Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Have a Holly Jolly FleeceTime

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We enjoy your company. If there's anything we can get for you, just let us know.

For those dozen or so of you who frequent this site, you know we're always interested in words and their meanings, and traditions and their meanings. You might say we go sleuthing for bored gods in every iddy biddy thang.

One of the annual flaps that amuses us the most is the "Christmas v. Holiday" debate. Some people actually lose sleep over whether or not stores should sell stuff under banners that say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas."

(Except for the occasional mention of Yuletide in Nat King Cole songs or Medieval carols, "Yule" doesn't get a vote. And, come to think of it, where was King Wenceslas going on the Feast of Stephen? What the heck is the Feast of Stephen?)

Let's settle this bitter argument with a term everyone will love and embrace! It's up-to-date and snappy. Something the smart set will love.

Let's call this season FleeceTime.

I told you it was snappy. That capital letter in the middle of the word is all the rage right now.

FleeceTime. Don't you love it? Conjures pictures of happy couples all swathed in posh coats and scarves, strolling village streets, arm-in-arm. And for the Christians, the charming image of a shepherd gently wrapping the baby Mithras ... errrr ... Jesus ... in a lambskin.

Who doesn't love fleece? It's warm and cuddly, and fluffy, and it comes in pretty colors. Rainbow colors in fact. Universal appeal!

So, let's hear it for FleeceTime!

If you don't like this hip new holiday word now, why don't you wait until about January 30 and try rolling it off your tongue again? Because, mark my words, the merchants at the mall are just waiting to fleece you to the max on your credit cards, and maybe even an extension.

So, let's call this holiday what it really is: fleece time.

And let's look at what it really is: A Northern Hemisphere human rite to reclaim the sunlight that becomes so sparse by December 21.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" offer this sane and fair solution to the holiday name game at no charge. See? And you were ready to go and buy some FleeceTime at Wal-Mart!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Black Friday Itch

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," preparing for the big holiday built around a johnny-come-lately baby, using rituals and trappings of deeply ancient faiths!

Have some egg nog. Light the Yule log. Roast the prize hog!

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, I get an itch. It's not the urge to run to the mall and spend on credit. It's the uncontrollable need to start decking the halls.

I'm a goat judge, not an electrician. But buried on my wish list, somewhere between a monthly box of fine chocolates and a full body massage by Johnny Depp, there lies the urge to create a crazy Christmas house.

Exhibit A: Crazy Christmas House

You know what I'm talking about. Those over-the-top displays of gaudy greatness, plastic snowmen and manger scenes and every inch of every branch of every tree swathed in light.

We had one guy here in the borough who did a crazy Christmas house all in white lights. He had a manger scene with live actors, donkeys, and sheep (no goats, that was strange); a choir of Dickens-clad carollers; and a real live Santa Claus with a real white beard on the front porch. That house was lit up so bright it looked like daytime. People came from miles around to see it. And unlike the heaven described so vividly by my sister's pastor, you didn't need a ticket to get in. You just parked and walked up the sidewalk. Side-stepping the donkey doo.

That kind fellow went on to the Great North Pole in the Sky about 15 years ago, may he rest in neon. His crazy Christmas house passed into history. But there are others in our county, and my kids and I make a yearly trek to the best ones.

But oh! To make one! To buy all those plastic critters and run all the wires out to the dancing elves display! Oh, to watch your neighbors melt down as you disrupt the power grid and draw gawkers from two states!

I guess it's a good thing I'm a goat judge.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Never Ask a Faerie to Make Thanksgiving Dinner

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we offer multiple pantheons and sound advice for daily living.

Today's tip: Do not allow faeries to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Of Bar Mitzvahs and Oil on Canvas

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We respect your religion -- will you respect ours? Or are you the kind of person who says, "It's my way or hell, there's no other option."? If the latter, I suspect you might stain my furniture or steal a can of my Tab cola. Or stain my furniture with my Tab cola. Oh me oh my.

Here at "The Gods Are Bored," we say "Everything is, nothing is." Our either-or is, well, all gods and goddesses exist, or none of them do. Why is one person's deity a dud, while another person's rocks on? That hardly seems sportsmanlike.
And so it is with open mind and open heart that I send my daughter The Spare to yet another Bar Mitzvah. She has many, many Jewish friends.

This particular Bar Mitzvah comes at an opportune moment.

You know you always have to give a gift to the kid. And a check in a card seems so crass to me. On any occasion. So if you get married, expect a toaster in the mail.

Earlier I wrote about the Thomas Eakins masterpiece The Gross Clinic, painted by a Philadelphia native and housed in the Philadelphia hospital it depicts since 1878. Until now, when it was bought for $68 million by Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune. $68 million is chump change to Ms. Walton, who is worth billions -- $11 billion, I think.

Exhibit A: "The Gross Clinic," Thomas Eakins, either oil on canvas or diamond on platinum, can't decide.

Do you see the prices set to these paintings? This is just my opinion, but I think it's obscene. Millions and millions for a Picasso or a Van Gogh. For the love of fruit flies, they're paintings! Unique, yes, but are they more valuable than schoolbooks and vaccinations, or even pet shelters? Some dude flings paint at a big canvas, and that's worth millions? Sorry. That dough could buy a lot of oatmeal.

So, as much as I wanted to stick it to Ms. Walton, the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century, I decided not to participate in Philadelphia's "Save the Gross Clinic" campaign.

Until now.

Along comes a worthy young man requiring a gift. His Bar Mitzvah card will read: "Congratulations, X, on your blessed day. A donation has been made in your name to 'Save the Gross Clinic': Fund for Eakins' Masterpiece."

Take that, Alice Walton! I fling my phlegm in your general direction!

It helps that the boy's mom is a painter. In case he really wanted a savage video game.

I'm wondering if I should take painting lessons.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Why Don't We Do It in the Tiger Cage?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we scan the blogosphere and find that the danger zone is everywhere. From right here in Chateau Johnson, where a strike looms at the spouse's plant, to worldwide -- the latest Kyoto Protocol suggestion is to set off bombs of pollution particles to cast a pall over the earth and cool it down.

Our response at "The Gods Are Bored?" Laugh until there's no tomorrow, and then say goodbye.

Okay, before we get started today, I want to urge my multitudes of readers to go to Mark of the Beast and help Anntichrist S. Coulter's friend if you can. Some of you billionaire venture capitalists can spare a couple of bucks for a young woman suffering from a brain tumor who has no insurance. (Imagine that! No health insurance! She must be one of the four in ten Americans in the same boat!)

I know you've read this far because of that sexy little title above. And yes, today's entry is about doing it.

The Beatles had a song called "Why Don't We Do It in the Road." No one will be watching. Hey, even you non-geezers have heard this one.

So, why don't we do it in the road? Because asphalt is hard. And if the road is dirt, there's gravel on it. Which partner gets his or her back shredded with gravel while doing it in the road?

I'm inspired to write this by just having read a book that I picked up at a library sale. The book is called Elsewhere in the Land of Parrots. I rarely read novels, but this one was pretty decent. And I don't think I'll spoil it too much if I tell you that two of the characters do it in a shallow draft rowboat, drifting in the snake-infested mangrove swamps of Ecuador.

I'm a goat judge, not a sport fisherman, but I've spent the odd hour here and there in a rowboat. And although I can swim like a fishy, my impulse in a rowboat is to stay as still as possible, because if you move around much you're gonna either take a bath or toss your cookies.

If you've done it in a shallow draft rowboat, please comment. Leave no small detail uncovered. I'm just really curious.

A few years ago I belonged to a historical novel chat room, and one of the contributors was a published author named Michael Jensen who had written a gay romance novel about Johnny Appleseed. It's called Frontiers. Now that was one rip-roaring read. I loved it, especially the hot stuff.

Michael came to do a reading in Philly, and I went to see him, and he plied his audience with free whiskey, which I guess emboldened me. When he had the courage to ask for criticism, I said I found very little, except for one thing. His hero does it on a clifftop.

I've spent a lot more time on clifftops than in rowboats, but again these are not locations that lend themselves to doing it. Not that you'd be dumb enough to plunge off the edge or anything. Clifftops are just doggone rocky. Sometimes you're hard-pressed (pardon the pun) just to find a comfortable place to sit, wearing layers of rugged hiking clothes.

I'm sure some daring folks have done it on clifftops and come home with flesh gouged out of their thighs. And they might think it worth the fun.

Now, a thick pine forest with years of soft needles underfoot and an army blanket or two ... emmmmmm ... Well, suffice it to say that if you're writing a novel where your characters are doing it, you might want to consider this location.

And then there's the good ol' broken-in Sealy, with perhaps a candle or two to set the mood.

If you find that boring, be my guest in the snake-infested mangroves. But don't say I didn't warn you.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where teamwork wins games! Go ahead. Ask your local Pee Wee football coach. Can one kid get the whole job done on Saturday morning?

Okay, maybe that's not the best analogy we've ever scraped up at "The Gods Are Bored." Because if the Pee Wee football coach's kid is on the team, he's gonna say, "You betcha. Watch my boy Biff."

Generally speaking, however, victory is a matter of teamwork in the Here and Now. So why not in the Great Beyond? Pursue Polytheism for a Purpose-Driven Life!

Those of you who have never attended a fundamentalist Christian church might not understand the protocols of prayer circles.

These differ from prayer chains, where one person has a tragedy and tells someone over the phone, and the phone caller relays the call to prayer out over the lines like ripples in a pond.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" heartily endorse prayer chains, feeling them to be nurturing of life and limb.

Prayer circles work a little differently. These are usually undertaken by small groups of folks who meet together socially at least once a month to study the Bible and to support one another.

Again, nothing objectionable in the principle of prayer circles, according to the official by-laws of "The Gods Are Bored."

But the sticky problem in prayer circles is this: What do you pray about if everything in your life is coming up roses? Why, the answer is simple. You pray for the sinners who have stuck their noses up at your particular brand of piety. The farther said sinner has strayed from Deuteronomy, the better. And if it's into some realm of bored gods (say just for instance, Druidism), then you've hit the jackpot. If you've got a sibling in an alternative praise and worship system, you roll snakeyes at every meeting.

I don't need proof that my sister and her cohorts at the LuvGawd Pentecostal Church pray for my redemption regularly. Proof was supplied in abundance when my dad died and we held his funeral at her church. The preacher used Dad's passing to rail against sinners. The preacher compared heaven to a theme park, and sinners to those who try to get through the turnstile without a ticket. Those who, just coincidentally, turn their back on the Bible during their lifetimes on earth.

Gee, do ya think he was talking about me?

Maybe I'm being a bit touchy. Or maybe Sis's pastor had just been praying for my pagan soul for so long he couldn't wait for an opportunity to have at me in the flesh.

It's this flesh part that I'm thinking of today.

About two weeks ago, my sister paid an unexpected visit to my house. She hadn't been here in 15 years. And when she walked up to my modest altar to Queen Brighid the Bright, which contains my magick wands, a candle, and some crystals, well. All hell broke loose.

My smoke detectors are hard-wired. That means if one goes off, they all do. And just as Sis rested her gaze on my shrine, those doggone things started squealing like they might if I'd forgotten to take the fricasee off the stove.

No smoke anywhere in the house. I checked thoroughly, I assure you, because I knew the batteries were all fresh in the detectors.

After about a minute of ear-splitting early warning, the smoke detectors stopped. They haven't peeped since, except when I deliberately lit a match under one of them to see if they were functioning properly.

This is one of those stories where you get to choose your favorite ending!

Ending #1: Sis at Prayer Circle

"She has a shrine set up to a pagan goddess of some kind, with wands and crystals! Oh, how it breaks my heart! As if those crystals could get her into heaven, without being born again!

And here's the scary thing. When I came near her devil's shrine, all the smoke detectors went off! It's like God Almighty was telling me to get away from that sin!"

Ending #2: Anne at Home

Whoa, dudes, I believe in karma and all that, but wow. It's like when Sis approached Queen Brighid the Bright, the faeries in my house just went bat-shit! They just freaked out at her very presence. They must have been channeling energy from innocent people burnt at the stake. Hence, the use of smoke detectors. They were warning me to keep my distance from this Grand Inquisitor.

