Monday, March 10, 2008
My time as a god (sort of)
Yesterday I was reminded of a silly incident that happened to me a few years ago. This anecdote involves religion and is not intended to offend. If it really does make you angry please take a deep thoughtful breath.
Many moons ago I was at a party. A chum of mine was trying to chat up a girl, who turned out to be really quite religious. She was a committed Christian and for some reason my chum believed that the best way of seducing her was a bit of light ribbing of her religion.
His basic point was that her god seemed to claim a lot of credit for the good stuff, wouldn't be blamed for any bad stuff and yet still gave out orders on how one should live a life. He thought this was a bit off and as part of a throw away remark said
'Religion is crap, gods never do anything,' he paused to look around the campfire 'Why, even Louche would make a better god.'
This caused all the other conversations to stop as everyone looked at me.
'Louche as a god?' Another friend piped up
'Yes a god, he might be a bit slow some times but he is a nice enough chap so I'm sure he'd be a jolly helpful god.'
He then got down on his knees and put his hands together and said
'Dear Louche, please in your Almighty power can you get some more wood for the fire, for I am cold.'
Well, when a chap asks that nicely you can't help but go and get him something to burn, so I strolled off into the darkness to find something to put on the fire. I grabbed an armful of tree parts and returned.
I was greeted with a cheer and this event was dubbed 'The miracle of the getting of some wood'. Another friend piped up at this point and said
'Louche can't be a god, that's just wrong. I mean look at his sideburns.'
I was sporting some very silly sideburns at this point in my life. This caused a heated debate about what a good god should look like and it was agreed that a good who looked a bit silly was probably a good thing.
Another friend arrived at this point and was rather unprepared for being outside, he wasn't wearing a suitable coat and he was shivering. Someone else commented on his lack of outdoors clothing and then decided to do a prayer.
'Dear Louche, please can you help my friend get warm. He is a bit of a berk and has come out in a T-shirt.'
I sorted the chap out by lending him a hunter jacket and this was dubbed the miracle of the coat.
I would have thought it ended there but things got a bit out of control. I went to bed as it started to get light but several of my friends stayed up all night drinking, singing and laughing. When I arose in the morning the friend who started the whole debate was now my official Pope, the woman he was chatting up had decided to become my High Priestess and I had several Hymns about either the miracle of the wood, the miracle of the coat or how idiotic my sideburns were.
With a strong ecclesiastical structure in place and a couple of rather spiffing tunes that people could really sing along to things really got going.
The next time I met up with my chums I had a few Vicars (the followers had decided to ape the Church of England style of softly-softly religion), a couple of monks and even someone who wanted to be 'The Low Priest'.
It had been decided that I was part of a polytheistic approach to religion so people could follow me as well as their main religious figure. So I needed to become a god of something. While sideburns were offered up as an option the religious council decided I should be the god of 'getting away with it'. People would pray to me when they need to get away with something with out getting caught. I even had an official slogan, 'Louche, he cares'
It was also around this time that the religious iconography started to appear. The monks decided that they would also grow silly sideburns as a mark of their respect and other people would wear badges or pins with crudely made bricks on them. I've never understood the brick connection but the Pope said it was about how 'big things grow out of small parts' plus I think he just happened to have a load of badges featuring house bricks made out of fimo.
Winter approached and so the time of parties in someones gardens was over and I thought perhaps that this would fade away so many other silly things. It did not.
When I went to the first big party of the season someone (I think one of the vicars who after this became a bishop) had managed to get hold of a big marque tent which had decided was a Temple to Louche where people could have tea, cake and gin and a nice sit down no matter what the time of day. It was a very easy going approach to religion, no-one appeared to be actively converted they just seemed to switch over if they felt like it, and if they didn't well that was fine too.
Needless to say the lure of tea and cake proved strong and the numbers of the religious order grew massively. We even had a couple of Saints. They weren't dead as it was reasoned that at that point they couldn't use their Sainthood to impress girls/boys/people on the bus. The two first saints, their names have be changed to protect their identity.
St Jasmine - The saint of getting something done even when your boss makes it really hard for you to get it done but you do it anyway and they don't even notice
and St Nigel - Who is the saint of getting very drunk when something doesn't go well and then something wonderful happening because you happen to be drunk and you think the day can't get any worse so you ask out someone you have fancied for ages and then they say yes.
It started to reach the point where I didn't know people who were followers and so I would wonder around the parties looking faintly confused as people talked to me about their problems or asked me to help them chat up girls.
Since the religion was formed out of a chat-up routine it was considered very holy to rope your god in to help out with a seduction. I even went on a date and was introduced to the girl as 'my god Louche' I brought them a bottle of champagne and left. I think they are still going out.
By the time the apex of the party season had arrived things had got rather serious. People had started putting down 'A follower of Louche' as their religion on official forms and various chapters had been set up in universities around England. A few proper religious types had been made aware of what was going on and branded me the leader of a 'sinister cult' and while I rather enjoyed the title it wasn't exactly true for two main reasons.
1)There isn't anything that sinister about a cult where you are nice to people and have a cup of tea. The closest we got to any sort of sinister intentions was when the Pope suggested that people take ten percent of their yearly income and spend it on something that would make them really happy.
2)I wasn't in charge in the slightest, The Pope and the High Priestess organised everything and I was just supposed to appear and wave at people.
Things grew and grew for a couple of years and for a while I had a few hundred followers. The Pope and the High Priestess even started going out, but when they broke up things got a bit tense and the religion faded away a bit. It's for the best I think.
If I do go to heaven (which considering I'm don't really believe in it would be pretty lucky) I think I'm going to have a bit of explaining to do to the chap upstairs, but perhaps we can bond about how sometimes your followers do things that are a bit silly and have a nice cup of tea.