Friday, March 31, 2006

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Spewing meaningless verbiage into cyberspace for 50 weeks and counting!

I tried to schedule root canal surgery tomorrow, but the dentist is closed on Saturday.

I had the bad foresight to sort all my clean socks, dark and light, and put them away a week ago.

My goats are up to date on their innoculations.

All flights to Gary, Indiana are booked solid, including the ones that change in Albuquerque, Topeka, Duluth, and Detroit.

Amtrak is running on schedule. Go figure.

I tried to drop a cinder block on my foot, but I missed and crushed one of my lawn gnomes.

The weather forecast does not include severe weather of any kind. Sheesh. What happened to March going out like a lion?

The spa could not schedule a full body wax. Their technician got clawed by another client.

The guy at the tattoo parlor is going fishing tomorrow. He says come back Monday, because he is intrigued by the idea of creating an "I Hate Billy Joel" artwork on my derriere.

The Spare says the weather's so nice she doesn't want to go to the shopping mall. Go Figure!

I've exhausted every single possibility. Except one.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati.

(Translation: When All Else Fails, Play Dead)

However, I've attempted playing dead before, and I've never fooled my husband. He just puts a Billy Joel CD in the boom box, and up I spring.

I have no choice. Everything has failed, even playing dead.

I have to go to New York City.

See you Monday.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Big Victory for the Bored Gods!!!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You picked a great day to join us! We're having a toga party!

And what a party! Every single god and goddess in the Greek pantheon is here, and they're cutting a rug!

(I'm glad it's a work day. I don't know how I'd explain this to my neighbors.)

We've chatted with some of these awesome deities in one-on-ones, but never en masse before. And I must say it's refreshing not to be sucker-punched by Ares so he can deliver foul-mouthed diatribes in favor of war. Today he's serenely pulling the buds off the pear tree.

But wait! There's more! Gods and saints from other praise and worship teams have come to give the Olympians a high-five! The faeries are going all gooey over Eros (a.k.a. Cupid). Hypnos is sharing trade secrets with the bored gods of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal.

And this warms my heart. There they go, arm in arm, Hades and Mr. Applegate, chatting amiably, with Cerberus nipping at their heels. And by golly, Cerberus does look like "Fluffy" from Harry Potter! I'm glad he's nipping Applegate's heels and not mine.

This one has me floored, and it points to the central logic of "The Gods Are Bored."

The dread Medusa is trying to crash, and she's being kept at bay by none other than ... St. Patrick.

Green beer all around! Awesome Feta cheese on the house!

(And I'm quickly hiding the mirrors so that Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite can't get into a quarrel about who's prettiest. They're all stunning.)

Hey, Zeus! Keep your hands to yourself! Be nice or you won't get your party hat.

Rowdy crew.

You must be wondering why these particular deities are here today at "The Gods Are Bored." In a nutshell, they've been re-instated at their day jobs with full benefits and a growing praise and worship team!

Now Poseidon won't have to work the lifeguard stand at Venice Beach anymore.

My friend Athana at Radical Goddess Thealogy informs us that the Greek government just gave the good-ol' go-ahead to the 100,000 Greeks who worship the pantheon of their ancestors. This praise and worship team will now be allowed access to the ancient temples and sites of god and goddess worship that are off limits to vile tourists.


Hey, Pegasus! Want a carrot?

Pegasus would rather have green beer.

And here we have Hecate, Persephone, and Demeter, all highly respected goddesses here on this site. I think they're a little disappointed by how overgrown my garden is. But no! The Green Man is explaining the fact that no plant is a weed, that each has its inner beauty. (I can see these gals are digging the Green Man, pardon the pun.)

We here at "The Gods Are Bored" applaud the Greek government for lifting any bans on worship of this pantheon at their sacred sites. Not only does this provide meaningful labor to deserving deities, it also promotes freedom of the mind, cultural pride, and a richer blend of theological tea.

So. Athena. When do you think you'll be ready to send some missionaries to America?


For a complete list of party guests, consult God-Checker in my sidebar. Ooooo-Paaaaaa!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My God's Better Than Your God

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Don't judge us by the headline on this post, because it's the exact opposite of what we believe.

News from the mega-church front.

For those of you just joining us, Anne's sister belongs to a mini-church with mega-aspirations. The church is run by a young, handsome, dynamic pastor and his earnest young wife.

This pastor used Anne's dad's funeral as an opportunity to deliver a sermon on the consequences of rejecting Christianity. He likened Heaven to a theme park, where you don't get in unless you have the cash to buy a ticket.

And since everyone in Sis's church knows about Anne and her faeries, Anne felt the sermon was aimed straight at her. Especially the part about Anne's father standing right behind God, weeping because all non-believers get assigned to Mr. Applegate's satellite office where there's no roller coasters or cotton candy.

(I just added the part about the roller coasters and the cotton candy. The rest is the straight scoop. And I should add that this pastor only met my dad four times, all of them after Dad's considerable skills as a debater had eroded.)

Yesterday Sis sent me an email informing me that her beloved pastor and his wife have decided to become missionaries.

This is bad news for the bored gods. Unless, of course, the beloved pastor and his wife have decided to go to Afghanistan.

You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see some pastor like this trek deep into the Congo, interact with the citizens there, and come back to America transformed by the experience.

And by transformed, I mean converted to Chonganda's praise and worship team.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" stand in opposition to missionary work. I know it's inspired by the best intentions, but implicit in its goal is the idea that one deity is better than another and that people of another culture are ignorant and in need of enlightenment.

How can Chonganda compete with some motivated Methodist who has a light plane and can fly a pregnant woman with complications to a good hospital? It's an unfair playing field.

On the other hand, if that Methodist didn't tie any strings to the bargain, and let the woman continue in her native faith, we wouldn't object to that.

There's one consolation we can offer here at "The Gods Are Bored." Truly motivated cultural groups will either accept the plane rides and quietly continuing worshipping Conganda, graft their own worship onto Christianity (see the United Kingdom and its faeries, South America and its Saints parades), or just get a good pot of water boiling and cook those well-meaning missionaries for dinner.

We here at "The Gods Are Bored" would not endorse any deity who encourages serving puree of Christian missionary at a chic soiree. But some people get pretty miffed when their One True Religion is challenged, and the results can be ugly.

Do we have to offer examples of that, readers? We think not.

Postscript: This just in! Just off the phone with Sis. Watch out, Appalachian Greens! The earnest pastor is headed to Appalachia! Better hide that Budweiser, all you infidel heathens down there!


Artwork by an edgy young urban artist named Cy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Your Guardian Faerie

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are closing in on a solid year of sound arguments for those poor forgotten gods and goddesses out there who used to be worshiped in big temples and now can't find work bursting pig pimples.

We don't think that's fair. Do you?

So many times you hear people say they have a Guardian Angel. And I'm not discounting the idea. Once I had a really bad bike wreck while riding a lonely stretch of the Potomac River, and after staggering about a third of a mile I found a lone fisherman who had a complete first aid kit in his car and tools to repair my bike. I could have been fish food, instead I was home in time for dinner.

As I say, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" endorse the idea of Guardian Angels.

You never hear about Guardian Faeries, though. Do people who worship the Celtic bored gods get assigned Guardian Faeries?

I think it works differently with the fae.

Guardian Faeries don't bandage knees or fix broken bicycles. They don't keep you safe from harm. What they do is lift your spirits in those hardest of times when there's nothing to laugh about, but you say, "what the hey, I'm gonna laugh anyway."

So when you see people out marching on behalf of cancer research, having a pleasant chat and the occasional chuckle, that's Guardian Faeries at work. If a bunch of underemployed, brokenhearted folks gather around a Maypole and end up forgetting their troubles for an afternoon, that's Guardian Faeries at work.

So the next time you smile when you're blue, or take a momentary joy in a daffodil or a puppy, thank your Guardian Faerie.

Not as important as some Guardian Angel flying in to save your life?

Think about it.


Monday, March 27, 2006

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your premiere pathway to polytheism!

This is a picture of beautiful Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the subject of my fabulous article in the spring, 2006 issue of Faerie Magazine! See below for more details on how you can get Faerie Magazine!

Today's topic: Sacred springs in multiple religious traditions . . .

Oh my soul! The foster kittens are going crazy! And what's that smell? Could my ram John Henry have gotten in the house?

(Urgent knocking at door)

Voice: Let me in! Please!

Anne: I recognize that voice. And the sulphurous odor. It's Satan come calling. And with me here at home! The effrontery! (To door) Go away, you devil you! My soul's not for sale, and I'm not in your praise and worship team anyway! Don't you see that shellfish in the fridge?

Voice: It's urgent! My job's on the line!

Anne: His job is on the line. Well, Satan. In these days of unbridled prosperity, that makes you unique. Catch the sarcasm? If your job is on the line, take a number and be seated. Someone will be with you shortly.

Voice: OUCH! Hey! Your faerie just gave me a hot foot!

(Anne opens door to congratulate her faerie, Princess, on a trick that's awash in irony. In marches "Mr. Applegate," the absentee whiner of "The Gods Are Bored.")

