Monday, April 30, 2007

May Day! May Day!



Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," snark in the park after dark, what a lark!

Ah, that little bit of word work could only come from one of my faeries. Hello there, Princess!

Princess: Hello, Annie. Working on your fanny?

Anne: Emmm... do you mean, sitting around writing a book about fossils, or getting fatter in the derriere?

Princess: Yes.

Anne: And it was you who "misplaced" my research material, right?

Princess: Left. I never say that "r" word that rhymes with fight and flight.

Anne: Princess, I watched a podcast on Yahoo a few days ago that said it's no good for little girls to dress up and play pretty princess. The announcer said that it amounts to a dread conspiracy by Disney to make all women air-heads.

Princess: And I presume you're not going to be winking or linking to that stinking bit of balderdash.

Anne: (to readers) Don't you just love the way faeries talk? (to Princess) Alas, I stink at the link. I think. Wink wink. You look pretty in pink.

Princess: To answer your question, I do believe you'll find more than a few fiery females who spent their tender years playing princess. Present company excepted.

Anne: Can I help it if I was the only girl with a bunch of boy cousins who would rather play Vietnam? Seriously, I just do not see a problem here, except within the concept that you need a prince to save the day. Guess I avoided that playing Vietnam.

Princess: Anne, I hate to relate this twist of fate, but your daughter The Spare played Princess Jasmine with such relish that you feared the pictures you took might have wound up on the Internet. And was it not you, you Annie girl, who took her to Ross over the weekend and lavished her with a gooey gown for yet another Bas Mitzvah?

Anne: Guilty as charged. But stay, coy fey! Oy vey! My daughter The Heir loved being a pretty princess too. Would you please explain the Les Claypool t-shirt and the fact that she hasn't touched a grain of makeup in two years?

Princess: (yawn) A hum drum conundrum. Everyone is an individual. And don't you think you have more influence over your kids than Disney does? I know for a fact that you're teaching The Spare how to cook and The Heir how to wallow in weirdness. They're not getting their ideas from Disney.

Anne: Iron Chef Cat Cora, more like it.
And the perennial Les Claypool. Coming to Philadelphia again! Calgon, take me away!

Princess: I don't have any Calgon. How about a dragon?

Anne: Princess, I have only a few more questions. First, are you going with me to the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm? (I linked that before, you can scroll down.)

Princess: Can I be frank? You are a lazy ass, Anne. Didn't even link Cat Cora. But yes, a thousand times yes, I wouldn't miss the Fairie Festival.

Anne: Do you have any ideas what we can say to those wacked Christians who stand by the fence and yell, "May Day! May Day! That's what pilots say when they're about to crash and burn ... which is what you sinful pagans are going to do!"

Princess: There at the fair lurk the jerks. But you should feel sorry for them, Anne. They don't know that as pilots go down to crash and burn, they're summoning the Gentry of Sidhe with our lovely rhyming holy day.

Anne: Why, Princess. I never thought of that. So, can you help me outline my fossil book?

Princess: Just go look in the mirror. You're getting to be a fossil yourself. The book can all be autobiographical.

Anne: That's what I get for asking help of a faerie. Okay, I'll play hardball. If you don't help me with fossils, Princess, I'll stay home from the fairie festival and separate out my winter clothes.

Princess: Sedimentation... trace fossils ... amber (ooo, I like amber!) ... Homo erectus (ooo, I like him too!)

BEANNACHD LEAT!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
"Princess," by Seitou, created especially for "The Gods Are Bored." View Seitou's other amazing faeries at the link in the sidebar.
Les Claypool at the Electric Factory, June 3, 2007. Maybe if I forget to buy tickets...

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beltaine 2007

Welcome to May that Maketh a man to love,
And girls in a ring, with those we're lovers of,
Make yourself lovely for love with roses in May!
Welcome the spring and wildwood banner gay!

This is not a picture of us at LlynnHydd Grove, but we had a rowdy good time at our Beltaine service. Our maypole rocked and did not roll (thanks to Jingle and Muin), and the ribbons, if lacking in length, were awesome in color (thanks to moi).

Are you feeling horny? Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? For the love of fruit flies, the pine trees in front of my house are having a pollen orgy. Why should people be any different? And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with!

Okay, shoot me. I love CSNY.

(We at "The Gods Are Bored" strongly endorse sensible family planning, so if you're gonna act on your impulses, be sensible!)

And then go and act on your impulses. The trees do.

Beannachd leat,
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Rick Santorum Should Have to Raise Kittens

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," mourning the death of four kittens tonight.

It has been our practice for more than four years to take kittens from the animal shelter who are too young to be adopted, raise them, and take them back for adoption.

Last year we fostered five litters, including one charmer named Casey Jones who came to us 10 days old. We didn't lose a single cat.

This year we have had seven kittens from three different litters. Only two have survived.

Last Saturday we picked up four kittens who were just at the weaning age. Their mother was at the shelter, but every time the cat lady put them in the cage with the mother, the mother tried to kill them.

When we first brought them home they seemed fine, but they sickened. If you've never seen a slowly dying kitten, you must be Rick Santorum. Today my daughter The Heir and I carted four skeletal sufferers to the animal hospital to be euthanized.

Better that their mother had handled them. Right to life, indeed. Rick Santorum isn't fit to kiss my daughter's footprint in the pig stye.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Most Important Person in the World!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we will talk about The Most Important Person in the World!

Ha ha. I'll bet you thought you were the most important person in the world! Forget it. Step aside. Please be advised that Most Important Person in the World has been filled. We are no longer accepting applications.

You know how sometimes there are blogs where the most important part is the Comments? That's how it's been here at "The Gods Are Bored" two days running.

Yesterday we heard from the Most Important Person in the World!

That would be my daughter, The Spare. I guess Club Penguin got old and no one was texting her cell.

First of all: Why do I call her "The Spare?"

Because once I heard some snarky British dude call the late Princess Diana's sons "The Heir and The Spare," adding that Diana had performed the only duty she needed to accomplish by giving birth to them.

So, when I commenced this blog, wishing to shield the identity of my daughters (who are not named Anne Johnson, alas!), I decided to call them The Heir and The Spare.

So, with no further ado, here is The Spare, The Most Important Person in the World!


That's her in front.

The Spare hates this picture, but since she's such a drop-dead beauty I don't like to use anything stronger for display here at "The Gods Are Bored." This picture was snapped last Labor Day at a huge union rally in Philly. Trust me, The Spare would never never never wear a baggy t-shirt to anything but a union rally! She is all about style, yo.

