many Christians go to heaven, but only the Saints are specially anointed by God."

To which Mom replied: "Sez you."

She was a pistol.

So the tour moves on, with Mom offering editorial commentary on everything from Joseph Smith's golden tablets to the extra vowel in a certain angel's name.

Then she hears about this posthumous baptizing.

You'd think a woman whose ancestors marched in the Whiskey Rebellion, whose mama kept a husband and a lover under the same roof, whose great-grandma hung herself in the barn, might opt for a little posthumous baptizing for the good of the family.

Forget it. Mom said, "I'll pass on that, and don't ever go prowling for my relatives either."

I'll bet that was one happy tour guide to see that busload of crazy hillbillies head westbound into the sunset.

Unfortunately, I've made it very easy for my descendants to get into this baptizing the dead stuff. I've traced the good ol' family tree back 10 generations in every direction (except for that live-in boyfriend of Grandma's, and I know his kin).

I'm not worried about my daughters, The Heir and The Spare, becoming Mormons. They are wondering why they're Methodists.

Down the road, though, you just don't know.

So here it is in writing. Mormon descendant, stop now and baptize no more. We bad-ass hillbillies are happy where we are, wherever that is, and we don't like anyone else making decisions for us.

When are they going to send around a pair of those nice young boys in suits, so I can personally make this official? I get Adventists at my door once a month.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Goats Goats Goats!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you go to church every Sunday because your parents took you when you were a little kid? Well, grow up! You don't still live with them, do you? Get out of that rut and recruit a bored god!

Well, friends, if my husband's plant doesn't close down, he and I are up and running again.

Just before Yule, a former goat client called me. He's not satisfied with Amalgamated Goat, Inc. Misses the personal touch, you know. He asked me to drive to Intercourse, PA to evaluate some nans. (That's what we goat judges call nannies.)

I guess he liked my report, because he wants me to come to Randolph, Vermont this spring and check out his whole herd!

Oh, joy! A job in my chosen field! I'm so excited I can hardly sit still!

My cloven-hooved wonders, I shall soon be among you again!


Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Awesome Award-Winning Narnia Sermon!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us, we're an Equal Opportunity Employer of gods and goddesses. We celebrate love in all its forms and reject evil in all its forms. So don't be looking for any nasty gods here. They don't make it through our security checks.

I read in the newspaper that Disney Studios offered a $1000 check to the pastor who delivered the best sermon based on "The Chronicles of Narnia."

Serious dough. It's worth a shot.

Brothers and sisters, I give you the awesome book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

It's about this family of kids who get sent to live in a big old house in the English countryside during the Blitz. They find this magic wardrobe and climb inside, and it leads to a really cold and dark place with a cute little fawn. Then the kids climb back into the wardrobe and then they go through it again to explore the dark, cold land more.

And the fawn says the land is ruled by an evil witch.

All right, that's as far as I got in that book.

And not because the witch was evil. Because it was boring.

I was trying to read it to my daughter, The Spare. We both decided to bag it.

Last Sunday The Spare did her little acolyte duty at the Whitebread United Methodist Church, necessitating my presence during the service. (I sit on the "colored balcony.")

I guess Pastor Jones was trying to win his grand, because he preached about the movie. And he said that the evil witch had placed a curse on the land and made it dark and cold, and the magnificent, ferocious lion (but he has a good heart) decides to oppose the evil witch.

So Spare and I got a little dose of what we missed by not reading the whole book.

Walking home from Whitebread U.M.C., I said to The Spare, "What do you think? It's always an evil woman witch who does all the damage in these Christian sagas."

And The Spare said, "Maybe she had her reasons for making it cold and dark."

That concludes today's sermon. The ushers will now pass among you to collect your tithes and offerings. Please forward this to Disney for inclusion in the Great Narnia Sermon Contest.

Oh! Forgot. Lest you think Anne doesn't like to read, she will now list only the books she has read 3 or more times:
1. Walden
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. Jane Eyre
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude
5. The Great Gatsby
6. Wuthering Heights (5 times)
7. The Prince (Machiavelli)
8. Inferno (Dante)
9. The Odyssey
10. The World of Jeeves
11. Great Goats, Past and Present (5 times)


Friday, January 20, 2006

The Twisted Mind of a Goat Judge

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Remember, all gods are not equal. Sometimes it just doesn't do to settle for the bargain god. He might fall apart right when you need him. Seek a quality god (better yet, goddess), and you'll be covered in every emergency!

News brief: I'm honored to have been invited to join a site http://appalachiangreens.blogspot.com. See how good I am at linking? This will remove all hillbilly rants from "The Gods Are Bored" and place them where they belong.

Update: Church sis feels that anyone who takes teenaged daughters to see "Brokeback Mountain" should be hauled up in front of the newly Christianized Supreme Court. Watching stuff like that could make The Heir turn gay.

Listening to crap like this makes my hair turn gray.

Today's topic: This Is Your Mind on Substitute Teaching. No Questions.

This morning at 5:45 a.m., while preparing for another brutal day of substitute teaching, I had the following dialogue with myself.

Bear with me. This is not your typical navel-gazing blog.

God, look at that zit. I am way too old to have pimples. There's no amount of makeup that will cover this volcano! How old do you have to be before you don't get pimples anymore?

I guess I'll have zits on my face when I die. The undertaker will say, "Damn, there's nothing I can do to cover that! Close the casket!"

Well, that's just stupid, because I want to be scorched to ashes anyway. Won't see the zits then.

Unless I can get that Native American burial I've always dreamed of. Lying dead in the forest, food for the Thunderbirds.

