Fable of the Gods of Desire

Ages ago, in the year 2021, there lived a child with an extraordinary power.  His name was Jimmy, and he could see the gods.

Now these gods, well, truth be told, they weren’t the all powerful beings of legend, those that periodically raped and pillaged the mortals below.  They didn’t turn into swans, or blow up volcanoes, or come up with creative punishments for prideful humans and such.  Rather, these were the gods of human appetites.  These gods did nothing, but eat.  The more appetites men and women had, the more they ate in a gluttonous feast, their desires supplying dish after dish.  Jimmy quickly realized his power wasn’t nearly as cool as it sounded.

The gods lived in a cave at the edge of town, and Jimmy didn’t visit them very often.  When he did visit, one of the lesser gods, the God of Tour Guides and Tourist Traps (who represented the desires of many to get the minimum of culture with the maximum of pictures), would take Jimmy on a tour of the cave with his little blue flag sticking out above his backpack, guiding the way.  As a lesser god, he was required by the other gods to take a break from his meals, as who would be better suited to taking Jimmy around?  Certainly not Forbidden Lust or Road Rage, a laughable idea.

Today was a special day, for Jimmy was told by Sam (for that was the God of T.G. and T.T.’s name) that he would get to see the strongest, fattest, and greatest of all the gods in existence.  The one who could easily best the other gods in battle, the one with more power and more food at his exquisite banquet table than the rest put together.  None of the other gods would speak his name for fear of attracting his attention.

They walked down the vast hallway littered with the consumed bones of desire.  They trotted past Jealousy, whose angry, shifting eyes never watched the piled up cakes on her table, but instead the greasy chicken fingers on Office Affair’s plate.  Past Pride, the most massive god Jimmy had ever seen, yet who would barely eat from the highly stacked plates of steaks, for fear that his position of power might be overtaken.  Finally, they reached an enormous gold door, and here they paused before entering.

Quietly, ever so quietly, Sam whispered HIS name into Jimmy’s ear.

“Today… we will visit the greatest god of all.  His existence strikes fear into all of our obese hearts.  Today, we visit The God of Assigning Homework.”

Jimmy was surprised. 

“W-w-w-w-Wait a sec.” Jimmy stammered.  Then he asked his next questions in quick succession.

“He’s greater than the seven deadly sins?  Greater than Pride?  Is that even possible?!?  And homework, aren’t we pretty much done with homework by the end of school? You’re joking.”

“I couldn’t be more serious.  Every man and woman on Earth feeds the God of Assigning Homework.  Saints and sinners alike set plate after plate on his table.  His room is twenty times larger than this entire hall housing all of the other gods, and either his bulk or his food fill every square inch.”

And then Sam went on to explain.  You see, the God of Assigning Homework was fed whenever anyone gave someone else homework.  Every friend that wanted to share in his joy and told his bestie, “You must watch this new show!” Yet if the new show wasn’t watched, the friend would be disappointed.  Every wife that told her husband to mow the lawn.  Every single time someone gave advice, and expected or insisted it be followed, another platter was served to the God of A.H.

 “You have to break up with him, he’s a loser.” – stack of pancakes for the God of Assigning Homework

“You should call your Mother more often… give her a call tonight.” – Two tacos down the gullet.

“See you at 7.  Don’t be late.” – Whipped cream shot into the mouth, straight from the can.

“You need to apply.  Let me know when you’ve sent out the resume.” – Loaded baked potato.

You see, fair and attractive reader, there is no end to the desire to give homework.  While some people may not be impacted by pride, or wrath, or suffer from lust, everyone from the smallest child shouting “Look at me!  C’mon Mom, look what I’m doing!” to the expectations of the Dalai Lama to use better judgement, assign homework to everyone around them without a second thought.  Even the boy scouts say “Do a good deed every day.”  They don’t suggest doing a good deed, they assign it.  Most feel self-righteous and proper when giving homework, especially to those they love most.  The best of friends and the closest of families do it all the time.

The door was largely soundproofed, but there was a vague crunching sound, with the occasional ketchup bottle squirt noise, coming from beyond the barrier.  Something black and pudding like in consistency had squeezed its way under the door and into the hallway, under pressure from the other side.  Jimmy watched wide eyed, as it was suddenly sucked back under the door with a great slurp.

Jimmy ran.  He ran harder and faster than he had ever run before.  He pumped his small legs as fast as he could and he ran from the hall, forgetting to give Sam so much as a thank you.

After Jimmy was no longer in sight, the God of Tour Guides and Tourist Traps returned to his small space at the banquet and commenced eating.  No one in memory had dared open that golden door, but the fear that someone might was almost enough to put him off his appetite.  Almost.

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