Anne: Get outta here, Devil. I'm not Linda Blair, and I'm not Flip Wilson either. You'll never make me buy a dress!

Devil: Please call me "Mr. Applegate."

Anne: I'll call you a cab. Nothing else.

Applegate: You don't understand. Oh, this is terrible! I see that God Almighty has found your site. If he goes back through and reads my "Applegate" posts, he'll give me a pink slip.

Princess the Faerie: You could coordinate that pink slip with a blue dress...

Chorus of faeries: "Devil with a blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, devil with a blue dress on..."

Anne: FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Does no one notice I'm trying to work here? I've got twenty different goat feeds that need chemical analysis.

Applegate: I won't take much of your time. If you'll just let me go back through your posts and delete all the ones that say "Applegate"...

Anne: And what if I don't?

Applegate: The boss will sack me, and I'll never find another god job anywhere. I'll be stocking shirts at Wal-Mart, a human until the end of my days.

Anne: That's what God Almighty would do to you? Make you a human?

Applegate: Yeah, and if he was in a bad mood, he'd make me a political science professor at Bob Jones University.

Anne: I think you're worrying too much. No one has time to go through old blog posts looking for a name.

Applegate: But God's left two comments, and both of them refer to bunnies...

Anne: Hmmmm. True. But it's close to Easter. Maybe God likes Easter Bunnies. And besides, you look more like a Northern quoll than a bunny. And God would know that. God sees Australia as well as America.

Applegate: All the same, would you let me just do a little editing here?

Anne: Chill, Satan. Think about this a minute. If I remember all your whining, you're stuck with this job because you didn't read the PDQ carefully before you signed the contract.

Applegate: True.

Anne: And you're concerned that your job performance is going to impact your standing in the International Federation of Gods and Goddesses (IFG&G). Correct?

Applegate: You have a great memory. Can I just have that mouse for a second?

Anne: Well, what makes you think anyone else would want your job? I mean, you've got the corporate flow chart, right? Who's going to step up (oops! I mean down) and fill your shoes if you're fired? You know God Almighty isn't going to go hire some bored god from some other pantheon. The Heavenly Angels won't want to go near your satellite office. That leaves your subordinates. And would any of them look at being Satan as upward mobility?

Applegate: They already complain about the paperwork requirements of No Sinner Left Behind.

Anne: And you have ten times the paperwork that they have, right?

Applegate: You know, you're right! This isn't like those hoodlums sparring over Tony Soprano's take even before he's dead. Who would want to be me? Even I don't want to be me.

Anne: That settles it. Now be a good boy and go home to Hell, and don't you dare touch those kittens! It's your stupid followers who give pagans a bad name by killing kittens in pentagrams.

Applegate: An agent. I need a good agent! Karl Rove! A spin doctor! Something!

Anne: Out. Don't let the door slam on your tail.

Applegate: Okay, I'm outta here. You're right. I've got a thankless job that no one wants. What a relief.

Anne: So long, Applegate. Here! You dropped your palm pilot.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fabulous, Fabulous Faeries!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You don't watch a t.v. with just one channel, so why worship just one god? We here at "The Gods Are Bored" offer 795 premium god and goddess networks, with loads of Public Access bandwidth! Turn on, tune in, and shop about!

Today is a proud day for "The Gods Are Bored." We've popped the buttons on 15 shirts.

The Spring, 2006 issue of Faerie Magazine is on the market, featuring Anne's Splendid Piece about Magical, Mysterious Berkeley Springs!

Yes, folks, Anne the humble goat judge has gone into print big time!

Faerie Magazine is a high-concept, ultra-fancy quarterly dedicated entirely to faeries. And to the people who love and live with faeries. And to all the great artists and designers out there who are inspired by faeries. And to all the places and sculptures and ancient outposts of faeries.

Also, especially, to the faerie festivals where people go to mingle with other people who believe in faeries, and thus can do as they please without being stared at like they're ten miles down Loony Lane.

Faeries are spread widely among pantheons of Bored Gods, but there's no mistaking them for angels.

Angels don't hide your car keys when you're already late for work.

Angels have wings made of feathers because they live so far away up in the sky. Faeries have wings like butterflies or insects, because they hover closer to earth.

Angels take messages to God. Faeries take messages, cut them up, and re-assemble them to make all new words.

Angels do their master's bidding. Faeries do "The Hustle."

Angels live among the stars. Faeries spill the contents of jars.

All right! All right! Can we get back on topic here?

If you would like to see a copy of Faerie Magazine, Spring, 2006, you can find it at the Barnes & Noble Evil Empire, or you can get it online at the easy link in the box to your right.

Or you can buy it straight from Anne. Don't worry, you'll see her. She'll be the way weird woman standing at the Lincoln Tunnel at rush hour, hawking copies to commuters.

An addendum to all regular readers: The faerie Puck (see below) has ceased his war on the foster kittens. The solution: Naming one of them "Puck."


Friday, March 24, 2006

Puck Amok!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Why is it so hard for people to believe there might be more than one god out there? Why is it such a reach to assume there might be a kindly goddess hanging out in the shrubbery?

If you have no problem with goddesses in the shrubbery, pull up a chair! We're not trying to change your religion! We think all religions are swell.

(Well, we're not sure about those Aztecs and their penchant for hurling pretty girls into deep water. Or those Iranians who stone people to death. We might not have enough chairs for those people.)

This is a true story:

Night before last, a kindly Target employee was unloading merchandise onto the dock of our local store. He heard a noise in the truck. He found a litter of four kittens yowling their little heads off. No sign of a mama. The truck had just pulled in from a warehouse 250 miles away.

The kindly gent did the right thing. He called Animal Control. And Animal Control knows who to call to care for orphaned kittens.

That would be me.

Kitten fostering only works if you've got a hard-core 4-H background. Otherwise you just fall in love with the little angel kitties and keep them. But if you've cut your teeth on goats, you know that the whole point of raising them is to sell them. So you care for the kittens until they're old enough to be put up for adoption, then you kiss them goodbye and hope they're placed with nice families.

So the "Cat Lady" dropped the kittens off, and of course the husband and kids went wild. We like cats here.

But the husband made an observation that proved oh so true.

He said: "The faeries aren't going to be happy about this."

Oh no, you're wrong! Says I. Faeries love cats!

Can't lump all faeries together that way. Turns out some hate cats.

Puck, my male faerie, is the one leaping in the picture above. Puck came to live with us just last Christmas. He was a gift from a friend. So this is the first litter of kittens we've fostered since Puck joined the household.

Yesterday, the first full day of the kittens being here, Puck ran amok.

He stole their baby bottle (they have to be nursed). I went to the animal shelter and got another one. So he stole The Spare's gym clothes. I had to take her an extra set. Then he fixed The Heir's gym class so that The Heir by accident hurt the teacher and got yelled at like some Marine in boot camp. (Gym teacher denies using Marine vocab, but Heir and other students heard him plainly.) So I had to go to her school and deal with that. Then The Spare needs a lift home from school. Then Puck moved The Spare's unfinished math assignment from our living room to The Spare's locker at school. So I had to go back for that.

By the end of the day, it was looking better for the kittens to have stayed on the Target truck.

But a new day has dawned, and Puck has been given a dressing-down. And we at "The Gods Are Bored" don't believe in using Marine Corps vocab, so we were polite.

Ah, but it's wasted breath. You can't tell a faerie anything. One can only hope that Puck changes his mind about the kittens in a week or two, when they begin cavorting merrily about the house.

Otherwise he may resort to that Unforgiveable Sin of the Bored Gods: staining the furniture.

I'd better go and throw out all the red wine and barbecue sauce.


Brian Froud faerie print available at A bargain at $1000

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dr. Annie's Practical Solution to Childhood Obesity

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Is your deity an effective parent? Better check with Dr. Laura.

Next to Rush Limbaugh, I think Dr. Laura is my favorite radio moron. With just six little words she has destroyed a generation:

"I'm the mother of my child."

Can't see any flaws in that statement until you stop using it literally and start hanging baggage all over it.

Okay, all you geezers out there. Close your eyes and think back to your childhood school days.

Did you have birthday parties in class where a well-meaning mom brought Dunkin Donuts for everyone? Did you have lavish parties on the Christian holidays (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day) and the pagan ones too? (Halloween) Were these mom-run parties laden with home-made cupcakes and goodie bags stuffed with Tootsie Rolls?

Okay, geezers. All together now: "My Stay-at-Home Mom Never Came to School Unless I Punched the Teacher in the Eyeball."

That's because she was operating in the pre-Dr. Laura days. She was still your mother, but you weren't the Center of the Universe Around Which All Else Flows.

We've got an epidemic of childhood obesity. Hasn't anyone connected this to the overzealous, Dr. Laura-addled Desperate Housewives out there who want to make school memorable by turning every holiday into a lard-fest?

Okay, geezers. All together now: "When it was my birthday at school, the other kids sang to me. Then we all sat down and did math."

Okay, geezers. All together now: "On St. Patrick's Day, we wore green and maybe learned something about Ireland."

How did we survive with such selfish, uncaring mothers? Imagine a world with no doughnuts in school on birthdays! A Valentine's Day without a huge, heart-shaped cake!

