It's not every god that gets their own planet

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The Independent Online

It's been a little time since we heard from the United Deities. The United Deities is, of course, the name given to the regular meetings held by all gods past and present to monitor progress down here on Earth. I am lucky enough to be in a position to pass on some of the minutes of the last meeting to you, as follows.

It's been a little time since we heard from the United Deities. The United Deities is, of course, the name given to the regular meetings held by all gods past and present to monitor progress down here on Earth. I am lucky enough to be in a position to pass on some of the minutes of the last meeting to you, as follows.

1. The Chairgod called the meeting to order and asked Loki, the Norse god of mischief, to stop doing that. He then asked the Jewish God if there had been any sign of a rapprochement between himself and Allah.

2. Allah said there was no trouble between him and the Jewish God. Between their followers, yes. That was different. He and the Jewish God would like nothing better than to get the Muslims and the Jews in one place and bang their silly heads together until they saw sense.

3. Zeus, the Greek head God, said that he was under the impression that that was exactly what was happening in the Middle East. They had got together in one place and were banging everything together. It didn't seem to be working.

4. Yes, but was it really his or Allah's fault? asked the Jewish God. Could you blame him and Allah for what happened in Palestine? Excuse him, but had he or Allah ordered people to kill each other? Where was it written, could someone tell him, that murder was a good thing? Could someone answer these questions?

5. The Chairgod said that they all knew by now that when the Jewish God asked questions, he was not expecting answers. He was merely making statements with a question mark on the end. He would like to move on to a happier topic, which was to congratulate the Inuit sea goddess Sedna on having a planet named after her. There was a round of applause.

6. In the ensuing silence, the Chairgod asked if Sedna was present. Did anyone know what Sedna looked like?

7. A Mayan sea god said he thought he had been introduced to Sedna at a party, and they had talked fish for a while, but he could not be sure. She had seemed a solitary soul. Also, he remembered she had smelt slightly of turbot.

8. Well, even in her absence, said the Chairgod, it was only right and proper to record their congratulations. It was not everyone who had a planet named after them. Not Zeus, for instance, nor any Christian God. Nor any Norse god, come to that.

9. Thor, Norse god of thunder, roared that he didn't want any bloody planet named after himself. He had a day of the week named after him, which was a bloody sight more than any six-armed Hindu half-breed god could claim. He then stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him, which fell into a thousand pieces.

10. The Christian God said that this new discovery, Sedna, didn't sound big enough to be a planet. It wasn't even as big as the Earth's moon. Could a planet be smaller than a moon?

11. It certainly could, said Saturn. The planet named after him, Saturn, had a moon called Titan which was 5,150 kilometres in diameter. That was bigger than such planets as Pluto and Mercury.

12. That was nothing, said Jupiter. The planet named after him, Jupiter, had a moon called Ganymede which was even bigger than Titan.

13. Hera, goddess and wife of Zeus, said that she got so bored with male gods boasting about the size of their planets and moons, she sometimes wondered why she came to these meetings. She was not surprised that Sedna stayed away. She did not intend to stay a single second longer herself. She bade them all farewell and left through the place where the door used to be.

14. Jupiter asked Zeus what that was all about, for heaven's sake.

15. Zeus said it was all a bit embarrassing but his wife Hera still went bananas at the mention of the name Ganymede. Ganymede had been a boy he had seduced, and taken up to heaven, where he had became cup-bearer to the gods, and, well, it was all a long time ago, and could they change the subject, please?

More of this tomorrow, I hope.

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