But I'm not ready to die yet, and by the time I am, I won't be able to walk far enough into the forest to commit suicide without being found. In fact, the buzzards will help the authorities find me, and the buzzards will get cheated out of a meal.

That would stink.

Then again, if I hobbled into state forest land and shot myself, the authorities would assume the buzzards were just after a dead possum.

Sounds plausible.

But I don't think I'd have the courage to shoot myself. And starving to death takes too long, and once again cheats the Thunderbirds.

So, opiates or barbituates. The good ol' Oregon method.

But what would that do to the buzzards? If they eat my opiate-saturated brain, will they too OD? Or will they just sit around like William S. Burroughs, wondering why possum doesn't affect them like that?

I mean, how many bites of me could each vulture take? You can sometimes draw as many as 100 to a cow carcass.

Oh, shit. There's no lemon for my tea! It's gonna be a bang-up day, I can see it coming.

And guess what? It was that, and worse.

The moral of this post: If you know an Anne Johnson, I'm sure you hope it's not me.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Frank Talk about Marrying Fifi or Fluffy

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," wringing laughter out of the mildewed blanket of America since 2005!

Don't ask me how, but I wandered into a Religious Right blog, and the guy was complaining that, if fags aren't bad enough, now Israel is allowing people to marry their pets!

So that got me thinking, of course.

I've been married for more than 20 years. Right there you know my spouse is not a canine or a feline. Not many of them last that long.

Marriage. What exactly is it?

I have an old friend named Bert, a fellow goat judge and a real character. Next to Ben Franklin, I'll bet Bert has chased and bagged more skirt than anyone. (Not me, muchachas, I'm married to a man who makes Johnny Depp look like Frankenstein.)

Bert once said, "Married sex is like striking out the pitcher. Actually, men would be better off financially just buying pussy from prostitutes. It's cheaper in the long run."

Prince of a man, eh?

But in a way, he makes a point. Marriage is based on more than just sex. It's a contract to care for someone and to contribute to the financial, moral, and biological growth of offspring. At its most basic level, marriage is an agreement to stick with someone even when it's not fun, and to provide for that person even after you're gone.

People love their pets. However, although it's not unheard-of, people rarely boogie on down with Fifi and Fluffy.

(Please note that this entry does not cover ungulates or bovines. You wanna marry a cow, you'd better see a therapist.)

I can sure see where a marriage contract with a beloved pet would help to provide for that pet in the event of an owner's demise. And if you don't know some lonely old person whose only consolation is Fifi, where the hell do you live?

So, we at "The Gods Are Bored" go on record as endorsing legal marriage between people and their pets. Why not send Fluffy into her declining years with a hefty life insurance policy and your pension benefits?


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ben and the Morons

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If your god's not picking up his cell, come see us. We'll talk.

"The lives of great men do remind us
We can make our lives sublime.
And in parting, leave behind us
Mounds of buzzard-friendly slime."

Wait a minute. Did I get that right? My mom always used to say this poem to me when I was a kid.

No. No. The last line is: "Footprints in the sands of time."

Well, I just saw some footprints disappearing under a high tide of morons.

That's what happens, you know. To bored gods and great men. Those footprints are either gonna lose it in a sandstorm or get washed away in a Nor-easter.

Cold day in Philadelphia, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Ben Franklin's 300th birthday, can't sit home picking the old nose.

Well, they had a posh bash at the National Constitution Center, complete with a 20-foot birthday cake and 300 candles, every Grand Poobah within 300 miles, and all the fabulous winners of this world pontificating on Ben the Great. Then they sang "Happy Birthday" and with a great Whoosh, the big cake spouted red, white, and blue streamers.

Anne crashed this party. She was not invited. She stood by the door so the security guards wouldn't throw her out. When they tried to anyway, she flashed her Daughters of the American Revolution badge and said, "Don't Tread on Me."

Anne was thinking how much Ben Franklin would have hated such an overblown and smarmy affair until she noticed the beautiful young ladies of the National High School Champion swim team. Anne thinks Ben could have reconciled himself to being among them.

It gets better. Across the street is the churchyard where Ben is interred. There's a tasteful small parade and short service there, using a very broadly applicable prayer Franklin wrote himself. The Masons had their say, the Horticultural Society laid a wreath. The bagpipers played "Amazing Grace" (do they ever play anything else?), and the do was done.

Except for one thing.

People started throwing pennies on Franklin's grave.

Someone even put three of those coin rolls down. You know, the ones that hold 50 pennies apiece.

Am I missing something? Isn't this the dude who said, "A penny saved is a penny earned?"

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that's in the Bible.

Anyway, I was one of the last to leave, so Ben Franklin treated me to a cheesesteak. The guy at the kiosk didn't care if I paid in pennies.

The bored gods salute Dr. Benjamin Franklin and his footprints in the sands of time.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dates of Note

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. Greyhound through service to Pittsburgh and points west is now taking passengers at Door #1.

Oops. Wrong announcement.

Ladies and gentlemen. The bored gods are taking a short break. On January 16 we mark the birthday of the awesome Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We at "The Gods Are Bored" heartily endorse the concept of judging people by the content of their character.

On January 17 we mark the 300th birthday of the awesome Benjamin Franklin, one of the best statesmen the world has ever seen. We will actually be traveling to Philadelphia so that this notable anniversary will have druid participation.

See y'all Wednesday!


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Heaven Is a Theme Park

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Pick a god. Any god. Now look at your god. Okay, put him or her back in the pack.

I'll shuffle them really well. Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap.

All right. Is this your god?

