Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Martian’s Saturday Report to Headquarters

The gods are the smaller creatures, their divinity evident in the short, dimpled thighs visible between where long shirts leave off and long socks begin. 

The little gods form into bands determined by numbered shirt color inside white lines drawn on the ground. The white lines demark the tabernacle where the little gods perform their ecstatic ritual.

The worshippers are larger, corrupted hairy versions of the gods.  The corporate, ceremonial worship service is immensely important to them, since they spend the precious little free time allotted to them by their masters preparing for and attending the ceremony. 

The faithful prepare for the service by arraying themselves outside the white lines in flimsy chairs, anointing their bodies with oils and ingesting hot brown liquids.

The small gods prepare for the ceremony by taking turns repeatedly mimicking the ceremonial climax, the kicking of a checkered sphere into the Holy of Holies; nets suspended at each end of the tabernacle. 

Once the ceremony starts, some of the worshippers remain in silent reflection, while others appeal loudly to their favorite god.  The chanted incantations crescendo when the sphere nears one of the nets, and die down when the sphere returns to the center.

The checkered sphere is symbolic of their planet, and its rolling across the ground represents the continued rotation and existence of their current world.  The trapping of the sphere in the net stops the sphere’s spinning, reflecting the end of this phase of life and the beginning of a new and higher plane of existence for the worshippers who beat their hands together and scream, possessed by the spirit which prepares them for death.    

Except for one high priest for each band, the worshippers are not allowed inside the tabernacle itself during the ceremony.  But when one of the small gods falls over, the high priests foray into holy ground to return one or more of the toppled gods to a standing position.  The priests occasionally collect a precious liquid that the little deities express from their eyes. 

The high priest in this religion attends no schul or seminary, but is chosen from among the loudest and most passionate worshippers.  He or she wears a necklace of religious authority and must also wear an ephod the same color as the group of gods he serves.  

The small gods require constant feeding.  They fortify themselves on offerings brought to the ceremony by the worshippers who dare not eat the special foods and drinks themselves.  The moment to consume the offerings is determined by a single, uniquely clothed creature that seems to be a hybrid between the small gods and the deformed congregants. 

In addition to blowing a Whistle of Righteousness to signal when the small gods must be fed, the hybrid creature sometimes arbitrarily declares with the pointing of an arm that the direction of the sphere’s movement must be changed. These signals enrage one group or other of the worshippers and provoke the high priests to direct passionate imprecations at him.  

At the time of this report, it is unclear whether the hybrid, possessing characteristics of both the divine and profane beings, serves as a mediator between the heavenly and earthly worlds or as a kind of scapegoat or devil. This question will require further research.   
The hybrid being’s whistle also signals the ceremony’s end.  The worshippers give thanks to the small gods by touching hands held high, forming a fleshy tunnel through which the gods pass and touch each other’s hands while insincerely mouthing the shibboleth, “Good game.”

More foods are offered to the deities and the worshippers select the gods that they will take home to clean, store and maintain until the next ceremony.  The worshippers select the gods that most look like themselves.  On the way to their homes, incredibly, they stop and eat again.