Real Ending:

The smoke detector thing was way weird. I love my sister, and I would never try to change her beliefs. The last thing I'd ever think of doing is going to a Druid circle and having everyone pray that she find her way to the bored gods. But I have my beliefs too, and at the moment of the Great Smoke Detector Rebellion, I believe the bored gods were alarmed by her presence.

For you scientific rationalists out there: Yes, it's true that an insect crawling across a smoke detector can set it off by mistake. And yes, it could be purely coincidental that my sister was staring at my shrine at the time. Yes. Fine. I'm not going to try to tell you what to believe either. It's against my religion.

PS: I allowed my father's funeral to take place at the LuvGawd Pentecostal Church because the Environmental Protection statutes in the states of West Virginia and Maryland would not allow me to set Dad on a barge made of dry tinder and float him down the river as archers with flaming arrows shot at his bier. Yeah, but they can post the Ten Commandments in front of a courthouse. I say, no fair.

Image, "A Little Mischief," by Seitou, for use only with permission of "The Gods Are Bored."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Perpetual Girlhood

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you clean your upholstery and your toilet with the same product? Of course not! Then why worship just one god? Don't be deity insecure. (see post below) Branch out to those specialized pantheons!

I'm inspired today by an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer. They don't archive their editorials, so here it is in a nutshell:

The author, a mid-life guy, laments his inability to run, jump, shoot, and score the way he used to. In a strictly sporting sense. He sees his arthritic knees as a harbinger of the end of all boyhood, truly as the bones-scraping-bones that will lurch him to Geezer City.

Poor fella! I mean that seriously. If your entire concept of boyhood revolves around your ability to compete in a sporting event, you're doing 110 on Mid-Life Crisis Boulevard.


Aren't these dollies cute? They're called Liddle Kiddles. When I was a girl of seven or eight, these charmers came on the market at affordable prices. I had a bevvy of them and played with them until they became, well, played-with. Today collectors will shell out $500 or more for the poor unfortunate Kiddles who were never removed from their boxes and played with.


This Kiddle is Freezy. I have a Freezy of my own, but she sure doesn't look like this.

Last Christmas I decided to give my Freezy doll a Mid-Life Crisis. Heck, Freezy's almost as old as I am, which means she's at mid-life or maybe even a little past the peak.

The out-of-pocket cost of Freezy's crisis was about ten bucks. I bought a teeny tiny string of lights that really light up, tangled her hopelessly in them, drew circles under her eyes, and mis-matched her snow boots. I already had a little Christmas tree to lean her against. It helped that her hair was already standing on end from too many childhood experiments in doll grooming.

Originally, Liddle Kiddles always came in packages with little comic books telling of their adventures. So I wrote a new one for Freezy's changed life circumstances. It was aptly titled: Pity Poor Freezy.

Once a happy-go-lucky sledding cutie, Freezy had become a harried church lady, trying fruitlessly to untangle her outside Christmas lights while baking cookies for the Sunday School pageant and spearheading a fundraiser for her teenager's youth group trip to Sri Lanka. Freezy didn't have time to search for the mate to her boot, so she shoved her foot into her teenager's undersized footwear. And Mr. Freezy can't come to her aid because he's making a Finance Committee report at the church's Administrative Council meeting.

Freezy's standing knee-deep in the snow (I used cotton) recalling her brief experimentation with quaaludes in college. We leave her there in that predicament.

My daughters, The Heir and The Spare, helped me to create Mid-Life-Krisis Freezy. We made a special ceremony of illuminating her tangled rope of lights. Fully lit, with that hair standing on end, she looked like she was being electrocuted. I hope I'm not bragging when I say it was an evocative tableau.

So yes. I, Anne Johnson, still play with dolls at the age of ##. I am determined never to leave childhood behind, so thank goodness mine didn't revolve around some stinking soccer team.

Forever young in mind and heart I remain,

Yours truly,


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Big Brother's Appetite

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," demon-free since ... well ... gosh, since forever. Occasionally we get visits from Satan, but he's not a demon. He's an angel. As for real demons, we believe in them. But they stain the furniture with reckless abandon, so they're not welcome here.

Are you food insecure?

According to an analysis by the United States government, 35 million Americans suffered from "food insecurity" in 2005. (I'm a goat judge, not a mathematician, but I think that's roughly one in ten. Right? Right? Right?)

Okay, so one in ten Americans is insecure about food. What does that mean?

Food insecure. Kind of brings to mind someone with a deadly shellfish allergy perusing the offerings at a Chinese buffet, trying to pick out the entrees that contain shrimp.

Food insecure. Kind of brings to mind someone who's barfed from eating spoiled Spam, someone who will no longer trust that peerless potted meat product.

Food insecure. Definitely brings to mind the many Nicole Ritchies out there, trying to become beautiful by swathing their skeletons in as little flesh as possible. Yes. Food insecure definitely sounds like an eating disorder. But golly. As rampant as anorexia is, can one in ten Americans actually have that?

Turns out none of the above fit the precise meaning of food insecure.

We have this just in from the Ministry of Truth that Big Brother wants us to call hungry people ... food insecure. You see, they're insecure because they don't know where their next meal is going to come from.

Yeah, and layoffs are no longer layoffs, they're revised head counts. Big Brother says the word "layoff" implies you may someday return to your job, whereas "revised head count" means that your head is no longer needed for counting. Nor will it ever be again.

So, if you're one of the 35 million Americans who worries about being able to buy or beg enough food for yourself or your family, you're not hungry, or poor, or miserable. You're insecure. You don't need food, you need an antidepressant!

One in ten people in America doesn't have enough to eat. Leave it to Big Brother to make that sound like a gentle little psychiatric imbalance.

Someone's knocking on my door. I think it's time to go to the dungeon where the rats gnaw at my face until I love Big Brother more than anyone.

Thanks to Heroic Hecate for having a proper link for this information.

Insecure, for damn sure

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What's In a Name?

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where there are more gods and goddesses than you can shake a stick at! But please don't shake a stick at a deity. That isn't very nice.

My name is Anne Johnson.

Thanks to a link, I was able to find out how many Anne Johnsons there are in America.

the link is here.

Drum roll please.....

There are 341,964 people in America named "Anne Johnson."

Beat that, sucker!

If your name is Lisa Jones, please don't play.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jury Duty

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we perform our civic duty with a minimum of outer grumbling and a maximum of inner anxiety.

Today we had to report to Camden, New Jersey for jury duty.

For those of you who don't keep up with statistics, Camden lost its ranking as Murder Capital of America, which it held in 2004 and 2005. This year it has slipped all the way to #5 on the list.

You would never know it to read these nasty, aggressive posts, but we at "The Gods Are Bored" are real shrinking violets when it comes to bodily harm. It has always been thus at "The Gods Are Bored," ever since the day we vomited at a Health Fair at the sight of a mock accident.

Speaking of mock accidents, there also existed the distinct possibility of finding ourselves in a civil suit involving a dreadful collision of multiple automobiles. If you've ever tried to drive through New Jersey, you know exactly what we're talking about.

Worrying about the possibilities of having to stare at graphic photos took all the fun out of sitting in a windowless room for 3 hours with 245 other citizens. When the jury coordinator began barking numbers into the microphone, we almost fainted.

Carefully we mentally rehearsed all the reasons we couldn't sit on a jury, starting with refusal to say "So help me God" and ending with the embarrassing detail that we are self-employed and eking out a precarious day-to-day living.

Then we at "The Gods Are Bored" extracted our mineral wand from our purse, laid it on our heart, and just told it to banish the anxiety. Because, after all, a good Druid knows that justice is paramount and one should never shirk the responsibility of trying to see it done.

At 11:30 a.m. the jury coordinator came in and said we could go home. Out of 245 people they called 60 and sat 12. We learned this statistic while walking to the rapid transit with a lady who was called upstairs but never got interviewed.

It's just as well they didn't call me. We here at "The Gods Are Bored" have some strange opinions where justice is concerned. Like, few poor people get it.

Anyway, we have completed our civic duty, finding the System as guilty as an egg-sucking dog.