And the absolute cruelty. The horror! We had to eat our school lunches because that's all the food we got during the day!

Our mothers tried to kill us, Dr. Laura. Thank goodness you came along in time to remind all mothers everywhere that they've got to wait on their little darlings and anticipate every need.

And thank goodness you've put to an end that horrible childhood ritual of playing spontaneously in the neighborhood with the other kids and their dogs! Imagine children just running around, with no coaches and audience!

Dr. Laura, you've changed everything. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go help my next-door neighbor shove her kid through the front door. They're just back from quality time soccer practice, where the kid warms a great deal of bench.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Off Their Rockers

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If your religious views are set in stone, throw that rock into an active volcano and get it re-fired!

We know, we know, there's a well-respected faith that claims to be built on solid rock, and all other ground is sinking sand. Well, I don't know about you, but my home is built in firm dirt, and that's why I have a big basement. Truth be told, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you where to find sinking sand.

When I was a young stripling working for Goats R Us in Saline, Michigan, I had a colleague named Albert Ruby. Bert was a generation older than the rest of us, he'd been to Vietnam, and he had the most filthy mouth I've ever heard in my life. He also never met a skirt he didn't want to chase.

Nevertheless, we all liked Bert because he was funny as all get-out, especially after a few cold beers. He was famous for claiming that a man would be better off financially if he just hired prostitutes all his life, rather than getting married.

(Yeah, I didn't claim he was a prince of a man, did I?)

One day Bert said something that made us all think. The statement was odd because:
A. It contained no swearwords
B. It did not relate to fornication

This is what he said:

"A poor man can't afford to buy a cheap pair of pants."

What he meant was, that if a poor man saved enough money to buy a good pair of pants, that good pair of pants would last him far longer and save him money in the long run. Cheap pants wear out fast.

I'm reminded of this sage advice by the news today that Wal-Mart is recalling 243,000 porch rockers due to structural defects that cause them to tip over. Already more than a dozen people have been injured from tipped rockers, including one pregnant woman who went into premature labor.

Most of the people who shop at Wal-Mart are trying desperately to save money. But what they're buying is cheap merchandise that won't last. Poor man's pants.

Were those 243,000 shoddy porch rockers built in America, in a unionized factory under quality control supervision? Or were they assembled in sweatshops at bottom-feeding wages? We'll never know, because Wal-Mart is probably even now hiring the expensive lawyers who will see to it that no class action suit based on the rockers ever takes a penny from the Wal-Mart coffers.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" endorse the notion of saving for better quality merchandise. And here's another tip: You can get great porch rockers at yard sales if you just keep your eyes peeled.

We have a big, "Shady Rest" kinda front porch ourselves, and one of the rockers came from a yard sale. That sucker is heavy as granite and is built to withstand Armageddon without so much as a scratch to the paint.

Saving money at Wal-Mart? Not in the long run.

As for Bert's economic guide to marriage, I doubt if you could persuade a prostitute to do six loads of laundry on a Saturday morning.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dough Boy on a Diet

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's garden season. Would you go out and plant one little pansy in your border, and leave the rest empty? Of course not! Then why settle for one god, when you can plaster pansies from one end of your border to another? Bored gods are plentiful, beautiful, and cheaper by the flat.

Before I write another word, I have to note something. My days of practicing the old golf swing during gusty thunderstorms might be over.

God Almighty has found this site, and he's keen to smite! See what I mean? As busy as He is, He's still trying to keep the bored gods from signing union cards and becoming a force to be reckoned with. Divide and conquer.

It's hard not to welcome God Almighty, however, since his site is so funny. And we're all about funny here.

Today's topic: Another Rant on Popular Foods!

What does this have to do with polytheism? Not a doggone thing. Sorry.

About a month ago, I read that the Pillsbury company, in its infinite concern about America's obesity epidemic, decided to change its advertising.

Pillsbury has put the Dough Boy on a diet.

You know the Dough Boy. He's that pudgy little lump of dough who giggles when you press his belly. He wears a baker's cap and a cute little kerchief, and he doesn't have fingers.

Yesterday my daughter The Heir and I went on a fact-finding mission at the local supermarket.

The one picture of the Dough Boy we could find showing his whole body did indeed supply proof that he's studying at the Lindsay Lohan School of Health and Nutrition.

But it gets worse.

Go to the dairy section of your local store. Find the shelves packed to the plimsol line with Pillsbury baking products. You know. Those Crescent Rolls. Cinnamon Rolls with Icing. Single-Serve Biscuits. Cookies. Cookies. Cookies.

(Oh, God Almighty! I'm suddenly starving! I need a Tab!)

Where was I? Oh yes. The packaging on Dough Boy products. Look closely. He's hiding behind his foods! For real! On some of the products, all you can see is his head sticking out from behind the luscious biscuit. On others, he's waving his fingerless hand. But nowhere does he reveal his full figure!

Well, all fine and good if Pillsbury has found some magic way to lower the fat content of its delicious slice-and-bake foodstuffs. But no. They're still lavished with the same old lard-laden ingredients.

The only way you're gonna get thinner while eating Crescent Rolls is if you shape one into the Pillsbury Dough Boy and then only eat the head.

And if you can do this, you're a stronger person than me.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Tab Hunter

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where the outlook's always sunny for the downsized and ostracized gods and goddesses of yesteryear. If you've been drinking the same old soda for forty years, maybe it's time to try a whole new taste sensation!

And then again, maybe not.

I am outraged by the wanton destruction of my only incurable addiction!

I was a skinny young 4-H goat exhibitor in the late 1960s when Coca-Cola introduced its brand new diet soft drink, Tab.

One day, being particularly thirsty at the home of a friend with a rotund mama, I popped open a can of this new stuff and guzzled it.

What can I say? Tab grabbed. It held me with an iron grip.

I swilled the stuff right through the era when they said it would give you cancer. Since the beginning of the 21st century, I've haunted grocery stores, pleading with the managers to stock more Tab! When I see the rare shipment, I buy as many 12-packs as I can carry.

Never mind that it tastes like Coke that spent 40 days on Noah's Ark. It's a cola, it's sugar-free, and it's so loaded with caffeine that you can wrestle a ram to the ground when it's poppin in your brain.

Yesterday I sent my daughters, The Heir and The Spare, into the pharmacy to get some soft drinks for themselves. I was completely joking when I told them to bring me a Tab, because they stopped selling Tab in pharmacies the year Nixon resigned.

Out they come, grinning ear to ear with a little old secret between themselves. The Heir pulls from behind her back this cute little can, proper shade of pink, called "Tab Energy."

Whoa! Hold the phone! It's like Rush Limbaugh walking into Walgreens and pulling Oxy off the shelf! My eyes glazed over. My breathing grew ragged.

And that name: Tab Energy. Kind of hints that it's extra-caffeinated Tab, probably the equivalent of drinking 24 cans of Classic Tab.

Both daughters watched expectantly as I popped the prize open. Then they wanted to have a first taste. The Heir tasted it and pronounced it horrible. The Spare tasted it and hacked like she had a hairball.

So far, so good. It must be Tab.

I put the pink present to my lips and swallowed.

Betrayal. Total and complete betrayal!

Tab Energy is not Tab. It tastes like Mr. Clean. Judging by how it went down my throat, I would recommend it for those tough clogs that don't respond to Drano.

The final dazzling disappointment occurred when I opened my Econo-Car's window and poured the stuff onto the parking lot. The liquid was pink! Pink! Everyone knows that Tab is a cola. It's supposed to be brown, and it's supposed to taste like Coke that's been used in chemistry lab and returned to its can.

The daughters and I regarded this alien pink liquid with disgust and alarm. As we left the pharmacy, the Tab Energy was busy dissolving the asphalt.

There are so many levels of concern here I hardly know where to begin.

1. Since real Tab has already become difficult to obtain, will Coca-Cola stop making real Tab in favor of this undrinkable impostor?

2. Will the inevitable public rejection of Tab Energy be the final, fatal blow to real Tab?

3. Will I have to start drinking coffee? I hate coffee. I made it through four years of college on Tab and Tab alone.

4. If I can't find real Tab, and I have to start drinking healthy mineral water, like that stuff that pours out of the taps in Berkeley Springs State Park, will I be able to keep my eyes open at R-rated action flicks? I seriously doubt it.

Oh, the perils of being a Tab Hunter!


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Months, Years, Centuries

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored." We submit that Mother Nature abhors all wars.

On this third anniversary of the War in Iraq, we at The Gods Are Bored state the obvious:

Predictions of the duration of war, its cost in human casualties, and its monetary output, are often greatly underestimated.

Predictions on the attitude of the vanquished toward the victors are almost always wrong.


Photo: Andersonville Prison, August 16, 1864
Sinclair University Archives

Friday, March 17, 2006

Bring Back the Snakes!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you think the mega-churches are the only growing religious movement in America today, think again! More people are finding their way back to that Old Time Religion.

We're not talking tent revivals here. It's all about . . .

Oh my. The biggest, blackest crow I've ever seen just landed on my windowsill! Now it's pecking through the screen!

Hey, you! Scram! Do I look like Tippi Hedrin? Yikes! Stop that! It's tantamount to staining the furniture!

Whoa. The crow has landed. And morphed into Morrigan, ancient Celtic warrior goddess of Ireland.

See what I mean about the bored gods? They find out you'll give them a stump, they come in droves. Please give a warm "The Gods Are Bored" welcome to Morrigan, the Shape-Shifting Warrior Goddess!"

Morrigan: Thank you.

Anne: Um... Be careful with that spear, okay? We try to be nonviolent here at "The Gods Are Bored."

Morrigan: Alas, it's purely ornamental these days. Sometimes I stir my soup with it, if I'm making a large batch.

Anne: Whoa. Nice tattoos. That Green Man on your ... emmmm ... is quite striking. Did it hurt?

Morrigan: Hurt? Pish tosh! I blinked and it was there.

Anne: I think I know your story. You and your sisters were awesome fighting deities who, among other things, kept Ireland safe from the Romans. And isn't there a statue somewhere in Ireland of Cuchulainn lying dead with you on his shoulder? As a crow, of course.

Morrigan: How would you like to be reduced to a statue? Or worse, one of the most despicable villainesses since the Trojan War?

Anne: Oh! Now you're talking about the King Arthur saga. Morgana le Fay. Gosh, even the inimitable Brian Froud presents you in a bad light. You are roundly considered a black, evil witch.

Morrigan: See? No gray area anywhere. I bust my chops keeping my praise and worship team safe, and what do I have to show for it? Bad press. And guess who's responsible for all that bad press?

Anne: Ummmm. Dunno.

Morrigan: Come on, Anne. Look at the date!

Anne: It's St. Patrick's Day.

Morrigan: Bingo!

Anne: So St. Patrick gave you the old heave-ho, when even the Romans couldn't budge your team?

Morrigan: Absolutely correct. St. Patrick used a different bag of tricks. Defeat by stealth. If he'd faced me in a one-on-one . . .

Anne: At the risk of being mistaken for soup, I'd like to point out that perhaps your violent tendencies contributed to your current plight.

Morrigan: Well, thank you very much, Miss Priss! Your mama. Show me what you got.

Anne: Yikes! Ahhh, hmmm. I've got a cordless telephone, a couple of highlight pens, two books about the Scopes "Monkey Trial," and Heathen Days, by H. L. Mencken. Oh, and here on the floor is a dog-eared copy of Huckleberry Finn. And for my coup de grace, out there in the pasture is John Henry, my favorite ram.

Morrigan: I spit on your ram. But I would like to borrow that huckleberry book.

Anne: Keep it. Now settle down, air your grievance, and fly on. I don't want you scaring away any buzzards.

Morrigan: St. Patrick's Day is time to remember that with the ascension of any major religion, many smaller, localized religions become obsolete, extinct, or so twisted by secret re-tellings that they take on the trappings of myth and legend. So I go from being a protectress of the ancient Celts to some kind of sex-starved black witch.

Arthur! Different praise and worship team altogether. Cuchulainn was the one who floated my boat. Whole different island. Back then we didn't even speak the same language as those Brits. And now look at me. I can't even find a decent job with all these tattoos.

Anne: Well, you could join the Patriot Guard Riders. You'd fit right in. Here, I'll scroll down so you can read about them while I go find something orange to wear.

Morrigan: Good idea. Because if you put on green clothing today, I'm gonna feed you to John Henry piece by piece.

Anne: Can I make one last plea for sanity here? I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my body. I'm Scottish. And a little bit Pennsylvania Dutch, on my wild child grandma's side. And today I was planning to wear this little ensemble. Note the Green Man earrings. Should I leave them on the shelf?

Morrigan: You're Scottish.

Anne: American, actually. For a long time. No Irish. Never Irish. That's my husband, and thank goodness he's gone to get the car detailed.

Morrigan: So you don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Anne: Nope. And I don't have anything against snakes either, as long as I'm not climbing a cliff where they're warming their rattles for a long day ahead.

Morrigan: All right, then, I'll just take this book and go. Sorry to have bothered you.

Anne: Oh no no no! Don't misunderstand! You're always welcome here at "The Gods Are Bored!" Drop by for a pint some evening!

Morrigan: Maybe I'll make you some soup.

Anne: I'd rather eat soup than be soup. Agreed?

Morrigan: Agreed. Thanks for the chance to vent. I feel better now.

Anne: Have a nice day. You know, if you're looking for work, it might help to have some clothing. I'm going to the thrift store this afternoon. Wanna come?

Morrigan: Sure! I'll sit on your shoulder. As a crow, of course. Not as an awesome Celtic warrior goddess.

Anne: Time's a wastin! So tell me. What was it about Cuchulainn that made him so ... emm ...


print of Morrigan available at Enchanted Art.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Important Addendum to Previous Post

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a faerie faerie friendly site! Invite a faerie into your home today, and you'll never be able to find your reading glasses again!

I don't think I can improve on yesterday's post. Usually when Milk and Cheese (Dairy Products Gone Bad) rear their ugly heads, I have to go back and delete the whole post after sober reflection. This one I think I'll leave as is. And seriously, if you like really sick and nasty humor, Milk and Cheese comics are about as mean as they get. The picture below paints a thousand words, and it does not exaggerate. You can buy Milk and Cheese comics from Slave Labor Graphics. They have a web site.

Faeries are one thing, but if you invite Milk and Cheese into your home, you'd better have lots of booze and cable television. If they don't see Maury Povich, they go on a rampage.

I was serious yesterday when I said that the morons in "God Hates Fags" send their followers to the funerals of fallen Iraq War soldiers. These protesters shout at the families of the victims and loudly thank God for killing the soldier.

No matter how you feel about the Iraq War, this behavior is just rotten to the core. Put yourself in the shoes of those grieving parents and ask yourself if you'd want your child's funeral to turn into an occasion for a hate group to mock you.

A counter-protesting group has formed. It's called the Patriot Guard Riders. This is a bunch of biker dudes who ride to military funerals and create a shield for the grieving families so they won't have to hear any abuse.

The PG web site is very interesting. This week they're having a debate about what to wear on such solemn occasions. Ruled out: black leather Harley vests, do-rags, and cutoffs. If do-rags are worn, they must be removed before the grieving family arrives. The dudes are also unsure whether they should salute or put their hands across their hearts. They're working on it.

Ain't that America?


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

God Hates Who?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We are your full-service polytheism pathway! None of this jumping out of the car to pump your own in sub-zero temperatures. Just wait a second or two, and a bored god will be right on it, and even check your oil!

My computer is Nortoned to the max, because I have two teenagers and don't want them learning how to set up a meth lab or brew mushroom tea, or the ins and outs of swinger clubs, or how to foment bigotry.

So when Athana brought to my attention a site called "God Hates Fags," I had to disable my Norton Parental Control to view it.

Merciful faeries in Sidhe! An underhanded pagan could sure use that fount of hate as a teaching tool!

Here's their logic in a nutcase-shell:

1. God hates fags (they offer about 500 references from Scripture to prove it).

2. Since individual states do not kill gays, God hates those states.

3. Since the states are in America, God hates America.

4. Since God hates America, He's arranged to have soldiers killed in Iraq. Therefore, the hometown funerals of those soldiers is a good place to demonstrate loudly that God Hates Fags.

5. We at "The Gods Are Bored" do not use potty language, so we can't tell you what the folks at "God Hates Fags" call the nice American churches where they go to demonstrate.

I've been thinking about these folks, and you know what that means.

Anne develops her own radical idea!


Caution - Holy Scripture Preached Ahead!

(Sorry, I shamelessly plagiarized the entree to "God Hates Fags" for that one.)

Deuteronomy 15:1-2
"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord's release has been proclaimed."

The word of God for the People of God. Amen.

How long have you been paying your home mortgage, readers? Most of these shameless, God-forsaken, desperate sinner banks make you pay every month for 30 years! And what does it say in the Good Book? After seven years you should be finished! Forgiven your debts!

So! God Hates Bankers! God Hates Mortgage Brokers! God Hates Visa and Mastercard! And if God hates them, then God Hates America!

If you've been paying your mortgage or your high-interest credit cards for more than seven years, STOP RIGHT NOW! You're letting these sinners off easy!

Please join Anne and her friends Milk and Cheese (Dairy Products Gone Bad) in the first major demonstration by GOD HATES MORTGAGE BANKERS!

Meet me at Chase Manhattan Bank Corporate Headquarters. Bring signs! Bring banners! And of course, bring your bullhorns, because we want those shameless sinners to know that God Hates Them, and since God Hates Them, and they're in America, then God Hates America!

Don't be jealous because I came up with this idea before you did.


"Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad" are the creation of Evan Dorkin. Milk and Cheese comics can be purchased online at Slave Labor Graphics.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

One Lucky Bastard

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Why would you listen to a single oboe when you could hear an entire symphony? Greet the bored gods today! If they ask for your spare change, well hey. Maybe you've been downsized yourself.

First things first. I would like to thank Athana of Radical Goddess Thealogy for solving my Ugly Gray Stripe problem! Not only did Athana have a solution, she also helped me to upgrade to this faerie-friendly background. I love it.

