Wednesday, November 17, 2004
The New Muscular Christianity
Hermes dashed off into the countryside, sailing over small towns and villages until he found a quiet spot in rural Ohio. He had to be alone to think. He stopped in a little glade near a brook, where he spotted a dryad sitting in her willow tree.
“What’s happening, little sister?” Hermes asked. “All good?”
“Fuck no, man. I’m utterly bummed.”
“What’s wrong, babe? Post-election blues? Nematode infestation? Toxic sewage in the brook?”
“Nah, that’s all S.O.P. It’s the Republican picnickers.”
“Republican picnickers? Ye shits, honey. Where?”
“They’re not here right now. But they come here every Sunday. They bring lots of likker and dope. They get high. And they have sex with giant squids. Right there, in the daisies. Then they have a big bonfire over there, and throw in babies. Then they jump in the river and whip themselves raw with briers.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard about that. It’s their new secret ritual. Those aren't Republican picnickers. It’s the New Muscular Christianity you probably heard about. All the rage, but hush-hush. Sorry to hear they’ve invaded your glade.”
“Look at all the trees they’ve cut down. They only spared me because I’m a useful place to tie the goats up.”
“Goats too, huh? This must be where the inner circle comes, then. Only they get to use the goats.”
“Well, I just wish they’d stop. I’m sick of it. I’m a nice moral dryad—Florence is my name, by the way, and I see by the slippers you’re Hermes—and I don’t like it. It offends me. I came here to America to get away from Bacchanals.”
“I understand. Yeah. Wish there was something I could do, but…we’re not in power right now…” Hermes spread out his hands in defeat.
“Well, you see Zeus, or Pan, or Demeter, or Persephone, you tell ‘em that I think it stinks and something should be done.”
“I’ll do that, darling, I really will.”
Hermes flew to the top of a rock and pondered. Why would they be meeting here, in rural Ohio?
It was then he remembered the recount. The most contentious part of that was happening here. That must be it.