Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Infallible Logic from Anne


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Don't expect any New Year's greetings here. The New Year began November 1 in our preferred pantheon. And the weather was really nice then.


Follow my logic:


1. People like Saddam, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot deserve to die for torturing great groups of people to death.


2. The victims of the above dictators suffered horribly and then died. Human beings with empathy find this appalling.


If the above two statements are true, then:


3. The God of the Torah/Bible/Koran should be promptly tried and hanged. Somehow this deity has discovered a method of torture for eternity, eliminating even the possibility of a peaceful death. And this deity is inflicting said perpetual torture on masses of good people in numbers that so dwarf Mao's achievements as to make Mao look like a wee little krill in the wide Sargasso Sea.


Judged by human standards, God Almighty is a brutal, despotic dictator. Get the rope, Chauncey.


I've been told to my face that when I arrive at the Pearly Gates, my dad will be standing there crying because he got into heaven and I won't. But I've got news for you, folks. My dad once pulled over in his car to break up a violent domestic dispute between two complete strangers. Ain't no way he'd sit by and let God Almighty do an eternal Stalin on me. Ain't no way I'd take up a harp and a plate of casserole and sit in heaven while my kids were being tortured forever, either.


Why don't we put a "Help Wanted" Ad in USA Today and see if we can find ourselves a sane bored goddess to set all this right? I'll bet She's out there right now, whispering in a few ears. Hey. I'll listen.


FROM ANNE

THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Is It Just Me, or Are You Afraid to Get Sick Too?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dispensing essential wisdom for free since 2005! Before that it cost you a stick of gum, so you're ahead of the game.

Some people like to cook. Some consider it a chore. I fall into the latter category. Therefore I am rarely in my kitchen during the half hour of national nightly news on the telly.

This week I've heard the telly news several times while dicing and slicing. And it wasn't the sorrowful passing of Gerald Ford that made me sit up and take notice. It was the commercials.

Do you watch the nightly news? Have you seen and heard all the pharmaceutical commercials? These aren't happy jingles for Speedy Alka-Selzer. These are ads for serious prescription medications.

So, I'm idly decimating an onion, and I hear the following ad, or something like it:

"Is that persistent anxiety getting you down? Interfering in your life? Putting a wall between you and your loved ones? We can help! Prescription OxyContin will have you feeling completely at ease with yourself and others in just two or three doses! With continued use, you'll find such an improvement in your life you'll hardly know yourself."

(Personal testimonial from an actress) "I had trouble just getting into the elevator at work. Now I'm the life of the party! OxyContin has given me my life back. I'll never be without it again!"

Now here's the part that gets my attention:

"OxyContin is a prescription medication for use only as directed.
Side effects can include the following: cessation of breathing, cardiac arrest, constipation, vomiting, bleeding from the eyes, lack of motor control, insomnia, drowsiness, lack of appetite.
Discontinue use of OxyContin immediately if you stop breathing, as this can lead to serious medical conditions, not limited to brain damage.
Prolonged use of OxyContin can be habit forming. Consult your doctor before discontinuing use of OxyContin, as you may experience violent withdrawal symptoms too numerous to mention in this ad."

So, for the love of fruit flies, who's going to rush to the doctor and beg for OxyContin? (Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "rush.") And that's just an example. I'm pretty sure I heard a commercial for a prescription arthritis drug that can cause bleeding ulcers and stroke.

You've gotta be in pretty serious pain to prefer stroke to your sore hip.

Of course the million dollar question is: "How much of the price of the medication goes into these moronic advertisements?" And the answer is: plenty.

I guess this is what happens when the real medicine-makers get booted from the airwaves. Jack Daniels and Bacardi spring to mind. But I guess they'd have to list their side effects too, and that would make any barfly think twice.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Pox Calypso

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," bringing you the very best and brightest gods and goddesses from around the world! Ask yourself how you would feel if folks used to throw festivals and slaughter the fatted calf for you, and now you're selling rip-off Dior handbags from a kiosk on a side street in Philly.


Remember, gods and goddesses are immortal. If they get downsized by zealous missionaries from another faith, they've still gotta earn a living.


It's always a pleasure to welcome a bored god to our site. That's why we're here! And it's a bonus if that god or goddess has a name that's easy to spell. Today we have just such a one here at our side. Please give a great big "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Chac, sacred god of the ancient Mayan people!


Anne: First off, Chac, thanks for the easy name. I thought all the Mesoamerican deities had hard-to-spell monikers.


Chac: Ah, that's the Aztecs and Incas. We Mayans had an extensive alphabet, and our scribes didn't want to get writer's cramp.


Anne: I suppose you're probably here because you want to comment on Mel Gibson's new movie, Apocalypto.


Chac: Absolutely correct. Have you seen it?


Anne: No, afraid not. I'm not into gore. The last Mel movie I saw was Braveheart, and to be frank I laughed through it. English soldiers weren't the only thing butchered in that flick. History took a shellacking as well. Is Apocalypto any more accurate?


Chac: Take a nut case with an agenda and a big budget, set him loose in the jungle, and you can just imagine what you get for your $8.50.


Anne: Yeah, I was afraid of that. So it's about as accurate a portrayal of the Mayan culture as Bonanza is an accurate portrayal of the Old West. I mean, you've got three guys living on a ranch, and never once do they get laid. You'd think just once Little Joe would say, "I'm so horny, I've got such a hard-on..."


Chac: Errr. Anne. I think you're quoting from a pretty authentic movie called Tin Men.


Anne: Why, so I was at that! Back to topic. Chac, I understand that despite the dissolution of your empire in pre-Colombian times, followed by centuries of smallpox, alcohol, genocide by various governments, and the inexorable missionaries, you still have a small praise and worship team.


Chac: It's just big enough that I can get by. And for that I'm very grateful. You should hear the tales poor old Baal tells!


Anne: And your verdict on Apocalypto?


Chac: Inaccurate in all but the smallest details. Insulting. Especially coming from a person whose praise and worship team has done its share of torturing, maiming, mass executions, and psychological damage.


Anne: Yes. Well. One would like to see Mr. Gibson tackle a bloody topic like the suppression of the Cathars or the Knights Templar by the Catholic Church. If he wants to wade knee-deep through blood he need look no further than Jacques de Molay.


Chac: Thank you for making that point. My sentiments exactly.


Anne: How did you like the part where the good Catholic missionaries came riding in to save the day ... like, 400 years early or something?


Chac: I tossed my ayahuasca.


Anne: I daresay.


Chac: Every bored god and goddess is wondering when Mel Gibson is going to descend on their praise and worship teams and make nasty movies about them. What a hypocrite! A certified wackadoo going 140 mph down Loony Lane without a map!


Anne: Chac, I think I like you exceedingly. Let me brew you a cup of ayahuasca. Can you stay for supper?


Chac: Sorry. This climate doesn't agree with me. My feet are cold.


Anne: Then by all means wing it back to the Yucatan. Drop by any time!



So there you have it. Straight from a bored god's mouth. But in case that isn't enough for you, here's the opinion of an expert.


FROM ANNE

THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Poetry from the Monkey Man

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," wild and weird, wonderful and wacky since 2005! Please have some holiday cookies before they get stale!

Today we are in receipt of a holiday card from the Monkey Man. My legions of regular readers will remember him. To you newcomers, well ... it's a long story.

Anyway, the Monkey Man is a poet. He lives in Camden, New Jersey. And here's the poem he hand-wrote into my card:

beside the lawn full
of lights and Jesus' birth,
the Happy Buddha Delivery Van.

I'm sending him a haiku in return. The Monkey Man is keen on haiku because of Nick Vergilio, who also lived in Camden.

Anyway, here's my feeble effort:

two dogs yelp at me
while I am cutting holly.
Rocky, please come home.

As I said, it's a long story.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Santa Claus Meets the Establishment Clause












Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dedicated to the self-evident truth that all human beings, past, present, and future, should be free to worship the way they choose. What makes one praise and worship team think they've got an exclusive ticket to Six Flags Great Adventure Heaven Park?

In honor of this holiday that certain people think should be theirs and theirs alone, we march out some bored gods and goddesses to wish you and yours a happy Establishment Clause!




































Constitution of the United States of America, Bill of Rights


Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


























Happy Holidays from "The Gods Are Bored!" Blessed be you, your family, and your freedom.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Alice Doesn't Buy Here Anymore


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" At 7:22 p.m. on December 21, the sun officially crossed the equator. So sorry to all my fabulous readers Down Under, but the bored gods of the Northern Hemisphere are just tugging at that big star that warms our world! Bless them for doing it.










When does $68 million seem like chump change?


I'll tell you: It's when you've got $18 billion or so, earned dollar by stinking dollar from enslaving the world. Hello, Alice Walton. If the shoe fits, my dear, you've gotta wear it. Did the shoe in question come from Wal-Mart? Oh, I didn't think so! Only poor people shop there. Come to think of it, only poor people work there, too.

Just a few short weeks ago, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital announced that it would sell its Philadelphia masterpiece oil painting, "The Gross Clinic," to Ms. Alice Walton for her new museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. "Jeff," as the hospital is locally known, gave the citizens of Philadelphia until December 26, 2006 to match the price. If all the Longshoremen and Carpenters and Teamsters out there -- and all the "Jeff" alumni, and all the art worshippers -- couldn't cobble together $68 mil, the painting was outta here, Adrian.








Philly has done it.








I was just driving home from a long day in the Ag shop at the Vocational Technical School, and I heard it on the radio. With pledges of all sizes, the citizens of Philadelphia (and presumably the art world) have acquired "The Gross Clinic" for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Yo, that's the big building with the "Gotta Fly Now" steps.


We at "The Gods Are Bored" say once again that we deplore a world in which a single painting costs $68 million -- a sum, one imagines, that could build maybe a dozen hospitals in Congo. But if people are going to pony up ridiculous bucks for oil slathered on canvas, it sure makes my day that THE LOSER IS......



Alice Walton.













Hey, Alice. Go have tea with the Mad Hatter and then buy some art that reflects the way you've earned your living. To whit:








Wow, a lot of pictures in this one! It feels like a holiday.








FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Give me that Old Time Religion


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" O come, all ye stressed church ladies. Lay down those lamb costumes and kiddie choir songs. Take thee to the woods, for what building made by the hands of humans can match the splendor of Mother Nature's creation?


I've just returned from my Druid Grove celebration of Yule. We always gather on the Sunday before the date of the holy day.


What a warm and wonderful invocation of peace and light we shared! We're getting to know each other and like each other, and some of us drive quite a distance to be there. Every time we have a ritual, we get two or three new people, and two or three people who came the time before don't return. Somehow we always have enough folks to take all the roles. Today I was Holly.


The ancient bored gods have jars of jam older than Christianity. Give me that old time religion ... it was good for the Stonehenge craftsmen, and it's good enough for me!


Looking at the distant winter sun, it is possible to believe that the light will return. Mourn the loss of this old year and accept a new dawn, whatever it brings. See the blazing Yule before us -- strike the harp and join the chorus.


Fa la la! We'll talk again on Friday! Please do drop by, I baked cookies.


FROM THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Friday, December 15, 2006

New Jersey and You - Perfectly Rainbow


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," broadcasting live from New Jersey, the Asphalt State. We get no respect here in Jersey. We give you Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen, you give us your toxic waste.


Forget the part about the toxic waste. Because New Jersey is really the Garden State, and if you're gay, we want you!


If you live in Mississippi or Kansas, or some other dreadful Red State, and you're blissfully in love with your same-gender partner, then pack up the old kit bag and move to New Jersey! We've got brand new civil union laws that will provide your loved one with peace of mind in his or her old age.


And hey. Once you get around these mammoth property taxes, you can get yourself a really nice little bungalow, fix it up, and get along great with your broad-minded neighbors!


Gay Americans, New Jersey wants you! We know how to judge character here. Heck, it's a lot easier than judging the commuting time from Clifton to Wall Street.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In Praise of Fairy Tales

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," flying under the radar since 2005! Come gather 'round Mama Annie for a funny little anecdote.

As my legions and legions of readers already know, I have had to accept a long-range substitute teaching assignment because of the rampant corporatization of the goat-judging business. Goat judging profits are now flowing into the hands of two or three billionaires, while the rank and file starve. So what's new? That makes me a modern American.