It isn't? You're sure?

I've got to work on that trick some more.

It's getting close to the anniversary of my peerless father's death, and that's got me thinking about his awesome funeral.

Dad attended one of those boring mainstream churches for 55 years, taught Sunday School for 50 years, sang in the choir for 25 years. Of course he tithed all that time too.

Imagine this. Dad comes floating belly-up, and his church wants to charge to serve lunch at his funeral. Cheeky, eh?

So dear Sis and I sat down to consider alternatives.

I wanted to put Dad on a barge surrounded by dry brush, float him into the Potomac, and have archers shoot flaming arrows at his bier. That's how highly I thought of the man.

Sis suggested her church. The mini-mega with the handsome young pastor. (It was Sis who called him handsome, and she was right.)

Mind you, these good church folk friends of my sis have been praying hard for me at every service. It's no secret there that I'm a dread witch, following some Satanic religion that slaughters little kittens in pentagrams.

But I caved and let Sis plan the funeral at her church. Because after all, Dad didn't see Jesus at his bedside when he was dying, he saw Peter Pan. Ah, the solace of that!

An aside: My many hometown queer friends refused to attend the service, knowing how this church feels about them. They stopped to pay their respects and moved on.

So, morning of service, I arrive arrayed in all my Celtic glory, and I've made sure that there's a huge flower arrangement with a fairy sitting right under the pulpit.

Could say I asked for trouble, right? Not the first time, not the last.

So the long funeral proceeds, with sparse testimonials and a slide show to a dirge of a hymn. Last but not least, young handsome pastor gets up to preach.


This man of God had met my dad exactly four times. But he wasn't there to talk about Dad. He had another agenda.

He said that heaven is like a theme park. I am not lying to you.

Now, we all live near theme parks. Hershey Park is one of the closest to me, but having lived in Michigan I will forever have Cedar Point first in my heart where theme parks go. If you ever get to Michigan or Ohio, you've gotta go to Cedar Point.

However, young handsome pastor used Hershey Park as his example. There aren't many theme parks in West Virginia.

I quote now:

"Heaven is just like Hershey Park. You know, you have to pay an admission fee. If you go up to the gate, and you don't have any money, they aren't going to let you in. No matter how you beg and plead, no matter how you cry, they won't let you through that turnstile.

"So if you live a life of sin, you're going to come to that gate, and Father God will be standing there. And think of this. Web might be right behind him, among the angels."

(Web being my dad, of course.)

"You will beg and plead with God to let you in. And Web will cry out for you, but he'll understand. Because God is a father who has to be obeyed, and if you didn't obey him in life, if you didn't follow the commandments in his book, if you didn't accept Jesus as your personal savior, you are not going to get through that turnstile."

Readers, did I mention that I rarely attend amusement parks? I have motion sickness really bad, so pretty much all I can do at those places is eat cotton candy and watch the trained parrots.

So I'm sitting there, staring at a stunning flower arrangement with a gorgeous Appalachian Fairy Ball suspended over orchids and moss, and I'm thinking the following:

1. If heaven is a theme park, do they have Disney parades at night? If so, does Tinker Bell attend?

2. What exactly is the policy at theme parks regarding people who can't afford them? Maybe a nice person at a turnstile would quietly let the poor sod sneak in and enjoy a day. Does that make this earthly theme park employee more compassionate than God?

3. If my dad is standing right behind God, and God won't let me through the turnstile, I am 100 percent damn well sure Dad is gonna tell God to stuff it and come to hell with me. Nothing came between me and my dad, and God's not going to be the exception to that rule.

4. My dad would never have turned away a poor person if he worked at a theme park. I watched him stop his car once, get out, and give the shoes and socks on his feet to a barefoot street person.

5. That pastor is handsome and charismatic. Did I mention that? A real cutie pie. It sure softened the sadistic message he was aiming straight at me at my own father's funeral.

So, to make a long post shorter, just remember the next time you go to a theme park, don't forget your wallet. They might not let you in.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Links, Missing and Otherwise

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We value your patronage. If you're looking for a god, or a goddess, or even a sneaky little faerie that'll hide your Crisco just when you want to make pie crust, you've come to the right watering hole!

Anne, your hostess, is a Woman of a Certain Age.

Virgin? No. Crone? Hell no. But not minted day before yesterday, if you know what I mean.

Take these computers, for example. They have something called links.

Way beyond Anne. She recognizes three kinds of links:

1. The tasty ones you fry for breakfast with your eggs.
2. The ones rich men stroll across with graphite sticks, discussing how they're gonna stick it to the working poor.
3. The so-called Missing Ones that the Intelligent Design people say proves that Darwin was wrong.

Ah, those Missing Links. Can't get from Point A to Point C without one, eh?

Okay, so how does this sound? If you can find one Missing Link, say a fossil mollusk or a teeny tiny horse the size of a cat, does that prove that there may be more Missing Links out there?

On behalf of the bored gods, please welcome to our site Eohippus. This lil' dude (dudette) is one in a well-documented series of fossil horses that just keep getting bigger and horsier all the time, from the dawn of the Age of Mammals to day before yesterday, when Smartie Jones's first baby was born.

This sturdy fella has ancestors and descendants that go up like a staircase, from iddy biddy to Runnin for the Roses.

Trust an old goat judge on this one. Mollusks are a lot more boring.

Eohippus pokes a big hole in the notion that the mare pulling your plow is just a recent grand-daughter of some big, strong horse made by an Intelligent Designer. Why would we find an old, bony jaw that screams "HORSE" but in size says "KITTY CAT?"

