It must have been rough for those ancient Greeks when they really, really needed something and they had to turn to their gods for divine intervention to get it. After all, those ancient Greeks had so many deities cavorting around Mount Olympus that they made summit day at Mount Everest look like a lonely day in the park.
And then there was the problem of knowing exactly which god or goddess you should address your prayers to. Oh, each deity had his or her own special area of expertise, but sometimes they overlapped, and you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the immortals by dialing up the wrong deity.
If, for example, you were a Greek woman praying for your lover’s safe return from the Trojan War, would you pray to Poseidon, the god of the sea, or to Aphrodite, the goddess of love? After all, those gods were like a big, dysfunctional family, each of them armed with the power to inflict some serious damage anytime they got miffed.
It was no better for the Norse, or for the Romans, I’m sure. Even though their gods and goddesses went by different names, the dynamic was pretty much the same. Praying to them would be like knocking on the door of a celestial frat house. Sure, they might invite you in and give you beer. Or you could end up down in the basement on your hands and knees getting smacked on the behind with a paddle while you scream, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”
Fortunately, it’s the 21st century now, and we’ve moved way past that kind of nonsense. Today, when we really, really need something and we have to turn to divine intervention to get it, we have only a single deity – one who is anxious and able to heed our call.
And Her name is Amazon!
(To be honest, I’m not sure if Amazon is male or female, but hey, this is 2020, and if I assumed that such omnipotence could only be handled by a guy god, you’d accuse me of not being “woke,” so ... .)
All hail Goddess Amazon! And unlike all those Greek, Norse and Roman deities, Amazon delivers! Every time. Without fail. No later than tomorrow afternoon.
You need a dish rack? Music stand? Pet hair clippers? You got it.
Landscape lights? Hummingbird feeder? Dandruff shampoo? It’s on its way.
Moisture-wicking underwear? Beef jerky? Blow gun? Check your front door stoop, tomorrow afternoon.
You can see Her brown-clad angels dashing up to front doors in your neighborhood almost any day of the year, hauling packages that they drop on your stoop before sprinting back to their brown vans and scooting off to answer someone else’s prayer. They are indefatigable, those angels – as earnest, energetic and faithful as the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and Santa.
Speaking of whom … you want dental floss? Chocolate marshmallow eggs? An ugly sweater? Check, check and check. Just click the button on your computer, and it’ll be there, tomorrow afternoon, sitting on your door stoop courtesy of Amazon.
The best part of it all is that She delivers all your prayers for free.
Well, technically that’s not true, I guess. You’ll still have to deal with Amazon’s lesser demigods: Visa, Mastercard and American Express. But you can do that at some later date. And if you can’t quite pony up at the end of the month, that’s OK, too, because those demigods will let your payment ride. (For a slight fee, of course. But you can let that ride, too, if it comes to that.)
Oh, I know, there are some out there reading this who think I’ve gone over the line this time. It’s a sacrilege, you may feel, for me to say that our monotheistic culture worships the goddess Amazon instead of ... well, let’s not get into name-dropping, shall we?
Look, I’m just a forward-thinking kind of guy. And if you don’t think that future cultures a millennium from now won’t look back at us and see our theology for what it really is, you’re mistaken.
And so, you historians and archaeologists of the 31st century – you who study ancient manuscripts just as we do today to find out what past cultures believed – congratulations, for you have stumbled across this document that tells you all you need to know about how we worship here in the 21st century!
For those of you reading this a millennium from now, I know it must seem quaint and amusing for you to think that people way back in the 21st century got all excited about next-day delivery.
But then again, I’m sure that 41st-century historians will smirk at you for your adoration of your 3D printer god, who delivers your moisture-wicking underwear, beef jerky and blow guns instantly at the touch of a button.
• Tom “T. R.” Kerth is a Sun City resident and retired English teacher from Park Ridge. He is the author of the book “Revenge of the Sardines” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.