Outtadeway-O: A Found Goddess of Public Transportation (well, you asked for Her last month) by Barbara Ardinger

Tall, hearty. sometimes pushy, and usually very loud, Outtadeway-O is easily able to propagate and multiply Herself so that we can find Her in crowded airport terminals, at bus and subway stops, and just about anywhere people are traveling from or to. She’s in charge of trains, planes, and taxi-cabs. She’s the One who, when we’re in a hurry to get somewhere on time, shouts, “Please, oh, please get out of the way!” Pilots, engineers, station masters, ticket agents, and ÜberAlles drivers all hear Her. You better bet they get out of Her way.

Although there are apocryphal reports that Outtadeway-O was present when Hannibal crossed the Alps (who do you think was in charge of those elephants?) and in the Roman Colosseum (She supercharged some of the chariots, horses, too), She’s most familiar as the gal in the New York subway system who kindly tells you which side of the tracks to stand on so you get on the train going in the right direction. Whether you’re lost in La Guardia, O’Hare, Hartsfield, or LAX (and in the smaller airports, too), She’s the gal in the uniform who explains how to use those dratted ticket machines on the curb and gives you a tidy map that shows where the gates are and how to find them without tripping over the people sleeping on the floor because their flights were delayed or canceled. She’s also the helpful agent who finds food for those people when they wake up and points them toward the bathrooms. Continue reading “Outtadeway-O: A Found Goddess of Public Transportation (well, you asked for Her last month) by Barbara Ardinger”

The Highly-Effective, Never-Fail, Magical Parking Space Word by Barbara Ardinger

“In the beginning was the Word.” Yes, we’ve all read that. Although I’m not sure precisely what that Word was—does anybody know?—I’m pretty sure that Word started the process of creation. It was an active Word. A powerful Word. A Word that got things done.

I modestly propose another creative, active, powerful Word. ZZZAAAZZZ. It actively and powerfully creates parking spaces for us. Although I have always believed this Word just somehow came to me, my son has recently said that he once heard it from one of his high school buddies. I dunno. I’ve been using the Magical Parking Space Word for maybe thirty years. I’ve been writing for the Llewellyn Publications annuals since about 2004 and have put the Magical Parking Space Word (with its own spell) in the last three Llewellyn Spell-a-Day Almanacs. I get positive responses from readers all over the U.S. The Word is spreading. Continue reading “The Highly-Effective, Never-Fail, Magical Parking Space Word by Barbara Ardinger”

The Found Goddesses of Good Eats by Barbara Ardinger

August 1—Lughnasadh (pronounced LOON-us-uh) or Lammas—is the first of the three traditional harvest festivals of the traditional Celtic calendar that most pagans follow today. And what naturally follows harvest? Feasting, fairs, and festivals. To help us celebrate the season, here are two Found Goddesses of good eating. The term “found goddesses” was created in 1987 by Morgan Grey and Julia Penelope, authors of a hilarious book titled Found Goddesses. After reading this book and having never met a pun I didn’t instantly love and being of a naturally satirical state of mind, I started Finding—i.e., inventing—my own goddesses shortly before the turn of the century. After I found a hundred of them, they were published in 2003 in my book, Finding New Goddesses.

When Xochitl Alvizo wrote here about the philosophy of vegetarianism and veganism in late June, I was inspired to contribute to the conversation. Although I understand the philosophy of not eating meat, I’m still a meat eater. (Though I don’t go quite as far as the so-called paleo diet.) Yes, it’s an issue of consciousness. I admit it. I just refuse to think about cows and sheep and chickens when I’m eating. But I refuse to eat lobster (because they’re cooked alive) or veal (because of how the calves are treated). I guess I’m not very consistent, and I suspect I’ve just settled for the hungry coward’s way out of the diet dilemma. Continue reading “The Found Goddesses of Good Eats by Barbara Ardinger”

No One Is Safe from the Parodist (Part 2) by Barbara Ardinger

I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this, but I once worked as a freelance copywriter for a multi-level marketing company.

I suppose I should be ashamed to admit this, but I once worked as a freelance copywriter for a multi-level marketing company. (Okay—I needed the money. It was a job.) I wrote the following piece one day when I was supposed to be writing real advertising copy. They were not amused. A few years later, when I was writing Finding New Goddesses (ECW Press, 2003), I pulled it out of my three-ring binder, renamed it Dr. Lucre’s Whoopee Pack, and Found (i.e., made up) Panglossolalia, the Found Goddess of Infomercials. Today, if we want to be politically correct, we recycle and reuse, so here we go again. I’ve changed the names in this infomercial and brought it up to date. When November comes, be sure to vote for the candidate of your choice.

Dr. Mittens’s Whoopee Pack

Good evening, friends, and welcome to my secret garden. I’m your friendly political commentator. I’m so glad you could visit me tonight as we take a short break from biased documentaries and endless negative commercials. Friends, tonight’s movie, Attack of the Jobless Economist, will begin in a minute. But first, this.  Continue reading “No One Is Safe from the Parodist (Part 2) by Barbara Ardinger”

Does Humor Have a Place in Religion? by Barbara Ardinger

Is there anything funny about the divine? Any joke-telling gods? From the days of Abraham until today, the gods and their preachers are a very earnest lot intent on saving us from our sins and building congregations.

Like it or not, we neopagans are still children of the society we’re endeavoring to change. Some of us seem to want to switch patriarchy to matriarchy, but that’s just swapping Big Daddy for Big Momma. It’s still a hierarchical arrangement with the deity at the top of the mountain. Immediately below the “arch” are angels, men, eagles, lions, and other superior beasts. At the bottom of the mountain are women, mud, and matter. (In case you don’t recognize it, this is the 18th-century Great Chain of Being.)

Any humor in spiritual and religious writing? The Hebrew Bible (which Christians refer to as the Old Testament) is a collection of laws, canonically approved versions of history, prophetical preachings, and poetry. The Christian Bible (aka New Testament) give us different approved versions of history, plus further preaching, plus myth and mysticism. The writings of the medieval Fathers of the Church are famously grim and misogynistic. The Qur’an offers ethical guidance and moral preaching. In the Far East, the Tao is also profound, as are the preachings of the Buddha. The writings of Confucius present instructions for maintaining the correct social order (another version of that Great Chain). The great stories of Hinduism are filled with wonder, adventures, and philosophy. But they’re not very funny. Continue reading “Does Humor Have a Place in Religion? by Barbara Ardinger”

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