Now, your local Commission on the Incorporation of Intelligent Design into Supreme Court Decisions and American Life will just look at cute little Eohippus and say, "Yup. That's a horse. What about Man?" (note gender-specific language)

I have only one response to that. If a Missing Link were to strut up the street, how the hell would we recognize him? Especially if it was a home game football Sunday, and he was checking out the tailgate parties?

This is not a scientific theory by any means, but in my personal opinion, we moderns would probably embarrass our Missing Link ancestors so badly that the M.L.s would cease to breed.

If you doubt me, scroll down and read yesterday's post.


Image found at Illinois State Geological Survey Q&A site.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Really, Really, Really Long Strange Trip

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Are you tired of a god that begins every other sentence with "Thou shall not?" Well then, howdy howdy howdy! Pull up a chair.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" have a different philosophy. Here it is in a nutshell:

"As long as you don't hurt anyone else, or stain the furniture, do whatever you want."

We added that part about the furniture. You can ignore it if you spilled coffee on the ottoman last month.

What a momentous occasion! Excuse me while I kiss the sky!

Albert Hofmann, the chemist who "discovered" LSD, turned 100 years old today, January 11, 2006!

(We use the quotes because there's a long and ancient history of both genders of humans tripping on ergot and shrooms and all kinds of plants -- even cane toad secretions.)

Dr. Hoffman, hale and hearty (guess he hasn't offended God, eh Pat Robertson?), is on his way to an international conference on LSD even as we speak. He told the newspapers he's sorry that LSD got out on the streets and got a bad rep, because it almost certainly has valid medical applications for the treatment of schizophrenia and acute psychosis.

For the record, Anne is neither schizophrenic or acutely psychotic, so she has never tried LSD. Anne is not keen on breaking the law, and use of hallucinogens is not part of her religion.

But gosh. We feel like Willard Scott seeing the world through a purple haze! This sure rules out LSD as a poison. In fact, used wisely it might be better than Vitamin C. How many people do you know who have lived to be 100 years old?

Certainly not Bubba, who downed a fifth of legally purchased Jim Beam and then tried to drive home from his bachelor party.

So, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" wish Dr. Albert Hofmann a very happy birthday, and many, many more! Tangerine trees and marmalade skies ... on the house!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Polytheism Is the Opiate of the Missus

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We think the Moral Majority isn't, and the Religious Right really isn't. Our doctrine consists of restoring ancient gods and goddesses to the positions they once held (including a living wage, benefits and vacation time).

These gods and goddesses are the victims of hostile takeovers by a series of monotheistic religions that, no matter the original intention of the god in charge, have wreaked mayhem around the world.

Not to mention leaving stubborn stains on furniture.

I'm Anne, your hostess. My furniture is spotless.

Being democratic and open-minded about pantheons gives me great optimism about my prospects on the Other Side. Never having had much opportunity to travel the world, I confidently expect to be welcome in many and various heavens, by such a wealth of bored gods that I'll hardly know where to start!

And oh, the time share possibilities! When it's hot outside I'll hang with Sedna, awesome goddess of the Inuits. Then, when my toes get cold, I'll pay a social call on Tiki or Chondanga in their jungle habitats.

Positively makes me want to go end it all right now, except the current state of my country is so consistently backward and baffling that I can't wait to watch the next carnival of buffoons.

I am a goat judge by trade. But I feel that my reach extends past those cloven-footed wonders and their incomparable crumbly cheese. I would never skewer a real goat, but metaphorically I really enjoy sticking it to the human goats out there.

They don't know who they are. They think they're great guys. Note the gender-specific language.

So, old friends and new, join me on this Odyssey celebrating diversity in society and in the hereafter!

When was the last time you heard anyone say, "In Tiki We Trust?" Well, why the heck not? Poor old Tiki, sitting around staring at a checkerboard. If he hears you trust him, it will make his day!

It was Karl Marx who said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Well, polytheism is the opiate of this Missus, and she's glad to have it in all its rainbow glory.

In Tiki We Trust.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Alito Optimism on Justice Monday

Last chance 1/10/06! Nominate "The Gods Are Bored" for a Bloggie!

Winner gets $21.50. Enough for a movie and popcorn! Send Anne to see Brokeback Mountain a second time!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Which would you rather have, a single orange or a whole doggone orchard?

Let's put it another way. Suppose you had to marry the person your parents chose for you when you were a toddler, you had no choice, and you had to stay with that person forever.

Why the heck do people approach religion that way? No one's forcing you to stick to that little white church in the dale.

At least not yet.

You might have missed Anne's pithy essays on the New World Order and how to make it work for you. To summarize, Anne said, don't wait for the New World Order to grab you and brainwash you, volunteer right away! That way you get first crack at all the good drugs, the best bunker, and a posh assignment to murder some head of state in a lovely location.

It is this same philosophy that drives Anne's proposal that the U.S. Senate quickly seat Judge Samuel Alito-bit-o'-cunning. Bring him on! Let's measure this guy for the right robes so he doesn't trip and fall as he takes his chair and starts tipping the balance of the court to the far, far, right!

With the solid support of guys like Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and the peerless Rick Santorum, Judge Alito promises to be a Blue Nightmare, the Wrath of God Made Flesh and Come to Judge the Quick and the Dying.

People. People. What do we know about human nature? Things have to get butt ugly, worse, and then crash before the common mortal sits up and says, "Gosh, this was butt ugly, but now it's terrible."

