"Shared Visions of Heaven are so hard to come by"

“Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous,” L. Ron Hubbard reckoned. “If a man really wants to make a million dollars he should start his own religion”.

Onya, Ron. I reckon the guy was onto something there.

So, in case this freelance gig doesn’t keep paying the bills, I thought I’d start a religion on the side.

So I am founding the religion of the Snackers. My own title is the Big Peanut Slab. Basically Pagan, the Snackers however are not satisfied with worshiping the Golden Calf. That is for Pikers.

No. We worship the Golden Thigh, especially the Golden Thigh of Netballers.

Advanced worshipers, such as myself, can go even higher.

We worship the Golden Handshake.

Now, this religion is still at its formative stages, but here are some initial principles:

Poverty. The desirability of poverty seems a pretty universal principle of most religions. Poverty for the followers, that is. I’ve noticed though, that religious leaders often seem to have some sort of exemption on this.

Which is why I propose to be a religious leader. All Hail the Big Peanut Slab, for I shall rain a Golden Shower of Goodness upon my followers.

Scientology in general seems to be an exception for both leaders and followers. I’m not too sure how they have managed this but I am working on it. Believe me.
Which brings us neatly to…

Modes of worship

Cash. Used or new notes, The Big Peanut Slab isn’t fussy.

Sex.

Now, I’ve made a reasonably close study of this, and it’s pretty damn clear that as soon as you set up a religious order you have to start talking about sex. No religion is complete without a certain level of bossiness in this area. So here goes.

No-one is to have sex. Unless I say so. But don’t worry, I shall always allow it. I just want to know what is going on. Married or unmarried, hey, who cares.

Just gimme the goss.

This includes homosexuality, although one practice though I will not abide. Sorry, boys, but the show tunes will have to go, as will the Barbara Streisand CDs, for they are an Abomination, one which cries unto Heaven for vengeance.

I’m prepared to tolerate Abba, but only just, and only because the Sex Pistols ripped off the riff of “SOS” for “Pretty Vacant”.

Diet

The eating of shellfish…

Is bloody excellent. Bluff Oysters to be washed down with Grove Mill Chardonnay on religious holidays, or any other time the Big Peanut Slab decrees.

Avoid oysters if anyone drags you along to Valentines to partake of the smorgasbord…in fact, just avoid anyone who drags you along to Valentines. Just avoid Valentines. You don’t need that crap.

Bacon, eggs, lambs fry, strong coffee, and grapefruit juice are to be eaten on Sunday mornings. This is to commemorate the Holy Hangover of 1984, which actually lasted until 1985, for such was the pain thereof.

Modes of Dress:

You Can Leave Your Hat On (dah na nah na naH NAH!) Sorry. Big Peanut Slab has a weakness for Karaoke.

Dress is optional. Jeans are OK. I’m pretty relaxed about this sort of thing too, although some things are right out:

Burquas
Walk Shorts
thongs
(especially Walk Shorts and thongs worn together)

Body piercings are an abomination and they make the Big Peanut Slab feel queasy.

A few miscellaneous rules:

That bastard who sold me the dud Hillman Hunter in 1983 to be hunted down and dismembered.

Jetski Riders are to be beaten, boiled in oil, smeared with honey and put in an anthill, hung, drawn, quartered, and asked to leave the country.

All recordings by Phil Collins, the Singing Dalek, to be melted down and made into melted Phil Collins recordings.

Spammers, be they offering investments in Nigerian gold mines, “sure fire stocks certain to rise”, or very specific bodily alteration, to be forced to listen to recordings by the aforementioned Singing Dalek for all eternity.

And finally, my Benediction and Blessing to all:

  1. Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. People will then wonder what you have been smoking.
  2. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story, even if it is usually about their mother’s uncle, not the one who moved to the Gold Coast, the other one, hadn’t seen him for ages, but he popped in the other day, “here’s trouble!” he said, and was telling us about how his property deal in Wanaka had gone…
  3. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit, and tend to spray you with spittle.
  4. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  5. Bastards.
  6. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. But no bugger is having my Biggles books.
  7. Be Yourself.
  8. Unless you’re a total Smeghead, in which case, find someone decent to pretend to be.
  9. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
  10. Failing that, shield spirits to nurture you in sudden misfortune. Mine’s a Glenmorangie. Cheers.
  11. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Especially those ones at 2am about the shape in the corner of the bedroom. Or – are you listening, Helen? – dark imaginings about what people in Golf Clubs are saying about you.
  12. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
  13. You are a child of the universe. Try not to piss off the grown ups.

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