I like this snapshot because this is often the face she makes when I drag her to some weird thing like a union rally or a fairie festival. Then she has a blast, and the skeptical "what the f***?" look disappears.

Talk about a total package! The Heir is:

witty, pretty, quick with a quip, dramatic, tempestuous, a trend-setter, a go-getter, and exactly the person you want at your right elbow when your health slips a tad.

She can cook a whole dinner. She can take the lead in a play and run with it.

She hates George Bush. She loves shopping. (She just told me that. She might as well have said she loves Arctic exploration, because her chances of doing that are as good as her chances of shopping.)

Because of The Spare, this family knows the Monkey Man.

Because of The Spare, this family has two cats.

Because of The Spare, 125 disabled veterans of World War II have new bedroom slippers.

Because of The Spare, two grandpas had reason to smile in their old age.

Because of The Spare, Iron Chef Cat Cora had better run, cuz she can't hide.

So, The Spare is a lot more than just an extra kid. She is The Most Important Person in the World, and I would never let her go fight in Iraq with that OTHER Spare.


I love her a whole lot more than that.


FROM ANNE

PROUD MOTHER, THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dueling Banjos in Pentagrams

It is time to say
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"
Pantheons R Us!

Okay, tomorrow night is haiku at Pizza and Poetry. I've gotta practice. As you can see from the above, I've really got to practice.

I wrote this one yesterday before checking my comments section:

My people floated.
They were apples on the flood.
I bob in their wake.

(If I have the syllables wrong, would someone set me straight? I don't want to make a putz of myself in front of a bunch of poets.)

The reason I mention my comments section is because therein I have heard from a writer and scholar who has been very influential in my intellectual development.

Oh, for the love of fruit flies! That's sounds so pretentious I'm about to gag.

I heard from a writer. I like his book so much I keep it on my night stand. It's been there at least five years and is so slathered in highlighter the pages glow in the dark.

The writer is Rodger Cunningham, and his book is Apples on the Flood: The Southern Mountain Experience. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987.

Gosh, I looked that date up on the copyright page! Now celebrating its 20th year!

Apples on the Flood is about several things. It is a deep book. It's about the origins of the Scotch-Irish people who settled the southern Appalachians. It's about how those people have been perceived by the wider American community, and how that perception by outsiders has influenced the culture within the mountains.

And more stuff like that. Don't dive in if you don't know how to swim. As I say, it's deep.

The final chapter is called "The Region of Merlin." Yep, you won't see a John Grisham novel at my bedside!

About 300 years ago, Professor Cunningham and I shared some correspondence about his book, because I glean from his thesis some similarities between Appalachians and Pagans. Both groups labor under misperceptions by so-called "civilized society" that are better explained by the behavior of members of the "civilized society."

Okay, it's complicated. And my brain can't wrap around things like it used to. So I'll just say this for now:

Behind Door Number One you've got a dirty, toothless hillbilly, living in a shack and married to his cousin, father to a bunch of murderous halfwits. Don't believe me? Read Deliverance.

Behind Door Number Two you've got a black-hooded, sinister, tattooed Pagan, slaughtering kittens in pentagrams and worshipping Satan in rooms with the walls painted black, where he also dabbles in black magic and drugs. Don't believe me? Listen to Focus on the Family.

I believe I discussed this with Professor Cunningham. (Hey, it was a long time ago ... at the time I had a pet T. Rex named Bongo.) He was interested in the connection I'd made with what's left of my fried brain.

And now, with his permission, I'd like to tune up my banjo and riff on how we Pagans need to understand the apple on the flood dynamic and apply it to save our lives and our religions.

He can email me through my profile. And so can you, if you want to. Our operators are standing by to take your call.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Film Review -- Jesus Camp

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where every day is a new day! Hooray!

Before we get started, here are some upcoming dates you'll want to throw on your calendar. Meet and greet Anne, have a great time, go home feeling good about the world!



Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.
Pizza and Poetry Night: Haiku
Location: Slice of New York Pizza, 3rd St. between Market and Cooper, Camden, NJ. BYOB



Sunday, April 29, 12:00 noon
LlynHydd Grove Beltaine Ritual
Picnic Area 14, Ridley Creek State Park, Gradysville, PA.
No B allowed!



Friday-Sunday, May 4-6, all day
Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm, Glen Rock, PA. Admission: $10.00
Includes: Costumed faeries and Green Men, full Beltaine ritual with Celtic music, drum circles, Scottish and Celtic performers, art and crafts by selected artisans.


For those of you living in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area, this is definitely worth the drive. You know who you are.


Saturday, May 12, 12:00 noon
Maypole Celebration at Woodstock Trading Company, NJ Route 70 West between Greentree and Springdale Roads.
Includes: live music, best Maypole on the east coast, lots of fun getting the ribbons untangled, lots of fun watching people drive by and stare. When this pole is rocking on, it is a gorgeous sight!



Wow! We at "The Gods Are Bored" are gonna be busy little beavers!



Today's topic: the independent documentary film Jesus Camp.



Jesus Camp is a well-directed 90-minute documentary about children who are being inculcated with extreme pseudo-Christian beliefs.



I say pseudo-Christian because the agenda of the adults influencing the children has very little to do with Christian theology and a whole heck of a lot to do with politics. The children (youngest seem to be around 5, oldest are tweens) are encouraged to get off their butts and spread Christianity, to be political activists, and to see that their sort of Christian is voted into office -- and put onto judicial benches.



Lest we think this is a bunch of fringe fundie wackadoos, the directors lace the film with radio coverage of Samuel Alito's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. And we've already seen where that's leading. Right, my lieblings?



The most bizarre aspect of this documentary is that the adult leadership of Jesus Camp allowed the directors to film their activities. What I saw amounted to child abuse -- kids weeping over their sins, throwing themselves on the floor, promising to fight for Jesus, even doing martial dances to aggressive music. The resemblance to the footage from Jonestown is staggering. If the adults had passed out cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, the kids would have downed it.



To the adult leadership of Jesus Camp, the hero is Fearless Godly George W. Bush. The villain (aside from poor old misunderstood Mr. Applegate) is the public school system. And liberals, of course, although the kids are too young to understand political nuance yet.



But this generation of youngsters is going to change all that. The adults tell them that they are the ones who will "take back the Christian nation of America for Jesus Christ."