And a Supreme Court stacked to the plimsol line with young, conservative judges will be terrible. Make no mistake about it. If you're not wealthy, bigoted, or environmentally insensitive, this guy's gonna feel like ice between your toes. If you're a woman of childbearing age, he's gonna feel like some sicko staring up your skirt. If you think this nation should be making efforts to boost the fortunes of the underclass, Alito's gonna seem like The Before Picture of Uncle Scrooge.

And maybe that's just what we need.

Perhaps we should sit back, relax, and let the Religious Right run everything for a few years.

A few years, that's all it would take. And then the vast majority of Americans would start to hear a persistent gurgling sound, sort of like waste water being sucked into a storm drain.

Remember, it takes a Titanic to bring a little matter like adequate lifeboat space to light. Sometimes the only way to fix a creaky house is to let it crash and burn and start from scratch.

Don't know about you, but I see Alito as the kerosene being splashed on the creaky house. And the house is gonna crash and burn, a lot of us are going to be crushed by it, but the rest will finally stand up and say:

"We shall overcome."

Justice Sam Alito, Come on Down! The Price Is Right! Right! Right! Right!


graphic found at eisengeist.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brunch with Pat Robertson

LAST DAY 1/10/06! Nominate "The Gods Are Bored" for a Bloggie Award! http://2006.bloggies.com

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Working too hard can lead to stress-related illnesses, even for gods. Perhaps that explains the sorry state of monotheism in the modern world. Here's the best alternative: Invite a new god or goddess, or both, or many, into your life today!

Operators are standing by to take your call.

I've been asked to list my five most annoying habits.

1. Stopping car on busy interstate to gawk at buzzards.
2. Talking nonstop about goats for hours.
3. Offering to punch out people who disrespect hillbillies.
4. Wearing clothes that embarrass my middle-school daughter.
5. Okay, okay. I'll admit it. Sheeeesh! How embarrassing! I wear pagan jewelry. Every day. If I lost my Green Man earrings, I'd be devastated.

Are we ready? Okay, folks. We have a special guest today. He's been waiting outside. Let's usher him in! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Pastor Pat Robertson!

Anne: Howdy, Pastor. Can I call you Pat?

Robertson: No. I'm Pastor to you.

Anne: Would you like a mimosa?

Robertson: I have several growing in my yard already.

Anne: Not the tree, the cocktail.

Robertson: You're drinking cocktails? Well then, you deserve the liver problems God will surely send you.

Anne: Actually, Pastor, that's why we invited you here. You've been inveighing about the Wrath of God pretty openly lately, and we want to make sure you mean what you say.

Robertson: If I said it, I meant it. Ever hear me apologize?

Anne: Can't say I have. So you really meant it when you called for the assassination of a dictator our American government doesn't like?

Robertson: Any dictator our government doesn't like. We should fry Saddam ASAP.

Anne: What a thoughtful sentiment. And how about the citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania, who are all now walking around quaking in fear about the disaster you promised would befall their city?

Robertson: They rejected Intelligent Design. God's bound to get even.

Anne: Which brings us to our final observation. You said that the prime minister of Israel was felled with a stroke because his statesmanship contradicts warnings in the Bible.

Robertson: What? Speak English, already.

Anne: Sharon's dying of a stroke because he divided Israel.

Robertson: Absolutely.

Anne: Then what exactly did Billy Graham do?

Robertson: Billy Graham? You mean the Reverend Billy Graham?

Anne: That's the one. When we at "The Gods Are Bored" last checked, Reverend Graham was dying painfully and slowly by inches with Parkinson's Disease. Coincidentally, it's the illness that killed Anne's peerless father, slowly and painfully. So what we want to know from you is, what sin did Billy Graham commit to get put on the Parkinson's list?

Robertson: Reverend Graham is without sin. His illnesses must have come from Satan.

Mr. Applegate (offstage): Hey, I resent that! I get them all soon enough. I don't have to rush them along!

Robertson: WHO WAS THAT?

Anne: I didn't hear anything. You must be hallucinating. Anyway, back to topic. So, if God doesn't like what you're doing, He zaps you? Or your whole little town?

Robertson: It's right there, in the Good Book.

Anne: I'm not sure I'd call a manual that supports zapping towns and people a "good book."

Robertson: You'd better watch your saucy mouth. God will get you next.

Anne: Sorry, I'm not on his praise and worship team. But I'm looking at you right now. And I must admit, Pastor Robertson, you're in fine shape for a man your age.

Robertson: Never been sick a day in my life.

Anne: I'm sure of it. And because you speak for God, that's going to continue indefinitely. I mean, indefinitely. You're going to be hale and hearty, with not so much as an ingrown toenail or a case of athlete's foot for longer than any of the rest of us live.

Robertson: Well, I guess I'll die some day. But the Lord God will see to it that I don't suffer. Since I've been such a good Man of God.

Anne: Anyone out there want to make book on that?

Mr. Applegate (offstage): Not me!

Robertson: THERE IT IS AGAIN! That fluffy bunny over there is talking!

Anne: There, there, Pastor Robertson. I think you're suffering from burnout. Why don't you take a long vacation? Because frankly, nimrods like you make thinking Americans everywhere look bad.

Robertson: I won't stand here and take this from a weird woman and a fluffy bunny! Both of you can go to hell!

Mr. Applegate (offstage): Consider it done. See you soon, Pat!


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Praise and Worship Teams

Good afternoon, and welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If variety is the spice of life, why isn't it the spice of theology? Gods, gods, everywhere, and we all line up to worship just one. How very silly!

Today's topic: Praise and worship teams.

All bored gods long for praise and worship teams. But did you ever wonder where that phrase comes from, "praise and worship teams?"

