Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Interview with the Goddess of Sewers

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," waiting to win the lottery since ... when did they start having legal lotteries?

Yesterday I erred. I said that Faerie Con, an international faerie gathering to be held in my backyard, was the big ticket item on my wish list.

Not so. Something else makes me far happier.

A significant population of the endangered species Harperella, a frail relative of Queen Anne's Lace, lives along Fifteen Mile Creek. Terrapin Run is a tributary of Fifteen Mile Creek. If the ecosystem of Terrapin Run changes, then the ecosystem of Fifteen Mile Creek will change as well.

I'm sure you want to miss that evening commuter train home and read all about Harperella.
And who knows? An intrepid biologist might find some Harperella growing along Terrapin Run. It could happen. The conditions there are ideal.

To celebrate this news, we have a visiting Goddess! Please give a warm, wonderful, nurturing "The Gods Are Bored" welcome to Cloacina, Goddess of Sewers!

Cloacina: I prefer some political correctness, please. Cloacina, Goddess of Cleanliness and Sanitation.

Anne: Sorry. I should have known better. You are from the Roman pantheon. How are they doing?

Cloacina: They're so bored they volunteered to assemble My Scene dolls.

Anne: Alas, alack! We'll do everything we can for Zeus, et. al., here at TGAB. Cloacina, you already knew, didn't you, that Michael Carnock and his shadowy PDC Corporation (no known website) plan to use Terrapin Run, a gorgeous little mountain stream, as the runoff conduit for treated sewage from a town of 11,000 people that doesn't exist at all today?

Cloacina: By Zeus and Hera, the ancient Romans had better sense than that. "Treated," indeed! As if removing E coli was the only thing that matters to an intermittent-running tiny little crick!

Anne: Oh, you called it a crick! How precious! That's what we call creeks where I come from!

Cloacina: Can't you see I'm angling for an open position here?

Anne: OMG&G! Of course! Geez, I'm a ditz. Cloacina, awesome Goddess of Cleanliness and Sanitation, will you accept my prayers and offerings and take the open position of Official Goddess of Terrapin Run? PLEEEEEEEEEZE?

Cloacina: I can start tomorrow. Let me just put a few things in a bag. I'll need directions.

Anne: Little Orleans exit from I-68 in Maryland. If traveling west, turn left off exit, follow Scenic Route 40 to the bottom of Town Hill. Old concrete bridge on right. No sign. Well, there are a few "No Trespassing" signs. We know who they belong to.

Cloacina: I'm right on it, my daughter. You can count on me. Oh my, a real job for a deity! I'm so excited!

Anne: It doesn't offer much in the way of offerings. I don't get to Terrapin Run very often.

Cloacina: No worries, my daughter. Visit when you can. I'll be there. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cancel my electric and telephone.

Somehow it seems fitting that a person who worships vultures would offer meaningful work to the Goddess of Cleanliness and Sanitation.

Please, readers, don't call the men in white coats. They already know about me.

Beannachd leat,


Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Oh, Cloacina, one of my very, very favorite goddesses. A matron deity to waterways threatened by environmental contamination? Why, o why had this never occurred to me before? Let's spread the word!

And if, perchance, the Lady in Question should have a few hints as to her preferred forms of offering--I, for one, would be quite interested to hear!

Congratulations on the new gig, Cloacina... and on the new goddess, Terrapin Run. Hooray!

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

I just have to add--and pass it on, Anne, would you?--that one of the great joys of teaching freshman English classes is the chance to teach Classical mythology.

And YES, I make sure my little dears know about Cloacina--proof positive that Romans knew how to be civilized worshippers, once upon a time...

Thalia said...

I, too, am a fan of Cloacina the Purifier. I think that a sprig of myrtle, if you can find it, would be a historically proper offering to Her, since a myrtle tree was said to have grown on the site where Her little shrine in the Forum was built.