Anyway, when I took over the ag shop on Monday evening, the first thing I did was rip down all the autumn decorations that had probably been there since the first day of school. Tuesday morning I brought in the following:

1. A silk holly wreath.
2. A metal wreath that said "Merry Christmas" with angels on it.
3. Pictures of my kids and my dad (Duh).
4. A Brian Froud card with the Faerie Godmother depicted in stunning purple tones.

I was quickly intercepted in the school foyer and told that some of my decorations were "politically incorrect."

To whit: The "Merry Christmas" wreath!

The Faerie Godmother flew right into the shop and is now beaming at me from my temporary desk.

Needless to say I don't try to spread my religion in school. I'm a firm believer in the Establishment Clause. But my goddess gets to sit there because, hey. She's a fairy. And everyone loves fairies!

I'll bet this has been happening for two thousand years.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

They're Baaaaack! Praise the Bird!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your drive-thru dive with gods for you! Go ahead. Supersize 'em.


We've had a tense few weeks here in Wenonah, New Jersey, waiting to see if the Sacred Thunderbirds would indeed return to their winter roosting sites in the town limits.


Tonight it's confirmed. Both black and turkey vultures are flocking to Wenonah, finding the big old white pines and enjoying the view from the water tower. Oh happy day! When buzzards washed my blues away!


Here's the latest shot, hot off the press:


You too can embrace the Sacred Thunderbird, Golden Purifier! Come to the second annual East Coast Vulture Festival, and experience the inner joy only buzzard worship can bring.


You will not all weep, but you will be changed.


Our operators are standing by to take your call.
FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Volunteers Needed


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Tis the season to be stressed to the max by overwork! Take your troubles to the bored gods. They're partly responsible for this predicament.

There's a dirty little word out there that sounds all noble and high-minded but is really just a synonym for slave.

That word is volunteer.

Everyone from popes to presidents lauds the work of volunteers. But aye, that's the rub. Volunteers work. They work their babyfat off, and for what? The State of New Jersey has given me a coffee mug, two t-shirts, and a plastic lunchbox for my volunteer work at a local museum. (Oh, yeah, I forgot the annual Certificate of Appreciation and Volunteer Brunch that I never have time to attend because it's hell and gone in Hoboken.)

In order to earn those certificates, uneaten bagels, and trinkets, I've had to deal with a "Here's Johnny" museum director who loves his volunteers one minute and treats them like chattel the next. If you say, "I just bought a wreath for the front door," he says, "Great! But you know, it has to be absolutely authentic to 1777, or, well, oh, em, well, we just can't use it, but you know it's your call." And then he'll spend 30 minutes telling you about the nice little old lady who's too old to volunteer now, but who always got every last detail absolutely perfect.
Yeah. My cat box stinks, and I'm volunteering to work for this guy.

Never is the volunteer drudgery heaped on you more than at this joyous Holiday time. Call the holiday whatever you want, you're gonna be expected to bake 12 dozen cookies, plan two parties (one of them for loud, destructive, furniture-staining kids), and --- here's the hardest part --- keep your regular damned life moving along at its regular manic clip.

I'll be the first to admit that the award for selfless slavery volunteerism goes to church ladies. Set foot in any church and say hello, and the next thing you know you're up to the neck in volunteer quicksand, making 15 lamb hats and 27 shepherd costumes while baking those 12 dozen cookies and five casseroles for the congregational dinner. Then rushing off to choir practice. But oooops! You forgot the holiday acolyte run-through for Xmas Eve! Now you're in trouble.

I'm not a church lady anymore, but I'm still loaded to the plimsol line with volunteer duties, which weigh all the heavier now that I'm out of the goat pasture and into a 10-hour-a-day paid position.

Please don't tell me I can "Just Say No." How can you Just Say No when your 12-year-old wants to be president of the local chapter of Children of the American Revolution? Even if that means planning not one, but two big parties? Parties that will be attended by D.A.R. Poobahs who know how a finger sandwich ought to look. And taste. And be displayed on a platter.

Have you ever heard of a caterer who knows what a finger sandwich is? If they do, they know how to charge top dollar for the skimpiest of nourishments.