Anne got it from a mega-churcher.

One day Anne and her Dobson-loving sister were having a rare lunch at a diner near Sis's home in West Virginia. In walks this chatty lady from Sis's church, and you know what that means. Said lady plops herself down at the table and proceeds to monopolize the conversation for an hour.

Fine with Anne, because she and Sis were about to launch into one of those taboo topics, like whether or not gay people go to heaven (Sis) or whether or not God himself qualifies to get into his own heaven (Anne).

Sisterly affection saved by the bell!

So this church lady starts blathering away, and Anne zones out, starts thinking about the Michigan Wolverines and how they can improve their backfield.

Then Sis asks the lady, "How is your nephew, Pastor Bubba, doing at his new church?"

"Oh!" the lady exclaims, beaming with pride. "He's just doing great! You know, he and his wife were really scared to move 40 miles away and start a whole new church. But, God be praised, the best corps of Bubba's praise and worship team moved to his new church! They were willing to drive 40 miles one way to be at Bubba's church!"

"Praise the Lord," Sis said blissfully.

"Pass the potato chips," Anne responded.

But that description, praise and worship team, stuck with Anne. Maybe it was because she'd been pondering the Michigan Wolverines the moment before she heard it.

No, not really. What praise and worship team sounds like to Anne is the Accounting Department at Amalgamated Goat, Inc. "We've got a great team down in Accounting, don't we, Smithers?"

Out in Hollywood they say, "How can we get the people at Warner Brothers on our team?"

Team player, team spirit, teamwork, team teaching, tag teams! You get an image of a lot of people working together to make Bubba's church the best it can be! Running plays! Shooting three-pointers! Hat Tricks!

At that lunch, Anne pondered asking how the folks at Pastor Bubba's former church liked having half their congregation decamp, with a long commute thrown in for good measure.

Sort of seemed to Anne like a case of free agency run amok. Like what would happen if half the Yankees just decided to get on a train, ride south, and play for the Phillies.

"Quick, Clem! The praise and worship team's leaving! How will we pay the heating bill and fix that hole in the steeple?"

Anyway, Anne decided that in this highly competitive, corporate-dominated, get-ahead-at-all-costs world, "praise and worship team" sounds much more timely than, say, "coven," or "circle," or "support group."

So, if you're a team player, look among the bored gods and find a coach you can work with! And you'd better get your lazy butt in shape, because your new god may want you to go that extra mile to his or her established house of worship!


Friday, January 06, 2006

Back to Business: Who the F*** Were You?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are not partial here. Any god we get is the god we want. The more bored they are, the faster they hop to and answer your prayers. For a nominal fee, of course. Consider it a tithe.

We almost never use potty words at this site. Jay and Silent Bob we are not.

However, Anne's been working out her girlish figure to her new "As Seen on TV" Who CD, and that song "Who Are You" is one of her faves.

Don't you just dig Roger Daltrey?


I forgot those guys are hard of hearing. No bloody wonder. Ten times through that CD and Anne's gonna be hard of hearing too. But damn. Good stuff that passes the test of time.

Today's topic: Past Lives

Many religions, active and bored, believe in reincarnation. Even some Christians do, if you can believe Civil War re-enactors.

Can you get these guys? They dress up in scratchy wool, stand in the sun in a cow pasture for hours, and pretend to shoot someone. Then they have a few beers and drive home.

Occasionally they go under hypnosis and see themselves in a Past Life, actually out there fighting. Specifically, almost constantly, running into a wall of Yankee lead in Pickett's Charge.

You never hear a Civil War re-enactor say, "I went under hypnosis, and in my Past Life I was a Civil War soldier who died a slow and painful death of scarlet fever before I even got to the front."

For that matter, do you know anyone who's been hypnotized to visit Past Lives who hasn't come back to reality claiming to be the reincarnation of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt?

Sorry, Roxanne, but if your life is dull as wax paper now, it probably was in Past Lives too.

As a little experiment, I self-hypnotized and came up with the following list of my own Past Lives:

1. Female baby, died in infancy of dysentery.
2. Female baby, died in infancy of dysentery.
3. Female baby, died in infancy of dysentery.
4. Male slave, died of exhaustion building pyramid.

That must have been a whopper, because after that there's 26 more occasions when I succumbed to dysentery in early childhood.

31. Female, 1170 AD, Scotland.

This is cheating, because Cousin Ennis actually saw this one in his Past Life hypnosis. He was a brilliant warrior knight in shining armor, and I was weeping because he was going on Crusade.

Self-hypnotize, looking for this particular life:
31. Female, 1170 AD, Scotland. Malnourished, always cold, chronic case of Pink Eye.

Then we go through another dozen brutish and short lives, always ending prematurely with an infectious disease.

44. Female, unemployed goat judge, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and allergy to poison ivy. Anonymous resident of crowded Blue state with anger management problems, money problems, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Hey, I've passed the age of 30 for the first time! Three hots and a cot! It's a Wonderful Life!

I hope I remember it next time around, when medicine is so advanced I won't have to die anymore.


Last Hillbilly Rant, I Promise!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your premier portal to hillbilly hard feelings!

Boy, am I in it up to the ol' keyster today.

Last night over supper, my younger daughter, The Spare, asked me, "Didn't you grow up near the Appalachian Trail?"

Well, it sure wasn't far from home, and I would never tell The Spare about some of my adventures on it. Why fuel her penchant for danger?

The Spare continued: "Mrs. Jones was talking about poverty, and she said the people who live along the Appalachian Trail are poor and overlooked, and they don't get good educations."

Hmmmm. Uh oh. Wrong day for Mrs. Jones to make that observation.

Fired up by press coverage of a mine disaster and a few bowls of bean soup, Anne promptly sent a strongly worded email to Mrs. Jones.

Of course Mrs. Jones calls first thing this morning, saying she's too stressed to teach, that she would never ever ever say anything against a group of people. She said she was talking about poverty along the Equator, and then she likened it to Appalachia out of sympathy for Appalachians. She assured me she grew up poor in Chicago herself.

Then why didn't she use Chicago's poor neighborhoods as her example? Or, much closer to home, The Murder Capital of America (5 miles from here), where the per capita income is probably the same or less than the very poorest county in all Kentucky?

I'll tell you why. Because Appalachians are white, and other poor groups in this country are Black, Hispanic, and Asian.

Far be it for a well-meaning school teacher to point out the poor Blacks five miles from home when she can use poor whites as an example for her all-white class of students.

I didn't tell The Spare I sent the email, because she's pretty terrified of Mrs. Jones in general. And sure enough, Mrs. Jones pounced on The Spare this morning. Which means The Spare will pounce on me this evening, and The Spare pounces like a pissed off Komodo Dragon.

Okay, can you feel my pain? It's tough living with The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dukes of Hazzard, Deliverance, and Jerry Springer when other poor minority groups get cool dudes like Shaft and Jackie Chan.

And, yes! There are a lot of poor people in the mountains. But who would have guessed there were so many in urban New Orleans?

Still I should have kept my trap shut and allowed Mrs. Jones to tell my daughter she's descended from poor, stupid people just because Mama Anne grew up near a certain trail that runs from Maine to Georgia, 800 miles of unbridled poverty!

My legions of readers, I promise this is my last entry on Appalachia. I don't even live there anymore. Guess I just got too smart and lost my citizenship.

Tomorrow we return to the bored gods. I just read that archeologists in Guatemala have uncovered a 2,000 year old fresco that rivals the Sistine Chapel in its beauty. Gotta find the bored gods who sponsored that!

Also, wish me luck. Tomorrow I venture to the Murder Capital to take a Content Knowledge examination on Animal Husbandry that will allow me to teach school full time with a provisional certificate. I'm nervous about this test because I'm truly deficient on bovines and poultry. It's been a long time since college.

Imagine that. A hillbilly who attended college! Did I mention I had two uncles, Goddess rest their souls, who graduated from Johns Hopkins Medical School? Both of them rushed home to practice in Appalachia.

You see, the mountains there are right pretty.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Black and Blue Hillbillies

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us, you picked a good time. Supper's on. We've got bean soup, corn bread, peaches that were canned last summer, and shoo fly pie.

If you'd rather have pistachio-encrusted tilapia served on a bed of organic baby romaine, finished with a warm cilantro-chipotle infusion, move the hell on. You are way off track.

Today's topic: Black and blue hillbillies.

We're not talking here about a couple of rednecks who've had too much Jim Beam and are disagreeing on the merits of the local high school football team. They're gonna be black and blue in the morning, but it'll pass.

What doesn't pass is the pervasive notion that people who live in the mountains, specifically West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and parts of North Carolina, are ignorant sister-screwers who can't get any better job than to dig coal.

Coal mining is a dangerous operation, particularly if your shop is not unionized.

It is not now, nor has it ever been, a job for lazy dummies. Particularly in this mechanized age, but even before that, your coal miner had to be proficient with all sorts of tools and a keen, quick thinker.

Nobody infers by their location and employment that policemen are dummies. Or soldiers. Or those guys fighting the brush fires in Texas.

Poor coal-blackened hillbillies get the bad rap.

Is it any wonder they're blue? I mean, Blue?

Even though they go to church every Sunday, they vote Democratic. In they go to the booth, flick the switch for Robert Byrd. They vote just like all those liberal college professors at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. You know the ones. The pistachio-encrusted tilapia crowd.

Stupid knows no boundaries or geography. If you don't believe me, stop by the Oval Office and take a peek in the door.

Enough, already. My soup's a-gettin cold. And before you dis that "a-gettin," please be advised that linguists believe this inflection to be authentic Elizabethan-era English.

See? We even talk better than y'all.

PS - If you read me, if you really read me, I'd appreciate a nod for a "Bloggie" award. Okay, I'm not as funny as that Foxworthy dude. But I'm not as well paid, either. Not by a country mile.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

If You're Not From West Virginia, You Just Don't Get It

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored."

Perhaps if the Huanca weren't so bored they might have saved a few lives last night. But why bother, if you're an unemployed Incan deity?

By Anne

1. People live there because the mountains are beautiful.

2. People live there because they're related by blood or marriage to everyone in their township. And that's not something to make sick jokes about. It binds you to your community.

3. People work in coal mines because it's a short commute and pays a whole hell of a lot better than unloading cargo at the Wal-Mart dock.

4. Coal miners gave their lives to establish the unions that have protected workers in this country for the last 70 years. That protection is being systematically undermined. Soon we will all be trapped in pockets of carbon monoxide, and they'll call us dumb, pro-union hillbilly trash who can't do any better than work underground.

5. Did I say the mountains are beautiful? They are worth dying for.


Google it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cults for Dummies: Jesus and His Ford Bronco

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us, we are the proud sponsors of a web site dedicated to finding meaningful employment, preferably in the form of praise and worship teams, for gods and goddesses who are being overlooked in this so-called modern era.

Today's topic: What Does Jesus Drive?

We've been talking about cults. Re-defining them, so to speak. And the one I'm about to examine has not necessarily achieved cult status yet, because there's no bad press about comet rides or Kool-Aid bashes or people on welfare signing their checks over to the governing body.

Okay, today we're going to get up close and personal to Maitreya, a religious group based in the desert southwest of the U.S.A.

Best to tell this one from Anne's perspective.

Anne has a cousin. We'll call him Ennis. A few years ago he got into Edgar Cayce and had hypnotism and visited all his past lives and all that stuff. Maybe we'll talk about past lives tomorrow.

Somehow this experience led Ennis to Maitreya, and Ennis found a spiritual home. In fact, after one trip to visit Maitreya, Ennis came home and told his dad he'd driven Jesus's Bronco.

Well, I guess that's better than driving O.J.'s Bronco. But the image of Jesus Christ behind the wheel of a gas guzzling SUV out on some Arizona highway just really boggles the mind of this druid. Sorry, but it does.

Like all fresh converts, Ennis has set out to recruit new believers. He's never approached Anne, knowing her to be completely past redemption (having run into her in prior lifetimes, no less).

When it fell to Anne to clean out her dad's spartan flat when he became terminally ill, Anne found a copy of Maitreya's doctrines among her father's paperwork. The document was about the size of a phone book for a town of 30,000 people.

Apparently Ennis had given it to Anne's dad during one of Ennis's extremely infrequent visits to the elderly sick Sunday School teacher.

Anne was too busy throwing out old pots and pans (and worshipping at nearby Berkeley Springs) to give the Maitreya document a run-through. But Anne decided to leave it in the flat for her sister and brother-in-law, the mega-churchers who dedicate their every breath to Father God and His Good Book.

A little symphony for deaf ears, you might say. And sure enough, Sis tossed it in the dumpster with great dispatch.

Anne's father failed rapidly, and one of the things he asked for repeatedly was a visit from his only remaining brother. That would be Ennis's dad, who lives about 60 miles from Anne's dad but doesn't drive.

However, Ennis does drive. A Bronco, of course. Not Jesus's or O.J.'s, but another one.

Although Ennis was with his dad as Anne's dad failed, Ennis could not make the 60 mile highway journey to bring his father to Anne's dad's hospital.

When Anne's dad died, Ennis was en route to an airport 120 miles away, in his Bronco, for a backpacking trip. Anne had to pay for a limo to bring her uncle to the funeral, which she felt was a day late and many dollars short of what could have been.

Needless to say, this did not endear Anne to a Bronco-driving Jesus. Because the real Jesus would have encouraged a nephew to go the extra 60 miles for his dying uncle.

Just the other day, in preparation for this series of enlightening entries, Anne visited Maitreya's web site. And there's nothing but good news for you readers! Maitreya's message is for all mankind, he's trying to unite all the father gods on active duty, and his pedigree linking him to all these father gods is on the site!

Whew! If you think there's a goddess out there, you're going to be able to steer right around that Bronco, even on a tricycle!

Far be it for humble Anne to judge a budding religion, but Maitreya looks like a club for he-man, Bronco-driving backpackers, no threat whatsoever to warm-spring loving, fairy-driven, goddess folk (or even Thunderbird worshippers).

So, Maitreya, rock on with your vision for mankind. We gals will just make casseroles and doilies and gossip about Brad and Angelina.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Cults for Dummies: Talking to God

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you expect some kind of hung-over "Happy New Year" from us, forget it! The New Year started on November 1, and this is just a day when the numbers change. We are not Ancient Romans here.

On the other hand, we're suckers for the Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Eight solid hours of men in gaudy dresses decked with feathers is tonic to the sore soul.

"Mr. Applegate," my old ancestor Satan, reminds me that there's an interesting date in this year's calendar: June 6. That would be 6/6/06. Better stay home that day and work on an afghan.

We've been discussing cults this week here on your hotline to the bored gods.

A great number of cult leaders claim either to have had personal conversations with God (or Jesus), or actually to be God, Jesus, or "Mr. Applegate." Let's look at that closely.

Do you know anyone who converses one-on-one with a deity? We're not counting prayer here. I mean a real two-way conversation.

What are the numbers? Maybe in America alone, 100,000 a year.

Here we call these people schizophrenic, bipolar, or psychotic. Most of them spend their days pushing around shopping carts and mumbling to the deity. Others, like my late mama, hear God only during manic episodes.

How do we handle these people?

We fill them up with medications and lock them in loony bins.

The Native Americans took these folks at face value and left them alone. Some other cultures consider them prophets.

What makes these human conversants with the deity different from cult leaders is that their conversations are mostly personal. Sort of "My Dinner with Jesus."

Cult leaders are eager to share their personal moments with God. They want everyone to know how special they are. This can be a lucrative pursuit, especially if God gives them a mission that doesn't include shooting at presidents and does include taking donations.

So, who is holier: the cart-pusher or guys like Moon and Maitreya who keep fancy (and largely incomprehensible) web sites?

Take your pick. I'm not going to choose for you. This should be a very personal decision. However, I will pass along that when my mama heard Jesus, she said he was very nice. He told her that Maury Povich was sending her love messages from the television and that all the lawyers in our hometown were out to get her.

You can't form much of a cult around that kind of information, but in all truth it's no nuttier than some of the cults out there.

The moral of this post: If you walk down a busy street and see someone talking to himself, you can best bet that such a person would make a crack cult leader.

Of course, you must rule out those people talking on cell phones with the earplug. That's probably just a businessman trying to sell your company so he can terminate your benefits package.


Image courtesy of Philadelphia Weekly Online