Okay, sifting through the Bible this afternoon, and sure glad I did.

Deuteronomy 23:2, "No bastard shall enter the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord."

I am assuming a literal translation for "bastard" here.

Oh, whee. Dodged a great big bullet on this one!

Not to open the old family closets and yank out the skeletons or anything, but my maternal grandma was a piece of work wild child. It's a long story, but my mama had two daddies, one whose name she bore, and the other one who dragged her along to the bar and bragged to his buddies that she was his, no matter what the name says on her birth certificate.

A paternity test conducted on Mama by the National Institutes of Mental Health in 1972 proved the drunken bragging guy right.

Guess Mama didn't read the Bible too closely, or else she would have stopped going to church right away and found a more hospitable bored god with whom to do business.

But gosh, there it is in Deuteronomy, right next to the Holy Scripture about men with crushed testicles not getting into heaven. Bastards don't make the cut, and neither do their descendants for ten generations.

I'm only Generation Deux. Eight more generations of my family to go before any of us qualify to get through that turnstile and into Hershey Park Heaven!

Imagine how disappointed I would have been to have jumped through all those Biblical hoops, only to discover upon arriving at the Pearly Gates that I don't cut it.

However, the point is moot because my reservations have already been accepted in Sidhe, providing that I don't hurt anyone knowingly between now and the day I croak.

It's getting close to St. Patrick's day, so there's no time like the present to thank St. Patrick for burning all the druid texts he could find on the island of Ireland. It would be a bummer if druids thought like ancient Israelites and cursed people for ten generations.

For those of you who want to get to heaven, I strongly urge you to do a thorough genealogy of every line of your family tree, back 10 generations (roughly the beginning of the 1700s). You don't want to be set up for a big, eternal disappointment.

If you already know about your rogue DNA, we here at "The Gods Are Bored" suggest you find a more user-friendly pantheon, one that will judge you by the content of your character and not the carrying-on of your grandma.

My final solace here is that I guess this disqualifies me from Mormon baptism even if they do find my name in some database 300 years from now. Talk about dodging a bullet! That's like dodging a freight train.


Photo credit: dust wrapper,
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard out of Carolina. New York, NY: Dutton, 1992.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Chonganda's Chimps

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Tired of your rusty old god? We've got some vintage deities here who'd like to have your business.

And speaking of business, it's Monkey Business today, with a bored god we've talked about, but never talked to. Please welcome Chonganda to "The Gods Are Bored!"

And of course, the picture is not Chonganda. We'll start there.

Anne: Chonganda, you are so obscure that you're not even pictured on the Internet.

Chonganda: That doesn't matter. Not many people in Congo have computers anyway. I do wish I could exist in their minds, though. Congo was an awesome place to have a praise and worship team.

Anne: So how have you been keeping yourself busy? We hear all the time about gods and goddesses who've had to find jobs, and how hard it is for them to earn a living wage -- especially since they're immortal.

Chonganda: I guess I've been lucky in that respect. I was invited to a colloquium at the Universal Deity Academy (UDA), so that's kept me busy for awhile.

Anne: The Universal Deity Academy? Sounds like a college for gods and goddesses from all over the universe.

Chonganda: Precisely correct.

Anne: So what was the colloquium about?

Chonganda: Well, deities from various galaxies presented papers on flaws in the Intelligent Design, with suggestions for improvement after the next Big Bang.

Anne: Gosh! Intelligent Design is real? Imagine that!

Chonganda: Real, but full of glitches. If you think it's bad here on earth, you should hear about some of the solar systems that have sentient life on two or more planets. Keeping the species from traveling between planets is a real problem. No less than 17,000 gods and goddesses complained about it.

Anne: So, how many planets have intelligent life all-told?

Chonganda: "Intelligent" is a nebulous definition. For instance, your species is considered "insufficiently evolved" and only "marginally intelligent."

Anne: Tell me something I don't know.

Chonganda: To answer your question, planets containing truly intelligent species number 68,426,732,431.

Anne: 68 billion planets with intelligent life? That sounds more like the U.S. trade deficit than a number of inhabited planets.

Chonganda: Oh, that's not the number of inhabited planets. There's about 1 billion times that many planets with life on them of some kind or another.

Anne: That boggles the mind. Makes me feel really stupid and small.

Chonganda: Buck up, Anne! This planet has more deities per capita than any other planet in the Milky Way galaxy!

Anne: Somehow that doesn't improve my spirits.

Chonganda: It should. Think of all the gods and goddesses you can pray to who are out of work and living to help you.

Anne: And I feel like I need every one of them right now. So, Chonganda, did you give a presentation at the colloquium?

Chonganda: No, I was just there as an invited guest. What do I know about Asteroidal Macro-Extinctions and Extending Star Longevity? Still, it was interesting stuff. I learned a lot.

Anne: So what brings you down to earth again? Why didn't you stay at the Academy and pursue a teaching fellowship?

Chonganda: Because I'm worried about my bonobos. You see what happens? You turn your back for a few hundred years, and the next thing you know you get a worm hole telegram that your favorite jungle species is on the brink of extinction.

Anne: Bonobos. That would be Pan paniscus, the pygmy chimp. The ones that live in the treetops and settle their differences by french-kissing and having sex.

Chonganda: Those are the ones. And I hate to be insulting, but wouldn't they have made a better choice for sentient evolution than you aggressive, territorial, tribe-oriented, selfish humans?

Anne: No argument from me on that one, honored guest. So what's happening to them?

Chonganda: With the advent of better medications, humans can penetrate the jungle and shoot the bonobos. And apparently they taste good, so they're being picked off for the high-end restaurant trade. Even the park rangers who are supposed to protect them are snatching them for an evening snack.

Anne: What are you going to do?

Chonganda: What can any bored god do? I'll join the Congolese Park Service and try to save the remaining bonobos. Peacefully, of course. Although considering the number of humans on this little rock, it's tempting to terminate with extreme prejudice.

Anne: Please don't do that. They're having enough trouble in Congo as it is.

Chonganda: Tell me about it. Well, wish me luck. Or, I should say, wish those poor peaceful bonobos luck. They're going to need it.

Anne: They'll be in my prayers. And speaking of prayers, can I pray to you for the safety of my husband's job? Things are looking bleak again.

Chonganda: I would LOVE IT! Considering how many people of African descent pray to a certain Middle Eastern Jewish deity, I would be honored if someone of European descent prayed to me.

Anne: You are an awesome bored god, and I hope you save the bonobos and my husband's job too!

Chonganda: I'll do my best. Can I ask one last question?

Anne: Shoot.

Chonganda: Why are you wearing vulture earrings?

Anne: It's a long story.


Photo from the web site of William H. Calvin, University of Washington, specialist in Pan paniscus.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Birthday Wisdom

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" My Ugly Gray Stripe and I greet you! We hope you'll enjoy your stay here in our polytheistic paradise.

Strangest thing about me. I never had a role model. I mean, I never looked at an individual and said, "Gosh, what a great life that person leads! I want to be like that!"

Many people take deities or saints as role models, and that's fine. You go. But don't start whining when The Man wants to tie you to a stake or a cross, or a rock where some buzzard can come and eat your liver every day. (Note polytheistic examples.)

But today, as I enter the last 1/3 of my life, I can truly say I've found a role model. About time, eh?

Some of my most faithful readers (all 3 of you) will recall previous posts about the Monkey Man.

To summarize for the rest of you:

About 5 years ago, my daughter The Heir came home and said some weird guy on a bike with gray hair and a clown hat and a monkey puppet rode by her and her friend and said, "Hi, kids! ooo ooo ooo AH AH AH!" And on he rode.

This was our first encounter with the Monkey Man.

Yeah, yeah, I could have done the Dr. Laura thing and reported the incident to the cops and had them look for the potential child killer. But what did he do, after all? He made a monkey noise with a puppet in his hand. This is America. There's no law says you can't wear a clown hat and carry a monkey puppet.

My daughter The Heir was intrigued by this strange individual. She started asking around about him. In the meantime, about every 3 or 4 months, we would see him -- either me and The Heir, or me and The Spare. Once we saw him riding his bike through our neighborhood. He stopped,

let his monkey say hello, and rode on.

Six months would pass, sometimes more, and then one day one or the other of my girls would come home and say, "I SAW THE MONKEY MAN!" And the other sibling would be ticked and disappointed that she didn't see him too.

One night I was shopping in the local grocery store, and the Monkey Man came in. By that time I'd heard every urban legend about him: that he was homeless, that he was crazy, etc. etc. -- but never that he was dangerous.

I followed him discreetly through the store. He bought vegetables, and his clothes and hair were clean. It was impossible to determine his age. When I went outside his bike was sitting there with the monkey in the old-fashioned basket.

Couldn't get a word out of the monkey about his Man. Loyal critter.

In the summer of 2004 my daughter The Spare ran into the Monkey Man at the local pharmacy. Her friend happened to have a camera. Daughter asked Monkey Man if she could pose with him and Monkey. He was glad to, and in the snapshot he's just beaming.

No one with a police record would do that.

Last spring, the Monkey Man saw my daughter The Spare downtown. He had lost his monkey, and he was giving out his email address, hoping that someone might have seen it.

Spare came home with the Monkey Man's email address! We stared at it like the Holy Grail.

Then we started looking for that monkey.

Turns out one of The Heir's friends had found it, recognized that it belonged to the weird guy in the clown hat, and took it to the police. But that girl didn't know how to contact the Monkey Man.

We did.

One email later, Man and Monkey are reunited. A few emails of gratitude passed.

Here's where it all passes into the supernatural.

The Monkey Man lives deep in The Murder Capital of America, which is about 6 miles from where we live. One day Anne and The Spare got an invitation to join a poetry group that meets at a pizza parlor in said Capital. The Monkey Man heads this group, and judging by the number of people on the email list, it's a significant, ongoing poetry group.

Well, Anne's beloved husband rather baulked at having Anne and The Heir drive into the Murder Capital at night, especially knowing Anne's complete inability to find a location in a city with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

So instead, Anne and The Spare found a poetry reading in their town, right around Christmas, and invited the Monkey Man to come. And by golly, he came -- with his monkey and his clown hat and his bright baggy pants.

He took a turn at reading. He took the monkey to the podium with him and let the monkey say hello to everybody. The snooty people in this town kind of giggled uncomfortably.

Then the Monkey Man said:

"The last time I read poetry by candle light was on Ashbury Street in San Francisco in 1968. I nearly set my clothes on fire. So let's see if I've learned anything since then."

He proceeded to deliver three of the best poems I've ever heard that aren't in a book. The last one he read and signed (sign language) simultaneously. They were poems he had written himself.

After the poetry reading we discovered that the Monkey Man had grown up in the house behind ours, that he had attended the same elementary, middle, and high school The Heir and The Spare attend. He's still a huge fan of the local Fighting Wombats -- in fact he and his monkey took two trains to the 2005 basketball state championships (that was another Monkey Man sighting before we knew him).

Sound suspicious to you? Then go listen to Dr. Laura! There's no place for you here at "The Gods Are Bored!"

The Monkey Man remembered the neighbors that used to live around us. Anne called one of them -- she's in a nursing home -- and she said she still gets cards from him, that she loved him, he was a great kid, and she used to drive him to college when his parents were busy. She even remembered the year he graduated from high school.

So over to the local library goes Anne, and she asks to see the Wombats yearbooks, and there he is, a clean-cut, very early 1960s high school senior, still bearing the same nickname he uses now. He was all-state in baseball.

Very early 1960s high school senior. All-state baseball. Did he miss that little war in Southeast Asia? Did he fry his brain during the Summer of Love?

You do not ask these questions of a role model.

He is what he is, a man who dresses weird and lives alone, who works as a substitute teacher in a Quaker school and attends Mass every Sunday. He's a poet and a sports fan. We just got a postcard from him and Monkey, they were in Florida at Spring Training.

Why is he my first role model?

Because as I've aged, I've realized that what matters in life is not how famous you are, or how rich you are, or how many important people think you're important too.

What matters is streaking through life brightly, a poetic comet, immune to ridicule. What matters even more than where you live is how willing you are to create the world you want to be in by showing your true colors fearlessly.

The bored gods salute the Monkey Man, not for the particulars but for the broad bright canvas on which they are recorded.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Middle School Mindset

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" When we wake up in the morning and we're still breathing, we're happy as can be!

I'm sure my Ugly Gray Stripe will be in this post somewhere. Please tell it howdy and tickle it under the chin. If you can find the chin. Don't miss and tickle it somewhere else.

Today's Topic: Middle School

I have two daughters, The Heir and The Spare. I've gotten The Heir through that special hell we call Middle School. Now it's The Spare's turn.

Some mornings The Spare literally gets physically ill at the thought of going to Middle School. Who among us hasn't felt that?

Okay, if Middle School was the highlight of your life, and it's all been downhill since then, you need some serious therapy. Either that, or you're doing life plus fifty.

Yesterday I picked up The Spare from Middle School, and this is what she told me:

A bunch of "popular girls" really hate this other girl. It was the other girl's birthday, and everyone knows the other girl hates the color orange and Peppermint Patties. (No accounting for taste. I've never seen a Peppermint Patty I couldn't scarf down in an eyeblink.)

The "popular girls" put bright orange paper on the other girl's locker and decorated it with empty Peppermint Patty wrappers. Then they forged a note, pretending to be the boy this other girl likes, and shoved it into her locker.

The Spare doesn't know any of these girls. They live in another part of town. But she said that someone who did know the girl wrote another note telling her that the note from the boy was bogus.

Classic Middle School.

So I said to The Spare: "Why didn't you rip down that orange paper?"

And she said: "I don't want to get involved."

Fair enough. The Spare was internet bullied earlier this year by a different batch of mean girls, so she's in a defensive posture.

But I told The Spare that she should always act in kindness, even to strangers, and that if she sees an injustice she should try to correct it.

More lousy advice from the ungodly pagan mom.

Then The Spare observed that Middle School kids are mean. The boys are mean. The girls are mean. Even the teachers are mean, because they have to deal with meanness all day long.

And I told her that most people grow out of that meanness and look back on their time in Middle School with embarrassment. Then again, there are some people who achieve adulthood with their crappy teenaged brains totally intact.

Case in point:

That same morning, I stopped by the yuppie coffee shop (NOT Starbucks) to get a Large Orange Pekoe With Two Bags.

I overheard these two women talking behind me. Judging by their accents, they're replants. And they looked to be in their thirties.

The one who was talking (too loudly, how else could I hear her?) said:

"When I was in high school, we had a priest for a teacher, and he was just off the boat from Ireland. He had a real cute accent. It was an all-girls Catholic school. And you know what? He wouldn't even look at us while he was teaching. He either looked at the side wall or the blackboard.

"One day one of my friends went to the bathroom and got a roll of toilet paper. While he was looking the other way, we rolled it all over the room until there was toilet paper everywhere. It was a couple of minutes before he saw it, and the only reason he saw it at all was that we started to giggle.

"Oh, he got so mad! He telephoned the principal, and she came down and gave us hell. But oh, isn't that funny? We really did a number on him!"

At that point she exploded into laughter.

This is what I call The Middle School Mindset. Here's a clueless Mrs. McMansion who's never gotten past plastering Peppermint Patty wrappers on school lockers.

Imagine that poor priest, surrounded all day by pretty teenaged girls, tempted to the eyebrows to look at those pleated skirts and the gorgeous legs streaming out from under them, trying his best to keep his mind on his mission and his vows and all that weird stuff that Catholics make their priests promise to do.

And these girls taunt him and humiliate him.

Okay, you can forgive it at sixteen. But laughing about it when you're an overweight 30-something?

Excuse me, Madam Moron. Haven't you learned anything in the decades you've been out of Catholic school? Haven't you developed a millimeter of empathy or consideration? Don't you know anything about men, especially priests?

Thank goodness I've learned something since I was sixteen, because I was holding a pint of boiling hot liquid and thinking extremely improper thoughts about what to do with it.

But we weird tree-hugging druids live and die by a rule that is lost on the Middle School Mindset:

"An thou harm none, do what thou wilt."

Imagine me, defending an Irish priest! Goes to show you that we here at "The Gods Are Bored" really do have open minds and open hearts.


Photo: Mean Girls, starring Lindsay Lohan, at a video store near you.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My Ugly Gray Stripe

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We don't come knocking on your door with tracts. But we're always polite to those nice Adventist ladies who visit us monthly. Why should we be nasty to them? They aren't nasty about the bored gods.

Can't blame the faeries for this one. In an act of hubris (or stupidity, or both), I went into my blogger template and started trying to add links to my sidebar.

Might as well have opened the hood of the car and tried to put in a new transmission.

Now I'm saddled with an Ugly Gray Stripe.

If anyone knows how to fix said Ugly Gray Stripe, you can contact me through my profile page. This might be more economical for my Australian reader (readers?) than picking up the telephone.

If no one knows how to jettison the Ugly Gray Stripe, then I will live with it. Life is full of Ugly Gray Stripes that either linger to trip us up, or come for awhile to trip us up, or just have always been there, part of the landscape.

Ugly Gray Stripes used to bother the heck out of me. Now I'm older, and properly medicated, and able to see the humor in just about everything.

So we at "The Gods Are Bored" welcome our Ugly Gray Stripe and hope you will too!

And if you think the Ugly Gray Stripe is punishment from that One Big Kahuna God for what goes on here, please be advised that I regularly play golf during thunderstorms, so he has ample opportunity for revenge.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Heaven and the D.A.R.

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Furnishing the World Wide Web with expansive ideas since 2005, and all free of charge!

From my team site, Appalachian Greens
comes news that some White state legislator in Tennessee tried to join his legislative body's Black Caucus and was promptly refused membership. He said this is a clear case of discrimination. The work of bigots.

This moron would be denied membership in the D.A.R. as well.

For my legions of foreign readers, D.A.R. stands for Daughters of the American Revolution. In order to join the D.A.R., you have to do the following:

1. Be a female.
2. Prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you are a direct blood descendant of a soldier, medic, officer, or all-around helper to the American cause known as the War for Independence.

(Notice this says nothing about race. Decades of bad publicity notwithstanding, the D.A.R. warmly welcomes women of African descent who qualify for membership. Heck, Princess Diana qualified for membership. I don't think she joined.)

But here's the catch.

The D.A.R. has very strict rules about proving the legitimacy of your claim. You can't just show up at a meeting and say, "My great-grandma told me that her great-great-grandpa was George Washington's personal bodyguard."

Boy, wouldn't that be a great job? Generals never get shot, and when George wasn't looking, you could sneak into his bag of ganj (used strictly for tooth pain).

Sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah. The D.A.R. requires that you furnish written proof of all the descendants you have, back to and including the Rev War soldier. You have to prove birth, death, legitimate marriage, and connection to the next generation. Documents, folks.

This is 2006. You've got to go back to 1776. And for your soldier, you have to have company, regiment, and commander, and length of service, and honorable discharge. Because, you know, a lot of those Minute Men ran like rabbits when the lead started flying.

Anne was lucky. On her mama's side she had relatives who already belonged. She got to use the "short form" and breezed in.

Then, after listening to a lot of corpulent old relics discuss their difficulties in getting into D.A.R., Anne decided she ought to have that experience. So she researched her dad's lineage.

Another breeze. Dad's people hiked deep into the Allegany Mountains in about 1700 and didn't budge until ... well, until the G.I. Bill gave them college cash in 1945. Same county, same township, same graveyard. In the county's Register of Wills, Anne's ancestor is Will #1, Book #1.

Some D.A.R.s have to gallavant through 15 states to find their ancestors. And they run up against names like John Smith, who married Jane Jones, whose sister Janie Jones married brother Jonathan Smith. It does get complicated.

So when you've gone to all that trouble, Xeroxed those crumbling old wills and rubbed those weathered old gravestones, and chased down those church records and census records and death certificates, you feel a real sense of accomplishment.

And I've never seen the D.A.R. refuse anyone membership after they jumped through those hoops. You could be Mrs. Josef Stalin, and if you said, "I'm willing to do Public Relations and be Chapter Historian," they'd welcome you with a hearty handshake and a red carnation corsage.

To get to my point (finally), the Christian church is like D.A.R.

1. You can get to heaven, but first you have to prove that you're a hopeless loser of a sinner whose shameful deeds caused a really great dude to be tortured to death. (Documents not required. Guilt is sufficient.)

2. Then you have to believe that your National Society is the only legitimate way into heaven. Just like you never hear of the D.A.R. inviting the Daughters of Attila the Hun to join up.

3. You have to recite pledges and creeds and prayers until they're coming out your ears, and then you have to sing.

4. You have to do tedious jobs to help the outfit advance as a whole. (Charity is great, don't misunderstand me, but someone has to bake that casserole.)

5. And, you can be justifiably proud to have been accepted into such an exclusive club. Hey, you worked hard for that membership. And you'll live up to it too, by making those casseroles.

Well, Anne kept up D.A.R. and a mainstream Christian church simultaneously for 17 years, and then she noticed these similarities and decided that she was duplicating effort.

The rest, if you'll pardon the excruciating double entendre, is history.

Oooooops! I mean ...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies - The Last Word

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored! What do you think of these two ugly buzzards?

If you're just tuning in, we apologize for the formatting issues. Anne had the audacity to try to change her sidebar. Let's just say she ought to stick to goats.

Last word on buzzard worship: The Native Americans of the Northeast Woodlands placed their dead on platforms in trees so that the vultures could eat the corpses. A year or so later, the bones were buried.

If you find me belly-up and you've got a couple of acres free, will you do this for me? I will be eternally grateful. Literally. Eternally.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: Rituals and Practices

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where this week we've been sailing through a crash course on the fascinating topic of buzzard worship.

We've established that many intelligent people on both sides of the Atlantic have worshipped buzzards.

We've established that buzzards offer a strong case for Intelligent Design.

We've established that buzzards perform important tasks that help keep the world a cleaner, safer place for humankind.

Voila! Time to get on to the nitty gritty!


1. You should have access to a large field or woodland.

2. Provide your tithe and offerings to the vultures. You know what this means. They don't want money. They want road kill or an equivalent thereof. If you're antsy about stopping on the roadway to pick up that flattened raccoon, then go to the supermarket and purchase ten pounds of spareribs or sausage or potted meat. (This is religion we're talking about - give till it hurts!)

3. Place the offering in the field or woodland. If this is your first offering to the Thunderbirds, it may take a few hours for them to find it. If you do this on a weekly schedule, they'll be waiting for you.

4. Keep your distance from the sacred Thunderbirds so they can enjoy their offering. You may pray to them at this time, but do so quietly. You wouldn't carry on like a maniac in a church, would you? So don't do it here!

5. After turning around three times clockwise and touching your toes twice, recite the following liturgy. Do not deviate from the liturgy at all.


Oh, you winged thing
You breath of spring
You make me want to shout and sing.
I love your beak
The way you sneak
Your tail I'd give a little tweak.

No other fowl could be my pal,
No robin, blue jay, nor an owl.
The nightingale, to no avail
I wouldn't even choose a quail.

Your plumes are gray
But what the hey,
That bright red head
Will make my day.

And coo, I'd peck
Your naked neck
My lusty buzzard,
What the heck.

I'll soar above
My rancid dove
And pledge to you
My buzzard love.

An appropriate hymn may be sung at this time. Be sure to greet the other buzzard worshippers with a hearty handshake or hug, if appropriate.

Notice that this ritual has no opportunity for a sermon. If you want to sleep, take a nap at home.

Tomorrow: Going to heaven with the buzzards!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: Vulture Valhalla

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're an Equal Opportunity Worship site! You can be Anglican or Zoroastrian, or anything in between, and as long as you're nice and polite about it, you can pull up a chair, pop open your favorite beverage, and enjoy the view.

Please don't spill that beverage on the furniture. That's all we ask.

You're joining us in the midst of one of our famous "Dummies" series, this one on buzzard worship.

Buzzard worship, a relic of past, failed cultures, steeped in superstition?

BAMP! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Imagine that you live in an ancient and quiet little country town, surrounded by farmland and woods. In the space of ten short years, the big city developers come in, buy the farmland and raze the woods and build UGLY UGLY UGLY little houses, all in a row. The remaining fields become devoted to the local passion, soccer.

A big population of buzzards has been living on (off?) that land. Now where do they go?

Hmmm. Look at that little town over there. It's got big Victorian homes, surrounded by mature pines. Its quiet Main Street and sleepy little train station are deserted by dark. Unlike that big newly-developed shopping center with the Wal-Mart that hums all night.

One evening at dusk you look out your window, and in the sky you see 70 vultures soaring into your sleepy hamlet. They glide to your White Pine and, in impressive numbers, huddle together to roost for the night. In the morning they're splayed out across your roof, warming their feathers in the sunshine.

Do you:

A. Furiously dial the realtor and put your house up for sale before those filthy birds ruin your property and eat your kittens?

Or do you:

B. Research the habits of vultures, discovering that their droppings are sterile and that they can't chase, grasp, or kill a kitten?

If you answered "B," Congratulations! You could be a citizen of the New Mecca of Buzzard Worship, a town we'll call Pomona!

Ah, Pomona. What other tiny little town would take a nightly inpouring of turkey buzzards and turn it into an opportunity for a festival?

And what a festival it was! March 4, 2006 marked the First Annual Gloucester County Vulture Festival. Mark that word annual. They're gonna do this every year!

Sounds like a ritual in the making. And it's off to a flying start! (pardon the pun)

Anne attended this festival, of course. She thought she might need the paramedics. She hyperventilated when a flock of 70 turkey vultures soared over her at the height of the trees. She could hear the wind rushing through their feathers.

(Remember what we said about this site. Whatever gets you to the Mountaintop is A-okay!)

Back to the festival: The outdoor viewing portion was followed by an indoor event that caused the passing cars outside to slow down so they could see what was happening.

This was no dull Nature Club gathering to hear about "The Anatomy and Morphology of Cathartes aura, or the common Turkey Vulture."

People sang buzzard songs, composed for the occasion. Three tall guys in turkey buzzard masks and black capes stood on chairs and "flew." This was a small-scale Mardi Gras in honor of our Golden Purifiers!

Seriously, if you were an alien just landing on earth for the first time, you'd have gone back to your ship certain that the strange primates worship bald birds that roost in the pine trees.

Anne vowed then and there to get her kids through school fast, so she can move to Pomona. She'll tell the realtor to find her a house with a big White Pine in the backyard.

Can your deity soar across the sky without flapping? Does your deity help to make the world a better, cleaner place? Is your deity so peaceful he or she won't kill a kitten?

Think about it.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

See you next year at the Second Annual Gloucester County Vulture Festival!


Official photo, Gloucester County Nature Club

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: An Important Distinction

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Etc. etc. etc. In 10 minutes I leave for the First Annual Gloucester County Vulture Festival, so do you think my mind is on this post?

With all this extolling of the virtues of vultures, I completely forgot about the "human vultures" among us. And boy, do they ever give buzzards a bad name!

You've seen this a dozen times. Grandma passes away, and the mourners gather. Among them are the devoted children and grandchildren who watched her suffer and helped her lead a normal life as long as possible. The folks, in other words, who did the old thick-and-thin number without complaint.

Then comes the funeral. Out of the blue, here come the slacker children and grandchildren, second cousins twice removed, and yard sale freaks. All of a sudden they've remembered how much they loved ol' Granny. Even though they haven't laid eyes on her since Mick Jagger was young.

And now to the important part: Where's that will, and how much does second cousin twice removed get for all that Granny love?

And by the way, Cousin Gladys says Granny promised her that oil painting in the front room. The one by Van Gogh, she thinks that's the name on the portrait.

(Anne's been the victim of this, folks. Seriously. Only it was a Stradivarius violin, not a Van Gogh.)

And Cousin Earl says Granny told him he could have her Mercedes. Where are the keys?

And the daughter who never lifted a finger to help Granny gets into a yelling match because all the good jewelry is gone, and she wants her fair share.

And the yard sale freaks knock boldly on the door and say, "Do you have any old tools? Any costume jewelry? Figurines? Sports stuff?" Their eyes comb the joint, looking for treasures.

These loathsome creatures are often called "vultures" because they gather to squabble over a corpse.

But for those of you who are considering becoming members of the First Church of Buzzards Universal, please be assured that your feathered vulture would never even pick at a piece of costume jewelry. Real buzzards would disdain such ignorance. They reserve their greed solely for dinnertime and get along famously at all other hours.

So rest assured that if you worship buzzards, you won't become like Cousin Gladys and alienate your entire family when Granny passes on.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

Addendum: Anne lost the Stradivarius violin to a greedy rich aunt who promptly gave the violin to a local museum, taking a huge tax write-off. There that poor instrument sits, silent as a grave, on display in a museum no one visits. Instead of singing brightly in the hands of some concert musician, which is the plan Anne had for it.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: Your Friends in Time of Need

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" If you're just joining us for the first time, well, how-do! If you've got religion, we aren't picky on what kind, as long as no one gets hurt and you don't stain the furniture.

Anne pleads with you: The faeries have stolen her all-time favorite piece of clothing. That would be her authentic El Paso Buzzards hockey jersey. The El Paso Buzzards have folded, and the jerseys are no longer available. So please ask your god or goddess to help Anne find her shirt! Anne knows it was in her bottom drawer. And now it's gone.

The perils of living with faeries. They're mad about these buzzard posts.

But poo-poo to the faeries! They aren't the only kids on the block. Onward and upward with Thunderbirds we go!

Have you ever driven by a humongous landfill and seen the cloud of buzzards floating above it? Florida is optimal in this respect.

Have you ever smelled something really, really nasty, discovered it to be a dead deer, and looked an hour later to find more than a dozen buzzards scarfing it down?

Ever think about these avian marvels and what they do for us, and how they were Intelligently Designed for their important task?

Gosh, if you could just isolate the turkey vulture from every other living thing, you could make an air-tight case for an Intelligent Designer. To wit:

1. Buzzards are bald because they cram their heads into carcasses. It's easier to clean skin than feathers.

2. Buzzards have two enzymes in their stomachs that humans lack. These are putrescene and cadaverine. (Imagine the scientist who discovered these gems!) The enzymes enable buzzards to eat rancid food that would kill other creatures, including us.

3. Buzzard parents are quite devoted, and buzzard chicks have a long "childhood" in which they remain with their parents. Buzzards do not breed every year since they have to nurture chicks for such a long period.

4. Buzzards mate for life. It's called pair-bonding. They can live to be 75 years old.

5. I have it on first-hand authority from a bird trainer for Hollywood films that buzzards of any species are the easiest birds to train. They can be made into household pets if you start early enough. They quickly learn any routine that ends with a hearty meal. (Unlike goats, who focus too quickly on the hearty meal.)

5. Buzzards generally get along with one another except when squabbling over a carcass. At landfills this is not an issue. There's plenty for all.

Bringing us to our most important observation:

6. The scientific name for Turkey vultures is Cathartes aura. That means "Golden Purifier." Repeat after me: "Golden Purifier."

Sounds bloody angelic, doesn't it?

Buzzards take the mountains of disgusting waste we humans produce every day and turn it into fertilizer, which they discreetly drop in the woods or on rocky outcroppings that only the most intrepid hikers can reach. Without them, the globe would probably already be so thoroughly warmed that palm trees would be growing on the flanks of the Matterhorn, amidst stinking piles of dead animal and garbage.

So the next time you see a buzzard, offer a hearty "thank you" for services rendered.

And if you feel this genera of fowl deserves more than just passing gratitude, by all means feel free to revere the Gallant Golden Purifier! So what if those Krishnas on the other side of the street think you're weird! This is America, and if you want to worship buzzards, you've got that right. It's in the Constitution.

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

Tomorrow, time permitting: The Essential Buzzard Worship Ritual

If anyone has an El Paso Buzzards hockey jersey, name your price!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: The Historical Record

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we promote the interests of those gods and goddesses who got re-districted for the last election so that their votes wouldn't matter! Change those lines, give those bored gods back their franchise!

Today: A Brief History of Buzzard Worship

Buzzard worship can be found in both hemispheres in the historical record.

The ancient Egyptians were perhaps the boldest buzzard-worshippers. Mut, the goddess of mothers and mothering, was a vulture. Her partner, Nekhabed, was charged with protecting the Pharaoh's family. These buzzard goddesses were also considered formidable foes in battle.

Well, who fights harder than a mom whose kids are threatened?

Moving across the wide ocean to South America, the same enlightened praise and worship teams that imbibed hallucinogenic teas also worshipped Urubitsin, a vulture who was credited with bringing sunlight to the world.

If you ask me, a vulture bringing the sunshine is sound Intelligent Design. We should teach it in classrooms.

Perhaps the best known cultures steeped to the gills in buzzard worship are the Native Americans of North America, especially those on the West Coast. The awesome California Condor was worshipped as Waukheon, or "Thunderbird" by many cultural groups, sometimes in tandem with eagles, hawks, and other raptors.

Make no mistake about it, though. The mighty California condor, brought back from the brink of extinction in the 1980s, was a god to some wonderful, thoughtful, hard-working, successful people. Generations and generations of good folks looked to the skies and praised the Thunderbird as a messenger between Mother Earth and Father Sky.

Would you like to send a message to Father Sky? Perhaps you're feeling depressed about the state of the world. Perhaps the constant meaningless warfare has you down, or the startling change in climate, or the threat of being fired if you sign a union card.

Take your troubles to the Thunderbirds! They're bored, they're overlooked, they play an important role in our world, and they're waiting to hear from you!

Our operators are standing by to take your call.

Tomorrow: How buzzards improve your life, whether you know it or not.

Thanks to "God-Checker"
for the list of vulture gods and goddesses

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Buzzard Worship for Dummies: Origins

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" One True Religion? Then what are all the others, fairy tales? Okay, then:

Fairy tales can come true
It can happen to you,
If you're young at heart.

Great song, Geezer Anne.

Boy, are you a lucky reader! We are about to embark on another of our "Dummies" series, this one all the essential information you need to know in order to worship buzzards!

Okay, now Anne is losing even her most dedicated audience.

Buzzards, indeed. Ugly, stinky, scary, bald, evil-eyed scavengers who rip up road kill. Who would worship those disgusting raptors? ...

Mr. Peabody, is our Time Machine ready?
Yessirree, Sherman, and off we go to the deep past of human history!


Here we are in Neolithic times. We hunt, we gather, we die of broken legs and crushed ribs instead of cancer and heart disease.

And how do we get those awful injuries? By hunting, of course. Take a look at that Wooly Mammoth over there. Huge as a house ... err ... cave. And we've gotta bring that sucker down with some primitive spears.

Chances are pretty darned good that Og or Mog or Cousin Gog is gonna get stomped or chomped by that mammoth. We might bag the kill, but it's gonna have its price.

And this isn't just true for the mammoth. Take your average Ice Age wart hog. He ain't the cute little piggy in Charlotte's Web. You go one-on-one with him, it's 50-50 you come out the eater and not the eatee.

Established: Hunting is dangerous, often deadly, and doggoned difficult.

Og, your salvation is flying in the sky.

You watch the vultures. They have a sophisticated sense of smell, and they circle in groups, getting ever closer to their dinner. A dead animal doesn't have to smell distinctly gross to get their attention. They sniff, take a chance, if it moves they shove off.

If it doesn't move, they eat it. Or Og eats it, if he follows them and gets there first.

What's that you say? The human race was founded on buzzard leftovers?

Of course not. But today's African lions often use vultures as clues to find dead or dying animals. With an advancing brain, Og and his buddies would have done the same thing. It's better to harvest a slightly fragrant mammoth that's already dead than to go up against a live one. Hey, you've got fire, right? You're gonna cook it! With no broken legs!

So the human race owes at least an assist to the vulture.

Isn't it about time we show this distinguished winged marvel the respect it deserves?

Our operators are standing by to take your call.