Now let's ratchet this rant up one more notch.

Volunteering reaches its peak of need at the darkest time of the year, when every sane person is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So now you're doing your job, keeping your house, watching your kids' faces fall when you tell them you can't take them to the Macy's Christmas Display downtown because you have to buy groceries, and you're rushing off for five hours of volunteering at the museum, because hey, it's Christmas, and that's the time for a extra festive Open House! And Oh Holy Night, you didn't notice your prescription for Quaaludes has run dry!!!!!!

NOTE TO READERS: ANNE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO POST AS OFTEN, SO HER POSTS WILL BE LONGER. STOP HERE AND COME BACK TOMORROW IF YOU'RE LATE FOR THAT VOLUNTEER JOB.

I know this post is meaner than my usual meanness. Because without volunteers, homeless people wouldn't have blankets and hot soup, scientists wouldn't have the money for breast cancer research, and every single community everywhere would be a bleaker, darker place. It's not pretty to conceive of a world run by Ebenezer Scrooges.

That's the trouble, though. The Scrooges are in the ascendant. They're expecting more work for less pay, and no pensions or health insurance. What does that mean to the future of volunteering?

Just this: No one will be able to retire with enough pulse, energy, and extra gas money to hand out blankets. The golden days of little old lady volunteers who got every detail right is over. This is the end, my friend.

Oh yes, there will always be legions of high schoolers trying to pad their college aps by tutoring and picking up litter. And there will always be church ladies. Yes, there will always be church ladies. Especially in churches where it's considered a sin for women to work outside the home. But overall, the level of volunteerism in America is dropping at about the same rate that the global temperature is rising. People just don't have the time.

Don't believe me? Attend a meeting at your local Masonic Lodge and find a man under the age of 65. The Masons helped found this nation and have rocked on with charity work ever since, but in 30 years they'll be gone. Gone.

The D.A.R. might last a bit longer, but it too will eventually sag into the sea. Who has time to spend four days in Washington every year, marching in formation with badges on shoulders and listening to national Treasurer's Reports? Who's available to attend that local luncheon on a Wednesday? Who wants to spend a weekend driving to the other end of the state for a convention?

Squeezed by Scrooge, new generations will volunteer no more. Don't believe me? Try picturing a Ladies' Auxilliary for the Veterans of the Iraq War. Trust me, these vets' wives will be working two jobs, and the vets will too. Until they drop dead, victims of illnesses they had no insurance to cover.

In summary:

1. If you have time to volunteer, you must have a nice pension.
2. If your volunteer assignment is worse than your job, cut bait.
3. If all your volunteer duties climax in this darkest of months, and are tied to your place of worship, think hard about your religious choices.
4. If you're that little old lady who knows how to get every last detail right, you'd better dive into the bunker. The world will be clamoring for you, and you've already proven you don't know how to say no.

Now you must excuse me. I'm late for my appointment with the speech therapist. She's going to teach me how to say "NO!"

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Puck, Grounded

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your headquarters for the harried, hurried, worried, and not-yet-buried!

By this time next week my husband may be out on strike. The owner of his plant wants to freeze the pension, thank you Ronald Reagan and Ken Lay!

But what's the rule here at "The Gods Are Bored?" Rose-colored glasses only! That way, when the sun goes super-nova, we won't even be able to tell!

Awhile back it became apparent that I'd have to give up freelance goat-judging and go into the workforce. So for the next 10 weeks I'll be a longterm substitute teacher in the Ag shop at the local Vo-Tech school. I've had four days to prepare for the profession that people earn doctorates in -- secondary education.

It's bad enough that this Ag shop is almost exclusively horticultural in emphasis. Heck, they don't even keep any cows on site! But what makes it worse is that the classroom has the worst infestation of faeries I've ever seen.

I've been "in service" with the teacher who's leaving for the last two days. I swear by all the fae that every time that teacher puts something down, it disappears. And have you seen the amount of paperwork teachers have to do? Computers only make it worse.

Before I can do anything else I'll have to tame those bad faeries. That means my own, Puck and Princess, are grounded here at home until matters come under control.

Exhibit A: Puck the Faerie











And that means I won't be able to find my slippers at night, for sure. But the grade book is more important than the slippers.

