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In the Afterlife After-Hours Bar

You know the place. It's where deities and divinities and avatars go when they've clocked off and they need a casual after-work pint or a quick remedial stiff one or some casual conversation with their peers before going home to the family.

So Christ is sitting there nursing a nice Pinot Grigio (he gets so tired of red wine, you have no idea) and he's saying to the gods and near-gods at the bar with him, "You know what really gets to me, though? The tat. The kitsch. The dashboard ornaments, the endless dodgy art -- "

"I saw that doll," says somebody down the bar past Mithras and Izanagi: a god with his hood pulled up and a long cloak that looks and flows like shadow. "With the puffy sleeves and the crown."

"The Infant of Prague, yeah. Take my advice, do not do apparitions after hours in Prague, it's something about the beer they brew there, what those people will do to you after the fact just does not bear considering. But you know what's worst? The 'Sacred Heart.'" He actually does the air quotes, which leave little traces of (appropriately) red fire. "On the front of me, outside my clothes, like I've had some kind of bass-ackwards transplant. Usually with rays of light coming out of it. Aorta and vena cava and wobbly bits all aglow. There is nothing that does not appear on. Lunch boxes. Key chains. Night lights, do you believe that? How many kids' nights have been ruined by having that thing glowing at them like a refugee from a Bill Cosby skit? You should see some of the stores at CafePress. I'm amazed they haven't done My Sacred Spleen yet. Except probably none of them can figure out where it would go." He rolls his eyes. "I have it way worse than any of you."

Mutterings of agreement run up and down the bar. Then a voice speaks up.

"I got that beat."

Heads swivel. Down at the far end of the bar, past Odin (brooding into his mead again, there's just no cheering that one up sometimes), everyone is surprised to see that it's the Bodhisattva who's spoken. Normally he's not one to put himself forward quite this way: normally when he joins in it's some pithy and Zenlike observation that doesn't hit you with its full meaning until three in the morning.


"I," says Gautama, hitching the belt around his ample self as he turns around on the bar stool, pushing his soma away, "have that beat. Because I..." He pauses for effect. "Have..."

"What is this, MasterChef? You have what?"

"A butter dish."


Looks of shock and amazement and then rueful commiseration run all up and down the bar. "Oh, my dear God." "Holy cow."

Christ shakes his head, disbelieving. "Now that," he says, astounded. "I mean, there are ones with quotes from me on them, sure, that's kind of unavoidable. But this. Why would they even -- "

He shakes his head again and reaches around behind Odin and Loki in Gautama's direction. They fistbump. "I stand corrected, my god," Christ says. "What're you drinking again? Let me get you one."

"I can't believe it's not Buddha," says somebody down at the other end of the bar.

A package of salted peanuts sails through the air (divinely guided) and catches Zeus right in the chops.


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2013 11:23 am (UTC)
This is wonderful! Just the thing to cheer up a dull Thursday morning that has involved far too much wrestling with databases. Thank you!
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC)
Is there a fireplace for glasses in this bar, perchance?
Nov. 21st, 2013 05:13 pm (UTC)
Aw. Thanks for the reminder - it's been far too long.
Nov. 22nd, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
That was my thought too. It would fit so perfectly.
Feb. 26th, 2014 09:20 am (UTC)
Whut yew sayd, Batya.
Apr. 22nd, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)
One might hope so.
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC)

I do love me a good feghoot.
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
"What is this, MasterChef? You have what?"

::dies:: I was thinking recently that Japanese TV can be quite bad about this, but oh sweet Cheebus, MasterChef. I take it back.
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
Brilliant, like it :-)
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I needed that.
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you. You have started a tricky day well!
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
Perfect thing to read first thing in the morning. Thank you!
Nov. 21st, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
Bwahah. Reminds me of an In Nomine RPH fanfic. An archangel is looking at a Buddy Christ doll and mutters, "It doesn't even look Semetic..."
Nov. 21st, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
Oh my, that's fantastic. Thank you.
Nov. 21st, 2013 01:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, a story that lets me use my Buddy Christ icon! Excellent! And a truly groan-making pun at the end.
Nov. 21st, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
Zeus, you punk! XD

Nov. 21st, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
Oh good lord. This made my day. :)
Nov. 21st, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
*wide grin* I was quite happy to receive your bounty just now. Just home from work. Thank you.
Nov. 21st, 2013 02:08 pm (UTC)
Excellent work!
Nov. 21st, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)

(Are you aware of Gods Playing Poker?)
Nov. 21st, 2013 04:55 pm (UTC)
Hee! Is there a feed for that on LJ? (Since you can't search LJ feeds in any useful way...)
Nov. 21st, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
Does he come on a pogo stick?
Nov. 21st, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
LOL! Thank you, I needed that.
Nov. 21st, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)

I have got to share this :-)
Nov. 21st, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)

(Though that’s Ho Tei, aka Budai, rather than Siddhartha Gautama. They’re both buddhas, and it’s common for a buddha named Budai to get confused with “the” Buddha...)
Nov. 21st, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
*groans* That's TERRIBLE!

*giggles madly regardless*
Nov. 21st, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
*snicker* Hey, I'm a Christian, and the kitsch makes me roll my eyes. Some of the Catholic kitsch (different from the Protestant variety I grew up with) downright gives me the heebies. Sacred heart night lights? Really?

Truth, though: Did you write the whole thing just for the "I can't believe it's not Buddha" line?
Nov. 21st, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
No, not at all. In fact that was an afterthought, and almost the last line written.

The whole thing started when I was on my way to my haircut in Dublin on Tuesday and saw this thing in a shop window. And stood there, and gaped at it, and just could not beliiieeeeeeeeve it. And instantly thought, "Boy, you wouldn't see that in a shop here if it had been Jesus." ...Everything else flowed from that thought. (As soon as I stopped being gobsmacked.)
Apr. 22nd, 2014 01:38 am (UTC)


Finally stumbled across this tale tonight. Thank you.
Nov. 21st, 2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
That is so wonderful! Thanks.
Nov. 21st, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
And I thought the Jesus on the cross with the fiberoptic crown of thorns was bad enough.
Nov. 22nd, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
. . . what?
Nov. 22nd, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)
Smiling, white guy Jesus with a fiberoptic crown of thorns that was cycling through several pastel shades.

My friend and I both whimpered and fled to the section of the store where they had dragons, because that was far less soul-killing.
Nov. 22nd, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
I'll see your buddha and raise a Hail Mary - toaster.


Edited at 2013-11-22 01:38 am (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2013 06:05 am (UTC)
I've always thought that the proper response to all that cheap tacky "WWJD?" merch is "flip your table, kick your ass, and chase you out of the temple."
Nov. 23rd, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter!
Nov. 22nd, 2013 10:29 am (UTC)
Nov. 22nd, 2013 03:41 pm (UTC)
I said it on tumblr and I will say it again here: lady, you are my favorite ever. <3
Nov. 24th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think the only possible adjective for that pun is... rancid. Love it.
Nov. 28th, 2013 04:23 am (UTC)
ROTFLMAO! Thank you so much! I've had a pretty lousy day and this was perfect for snapping my soggy mood!
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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