“The first few dozen times I thought it was a sweet gesture,” he recalled. “But it got old in a hurry.”

Phuket, Thailand, May 3 – A deity associated with the domicile of a local family has no idea how to address the repeated sacrifices of grain and other foodstuffs the people of the household keep giving him.

The god whose blessings are expected to safeguard the home from harm and to bring it prosperity spoke to reporters in the fishing village Koh Panyee, and told them he did not know what the members of the family thought they were accomplishing by giving rice, beans, pork, and occasional other foods to a non-corporeal entity.

“I don’t eat, you idiots,” sniffed the deity. “I’m a conceptualized force that’s been given form in the human imagination, but for the life of me, so to speak, I can’t figure out what these people are thinking. Are all polytheists this dense?”

“The first few dozen times I thought it was a sweet gesture,” he recalled. “But it got old in a hurry. These aren’t exactly people of means, and it was such a waste of usable food resources. Who told them to give up what they need to survive? If you don’t need it, sell it or barter for something you lack. What kind of moron thinks a god needs a bowl of rice? Seriously?”

“I do get that sometimes folks just do what they were raised to do,” continued the deity. “Once upon a time, there was a genuine devotion, and the act of sacrificing something important was a demonstration of that devotion. But come on. We’ve moved way beyond that, even in rural Thailand. Who seriously thinks a small pot of beans in front of a little statue is going to make the difference between thriving and starving? The cognitive dissonance is tiresome.”

When asked whether the god’s annoyance at the manner of worship might prompt him to withdraw his protection from the household, he voiced surprise. “Wait, you think I… are you an idiot too? I suggest an experiment: set up an otherwise identical household, sans this representation of me in statue form. Don’t offer anything. See whether there’s any difference over time in the two households’ fortunes that can be reasonably attributed to the sacrifice or lack thereof. Then come back to me to discuss it. Here’s what you’ll find: if you think coming back to an anthropomorphized force of nature for a conversation about probabilities and confirmation bias is something a normal person does, you’ve got another think coming.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me,” he concluded, “I’ve got to pretend not to watch while a certain member of the family picks his nose.”

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PreOccupied Territory

PreOccupied Territory writes the news a few days in advance, because nothing we can think of is too absurd to happen in the Middle East.