|Zeus - not quite armless|
Suddenly Zeus has an idea. He calls an assembly of the gods.
“Is everyone here?” he asks when the lesser gods are finally gathered together after much jostling for a favoured position. “Right – here it is. I have an idea, a real peach this time.”
“Oh yes,” comes a voice from the back but nobody owns up to it.
“Yes - a real peach. I intend to confer on humanity a noble cause.” Zeus pauses to assess the reaction.
“Not another one,” comes a muted chorus from the celestial throng. “We’ve been doing noble sodding causes forever. Religion and war, war and religion... radical philately... plagues and pestilence... ”
“Silence,” commands Zeus, his great voice echoing and re-echoing through the clouds. “This time it isn’t a war and it isn’t pestilence so shut up and listen. Not that there is anything wrong with war but this time it will be different. Although pestilence is close to what I have in mind,” he adds as an afterthought.
“Oh yes different... we’re always doing different I don’t think... radical philately? ...it’s about time we looked at ignoble causes for a bloody change... I think he needs a holiday... don’t we all... get away from these blasted clouds.”
“This time,” says Zeus. Stern of visage and stately of demeanour he demands their attention. “This time the noble cause will be catastrophic global warming.”
“Global warming... at least he still does stern and stately... droughts I suppose... and flood, don’t forget floods... I think you mean inundations, that’s the term we use round here... oh well I’m only trying to be less dated... speak for yourself... we’ve never done philately...”
“Silence,” commands Zeus again. “I have decided on an original twist to my noble cause. Humans will be told about catastrophic global warming by computers.”
Silence reigns for a long moment before a wave of approving sniggers bursts forth. “Strewth that’s good... computers indeed... ha ha ha... some fun at last... I really must watch them bow the knee before their computers... don’t forget you had the best cloud last time... that wasn’t a proper noble cause though was it...”
“And...” Zeus continues, his powerful voice quelling the sniggers. “And we shall stop the global warming as soon as they are convinced they are about to fry unless they turn off the central heating and freeze to death.”
“Oh you delightful old swine... he’s not been like that for ages has he? ...have to admire the old sod... all by himself too... I'm impressed...”
“Plus – and here is the best bit.” Zeus pauses again, evidently pleased with the reception of his latest idea. “The best bit is...”
He pauses again, gazing out over a sea of gratifyingly expectant faces. “...the leader of the noble cause, the political figure who bestrides the globe foretelling fiery doom and disaster will be...
wait for it...
The celestial applause is rapturous.