Mock Temples. Or, Maybe, Don’t.

A Mock Temple. I'm not laughing anymore.

A Mock Temple. I'm not laughing anymore.

God, according to the Blob, likes a joke, particularly a bad one. The more bitter, morally collapsed, and ethically unburdened the better. She swears Jim Davidson will go to heaven. (Or reincarnate as Lenny Henry, if he accumulates enough karma.)

The Blob is well travelled and says she has met Him and who am I to doubt her? I look up to her. When she has eaten me, I also look out to her. In every relationship there is a half who seems somehow more than the other. She is my better three-quarters – on a lean day – and I find it hard to argue with anything she says. If she tells me I should worship something other than her, I will at least make the pretence. (Besides, we weren’t long married, and I still wanted to be her Mr Right, which, if you recall last week, was somebody with my looks, but without my actions… or words, for that matter.)

Anyway, apparently He is a very large lump of anti-matter. Not all of it, by any means, but behemoth enough to make the human mind baulk at contemplating Him. According to the wife, God’s true name is the sound the human mind makes when it perceives his shadow. At this point, the brain will say something like Robert Burns recited at speed whilst inhaling ignited whiskey, or, to paraphrase, ‘ErghgrrrouchohmydearGodthathurts(nowineedatissue)’, of which only the shortened form has reached our vernacular.

But, because he is anti-matter, he is also Anti-God, and the only place of worship He believes in is a Mock Temple. These holy sites are scattered around the English countryside like Ha-Ha’s in the gardens of Jane Austen. They are dots on the ley lines of the spiritual world. They are the places where God seeps through, like semen through a ripped condom. They are popular with families.

We went to an ironically Ionical Temple in Yorkshire to worship, and the Blob deposited her fetishes. First, a pebble with selo-taped-on golden wings. Second, an overfed snail named Porky. Third, a bucket of water. Fourth, three straws arranged into the letter ‘H’. These were for a miniature Olympic Games. Why? Because Gods are formed of the smallest things. In this case; Hermes from a cairn of stones left at the roadside to mark a way for travellers. From thence, he became the leaving place for good luck tokens, and eventually the God of travellers and, then; later, athletes. So we raced Hermes against Porky, yelling at the pebble, “Come on, Hermes. Porky’s stuffing you! Show some Olympic bloody spirit!”. Let him sink in his attempt to break the record for a stone swimming in a bucket. Applauded politely, as he failed to clear the ground below the high-jump bar. Think of relieving yourself on a gravestone, and you see the sleight, the slap of the hand across Hermes’ well-travelled cheeks. The mockery had begun.

The Anti-God would be pleased.

After this we took the wafer – which was pink – and we dipped it in a cup of PG tips until it crumbled and drooped to the bottom of the cup. As it melted we chanted ‘The Body of Christ is droopy and pink, The Body of Christ can’t keep it up, The Body of Christ is tasty in tea’.

The next hymn of worship was dedicated to Athena. A roast cockerel sacrificed to the growth of crops. We ate the erel, and offered the cock to the Goddess. That should rouse her ire.

Then, and last, we worshipped Epicurus, the Greek who spent his life teaching men not to fear the Gods, not to worship them by the actions and words of their meagre lives. That mankind should be free of awe. We worshipped him as a God. It was as I grovelled before the great disbeliever’s feet, that I felt a frisson of anxiety. My disbelief was beset by doubt. What if the Gods were real? What if the preaching of the anti-matter anti-God was false? What if even the shrine to my pirate ancestor should be paused before, worshipped? (I had spent a long time cutting it out, and sticking on the gold paper.) Had my karma sunk so low that I would actually come back as me? I couldn’t go through all this again… My first sexual experience didn’t bear repeating. (No, a bear wasn’t involved, and the tortoise shouldn’t have been.)

I was filled with a religious fervour which, I must admit, felt a bit like fear. Now, I stop to salute lonely magpies in the park, even in the afternoon. Look for ‘7’ on numberplates and doors. Blanch at the number between twelve and fourteen. Touch wood like a porn addict. Go to church on the Lord’s day, and the mosque on every other. My address is black-listed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, and scientologists flee when they see me on the street. I perceive God in the smallest of things, in cloud formations and the swaying of trees. I can’t stop, a belief-junkie, and I worship on the sly, with half-hidden gestures and the tugging of my forelock. Like masturbating when the Blob is out with the girlomorphs, I don’t tell her, because I know, if she knew, she would only mock me.


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