Mercury and Pluto
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" One god, two gods, red gods, blue gods. Old gods, new gods, tried and true gods. Join us, won't you? We value your patronage.
Public service announcement: Give blood. Anne just did. She's a trifle shaky now.
It's hard to call a site "The Gods Are Bored" when gods are in two headlines in today's newspaper. On one front page, we get both Mercury and Pluto.
But of course, the stories are about Mercury and Pluto, without a single quote from either one. So they've dropped by here to chat. Please give a wild, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Pluto and Mercury! We flipped a coin and Pluto won, so he goes first.
Anne: Pluto, awesome god of the Greek and Roman afterlife, I know this is a dark day for you. Pardon the double entendre.
Pluto: Ah, yes. The fate of a bored god. One day you're on the tip of every schoolchild's tongue, and your name's in every textbook ...
Anne: We haven't checked Of Pandas and People.
Pluto: I'm in there. They call me Cold Satan. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. After two millennia, I finally regain some respect. Having a planet named after you is at least something. Now I'm demoted, degraded, relegated to the dustbin of history ... again. It's devastating.
Anne: I totally agree. We at "The Gods Are Bored" are given to understand that astronomers have documented more than 400 objects orbiting the sun in the Kuiper Belt beyond you. One of them, Sedna (also a bored goddess) is larger than you. So we have to ask: With so many bored gods and goddesses out there, why don't we just name all of the orbiting objects, no matter how humble? Gosh, there are way more than 400 bored gods and goddesses who would love a little press.
Pluto: That certainly seems more humane, doesn't it?
Anne: You bet. I'd love to see a planet named Danu. Isn't that a superb name for a planet? Almost makes you want to book a reservation on a spaceship.
Pluto: Anne, you're a wise woman. We bored gods and goddesses sure appreciate your interest in us. Can I have a piece of that mocha chocolate pie?
Anne: It's homemade. And I can eat it guilt-free because my blood sugar's low. But here. Take the rest. And take heart. Every kid over the age of 6 recognizes you as a planet. Given the rate of increasing longevity, you have about 80 years to weed that out of the general population. And by that time, maybe you'll have a bigger praise and worship team back in the old homeland. I hear there are 100,000 Greeks who worship Zeus.
Pluto: We could sure use a little new blood in Hades.
Anne: Good time to repeat the public service announcement: Give blood. And here's our platform at "The Gods Are Bored": Restore Pluto to his planetary status, and start naming those post-Pluto orbiting objects after other worthy bored gods and goddesses! For crying out loud, the existing planets are all male except Venus and Earth. That's not a level playing field.
(Pause while Anne and Pluto savor the pie, taking care not to stain the furniture.)
Anne: Whoa! What's that in my hair! Is that you, Puck?
Mercury: Nope! Puck gave gossamer this afternoon. He's tuckered out. It's me, Mercury, fleet ancient messenger god.
Anne: Why are you in my hair?
Mercury: I'm in everyone's hair. Especially where you live, in the Great Blue Northeast. Proof that you're being slowly poisoned by toxic emissions from coal-burning power plants!
Anne: Oh joy.
Mercury: You can speed up the poisoning process if you eat fish. They concentrate the toxins in their tissue.
Anne: Oh joy.
Mercury: And with the push on to increase coal production and use, the amount of me in the environment will only grow! It gets even better, Anne. In order to hurl more of me into the air, bulldozers are tearing down mountains!
Anne: You sniveling little sorry excuse for a god! I just added $11 a month to my electric bill voluntarily so that my electric company could start erecting windmills. (Not that those bandits need extra money, by damn.) But you know what, Mercury, you poisonous vermin? Your days are as numbered as Pluto's. Within 80 years you'll either have killed us all, or we'll blow you away. Literally, not figuratively. It can't go on the way it's going on. And as for those mountains they're blasting to bits, well. There's a finite amount of mountains, just as there's a finite amount of coal. So don't sit there smirking. You're biting your own ass.
Mercury: I'll have the satisfaction of killing you, though. You're clinging to the top of the hill, but the slide's gonna start any day.
Anne: Bring it on, fly boy. I've got the Celtic pantheon at my back. They're taking care of me now, they'll take care of me on the other side. Now beat it before my ram John Henry smells you and decides to show you the block he learned today at Rams training camp!
That's it from "The Gods Are Bored." Fight for wind power, send Mercury back to the unemployment office for downsized deities!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS