Monday, March 27, 2006
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your premiere pathway to polytheism!
This is a picture of beautiful Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the subject of my fabulous article in the spring, 2006 issue of Faerie Magazine! See below for more details on how you can get Faerie Magazine!
Today's topic: Sacred springs in multiple religious traditions . . .
Oh my soul! The foster kittens are going crazy! And what's that smell? Could my ram John Henry have gotten in the house?
(Urgent knocking at door)
Voice: Let me in! Please!
Anne: I recognize that voice. And the sulphurous odor. It's Satan come calling. And with me here at home! The effrontery! (To door) Go away, you devil you! My soul's not for sale, and I'm not in your praise and worship team anyway! Don't you see that shellfish in the fridge?
Voice: It's urgent! My job's on the line!
Anne: His job is on the line. Well, Satan. In these days of unbridled prosperity, that makes you unique. Catch the sarcasm? If your job is on the line, take a number and be seated. Someone will be with you shortly.
Voice: OUCH! Hey! Your faerie just gave me a hot foot!
(Anne opens door to congratulate her faerie, Princess, on a trick that's awash in irony. In marches "Mr. Applegate," the absentee whiner of "The Gods Are Bored.")
Anne: Get outta here, Devil. I'm not Linda Blair, and I'm not Flip Wilson either. You'll never make me buy a dress!
Devil: Please call me "Mr. Applegate."
Anne: I'll call you a cab. Nothing else.
Applegate: You don't understand. Oh, this is terrible! I see that God Almighty has found your site. If he goes back through and reads my "Applegate" posts, he'll give me a pink slip.
Princess the Faerie: You could coordinate that pink slip with a blue dress...
Chorus of faeries: "Devil with a blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, devil with a blue dress on..."
Anne: FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Does no one notice I'm trying to work here? I've got twenty different goat feeds that need chemical analysis.
Applegate: I won't take much of your time. If you'll just let me go back through your posts and delete all the ones that say "Applegate"...
Anne: And what if I don't?
Applegate: The boss will sack me, and I'll never find another god job anywhere. I'll be stocking shirts at Wal-Mart, a human until the end of my days.
Anne: That's what God Almighty would do to you? Make you a human?
Applegate: Yeah, and if he was in a bad mood, he'd make me a political science professor at Bob Jones University.
Anne: I think you're worrying too much. No one has time to go through old blog posts looking for a name.
Applegate: But God's left two comments, and both of them refer to bunnies...
Anne: Hmmmm. True. But it's close to Easter. Maybe God likes Easter Bunnies. And besides, you look more like a Northern quoll than a bunny. And God would know that. God sees Australia as well as America.
Applegate: All the same, would you let me just do a little editing here?
Anne: Chill, Satan. Think about this a minute. If I remember all your whining, you're stuck with this job because you didn't read the PDQ carefully before you signed the contract.
Anne: And you're concerned that your job performance is going to impact your standing in the International Federation of Gods and Goddesses (IFG&G). Correct?
Applegate: You have a great memory. Can I just have that mouse for a second?
Anne: Well, what makes you think anyone else would want your job? I mean, you've got the corporate flow chart, right? Who's going to step up (oops! I mean down) and fill your shoes if you're fired? You know God Almighty isn't going to go hire some bored god from some other pantheon. The Heavenly Angels won't want to go near your satellite office. That leaves your subordinates. And would any of them look at being Satan as upward mobility?
Applegate: They already complain about the paperwork requirements of No Sinner Left Behind.
Anne: And you have ten times the paperwork that they have, right?
Applegate: You know, you're right! This isn't like those hoodlums sparring over Tony Soprano's take even before he's dead. Who would want to be me? Even I don't want to be me.
Anne: That settles it. Now be a good boy and go home to Hell, and don't you dare touch those kittens! It's your stupid followers who give pagans a bad name by killing kittens in pentagrams.
Applegate: An agent. I need a good agent! Karl Rove! A spin doctor! Something!
Anne: Out. Don't let the door slam on your tail.
Applegate: Okay, I'm outta here. You're right. I've got a thankless job that no one wants. What a relief.
Anne: So long, Applegate. Here! You dropped your palm pilot.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS