Which is why they've both popped in for an interview today! Other people ask Heloise for hints, but me? I go straight to the Jokers. Please give a warm, wonderful, Gods Are Bored welcome to Loki and Anansi, Gods of Trickery!
Anne: Sacred Fellows, I have a problem.
Anansi: Oh, I love problems! I tend to think of them as challenges.
Loki: Brain teasers, if you will.
Anne: Here's the scoop. My daughter The Spare has celebrated turning 20 by getting herself a boyfriend.
Loki: You've got the wrong deities here, Anne. Love is not our specialty.
Anansi: Anne knows that, for the love of fat flies!
Anne: Yeah, I do know that. Here's the scoop. This new boyfriend has strictly religious parents ... and I don't mean Pagan ... there's a deep well of conservatism there. He hates Maryland. But worst of all, he's allergic to cats!
Loki and Anasi burst into sustained laughter.
Anansi: It worked, Loki! We chose the perfect boyfriend for The Spare!
Loki: Don't take credit where it isn't due, Anansi ... although I know you love to do that. Even we would not have thought to throw in the cat allergy. Classic!
Anne: Spare is bringing this fellow around for a spot of supper next Saturday. She wants him to think she has a normal family.
Loki and Anansi burst into sustained laughter.
Loki: Of course you aren't going to comply with this directive.
Anne: I don't see how I can! Spare has specifically requested that I abstain from throwing road kill carcasses into the back yard. What if I see some bloated possum that would be a fit offering to the Sacred Thunderbird?
Anansi (to Loki): We've got to find a dead possum. This is South Jersey. Piece of cake.
Anne: What should I wear?
Loki: How about that t-shirt that says, "God is a comedian, playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh?"
Anansi: You have four Vulture Fest t-shirts ... I like the bright red one. But for the best effect, most definitely ...
Anansi and Loki together: MUMMER'S SUIT!
Anne: You don't think that's over the top?
Loki: Anne, with you there is no top.
Anne: This is the problem. Spare wants her family to look normal. I'm not even sure what normal looks like anymore. I haven't been a Methodist since 2005, and that was where I got all my clues on normal.
Anansi: Christians. So damn serious. Not one funny story in a book 1,000 pages long!
Loki: Well, some of them are funny without meaning to be. The one about the woman being created out of the man's rib ... cracks me up every time.
Anne: How in the world do I prepare this house for someone who is allergic to cats? Right now I've got three inside and another one outside.
Anansi: Yeah, and the couch you just trash-picked for fifty bucks comes from a house that had two cats. Didn't you see how Gamma was sniffing it up when Mr. J and Heir hauled it in here?
Loki: That one was my dodge.
Anansi: Do say! Good job!
Loki and Anansi high-five.
Loki: What did you do with the little sign that said, "$50?"
Anne: I threw it away, of course!
Loki: Dig it out. Put it back on the couch.
Anansi: At the very least, brag about it. Not everybody gets a nice couch like this off the street for fifty bucks.
Loki: Out of deference to you, Anne, I chose one that didn't have any stains.
Anne: Well, thank you for that, Loki, but ... asking again ... where do I draw the loony line?
Anansi: I dunno ... Kansas?
Loki: I'm going to steal your pencils so you can't even draw a line!
Anne: This young fellow is coming to dinner. I'll miss "The Rachel Maddow Show!"
Anansi: No! Turn it on! Blast it! You might miss some important breaking news about Chris Christie!
Loki: I'll take care of hiding Mr. J's shaving cream.
Anansi: I'll open the New York Times to Maureen Dowd.
Loki: I'll round up all the neighborhood cats. The air won't be breathable inside or out.
Anansi: I'll arrange the Spoutwood Fairie Festival photos in loving order on the mantelpiece.
Loki: Don't include the ones with Spare in her corset.
Anansi: I was thinking rather of this little number.
Anansi: And this one.
Loki: Bumper stickers! Anansi! We need more bumper stickers for the remaining Johnson vehicle! "I Heart Mountains" is not sufficient!
Anansi: Yeah, Anne, what happened to the one that says, "I Do Whatever My Rice Crispies Tell Me To Do?"
Anne: I ditched it.
Loki: And you call yourself Our disciple! Get another one!
Anansi: And this pin: "A Woman's Place is In Her Union." It's not prominent enough on the kitchen corkboard. Wear it!
Loki: ... on the "God is a comedian" t-shirt.
Anne: Good suggestions all, but I really don't want to embarrass The Spare. She's a great kid.
Anansi: Anne, face facts. The only way you are going to appear "normal" is to re-decorate your house, throw out your whole wardrobe, ditch your entire library, and dismantle the Shrine of the Mists.
Loki: And even then, with us at your back, you're going to commit every faux pas imaginable.
Anansi: Yep! Every last one!
Anansi and Loki high-five on their way to search for road kill and bumper stickers.
Image of Loki, Thalia Took. Image of Anansi, Janice Skivington.