(That sound you just heard was Thomas Jefferson turning in his grave.)



Intentionally, the directors offer vistas of the wide, dreary American heartland, with its soulless highways, dull little towns surrounded by shopping centers, and cardboard suburbs. It's easy to see how anything with a pulse would be attractive to kids stuck in such surroundings. Political Jesus fits the bill.



But have heart, readers! We at "The Gods Are Bored" hate scary movies. Jesus Camp was shaping up to be a real challenge to the ol' blood pressure until near the end, when Pastor Ted Haggard makes a cameo appearance preaching about (I swear on my mama's grave) homosexuality.



Mr. Johnson and I were watching the CD together, and we both roared with laughter. We had to rewind the doggone thing to hear what we missed while rolling on the floor.



There was one other patch of blue in this otherwise chilling glimpse at the Brave New World.



Although the directors made great efforts to mask it, Jesus Camp was not particularly well-attended. In the panoramic scenes of the chapel, swaths of vacant seats could be seen.



We at "The Gods Are Bored" pray that these seats may never be filled. If they are, when today's youngsters grow up, they're going to find not only a tropical America baking in a greenhouse oven, but also a theocracy that will borrow liberally from George Orwell's 1984.



Annie Sez: You can make your kids matter, too. Take them to the Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm! Talk to them about the Constitution. And for the love of fruit flies, send them to public school!





FROM ANNE
THE FILM CRITIC OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Rantidote

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where today we pause briefly to be serious.
Don't worry. It's a passing thing.

Today I was substitute teaching in an English class for high school juniors. The textbook was on the teacher's desk. It was American literature.

During my prep period, I thumbed through the Table of Contents. And what to my wondering eyes did appear...

Song Concerning a Dream of the Thunderbirds
Origin: Teton Sioux

Friends, behold!

Sacred I have been made.

Friends, behold!

In a sacred manner

I have been influenced

At the gathering of the clouds.

Sacred I have been made.

Friends, behold!

Sacred I have been made.


FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Anne Rants Till She Pants

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Please buckle your seatbelt. We're about to go 90 miles an hour down a dead-end road. It's National Rant Till You Pant day here at "TGAB."

Today I cancelled my newspaper subscription. I have subscribed to a daily newspaper all my life. (Actually it was my mom who subscribed to the Washington Post. She delighted in Woodward & Bernstein.)

Here's why I let the Philadelphia Inquirer go.

On the front page of the "Comments" section, the paper ran an editorial by Rick Santorum called "A Small Victory for Civilization." In this little essay, ex (by a big margin)-Senator Santorum does the following:

1. Praises himself for a passionate speech he made against abortion while senator, noting that a baby started crying somewhere in the chamber just as he described the poor unborns as crying out for help. (Yeah, like fundie Mom didn't pinch the poor tot.)

2. Disses the Democrats and Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg for wanting women to be able to have abortions for health reasons not related to mortality of the mother.

3. Says that humans are treated less humanely than puppies.

I quote: "Can you imagine [Democrats'] response if we were talking about banning the euthanizing of puppies by stabbing them with scissors at the base of their skulls and suctioning their brains out? Which one of them would dare oppose such a thing?"

Well, ex-Senator Moron, I know you're a busy man. I also know you have strange attraction to canines. But you have no idea, NO BLOODY (right term, trust me) idea, what goes on in animal shelters. Kittens and puppies are aborted every damned day, whether they're ready to rock on or not. Usually they're viable, or the pregnancy doesn't show.

Being a right-to-lifer through and through, I personally would love to see a nation overrun with unwanted pit bull mixes, pissing their time away in small chain-link cages. Pretty soon just about every citizen would have to build a cage or two in their backyard just to house the puppies that have a right to life.

I'm not violating copyright law by quoting the Master Moron's final paragraph:

"Eleven years ago, a lone baby's cry resonated through the Senate. Today, for the first time in 35 years, the cries of thousands of unborn children were heard by the Supreme Court. Let us hope it is not the last time."

(The sound you hear in the background is buzzards vomiting.)

But that editorial would not be enough for me to cancel a 20-year subscription to a daily. Rick has the right to his opinion, loathsome and poorly-supported as it is.

I turned the page.

Here we have the Philadelphia Inquirer's newest columnist, Michael Smerconish. If you have a hankering to meet and greet this moron, he'll be Imus's replacement tomorrow. (Speaks volumes, doesn't it?)

The title of Smerconish's op-ed is "Society Fails Because Families Do: A Study Shows that Homes Without Both Parents Have a Higher Chance of Being Involved in Violence."

Michael Smerconish backs up his piece with plenty of web sites and statistics, which may be all well and good, if you know your sociology, which I don't.

Readers, what's wrong with the picture in this newspaper today?

p. 4 Rick Santorum: Let's birth all those unwanted children.

p. 5 Michael Smerconish: Single-parent families are the root of all evil.

Who edited this newspaper today? Someone with a split personality?

About this time last year, the Philadelphia newspapers were bought by a Roman Catholic Republican who promised that, as publisher, he would not influence the editorial decisions.

He has. Big time.

Now here's the Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.....

Limbaugh et.al. have so poisoned the Republican Right against daily newspapers that no one of that political stripe reads them anymore.

When my liberal (and lovable) husband called to cancel the Inquirer this morning, he was put on hold "due to an unusually large volume of calls." He finally got through. Job well done.

Wishing the new publisher/thought policeman of the Philadelphia Inquirer much luck attracting an all new demographic to his product (the same folks who voted overwhelmingly to oust Santorum), I remain,

ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Who Me, Think?


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"

I think, therefore I'm damned.
I'm pink, therefore I'm Spam.

No matter how you put it, thinking is tough. It taxes the brain.

Take last night, for intance. I was trying to think of a witty pun for "a mind is a terrible thing to waste." Whoa. I put my best faeries on that one! Here's the feeble effort:

(drum roll)

"A blind is a wearable thing in haste."

All this is my way of humbly thanking Rosie, my sister in goathood, for nominating me for a "Thinking Blogger" award.

I am, in turn, supposed to choose five favorite blogs that make me think. Ah, but here's the rub. All the blogs I read make me think. In fact, everything I read makes me think. Even road signs. (Especially road signs.)

I've been known to become consumed by the charts eye doctors use to measure your vision. Imagine how I feel about the fascinating writers in my sidebar!

And, sorry to say, as good as they all are, when I'm in the mood to bend my brain to the max, I click straight to the Turkey Vulture Society (also in sidebar). This not only feeds the neurons, it inflames the passions.

On the other hand, can't resist the cheesiest meme. So, here are five (not the only five) blogs that make me think.

1. Wandering Hillbilly.
2. Hecate.
3. Jesus' General. (Okay, that one makes me laugh.)
4. The Wild Hunt.
5. See, I couldn't even get to five! How do I insult the Wombat, or Tennessee Jed, two hard-working, thoughtful guys on opposite ends of the globe?
As you know, one thing I don't think about is how computers work. So, if your name is on the above list, you might want to link to Rosie to find out how to claim your prize. (I hear it's a can of Spam.)

That's it for me. Disengage brain. Store at room temperature.

FROM ANNE
THE EINSTEIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wanted: One Good Satan

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we ... emm, excuse me.

(sniff sniff)

The cats are running for the crawlspace, and the sulfurous odors are multiplying by the second. That can only mean one thing...


Oh, yes. Here he is, my old ancestor Satan. Looking quite the picture in his evening attire.

Satan: Please call me "Mr. Applegate," Anne. You know I hate all those devil names.

Anne: And I hate you. So there! How about if I call you Stinky? It's more precise.

Applegate: Go ahead. Hurt my feelings. Where's your compassion? How would you like to have my job?



Anne: Not much, Stinky. (For my newer readers out there, I'd like to note that I allow Satan to vent on my blog because I'm not afraid of him. I've got my afterlife booked with a different carrier.)


Applegate: I heard that. Actually I applaud it. The waiting lines in the One God terminal get longer every day.


Anne: Actually, Stinky, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.


Applegate: Fire away ... pardon the pun.


Anne: I just read an article by Los Angeles Times writer Geoff Boucher about an entrepreneur who is planning to issue an audio performance of the entire Revised King James Bible on CDs. That's 70 in all.


Applegate: That's correct. It's called "The Word of Promise," and the first 20 CDs, New Testament, will be out in October ... hopefully.


Anne: It's that "hopefully" part that intrigues me, Stinky. Apparently the director, Carl Amari, has cast all the characters in the NT except you. He's got Jim Caviezel doing Jesus (talk about a typecast you'd want to avoid), Luke Perry as Judas, and Marisa Tomei as Mary Magdalene. But no one wants to be the devil.


Applegate: Even though I've got the best lines.


Anne: I had nothing better to do today than think this over, and I came up with some actors who might fit the bill. I've never quite been able to shake Alec Baldwin's performance in Glengarry Glen Ross. What do you think of Alec Baldwin?


Applegate: I saw that movie too! Yikes! Chilling.


Anne: Aren't you going to help me here? Steve Tyler came to mind until I saw the YouTube posted at Jesus' General.


Applegate: That's worse than chilling. I'd call that performance "The Taming of the Shrill." Please, no Steve Tyler. Dream on.


Anne: Why should it be up to me? You're Satan. You must have some idea who sounds the most like you.


Applegate: Sarah Vaughan.


Anne: Yeah, right. Right. I can believe that. Okay, I'm ready to buy the Brooklyn Bridge now.


Applegate: No, I'm serious. See, you earthlings don't know about me. In my prior post, on a beautiful little planet in the Crab Nebula, I was the god of singing for a perfectly adorable praise and worship team. Oh, the music we made! (wipes tears)


Anne: Some of my more recent readers won't know the backstory. Fill them in.


Applegate: Meteor the size of Pluto smashed into the planet. My pantheon had to tighten its belt since it wasn't getting any new angels into its afterlife. I was let go.


Anne: So you can sing like Sarah Vaughan. Prove it.


Applegate: "Whatever Lola wants ... Lola gets ... and little man, Lola wants you..."


Anne: By damn, you weren't kidding! You sound just like The Divine One!


Applegate: Duhhhhh. I am divine!


Anne: I don't think they'll find any musical divas of that high quality willing to be Satan on a 20-CD rendering of the New Testament. But maybe that Sanjay guy is available.


Applegate: That's it. I'm leaving. I'm not standing around here to be insulted anymore!


Anne: Said it before, say it again. Don't let the door bump your tail as you go. And stay away from my sofa!


FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS


PS - No one will believe me, but I wrote this entry before hearing the Baldwin rant on Countdown with Keith Friday night.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rights, Right, and The Right

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we weigh the human race in the balance and find it wanting!

We at "The Gods Are Bored" do not believe in abortion. Said it before, say it again.

However, we at "The Gods Are Bored" are not Supreme Court justices. Or the government. We only answer to ourselves and our gods and goddesses. Isn't that how it should be? Like, do you really want me to come into your house and re-upholster your furniture to suit my tastes?

Okay, I'll get serious for a minute. Do you (and that includes you men out there), do you want the government to tell you what you can and can't do within the boundaries of your skin? I don't think so.

Overturn Roe v. Wade, and you stomp on the rights of 50 percent of the population. You also create a public health crisis.

It's Murphy's Law at work when the worst president in the history of America gets not one, but two vacancies on the Supreme Court while he's blundering through his two terms. (Will these eight years never end?)

On we go. Keep turning right.

Let's take a peek at the people who have connived to load the Supreme Court with justices who want the government to control all ovaries. Ack, phooey. Let's not, okay? The Soviet Union was full of people like that, and look what happened to it.

But it seems to us here at "The Gods Are Bored" that if you're going to call yourselves "Right to Life," then you ought to be protesting in front of gun shops as well as abortion clinics. Guns kill people. They kill children, for the love of fruit flies! Where's the moral outrage amongst the Christian Right about that?

Thirty-two students gunned down on a college campus, and not one politician or Christian Right minister has called for a halt to the sale of automatic weapons. Okay, I'll compromise. A halt to the sale of automatic weapons to people who can intimidate the likes of Nikki Giovanni. She ain't easily shook, friends.



EXHIBIT A: Poet Nikki Giovanni threatened to resign from Virginia Tech unless The future murderer was removed from her class

















"Right to Life," indeed. They ought to call themselves Right to Selectively Choose Some Lives While Letting Others Crash and Burn.

I guess that wouldn't fit on a sign.

Restrictions on personal health care issues ain't right.

Am I right?

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN ETC.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why Do the So-Called Experts Want Us To Be Passive in the Face of Danger?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we welcome deep questions from our commenters!

Wow. Should we be passive in the face of danger? Would you feel better walking around if you had the trusty Glock tucked inside your jacket? Or that black belt in karate?

Given the choice of the two, I'd take the black belt. But then again. One of my high school classmates is buried in the cold, cold ground. And another is doing life in the pen. Why? She pulled a black belt move on him. He yanked out the handgun and shot her at point blank range.

Perhaps the better rhetorical question would be, "Would you feel more comfortable if you knew two out of every three people were carrying concealed handguns?"

If you are more comfortable owning a gun, you have a bleak view of your species. As perhaps you should. But you'd better be sure the person you're shooting really deserves it, and the cops aren't confused by the action, and your gun works, and you don't misfire and hit some kid playing on a curb.

The majority of violence is domestic. If my diagnosed psychotic mother had owned a gun, she would have killed me, my father, and my sister during one of her manic episodes. Or, conversely, I would have killed her. And then I'd have been stuck at the age of 16 trying to prove self-defense, and living with the guilt of popping my mama.

Take it from someone who lived in Baltimore four years, Detroit four years, and the environs of Camden, New Jersey for 20 years. It is possible to avert danger by taking a middle ground between passive and aggressive. Once I was being followed at night in Baltimore. I started singing at the top of my lungs, bluegrass songs. I don't know if that is passive or aggressive, but my pursuer cut off the chase.

Here at "The Gods Are Bored," we don't like "either-or." And we stand by yesterday's premise that doling out Glocks pell-mell will not cut down on gun violence.

If you disagree, rock on! Or should we say, Glock on?

FROM ANNE
THE GUN-SHY MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flawless Logic of the Moron Mind

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Think of us as the Route 66 of sanity. Next sanity stop, 90 miles! Better get some sanity before you take on that desert full of morons.

The U.S. Constitution is spelled flawlessly. Or is it? We at "The Gods Are Bored" think our Founding Fathers might have meant to write that citizens should have "the right to bare arms." Because, as you know, in colonial times a woman who bared her arm above the elbow was considered a tramp. Maybe James Madison thought that was unneccesarily rough on young ladies.

But it got written in as the "right to bear arms," and it's stuck there ever since, being interpreted to mean that citizens should be allowed to tote guns around.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" endorse the U.S. Constitution. We look at it kind of like a family. If you accept the uncles you like, you're gonna have to accept the stinky, nasty uncle who gets drunk on Thanksgiving and insults your mama.

So we at "The Gods Are Bored" shake our heads in dismay and say, "yeah, the right to bear arms. It's there."

However, we fall far short of the morons of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a group lobbying to dismantle Virginia's already notoriously lenient gun laws. The leader of this group, Phillip Van Cleave, was quoted in my morning newspaper, saying that the fatalities at Virginia Tech might have been severely curtailed if more students were carrying concealed weapons.

"Imagine what would happen if the gunman was lining people up and somebody had pulled out a gun and shot him in the head -- this would have been over," Van Cleave said.

Now, folks, this is what we at "The Gods Are Bored" call flawless moron logic. Guns kill people, so let's give out more guns so that less people will get killed.

The journalist H.L. Mencken once said that democracy will never work because it allows stupid people to vote. One thinks of Phillip Van Cleave pulling a lever behind a curtain, and the promise of democracy suddenly fades to black.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Click It or Ticket


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where your pantheon is our pantheon! We believe in the big, broad, flexible outlook in all matters except upholstery maintenance.

Yesterday we at "The Gods Are Bored" got all snarky about New Jersey's governor. He got busted up big time in an auto accident because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt.

We urge all of our readers to take that little strap of high-density fibers and wrap it around you snugly when you climb into your car or truck or (snort) SUV. Click it or ticket. And, while you're at it, treat that seat belt like upholstery. Yours had better be pristine when I hop into your passenger seat, or I won't go bowl duckpins with you, no sirree.

What happens if you aren't wearing your seatbelt when, say, the bloke in front of you brakes for a deer? You might wind up with 11 broken ribs, a severely shattered tibia, a broken collarbone, a broken sternum, a fractured vertebra, and contusions. That's the partial list for Governor Corzine.

Wear the doggone seatbelt, for the love of fruit flies!

At the same time, we at "The Gods Are Bored" should not have been snarky about Gov. C. He is in very bad shape. He'll live, but it's gonna be a long, nasty recovery with quantities of pain that many of us are fortunate to avoid. So we at "The Gods Are Bored" apologize for our nasty remarks.

I think it was Newton's First Law, or some other silly myth from the past, that says "a body in motion stays in motion." Ergo, if you're in a car going 60 m.p.h., and the car stops suddenly, you the passenger are gonna keep rockin' on at 60 m.p.h. until you collide with something that's not in motion.

Ouch.

Of course, that's only if you believe the silly old myth that a body in motion stays in motion. Heck, that's only a scientific theory. Not a fact. If you want facts you'd better rip that Bible off the shelf and see what it says about wearing seatbelts in your traveling machine with an internal combustion engine.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Thanx to Rosie at Smokey Mountain Breakdown for the picture of Bridey the Goat.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Step It Up

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," wallowing in post-party bliss! Another year, another teenaged birthday party come and gone!

If you don't have kids, you just cannot imagine how great it feels when the last noisy party guest disappears into the night with a polite "thanks for having me." And I must say that my 13-year-old has very nice friends. Eighteen kids in the house for two-and-a-half hours, and not one stain on the furniture.

Maybe I should write a book on parenting.

Yesterday, while I was bustling around doing party prep, people with more sanity were demonstrating to get politicians moving on the issue of global climate change.

There was no use to demonstrate in New Jersey, because our governor broke every one of his ribs and his leg in an auto accident. He wasn't wearing his seat belt. Just goes to prove that some morons are able to make a lot of money. We already knew that morons get into high office.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" take global climate change very seriously. We're disturbed that one species can overwhelm a great big planet. We're skeptical that the U.S. government will do anything about it. Hey, these are the same guys and gals who are spending our Social Security contributions as fast as they pour in. The U.S. government doesn't believe in tomorrow, let alone global warming.

So what are we here at "The Gods Are Bored" doing to help lower Gaia's fever?

*We give our electric company an extra $7 per month to buy land for windmills. Our guess is that the electric company is using the money as an added bonus to its CEO. But we can dream.

*We've replaced our incandescent light bulbs with those new, spiral, glowy thingys. The new bulbs cost a lot, but if you figure they last longer, it turns out they actually save money. And electricity. It's cool the way they turn on too. You flick the switch, and there's a split second before they light up -- just like your classroom in Middle School!

*We've started using the local laundromat and discovered that it is a religious temple in disguise. More about that in a later post.

*Here's the biggie:
You've heard the phrase, "Great oaks from tiny acorns grow," right? Did you know that spindly, leafy oaks the size of shrubbery from tiny acorns grow too?

Let me put that another way. We at "The Gods Are Bored," recognizing the sacred nature of oaks, have decided not to kill any oak that plants itself on our property. This would be a problem with the neighbors if we didn't go around at the end of the growing season and cut all the little saplings back to ground level. Next year, the oaks sprout again. It's almost like a bonsai principle. You can actually create shrubbery from oak trees.

Okay, so the Garden Club is gonna drive by and hoot in disgust at your odd little plot of land, but hey. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, even if they're iddy biddy.

In conclusion, we advocate allowing growth of oak trees on suburban properties in lieu of shrubbery.

This will not work if your next-door neighbors are the Knights Who Say "Ni."

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Worst Day of the Year

EXHIBIT A: NOR'EASTER ON THE WAY

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on this, the worst day of the year!

What? You think nothing could best Friday the 13th?

Ha ha ha! You don't have a 13-year-old daughter, celebrating her birthday with 30 of her closest friends in your living room!

Is there a bored god of total mayhem? Ah, yes. Bacchus. Let's give a warm, "The Gods Are Bored" welcome to Bacchus, god of rowdy parties!

What am I thinking! The Spare is only 13!

Bacchus, be on your way. I've got to get back downstairs.

Reader, next time you're feeling sorry for yourself, think of this: My daughter The Spare was born on APRIL 15!

I thought of naming her Iris. Get it?

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF MAYHEM

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shared by All Pantheons

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where questions outnumber answers by a score of 12 to 1! This is our second anniversary week, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, drop by for a spell. Decibel the parrot and his faerie friends will entertain you while Anne whips up a casserole.

Today's topic is death, so if you'd rather not think about it, better toddle off to the dry cleaner's and pick up those silks.

One year ago, my feisty Aunty Mim died after a short illness. She was 94. Her last words were, "I'm ready."

On the anniversary of Aunty Mim's death, a classmate of my daughter The Heir got into a high-speed police chase, ditched his dad's Lexus atop Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and leaped 150 feet into the 40-degree water of the Delaware River. He was 17. (If you want to, you can read about it here.)

Today Philadelphia posted its 110th homicide victim for 2007. You can read about that here.

There are civil wars and tsunamis, automobile crashes and cancers, unfortunate accidents and carefully orchestrated suicides. Boats sink, planes crash, babies stop breathing in their cribs. The climate changes, volcanoes erupt, asteroids the size of Texas slam into the planet. Some day the sun will Supernova.

Which brings us to today's "Gods Are Bored" guest, Death. If you're tempted to accord Death a warm "TGAB" welcome, examine your priorities and your praise and worship team before you leap to extremes.

Anne: There's only one way to greet you, Death. Cue Ralph Stanley: "Oh, Death, won't you spare me over for another year?"

Death: No promises for anyone, except that they meet me someday.

Anne: Okay, let me get out my engagement book for 2078...

Death: You're in my engagement book already. I set the terms, not you.

Anne (to audience): Don't you just love this guy? (to Death) Emmmm. Mr. Reaper, Sir. You are the great unifier. No religion can ignore you. In some you're considered a god (or a goddess). In others you're an angel. But you're always around. No one even questions your science. You're in the fossil record, abundantly.

Death: Ubiquitous is the word. I'm ubiquitous.

Anne: Nice word. Beats hell out of what I was gonna say, which was "troublesome."

Death: Watch what you say about me. It reveals how much faith you have in what is beyond me.

Anne: So there's definitely something beyond you?

Death: It is not my place to say.

Anne: What I wonder, being a troublesome Druid at heart, is whether or not the experiences beyond you are as level as the experiences of you, or whether our place in the cosmos is dictated by our beliefs while alive.

Death: It is not my place to say.

Anne: Gosh, you're not doing one damned thing to enliven this interview! (Duuuh.) Okay, tell me this. Why do you allow some people, like my dear Aunty Mim, to expire peacefully of old age, while you coax others, like The Heir's friend, to leap off bridges before their lives are barely underway? Okay, and what's the deal with suicide bombers?

Death: You ask too many questions.

Anne: Whoa. Sorry! Sorry! Oh, look out there! Isn't that a lovely dreary day! Maybe you ought to be going now ... all alone, unaccompanied, if you know what I mean ...

Death: I will answer your questions. First, Aunt Mim. I am a fact. She met me in her time. Second, your daughter's friend. I am an accident waiting to happen. He forgot that for a sum total of ten seconds. Third, suicide bombers. They are motivated by their religion, not by me.

Anne: Well, now, that's all cleared up! What a relief! Bon voyage, Death, it's been nice, but I've got some laundry to fold ... you know how it is ...

Death: Why are you so jittery, Anne?

Anne: PMS. Seriously. Seriously. Actually, I think it's a sign of good mental and physical health when one fears the Reaper. It's great to feel needed, to try to do some good, no matter how small the gesture. Also, when one has children, or nieces and nephews, or even little neighbor kids who hang around, one sees how important your role is in the ongoing saga of the cosmos. But you know what really turned me around in my feelings about you?

Death: Do share.

Anne: It was the Tarot. I don't do readings myself, but I've learned a little bit about Tarot. Turns out that pulling your card doesn't mean "nighty night." It means change, alteration, an obliteration of the old way of seeing and doing things in favor of a new outlook. In that respect, I faced you in 2004 when the gods and goddesses of my ancestors called me to follow their path rather than the path I'd always trod. These days I'm more hopeful that some awesome alteration awaits right around the bend from your lair. Perhaps The Heir's classmate is already there, saying, "Whoa! Look at this!"

Death: I really cannot say.

Anne: You can't say? Is that because you don't know, or you won't share?

Death: I don't know.

Anne: And you'll never find out, either, right? Otherwise you'd already know.

Death: Correct.

Anne: Then I'd rather be me than you, thanks just the same.

Death: I must be going.

Anne: By all means! Please don't take my cat Alpha with you. She's on Life #8, but she just started it, I swear.

Death: I'll take no one from this neighborhood today.

Anne: Thanks. We've already suffered a whopper of a hit this week. And will you go easy on the Iraqi people and our troops too?

Death: That's not my call. I suggest you speak to your president about that.

Anne: Speak to George Bush? I'd rather die. OH NO! JK JK JK JK JK!!!!!!!

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We're at AG Today

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," celebrating our second anniversary! We're dedicated to saving a patch of Appalachia from boneheaded development, so today we posted at our sister site, Appalachian Greens.

Come see us tomorrow, and bring your bored god!

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus Be a Moron


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your Bonfire of the Hannitys! We're celebrating our second anniversary this week, mindful of our motto: "so many morons, so little time."

For most of my life I've wondered how they test the IQ of radio announcers -- especially talk jocks. The only thing I can think is that they ask all villages to send their idiots and then do an "American Idol"- type audition. After that, the moronic cream rises to the top, and you get Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Howard Stern, and Imus.

I've never rooted for a basketball team since my high school won the state championship in 1574. But I must do a bit of coaching here for the Lady Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University.

Ladies: Don Imus (be a moron) called you "nappy-headed hos." Oh gosh, now he has to take a two-week vacation and admit he's a moron ... sometimes.

Ladies, start your litigation.

Unless Mr. Imus (be a moron) can prove that each and every one of you has offered sexual intercourse in return for a cash payment, he has defamed your character(s). That's a litigious offense.

Ka-chiiiiiing! Is anyone else hearing a slot machine empty its innards in a big way?

Okay, some of my ten readers are saying, "Oh no, no one ever gets payouts on moron-speak." Yes, intelligent colleagues, there are occasional moments of justice for the "nappy-headed" amongst us.

My sister-in-law is mixed race. She attended a private school on a scholarship, where she befriended other mixed-race students. One day their school had a holiday while the public schools were still in session. Sis-in-law and her friends went to the mall. They were in the food court. A security guard came and told them to leave. He said the mall wasn't open for teenagers at that hour of the day.

What the security guard didn't say, but which was obvious to a bunch of savvy private school students, was that everyone else there was white and they weren't.

One of the students went home and told her dad. Her dad the attorney.

Ka-chiiiiiing!

My sis-in-law walked away with a year's worth of college tuition. That was her share of the settlement in the case of Mixed-Race Students v. Lilywhite Mall, Inc.

So I hope you bright young ladies of Rutgers are weighing your options, because it seems to me that CBS and MSNBC probably have more dough amongst 'em than, say, Lilywhite Mall. Just a hunch.

Anyone called me a ho over the airwaves, that's just what I'd do. Sue him from his faux cowboy boots all the way up to his phony cowboy hat. Then I'd call his village and tell them their idiot was on his way home, parcel post.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

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Monday, April 09, 2007

It's All About Meme!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your oasis of mild lucidity in an insane world! I'm your host, Anne Johnson (that's my real name), and this week we're celebrating the 2nd anniversary of this site!

Rosie has tagged me to write about me. I'll be damned if I can think of a more boring topic, but here goes:

Five things that give me physical pleasure
1. rubbing my pussy ... cat
2. prescription pharmaceuticals (thanks, Doc)
3. sex (told you I was boring)
4. rock n roll
5. Okay, already, there's your sex, drugs, and rock n roll. What the hell else is there?

Five things that make me immediately angry
1. when the laundromat is busy
2. Rush Limbaugh
3. when the checkout clerk at the grocery store can't find the price of shallots
4. commercials for prescription pharmaceuticals
5. stubborn stains on my sofa

Five things that automatically make me happy
1. new readers for "The Gods Are Bored" (Is that you? Want some Easter candy?)
2. Countdown with Keith
3. leaving comments at Jesus' General
4. when the laundromat isn't crowded
5. when the checkout clerk at the grocery store knows the price of shallots

Five things that make me automatically sad
1. the play Our Town
2. local, area, and national news
3. chicks that fall out of nests before they can fly
4. seeing a badly-stained sofa put out for the trash
5. discovering that the grocery store is out of shallots

So, there you have it! All about moi!

I'll add this one:

Five things I absolutely love
1. turkey vultures
2.turkey vultures
3. black vultures
4. California condors
5. turkey vultures

Now I'm off to the grocery store! And perhaps Rosie will tell me how to tag other people...

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Gods Are Slightly Less Bored


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on this, our second anniversary!


What did one frog say to another?
"My, how time is fun when you're having flies!"


Yuk yuk. I know, you've heard that one.

This week marks the second anniversary of "The Gods Are Bored," a riotous romp through the Intelligently Designed Universe with gods and goddesses who have been downsized through revised head counts.

We are an Equal Opportunity Blog, inviting deities of all races, cultural units, and creeds. In the past two years we've talked to a dizzying array of gods and goddesses. We don't want to post a whole list in fear of missing one. Suffice it to say we have been downsized ourselves, so we understand all these deities who've been knocked to the wings by the One God oligarchy.

This site was inspired by an atheist lecturer who said, "If you don't think belief in God is silly, just substitute the name 'Zeus' for God. In Zeus We Trust. One nation under Zeus. Now doesn't that sound ridiculous?"

Not to "The Gods Are Bored." We just think it means Zeus is depressed. All those big temples run to ruin, all those statues profaned. Zeus deserves better. And so does Isis, and so does Chonganda, and so does Fintan, the Salmon of Wisdom.

It has also been our pleasure to enlighten you about such important topics as upholstery care, diet colas, the madness of President George, modern Druidry, the evolutionary timetable, and our feeble attempts to save a little mountain stream from becoming a sewage sluice for 11,000 people.

Along the way we've made some great friends. We doubt that we've influenced people. But hey, you've gotta watch how you influence people. We at "The Gods Are Bored" would rather not be Rush Limbaugh, thank you.

The operative words are "thank you." Thank you for visiting "The Gods Are Bored!" Come on by anytime, pop open a TaB cola, and talk to your favorite bored god or goddess!

Here at "The Gods Are Bored," you can thumb your nose at Father God, fully optimistic that you are booked into another heaven entirely and won't ever have to stammer out excuses to St. Peter.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
AREA 14, STAR 14

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Meeting Emma's Standards -- Sort Of

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," cheating bankruptcy one day at a time! If you, too, are insecure about your future, welcome! We're pretty sure the fat-cat industrialists graze somewhere else.

Please be advised that "The Gods Are Bored" will be offline until Monday, April 9 and will resume at that time.

On Wednesday, April 4 my daughters (The Heir and The Spare) and I will be taking a little road trip. Our destination is the same every time. Let the fat cat kids jet off to Vienna! As for me and my house, we will go to Berkeley Springs. Terrapin Run. And points nearby. Meet and greet us at the Road Kill Cafe, Artemas, PA on Thursday night for country ribs and two sides.

Two people I admire, one of them being Hecate, have touted Druid books by Emma Restall Orr. These tomes by a respected British Druid aren't easy to find. I had to use Alibris.

Two dear little volumes arrived about four weeks ago. Just now I inspected them more closely and found they're the same words in two different packages! I therefore recommend the hardcover, titled simply Druidry.

I didn't see the similarities sooner because Ms. Orr begins her book(s) with a strict admonition. One must case one's house and find something of value that reflects one's life. Then one must pack a light lunch and a nourishing beverage, bung on the comfy walking shoes, and stride purposefully into the deep wilderness. There, after a sufficient period of meditation, one must either leave the valued object behind or prepare to part with it by giving it to a stranger or a thrift store.

Ms. Orr says not to read anymore of her book(s) until this job is done.

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this. Yeah, I know I should get a life.

See, I really really want to read the rest of Druidry. There's just one problem. It's the valuable item thingy.

I have one -- a valuable item -- namely, a Selenite crystal about the size of a small magick wand. I bought the crystal in Berkeley Springs because when I picked it up I got a chill. (I like the word frisson better.) I soon learned from holding the crystal that it wanted to be re-committed to the earth from which it had come. So it's a no-brainer to take the crystal and give it the old heave-ho into a deserted rocky place.

Wait a minute. Emma, can we talk? Let me count the ways this becomes a task of monumental proportions.

1. I'm taking a trip into the mountains. I will have my soon-to-be 13-year-old with me. You try walking into the wilderness for hours of meditation with a kid who lost her ear to a cell phone and won't leave home without two pounds of makeup. I guess I could leave her with relatives, but ...

2. The relatives will want me to sit and chat all day, because I get home so seldom. Which leads me to ...

3. Close relatives living cheek-to-jowl with the swimming hole that I wanted to throw the crystal into. You can't just lob a crystal this size into a rushing stream. Someone's gonna see it and take it, and ooooooo, will that crystal be steaming mad. But if I pull up to the swimming hole with my big sedan carrying Jersey plates, I'm gonna be seen. By people who love me so much they want me to return to the Christian fold forthwith.

4. This throws me back on Plans B and C. Neither one appealing or perfect.

5. Plan B: The bridge under which Terrapin Run flows. A suitably thorny descent and scary dark bridge underside. But human re-discovery of crystal highly likely when it gets tumbled in a flash flood.

6. Plan C: Remote Wilderness Area full of big, tumbled boulders. An Appalachian gap so deep that no cell phone will penetrate its rugged and stunningly beautiful interior. And that brings us back to ...

7. The Spare and her cell phone. It takes more than an hour to walk into the wilderness area. No bars, trust me, from the moment you embark. And although the destination is a rugged wilderness area, it's not people-free. I will have to bury that crystal under a heaping big cairn that looks like part of the landscape. With Spare strutting and fretting all the while.

So Emma, I'm on the case, dear. But please note the difficulties. Don't hate me for them.

If I'm unable to bury the crystal with sufficient stealth, I think I'll drop The Spare at the nearest thrift store. The book just says something of value ...

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
See you Monday!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

FGIA

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," a torture-free site! We're so gentle we blanch at the thought of treating a termite infestation. Hope we never get one.

So here's the caveat on today's post. If you're squeamish, better toddle off and plant some primroses. Today we're going to examine the latest in school service groups, the Future Government Interrogators of America.

You've heard of these school groups, right? Like, FBLA is Future Business Leaders of America, and FTA is Future Teachers of America. I was a national officer in FUWA (Future Unemployed Writers of America). Big, big group, that.

People always float into careers more successfully if they've had training while in high school. It appears, therefore, that the local student members of FGIA (Future Government Interrogators of America) are off to bright futures.

I'm not very plugged in to my community. Don't get heaping helpings of the local gossip. Every now and then, though, I run into my neighbor. She is the 880 line for gossip. She knows everything about everybody.

Yesterday she told me this tale about the white, well-scrubbed Blue Ribbon Schoolers who will be juniors when my daughter The Spare arrives at the high school.

Apparently a foster child seeking approval from the little angels in the Blue Ribbon School made the angels an offer. The foster was going out of town with her foster parents for a trip. She told the angel students where the key to her house was hidden. She told the angels to make free use of the house for a party or two.

(We at "The Gods Are Bored" do not keep a key hidden outside our home. The faeries would steal it anyway.)

Back to the story. The angels took the foster child up on her offer. They filled super-soakers with piss and sprayed them all over the house. They left fresh fecal material in the piano. And, if my neighbor can be believed, they spent their manhood on the beds to an excruciating extent. They committed more conventional vandalism as well. The house was uninhabitable when the family returned from their trip.

You might wonder: What badass neighborhood is Anne living in, raising her children in, schooling them in? For lack of a better word, I'll call this borough Rich White People Land.

Did it sound like Detroit to you? Folks, we at "The Gods Are Bored" have lived in Detroit. We teach students from Camden, New Jersey. Trust us, kids from those towns vent their rage in totally different ways. I know for a fact that my Camden students would be appalled if I told them this story. They would know right away that this didn't happen in their town.

That's why kids from Camden and Detroit wind up in the regular Army, while kids from this borough that I live in are headed into positions of power with the government interrogation units.

I can say this stuff because I'm not John Kerry.

So my take on this little tale is that the angel students in my local high school were competing for national honors in the Future Government Interrogators of America. Remember, interrogators try not to kill their victims, only to harm and humiliate them so they wish for death. I'm not sure the local team will take the blue ribbon, but they may very well earn an honorable (?) mention.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" are gagging in the greenery. We're trying to look on the bright side ... after all, high schoolers should persevere toward career goals and all that ... but our daughter The Spare will be attending classes with these enterprising youngsters. And we can't even find out who they are.

The best we can do is warn The Spare not to join the Young Republican Club.

FROM ANNE
THE MERLIN OF RICH WHITE PEOPLE LAND