Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Oh by all the fruit flies on the watermelon, there's a wild bored god here tonight! He's dressed in animal skins, and he looks pretty dusty. Thank goodness he's content to sit on the floor! I showed him how to use my can opener (I'm old school, I've got a hand-held), and he's opening all the cans in my pantry. Which is, yes, annoying, but he looks kind of hungry.
This deity doesn't speak anything like any language living or dead. Luckily I have Dr. Google. Dr. Google knows everything. It appears that this god is EndodaWorld, sacred to the extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely ancient peoples of the Fertile Crescent. Hard as it is to believe, Dr. Google can actually translate this diced-tomato-fixated deity for us.
Anne: Please, EndodaWorld, have another can of tomatoes! (aside) Glad he likes 'em, I'm too tired to bake a pie.
EndodaWorld: What are these delicious things?
EndodaWorld: Why didn't my people have these?
Anne: Hmmmm. Oh, I know the answer to that! Your people lived in the Old World. Tomatoes are a New World plant. Europeans didn't have them until Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
EndodaWorld: Who is Columbus?
Anne: Some dude. Oh! Ummm, Campbell's soup is better if you warm it up.
EndodaWorld: I don't see a fire.
Anne: I'll get right on that. So, EndodaWorld, tell me about yourself. What's that powder you're wearing? Looks like you fell into a vat of talc.
EndodaWorld: This? It's the stuff that fell out of the sky. For ten years.
[Anne takes a gentle dab with a Q-tip, gives the dust to Dr. Google.]
Dr. Google: Volcanic ash.
Anne: Wow! This fell from the sky for ten years?
EndodaWorld: Sometimes it came down dry, sometimes it came down wet. Either way, it killed a lot of people and a lot of gods.
Anne: How did you survive?
EndodaWorld: I didn't have to survive. I got hired after two years of famine by priests who blamed all the old deities and promised I would get this whole ash thing under control.
Anne: So that was after two years. What happened by Year Eight?
EndodaWorld: I got fired. It was a short tour. My praise and worship team mostly died.
Anne: Guess you could say they bit the dust.
EndodaWorld: I beg your pardon?
Anne: Never mind. Totally tasteless joke. So let me understand. Some volcano erupted and spewed ash into the air for a decade, and it wasted a lot of people all over the place. I guess animals too.
EndodaWorld: Animals, plants, insects. It got very, very quiet. The people who wanted to survive had to migrate and fight for a spot in the areas that didn't get the dust.
Anne: Was your praise and worship team living in the shadow of this volcano?
EndodaWorld: What's a volcano?
Anne: Whoa! Ash falling from the sky for a decade, and you didn't even live near the volcano? Dr. Google, can you shed some light on this?
Dr. Google: This deity was briefly worshiped during the catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera super volcano 645,000 years ago.
Anne: EndodaWorld, you are officially the oldest deity I've ever had the pleasure of meeting! Probably by a factor of ten.
EndodaWorld: Let's not talk about ten.
Anne: I read just the other day that the Yellowstone Caldera could fire up and erupt with just a few decades notice. It could happen any time. And you're here with an evocative name, warning me that such an eruption would be the end of the world.
Anne: Except it wasn't.
EndodaWorld: Who are you to argue? I was there!!!
Anne: But if it was the end of the world, there wouldn't be any people anywhere. Or animals, or plants, or insects. But we've got plenty of all of those things.
EndodaWorld: Well, Miss Priss, let me tell you: If you had been there in my time, you would have felt like it was the end of the world!
Anne: I daresay. And if that scary super volcano erupts in thirty years, it will certainly be the end of the world for me. But not for everyone. So long Anne, Mr. J, cats Beta and Gamma, beloved daughters, entire population of Philadelphia ... but not the human race. EndodaWorld, you've got to admit that some tribes of humankind survived the decade of ash rain.
EndodaWorld: Didn't do me any good. I've never gotten even a nibble on my resume, from then until now.
Anne: Speaking of nibble, could you please forego that last can of black beans? I need those for my soup.
EndodaWorld: But .....
Anne: Oh, never mind! Munch away!
I'm going to take a lesson from this hungry bored god. Apparently the shit hit the fan, and people stuck in the catastrophe blamed all of their gods and dumped them. The people drafted a new god, but that god couldn't fix the problem. In fact, it must have gotten a lot worse. Now, what does that remind me of?