Sunday, November 12, 2006


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Just like the masses of humanity stuck at or below the poverty level, there are numerous gods and goddesses out there who can't keep themselves in libations and fatted calves. Does the presiding Celestial CEO give a rat's ass about that? Heck no. He wants it all for himself. No amount of praise and worship is enough. Greedy and jealous, he. What wonderful traits for a deity!

On Saturday the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune, has used part of her $18 billion net worth to buy a painting. Here it is:

EXHIBIT A: "The Gross Clinic," by Thomas Eakins

This painting was created in Philadelphia, by a Philadelphian. It has hung in the Philadelphia hospital depicted in the picture since 1875. The hospital put it up for sale because the hospital wants to expand. No one in Philadelphia was notified of the sale until it was completed.

Ms. Walton wants the painting for her new museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Maybe my legions of readers can help me here. How can this woman look in the mirror? How can she lie down at night and sleep? She has just spent nearly $68 million for a painting but can't offer affordable health care to her workers.

Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't this the kind of thing that starts revolutions? One woman buys a painting. Thousands of hard-working poor people are denied lunch breaks and insurance in the stores that provided this one woman with her $18 billion fortune.

To which pantheon should we turn for justice when this tyrant, Alice Walton, arrives at that great leveling moment, Death?

And how can a painting be worth $68 million?

Punch my ticket. I'm sick of this world.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we entertain you with a Tab and a smile! Sorry, no Coke. We have to watch our girlish figure.

My daughter The Heir works at a rare book store. She likes the work because she never knows what she'll find: For instance, yesterday it was The Eye in the Triangle, by (I think) Israel Regardie. Correct me if I'm wrong.

When I went to pick her up yesterday afternoon, she said, "Mom. Come look at this."

It was a big, original, magnificent oil painting of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When I told her what the painting portrayed, she'd never heard of them. Twelve years a Methodist and never perused Revelation! I'm thinking about sending her to Jesus Camp.

Actually I wasn't far behind her. I couldn't recall exactly what each Horseman represented. Guess I've spent too much time with the bored gods. So I dusted off the old Third Grade Bible, the one every good Christian kid gets, and tried to piece it together.

No luck. The Book of Revelation is murky on the subject. At least my translation is. Better make two reservations at Jesus Camp.

My daughter said that the painting just showed one theory. Some people hold the theory that these Celestial Jockeys are gonna ride out of the clouds and whoop ass.

I explained to her that this was not a theory, but a belief. It could only be a theory if it was backed by scientific evidence. For instance, if the Hubble Space Telescope found a planet being threatened by a foursome of giant Grim Reapers astride supersized equines, then the Four Horsemen would become a theory and not a belief. But until then, I don't think the bright scientists at the Discovery Institute are gonna be able to experiment with this one.

Cheeky as this may seem, we at "The Gods Are Bored" hereby offer our own Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

1. People
2. People
3. People
4. People

At the rate we're going, we won't need big dudes on steeds. We're perfectly capable of destroying our own kind if we really put our minds to it. And if we shilly-shally, the Yellowstone Caldera will speak its piece. Or we'll fry in our own CO2.

So kindly forgive me if I feel that the true Four Horsemen have come and gone, leaving behind some historic football victories and perhaps a few descendants.

Exhibit A: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

"Eyeball Vulture" by Cy to be used only with permission of "The Gods Are Bored."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dance the Day Away

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we celebrate the One True Religion -- thousands of them! From the modest celebrant with a shrine to a secret deity in the backyard to the mighty ranks of the Buddha, we salute you all! Just don't stain our furniture.

There's a fellow in this area who is known simply as The Monkey Man because he often wears a jester hat, clown pants, and totes a toy monkey with him as he cruises around on his bicycle. How my daughters and I came to know him is a long story. I won't bore you with it here.

The Monkey Man is a poet, as befits someone who resides in Camden, New Jersey, blocks from the former home of Walt Whitman. In fact, The Monkey Man knows huge blocks of Whitman by heart and does re-enactments. But his own poetry is good too. Very good, in fact.

The Monkey Man gave a reading here in the borough last Friday night. To preface one of his poems, he said the following:

"In America at the end of a long day, you might ask someone, 'What did you do today?'

"In Africa, they ask, 'What did you dance today?"

He then launched into a poem about how Americans dance through their days, and it was superb. It left a lasting impression on me.

Now, instead of waking up in the morning and thinking, "What will I do today?" I'm asking myself, "What will I dance today?" And my reward for this change in worldview is seeing the preparation of a chicken casserole as a form of ballet, and the opening of a mailbox as a gesture of grace.

What did you dance today? What will you dance tomorrow? Give praises to the Goddess Yasigi, sacred to the people of Mali -- she inspires us to dance!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Back to Business as Usual

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Think of all the political upheavals the bored gods have seen. Don't believe me? Ask Baal.

Anyway, it's encouraging to see democracy at work, a correction to the hegemony of the last six years. But we at "The Gods Are Bored" take a dim view of all politicians, believing them to be in the pockets of the Few Who Control the Many.

But humbug to politics now! It's time to get back to important, yea verily essential topics.

Like silverware.

Those of you who live with faeries know that they steal things. (Puck finally gave me my telephone book back yesterday because he wanted to go with me to the polls.)

There are two items that faeries steal and don't return to you: socks and silverware.

The other day, Mr. Johnson and I looked at our dwindling supply of silverware and decided to buy some more. As luck would have it, the local Macy's had the very same pattern on sale that we'd been using until the faeries stole it all, piece by piece, starting with the teaspoons.

So my darling and I strapped ourselves in the Chrysler and drove to the mall, and sure enough there was our pattern, and on sale as promised. We bought and brought it home.

Yesterday I pulled it out of the pack. And I noticed something right away. Sure enough, it looked like the older set, exactly the same pattern. But every single piece of the new flatware was visibly larger than the old set. The salad forks are so gargantuan that I couldn't fit them into my caddy.

By all the bored gods. Now they're supersizing silverware! Fit more food on that fork! Scoop more soup with that spoon! Whose idea was this? Is it an attempt to use more steel? Not American steel. The stuff is made in China. Where they eat with sticks.

Don't think for a minute that the faeries will have trouble ridding our house of supersized silverware. They'll steal it just as fast. But even that might not be fast enough to keep us from stuffing our faces with gobs of galloping gourmet.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to L.A.Weight Loss. I'm anticipating future problems with my eating habits.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Eve

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on election eve, 2006.

We at "The Gods Are Bored" have always evaluated candidates on their platforms, voting records, and perceived personal integrity. However, this election we urge every and all readers of this post to vote the straight Democratic ticket.

It's like choosing between Hell and Heck, but it must be done.

Case in point:

This man was one of my best friends in college. We graduated the same year. We had a barter going through senior year: He lent me textbooks, I typed his papers. So I know that he is a fine man, an intelligent man, good-hearted and perfectly capable of doing the job. I still hold a deep fondness for him.

And yet I could not bring myself to vote for this man, this kind and wonderful person. As luck would have it, I don't live in his state anyway. But this is the first time in my life that I'm judging political party over every other consideration.

But woe to you who think a Democratic sweep will change anything! The Democrats will do just as much to correct global warming as the Republicans did to abolish abortion.

In this country, it's liberty and justice for the rich. The rest of us can rot, and decrease the surplus population.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Night Lights

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" It's Friday night, a crisp autumn breeze blowing, the far-off sound of a band practicing their halftime ensemble ... can we be far from another spine-crushing accident on the high school football field?

Yo. Let's play.

We're the toughest team in the league. We're the team that can't be beat. And if you're better, we'll just cheat.

We're ready for you, yessirree. We're suited up, all those hairline fractures wrapped, and steroid-free for three hours.

First, a moment of prayer: "Dear God, please let us win this football game as proof of your Divine Power."


We're dynamite, we're dynamite
We're tick tick tick tick
BOOM! Dynamite.
BOOM BOOM! Dynamite.

Hold That Line! Hold That Line!
Defense. Defense.
Hold That Line!

Rush the Passer
Rush the Kicker
High on Dope and Broads and Liquor!

Beat 'em, Bust 'em
Readjust 'em
Fight Team Fight!

This pep rally sponsored by Friends of the Red Rum High School Football Team. Go, Fighting Storm Troopers!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Big Sister Is Watching

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We like to think of ourselves as the corner pub for all those gods and goddesses out there who used to have massive libations poured out to them (for free) and who now have to drink on Cheap Beer Night. Will someone please buy Osiris another round?

My sister said she's going to vote the straight Republican ticket because of abortion. One vote, one issue.

Never mind those flag-draped coffins coming back from Iraq, dangerous war games off the coast of Iran, global warming, tax breaks for the super-rich, the rape of the Constitution, a federal deficit that boggles the brain...

Oh, for Zeus's sake, I could go on all day! Suffice it to say that, as usual, the one voter at "The Gods Are Bored" will cancel out Sis's attempt to climb into other peoples' wombs.

Today's topic: The Perilous Path of Minding Other Peoples' Business

There's a fellow living here in my little town who is my age exactly but looks about 25 years older. We'll call him John, as in Baptist. He is a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He can't drive a car, but he can read and write, and he's very proud of the fact that he's a taxpayer and homeowner in this borough. (He has a trustee who pays his bills for him.) He's also unkempt and unbathed and has no teeth. I don't know if he eats locusts.

Anyway. One day I was blogging in the public library. The woman sitting next to me began an earnest (and very loud) conversation with the man next to her. They were talking about John.

According to this woman, John's house is a wreck inside, and he's "just completely incapable of taking care of himself," to use her words.

The man said something should be done.

The woman complained that John's trustee doesn't care about him. "They need to sell that house and put John in a halfway home," she said. "The money from the house would pay his upkeep, and his hygiene would be seen to."

You'd never know it to read this blog, but I'm not a confrontational person. I clamped my jaw shut and kept on writing about Aphrodite or some other worthy deity. But I was so ticked off that my train of thought jumped the track, killing an unsuspecting Luna moth.

See? Some people don't just want wombs. They want to decide which citizens bathe enough and whose houses are clean enough. Meddle, meddle, meddle!

It happens that John is a friend of mine. I know he's very proud to be active in this community. He draws up elaborate plans for parks where they don't exist now and attends every single Borough Commissioners' Meeting. And those suckers are the only thing I can think of that are more boring than a Methodist sermon.

We have no halfway homes in this borough. Not one. John would have to relocate to another town. Did I mention he was born and raised here, went all the way through school here, and has never lived anywhere else?

We at "The Gods Are Bored" say, to hell with minding other peoples' business, be it abortion, how they pay their taxes, or how they live!

If they're not being hauled away by the gendarmes or staining your furniture, why do you care? For the love of ducks, leave poor John alone!

I'm writing this today because tomorrow night the same meddlesome woman is hosting a candlelight poetry reading in her Civil War-era home. The featured poet is my friend The Monkey Man.

The woman saw me on the street a few weeks ago and made sure to invite me, because I came to a few of her poetry readings before this. When I said I knew The Monkey Man, damn if she didn't start in on him!

"I've invited him to spend the night at my house," she said. (She's a divorcee. MM is single.)

"Why would you do that?" I asked.

"Oh, because he lives in Camden!" she replied. "He shouldn't be wandering the streets at night in Camden!"

(For the record, Camden lost its distinction as Murder Capital of the Nation this week. It's now ranked #5.)

Okay, getting past my sneaking suspicion that Madame la Meddler wants to seduce the Monkey Man, let's look at this one:

Yes, The Monkey Man lives in Camden. Assume for a moment that he isn't safe going out after dark. What in the Sam Hill does he do this time of year, with Eastern Standard rocking on? Is he a prisoner in his home by 5:00 p.m.?

BAMP! Wrong. I saw him at the borough Halloween parade, which was held in the inky darkness of 7:00 p.m. Presumably he went home to Camden afterwards.

Meddle, meddle, meddle.

Go on. Stick your delicate nose into your neighbor's stinky business. But if you ask "The Gods Are Bored," we say that invites bad karma into your own life. Next time you might be the Medlee. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

OOOOOPS! No Smoking Allowed!

Gosh, I need a drink. Thank goodness I'm legal.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Party of the Gods II - Halloween Edition

Happy New Year from the Bored Gods! Judging by this party, they're not as bored as all that.