FROM ANNE
THE LAPSED GOAT JUDGE
"Puck," by Seitou, reprinted only with permission of "The Gods Are Bored," please!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Saved by the Buzzards


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Was it St. Paul who said, "In the midst of winter I find in myself an eternal summer?"

No? Mmmmmm. Yeah, does sound a bit like Tim Leary. Or Henry David Thoreau, maybe. I never can keep these people straight.

For those of you fearing that Annie might be brewing up some hemlock for herself, take heart! This news just in makes the hardest road walkable. Barefoot.

Drum roll please ...

Ladies and Gentlemen, with humility and religious zeal, I give you:

The East Coast Vulture Festival 2007.

Yes, you ... YOU ... can experience a night of unbridled buzzard worship, madcap mayhem, poetry, music, and great eats! Come and meet Anne, the High Priestess of Vulture Worship, and her many fellow priests and priestesses! Come dressed as your favorite carrion bird. It's okay. Really.

No matter what the world throws at me between now and March 3, 2007, I will not care. Just take me to the buzzard festival and all will be well with my soul!

Here's a shot from last year's event. The 2007 festival will be even better!















FROM ANNE
"Let the bald head set you free!" (from The Bible of Buzzard Worship, New Revised Edition with Concordance and Maps)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we light candles and curse the darkness.

It's 5:15 p.m. It's pitch dark. The nearly full moon shining in the window offers little encouragement.

I hate this time of year. Pardon my use of an expletive, but it sucks.

Call this holiday whatever you want. Christmas, fine. Yule, great. Kwanzaa, you go. Hanukkah, super duper. Solstice, rock on. JUST GET THE DAMNED THING DONE SO THE SUN COMES BACK!

Please.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELY SPRINGS

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Virgin Mary and Intelligent Design


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Have you ever wondered why all those deities that got steamrolled by this One God guy didn't take up picket signs and protest? Me too.

A reminder to my legions and legions of readers: My longterm substitute teacher assignment has been moved to a start date of December 6. I may therefore have less time to create these stunning essays every day. C'est la vie du goat judge unemployee. (Fill in the accents if you know where they belong.) Oh, my cloven-hooved wonders! How I will miss you!

Today we at "The Gods Are Bored" are fresh off a glowing review of the new movie based on the Christmas story in the New Testament. Now here's one that will rake in the dough. It's rated PG. You know all those good Christians will flock (pardon the pun) to see it.

The movie review reminded me of something I'd forgotten about this sweet tale. The Virgin Mary was a tot of 14 when she was chosen by the Holy Spirit to give birth to Jesus.

I'm not quibbling with this virgin birth stuff at all. Because I've read accounts of people being abducted by aliens and impregnated with half/alien/half/human babies. So of course it could be done.

What has me baffled is how this story contradicts Intelligent Design.

Giving birth is always a risky proposition. It is especially perilous to two age groups: women almost too old to have babies and young teenagers. I'm a goat judge, not a public health official, but I've seen the newspaper stories about the complications arising from pregnancies and deliveries in the youngest age demographic.

But budding teens do have healthy babies, even hardy babies that can spend their first days surrounded by pooping stable animals. (If this wasn't true there would be no Scotch Irish - and I can say that because I am Scotch Irish.)

My qibble is this: Why did an Intelligent Designer take a chance on a 14-year-old kid when there must have been, oh please, at least a few 21-year-old virgins in the neighborhood? Wouldn't it have been safer and more humane to go with a slightly sturdier female?

I should contact the Discovery Institute and see what their scientists say about this.

Now, this second little issue I have arises from the first chapter in the Gospel According to Matthew. The writing in question begins with a long, involved genealogy of Joseph, showing how he was related to the House of Father Abraham. But then the author, Matthew, says that Mary's baby was not fathered by Joseph! So why the tedious genealogy? Jesus would not have been eligible for the Sons of the American Revolution if he was only adopted by Joseph, or not blood kin to Joseph.

So, if you ask me, someone filled out a massive S.A.R. form for no good reason.

I guess maybe it's a good thing I won't be able to write so much in the future. I give myself a headache. Imagine what I do to you!

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS